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Southern Ocean Sentinels

ABC, Australia

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

Video length: 8:04 min.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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 any lesson on climate change, oceanography, marine science, ecology, and chemistry.
  • It is important that the students understand that ocean acidification is the other carbon dioxide problem.
  • 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 very actual science and a "hot" topic in marine science (ocean acidification in the Arctic Ocean and its impact on Limacina helicina). This is a very interested 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".

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