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Glacier Melt

National Geographic

This short video shows an example of melting alpine glaciers in the Austrian Alps (Goldberg Glacier). Disappearing alpine glaciers have social and environmental impacts, including the decline of fresh water supplies and contributing to sea level rise.

Video length: 2:41 min.

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Climate Literacy
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Global warming and especially arctic warming is recorded in natural geological and historic records
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Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
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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

  • Video does not provide any background that connects global warming and glacial melt. It might be a good hook to serve as an introduction to a class period that covers this topic.

About the Science

  • Overview of the observational evidence of ice melting in glaciers.
  • Scientist is followed in his field area and part of his research methods are filmed.
  • Video demonstrates use of scientific measurement procedures and the quantitative observational analysis of retreat of glaciers over last 100 years in Austrian Alps.
  • Comments from expert scientist: It highlights that glacier melt in the Alps and other regions has a major impact on seasonal water supply. This is a very pressing point and while the impact of glacier melt on sea level rise is very important, the impact on water resources is even more urgent. Decent visuals. Describes two types of measurements the scientist is making.

About the Pedagogy

  • Example of glacial melt comes from the Austrian Alps. Educator will have to make sure students understand that the problem is global and not local to Europe.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • National Geographic shows an advertisement at the beginning of the video. Educator can pause the video right after the advertisement to ensure that class only sees video or consider embedding the resource in a page without advertising.
  • High-quality visuals; though the voice of scientist is fairly quiet in comparison to narrator. The full-screen video quality is grainy and may not be suitable for classroom projection.

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