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A Homerun on Steroids, Baseball and Climate Change

National Center for Atmospheric Research , Climate Central

This short cartoon video uses a simple baseball analogy (steroid use increases probability of hitting home runs) to explain how small increases in greenhouse gases can cause global temperature changes and increase the probability of extreme weather events.

Video length: 2:04 min.

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Climate Literacy
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Greenhouse effect
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Climate is complex
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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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Climate is variable
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Global warming is "very likely" caused by human greenhouse gas emission
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Increased GHG concentrations in atmosphere will remain high for centuries and affect future climate
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Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
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Humans affect climate
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Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
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

  • Video would be perfect for a high school classroom examining weather vs climate, extreme weather events, and human causes of climate change. This should be integrated into activities that define greenhouse gases and distinguish between natural and man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

About the Science

  • Explaining the relationship between extreme weather events, such as a record heat wave, and global climate change is challenging. Although emissions of greenhouse gases are making heat waves more common and more severe overall, one cannot attribute a specific event to global warming. This video uses a simple baseball analogy to explain how greenhouse gases have a similar impact as steroids do on a baseball player by increasing the chances of hitting a home run, but don't guarantee that each home run was caused by steroid use.
  • Video also attempts to explain the role of greenhouse gases in increasing the probability of hot days versus cold days, and addresses the common misconception that a snowstorm is evidence that the climate is not changing.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Very nice metaphor. Easy to explain. Scientific concepts are measured, not exaggerated.

About the Pedagogy

  • Very engaging, student-friendly format.
  • Video could be very effective with younger audiences to make the connections between humans and impact on climate change.
  • Links to the data would be useful for additional activities.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Requires internet access - not currently available for download.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Related stories, articles and videos are supplied on this website: http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/steroids-baseball-and-climate-change

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