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CO2 in the Ice Core Record
http://earththeoperatorsmanual.com/segment/5

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

This video segment, from the 'Earth: The Operators' Manual' featuring climate expert Richard Alley, shows how ice cores stored at the National Ice Core Lab provide evidence that ancient ice contains records of Earth's past climate - specifically carbon dioxide and temperature.

Video length: 3:01 min.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Gradual changes in Earth's rotation and orbit around the Sun change the intensity of sunlight received in our planet’s polar and equatorial regions. For at least the last 1 million years, these changes occurred in 100,000-year cycles that produced ice ages and the shorter warm periods between them.
About Teaching Principle 1
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Scientific observations indicate that global climate has changed in the past, is changing now, and will change in the future. The magnitude and direction of this change is not the same at all locations on Earth.
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4d
Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
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The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future, primarily due to changes in the amount of light reaching places on the earth and the composition of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels in the last century has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has contributed to Earth's warming.
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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

About the Science

  • Studying ice cores at the National Ice Core Lab demonstrates how ancient ice contains records of Earth's past climate.
  • Ice core analysis has indicated that levels of carbon dioxide have risen and fallen over the past 400,000 years. Today CO2 levels are rising 2 parts per million (ppm) per year, more than 100 ppm above pre-industrial levels.
  • The congruency between temperature and CO2 levels over the past 400,000 years is illustrated and discussed.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
  • The material is presented by a noted expert in the field, Richard Alley.
  • Very strong scientifically but without references for the records shown.

About the Pedagogy

  • An annotated script, learning objectives, vocabulary, and teacher tips are provided.
  • Students will understand that ice cores contain climate indicators, examine the historical relationship between temperature and CO2 levels, understand that climate patterns cycle naturally, and will learn that current CO2 levels far exceed any in recorded human history.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • There are captions along the bottom of the screen, which help in following the storyline.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Earth: The Operators' Manual: http://earththeoperatorsmanual.com

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