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CO2 and the Atmosphere
http://earththeoperatorsmanual.com/segment/4

Geoff Haines-Stiles Productions, Earth: The Operators' Manual

This video is narrated by climate scientist Richard Alley. It examines studies US Air Force conducted over 50 years ago on the warming effects of CO2 in the atmosphere and how that could impact missile warfare. The video then focuses on the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand; the glacier is used to demonstrate glaciers formation, depth of snow fall in the past, and understand atmospheric gases and composition during the last Ice Age. Supplemental resources are available through the website.

Video length: 9:04 min.

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
High School: 7 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate is complex
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Climate is complex
Changes in climate is normal but varies over times/ space
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4d
Evidence is that human impacts are playing an increasing role in climate change
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4f
Natural processes of CO2 removal from atmosphere is slow; Long residence time of some GHG
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4g
Global warming and especially arctic warming is recorded in natural geological and historic records
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4e
Climate change has consequences
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Climate change has consequences

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

  • This video helps link past climates and the carbon cycle.
  • Teacher may wish to make a study guide/question sheet for the video to keep students engaged in the video throughout the nine minutes.

About the Science

  • Linking military research on the heat-trapping qualities of carbon dioxide from over 50 years ago demonstrates the multiple lines of evidence for the role of CO2 in Earth's climate system.
  • Animations are used to describe Milankovitch cycles and the ice ages. Finally, the video shows how glaciers act as bulldozers to create moraines that indicate past termini and animations of glacier retreat that result in icebergs, lake formation, etc.
  • The video demonstrates, through the history of the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand, that cyclic orbital variations or other "natural variability" alone cannot account for warming in recent decades.
  • The video shows how glaciers can be used to study past climate, allowing scientists to study past atmospheric composition, precipitation amounts, and temperatures.
  • Comment from Expert Scientist: This is a nice video which shows how scientists are using glaciers and ancient air trapped in those glaciers to understand the Earth's climate history. The narration is easy to follow and is well supported by the images.

About the Pedagogy

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Excellent time-lapse photography segments on retreating glaciers.
  • Closed captioned text provided.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4

MS-PS4.B1:When light shines on an object, it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through the object, depending on the object’s material and the frequency (color) of the light.

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.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 7

HS-ESS1.B2:Cyclical changes in the shape of Earth’s orbit around the sun, together with changes in the tilt of the planet’s axis of rotation, both occurring over hundreds of thousands of years, have altered the intensity and distribution of sunlight falling on the earth. These phenomena cause a cycle of ice ages and other gradual climate changes.

HS-ESS2.D1:The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.

HS-ESS2.D2:Gradual atmospheric changes were due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen.

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-ESS2.E1:The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.

HS-ESS2.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.

HS-LS2.B3:Photosynthesis and cellular respiration are important components of the carbon cycle, in which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and geosphere through chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.


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