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Southern Ocean Sentinels
http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2886137.htm

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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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate information can be used to reduce vulnerabilities or enhance the resilience of communities and ecosystems affected by climate change. Continuing to improve scientific understanding of the climate system and the quality of reports to policy and decision-makers is crucial.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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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
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The chemistry of ocean water is changed by absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is causing ocean water to become more acidic, threatening the survival of shell-building marine species and the entire food web of which they are a part.
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7d

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Sometimes, scientists can control conditions in order to obtain evidence. When that is not possible, practical, or ethical, they try to observe as wide a range of natural occurrences as possible to discern patterns.
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Scientists can bring information, insights, and analytical skills to bear on matters of public concern. Acting in their areas of expertise, scientists can help people understand the likely causes of events and estimate their possible effects.
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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

  • 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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