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Is Earth Warming?

National Research Council, The National Academies

This video is part two of a seven-part National Academies series, Climate Change: Lines of Evidence. The video outlines, with the use of recent research and historical data, how we know that the Earth is warming.

Video length 4:37 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

Evidence is that human impacts are playing an increasing role in climate change
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4f
Global warming and especially arctic warming is recorded in natural geological and historic records
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4e
Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Increased extreme weather events due to climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7c

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 good video to show at the beginning of a unit on climate change.
  • May need to break video into sections because the information presented is very dense.
  • Students will need scaffolding.
  • High level - recommended for advanced classes.

About the Science

  • Comments from expert scientist: The video provides clear evidence of rising surface temperatures over the past century. It refers to the multitude of observational records - including in-situ and satellite measurements of temperature, snow and ice cover - to make the case that the Earth is warming.

About the Pedagogy

Technical Details/Ease of Use

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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