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Tuvalu - Islands on the frontline of climate change
https://vimeo.com/4997847

Panos Pictures, panos Prictures

This narrated slideshow describes the impact of sea level rise on Tuvalu, one of the low-lying island nations in the South Pacific. As the frequency and intensity of floods and cyclones increases, the island is shrinking and saltwater intrusion is affecting local food production on the plantations. As a result, many residents are moving off the island to New Zealand, where they face major cultural changes.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Humans can adapt to climate change by reducing their vulnerability to its impacts. Actions such as moving to higher ground to avoid rising sea levels, planting new crops that will thrive under new climate conditions, or using new building technologies represent adaptation strategies. Adaptation often requires financial investment in new or enhanced research, technology, and infrastructure.
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Actions taken by individuals, communities, states, and countries all influence climate. Practices and policies followed in homes, schools, businesses, and governments can affect climate. Climate-related decisions made by one generation can provide opportunities as well as limit the range of possibilities open to the next generation. Steps toward reducing the impact of climate change may influence the present generation by providing other benefits such as improved public health infrastructure and sustainable built environments.
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Melting of ice sheets and glaciers, combined with the thermal expansion of seawater as the oceans warm, is causing sea level to rise. Seawater is beginning to move onto low-lying land and to contaminate coastal fresh water sources and beginning to submerge coastal facilities and barrier islands. Sea-level rise increases the risk of damage to homes and buildings from storm surges such as those that accompany hurricanes.
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Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change. Animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses will migrate to new areas with favorable climate conditions. Infectious diseases and certain species will be able to invade areas that they did not previously inhabit.
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Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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Changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms and entire species.
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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

  • The short slideshow will enhance discussions of the impacts of sea level rise.
  • Given the approach - the human side of sea level rise - slideshow could be used as a conversation-starter with students.
  • This resource can be used in a variety of types of lessons in geography, climate change, environmental science and anthropology.
  • See urls below of other resources on this topic.

About the Science

  • Scientists present data and projections that suggest that, by the end of the century, the oceans could be one meter or more above their current levels. Coastal regions will be flooded and low-lying nations such as the tiny South Pacific country of Tuvalu could be submerged. Resource provides a clear example of the impact that climate change is having on both the physical and social-cultural aspects of life on a low-lying island.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This product appears to be more of a documentary focusing on the social impacts of climate change and sea level rise in small island states. It focuses on social science product and most of the observations are qualitative in nature. Makes connection between rising sea levels and other factors that influence inundation (e.g. seasonal variability, high tides, wind swell, and tropical cyclones)

About the Pedagogy

  • No background materials or Teacher's guide accompanying this video.
  • Overall impact of the resource is emotionally manipulative - may not appeal to all audiences.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The quality of the photos is very high. The presentation is understated and effective.

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