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In the 70s, they said there'd be an Ice Age

greenman3610, youtube

This is a video overview of the history of climate science, with the goal of debunking the idea that in the 1970s, climate scientists were predicting global cooling.

Video length: 10 minutes.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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Earth's Energy balance
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Axial tilt of Earth governs incoming sunlight and seasonality
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Milankovitch/orbital cycle
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Sunlight warms the planet
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Climate change vs. climate variability and patterns
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Changes in climate is normal but varies over times/ space
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Evidence is that human impacts are playing an increasing role in climate change
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Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
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Climate models are robust enough to be used for guiding decision and actions as response to climate change
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Global warming is "very likely" caused by human greenhouse gas emission
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Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
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Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
Earth's weather and climate is mostly driven by energy from the Sun.
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2.3 Earth's climate driven by the Sun.
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
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2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.

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

  • Edit out the combative portions at beginning and end for a nice history of climate science regarding CO2 and warming.

About the Science

  • Summary of climate science as it relates to CO2 emissions from human activities and their impact on climate. Begins with Svante Arrhenius in early 20th century, proceeds through the 1970s, when a minority of scientists focused on global cooling rather than global warming as a threat, to today's consensus. From "Climate Crock of the Week," with focus on debunking theories of climate change deniers.
  • While the tone of the video is not neutral, because the Climate Crock of the Week is meant to debunk climate change deniers and their theories, the actual history of climate science is solid. Contains much of the "Bell Telephone Science Hour" television clip from 1958 but also notes various other reports and studies through the 1970s.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This video highlights the difference between popular cultural media and its references to science, and actual scientific sources such as peer-reviewed journal articles, to make the case that climate skeptics are distorting history when they say scientific consensus in the 1970s was predicting global cooling. The reference to the 2008 meta-analysis published by Peterson et al. in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society which found that only 7 of 71 studies predicted global cooling was particularly compelling. I found this actual article in the library, and the video being reviewed here represents accurately the findings of that article.

About the Pedagogy

  • An overview of the history of climate science in a modern, almost edgy manner, using lots of video clips from film and television.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Educator may want to embed in another webpage because comment section of website may contain profanity.
  • May want to be projected to full screen mode to avoid students reading the comments and fishing around on Youtube site.

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