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How Much Warming?

National Research Council, The National Academies

This short video, is the fifth in the National Academies Climate Change, Lines of Evidence series. It focuses on greenhouse gases, climate forcing (natural and human-caused), and global energy balance.

Video length: 5:05 min.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Earth's Energy balance
About Teaching Principle 1
Other materials addressing 1b
Evidence is that human impacts are playing an increasing role in climate change
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4f
Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6c

Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
Other materials addressing:
7.3 Environmental quality.
Energy is a quantity that is transferred from system to system.
Other materials addressing:
1.1 Energy is a quantity.
Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
Other materials addressing:
2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow.
The effects of changes in Earth's energy system are often not immediately apparent.
Other materials addressing:
2.7 Effects of changes in Earth's energy system .

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future, primarily due to changes in the amount of light reaching places on the earth and the composition of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels in the last century has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has contributed to Earth's warming.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
Human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals released into the atmosphere, and intensive farming, have changed the earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere. Some of these changes have decreased the capacity of the environment to support some life forms.
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

  • Video could be paused from time to time during viewing for further explanation and questions; it is too dense to show all at once.

About the Science

  • This video documents how human activities are affecting global temperatures.
  • A good treatment of greenhouse gases, climate forcing agents, and feedback loops in climate change.
  • The unit "watt" is used incorrectly in this video. A watt is a unit of power, not energy. Energy is measured in Joules, and can be expressed as a watt multiplied by a unit of time (ex. a kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy, a kilowatt is a unit of power).
  • Comments from expert scientist: Good overview of the science with no major errors.

About the Pedagogy

  • A lot of information is packed into the video - teacher will need to unpack terms and concepts that are presented rather quickly.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Good graphics and clear examples are used.
  • Closed-captioned text is available, but there are errors in the text.
  • The video is of sufficient quality to be viewed in full-screen mode for projection.

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