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Water, Water Everywhere


This is a short NASA video on the water cycle. The video shows the importance of the water cycle to nearly every natural process on Earth and illustrates how tightly coupled the water cycle is to climate.

Video length: 6:31

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Sunlight warms the planet
About Teaching Principle 1
Other materials addressing 1a
Ocean as climate control, oceanic conveyor belt; abrupt changes in thermohaline circulation
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2b
Biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases / Carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Can be used as general overview or review of the water cycle.
  • Educators may wish to provide students a question sheet to keep student interest or ensure the video is watched all the way through.
  • Although this video does not directly articulate that water is a short-lived greenhouse gas, this is an excellent description of how one of the greenhouse gases (water vapor) impacts climate.

About the Science

  • Very basic overview of how the sun drives the water cycle and the interdependence between the water cycle and the climate system.
  • Emphasis on water in the atmosphere and how ocean currents transfer heat from the topics to higher latitudes.
  • Features interviews with several NASA scientists who study water and climate dynamics.
  • Comment from expert scientist: This video is accurate and explains the water cycle effectively and clearly. It traces the cycle in a linear fashion and marshals data, figures, and expert interviews to support its claims.

About the Pedagogy

  • One can use this video to review or introduce water-related activities, focusing on evaporation and water in the atmosphere.
  • The video uses a variety of images, diagrams, and data products to drive home how the water cycle and climate are impacted by changes in one or both processes.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Well-produced and easy-to-use introductory video.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4

MS-ESS2.C1:Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.

MS-ESS2.C2:The complex patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns.

MS-ESS2.C3:Global movements of water and its changes in form are propelled by sunlight and gravity.

MS-ESS2.D3:The ocean exerts a major influence on weather and climate by absorbing energy from the sun, releasing it over time, and globally redistributing it through ocean currents.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Systems and System Models

MS-C4.1: Systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems.

MS-C4.2: Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

HS-ESS2.C1:The abundance of liquid water on Earth’s surface and its unique combination of physical and chemical properties are central to the planet’s dynamics. These properties include water’s exceptional capacity to absorb, store, and release large amounts of energy, transmit sunlight, expand upon freezing, dissolve and transport materials, and lower the viscosities and melting points of rocks.

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