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Tropical Ice Cores Measure Climate
http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/clim10.sci.ess.earthsys.icecores/

NOVA scienceNOW, Teachers' Domain

This video profiles glaciologist Lonnie Thompson and his research into tropical mountain glaciers as a way to understand climate history. Beginning in the 1970s, Thompson recognized that tropical ice cores contain information relating to tropical climate phenomena, including El Niño events and monsoons. These phenomena are not archived in ice from polar regions. Thompson explains that his archive of ice cores is full of clues that, taken together with records collected from around the world, can help scientists create a timeline that tells Earth's climate story.

Video length: 2:02 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 7 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6c

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

About the Science

  • Tropical ice cores contain information relating to tropical climate phenomena, including El Niño events and monsoons, which are not archived in ice from polar regions.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Addresses basic paleoclimatological concepts. Notes the importance of tropical ice cores. Reviews important paleoclimate proxies, and how proxies are used to estimate past climate characteristics. All together, a very nice resource. Oxygen isotopes are mentioned twice, and both mentions do not clarify that the isotopes can be used only to "estimate" temperature, not "determine" temperature.

About the Pedagogy

  • Activities and related resources provided to help students better understand the science.
  • Uses a lot of higher-level terminology that may need to be defined.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Video probably will not project well on a large screen.

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

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/profile-thompson.html

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 7

HS-ESS2.A1:Earth’s systems, being dynamic and interacting, cause feedback effects that can increase or decrease the original changes.

HS-ESS2.A3:The geological record shows that changes to global and regional climate can be caused by interactions among changes in the sun’s energy output or Earth’s orbit, tectonic events, ocean circulation, volcanic activity, glaciers, vegetation, and human activities. These changes can occur on a variety of time scales from sudden (e.g., volcanic ash clouds) to intermediate (ice ages) to very long-term tectonic cycles.

HS-ESS2.C1:The abundance of liquid water on Earth’s surface and its unique combination of physical and chemical properties are central to the planet’s dynamics. These properties include water’s exceptional capacity to absorb, store, and release large amounts of energy, transmit sunlight, expand upon freezing, dissolve and transport materials, and lower the viscosities and melting points of rocks.

HS-ESS2.D1:The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.

HS-ESS2.D2:Gradual atmospheric changes were due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen.

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-ESS2.E1:The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.


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