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The Formation of Fossil Fuels - Earth: The Operators' Manual
http://earththeoperatorsmanual.com/segment/3

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

This video from Earth: The Operators' Manual describes how fossil fuels are made, and it compares how long it takes to create coal, oil and natural gas (millions of years), with how fast we’re using them (hundreds of years). Narrated by Dr. Richard Alley.

Video length 2.5 min.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Energy Literacy

Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors.
Other materials addressing:
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
Fossil and bio fuels are organic matter that contain energy captured from sunlight.
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4.3 Fossil and bio fuels contain energy captured from sunlight.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
Earth has finite energy resources.
Other materials addressing:
6.4 Earth has finite energy resources.
Other materials addressing:
Human use of energy.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Some resources are not renewable or renew very slowly. Fuels already accumulated in the earth, for instance, will become more difficult to obtain as the most readily available resources run out. How long the resources will last, however, is difficult to predict. The ultimate limit may be the prohibitive cost of obtaining them.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

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

  • A stimulating introduction for deeper exploration into the carbon cycle.

About the Science

  • Accurate and easy-to-follow story of fossil fuel formation, from photosynthesis to geologic transformation into coal, oil, and natural gas. Narrated by geologist, Dr. Richard Alley.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • A good overview of fossil fuel formation that can help set the stage for more detailed activities.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Well-produced, professional segment from an hour-long PBS program.

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