Jump to this Video »
Southern Ocean Sentinels

ABC, Australia

This video discusses two key signs of global change in the Southern Ocean: changes in Antarctic bottom water and ocean acidification.

Video length: 8:04 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 6 Disciplinary Core Ideas
High School: 5 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPa
Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Increased acidity of oceans and negative impacts on food chain due to increasing carbon dioxide levels
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7d

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 could be used in a lesson on climate change, oceanography, marine science, ecology, and chemistry.
  • Ocean acidification, while not directly impacting the climate system, is the result of the oceans soaking up much of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, resulting in a potentially catastrophic impact on the ocean ecosystem.

About the Science

  • The video discusses two indicators of global change effects on the Southern Ocean: 1. Changes in Antarctic bottom water and 2: ocean acidification and its effect on pteropod shells.
  • Details how tiny plankton and massive ocean currents hold clues to how rapidly the Southern Ocean is changing.
  • Additionally the video discusses how the pteropods may provide an early warning of climate "tipping points" to come.
  • The video discusses the link between global climate and the potential changes in the formation of Antarctic bottom water, as well as ocean chemistry.
  • Comments from expert scientist: As for the scientific strengths, it is very clear and well explained. From the field to the lab, to outlining results from the study, the story is easy to understand. This is also actual science and a "hot" topic in marine science (ocean acidification in the Arctic Ocean and its impact on Limacina helicina). This is interesting material and relevant to CLEAN.

About the Pedagogy

  • The narrator asks focused questions in the video, and a transcript is provided for students to read.
  • This video explicitly discusses how our understanding of the climate system is improved through observations and data collection, as how these in turn help to inform predictive models.
  • A written transcript of the video is provided.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The technical quality is much better when viewing online and not in a full screen mode. In full screen modes, even in downloads, the picture is grainy. The viewing quality is much better viewing online as presented in "small screen."

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 6

MS-PS1.B1:Substances react chemically in characteristic ways. In a chemical process, the atoms that make up the original substances are regrouped into different molecules, and these new substances have different properties from those of the reactants.

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.C4:Variations in density due to variations in temperature and salinity drive a global pattern of interconnected ocean currents.

MS-ESS2.D1:Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.

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.

MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 5

HS-PS1.B3:The fact that atoms are conserved, together with knowledge of the chemical properties of the elements involved, can be used to describe and predict chemical reactions.

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.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-ESS3.D1:Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.

Jump to this Video »