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Following Raindrops

KQED, Teachers' Domain

This video examines how scientists learn about the effects of climate change on the water cycle and what those effects might mean for our planet.

Video length 8:06 min.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

The abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is controlled by biogeochemical cycles that continually move these components between their ocean, land, life, and atmosphere reservoirs. The abundance of carbon in the atmosphere is reduced through seafloor accumulation of marine sediments and accumulation of plant biomass and is increased through deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels as well as through other processes.
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d
mate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the Earth system
About Teaching Principle C
Other materials addressing Cli
Climate plays an important role in the global distribution of freshwater resources. Changing precipitation patterns and temperature conditions will alter the distribution and availability of freshwater resources, reducing reliable access to water for many people and their crops. Winter snowpack and mountain glaciers that provide water for human use are declining as a result of global warming.
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7b

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Fresh water, limited in supply, is essential for some organisms and industrial processes. Water in rivers, lakes, and underground can be depleted or polluted, making it unavailable or unsuitable for life.
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

  • Students should have a general knowledge of the water cycle and the definition of "isotope" before beginning this lesson.

About the Science

  • Video details the work of an interdisciplinary team of scientists who look at the isotopic composition of water at different points in the water cycle and model how changing water flows will affect other features of the planet.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The video presents how many scientific disciplines work together to understand the complex processes of how climate affects the hydrologic cycle. The graphical explanations of isotopes and the hydrologic cycle are clear and would be accessible to a high school science audience. Additionally, the video shows researchers working at real field sites, which demonstrates the "real world impact" of the science.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Female scientist is featured.
  • Lesson plan and additional resources from KQED provided via link from Teachers' Domain page.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The online version of the video is not of sufficient resolution for classroom projection. Not accessible on an iPad.

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