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Drilling Back to the Future: Climate Clues from Ancient Ice on Greenland

Climate Central

This video, from ClimateCentral, features a team of scientists from the Northern Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling Project (NEEM), who study atmospheric air bubbles trapped in an ice core from a period in Greenland's ice sheet which began about 130,000 years ago and lasted about 10,000 years; a period known as the Eemian. The air bubbles from the ancient atmosphere - all aligned on the same time scale - reveal what happened with climate change over that period of time.

Video length 6:15 min.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Changes in climate is normal but varies over times/ space
About Teaching Principle 4
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Global warming and especially arctic warming is recorded in natural geological and historic records
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Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
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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

About the Science

  • This detailed video describes the NEEM ice core research project, which explores samples from ice cores from the Eemian period – a geological period that began about 130,000 years ago, and is potentially similar to what may happen to atmospheric temperatures in the next few hundred years.
  • The video shows how scientists use a continuous sampling technique to analyze ice core samples in the field.
  • Sophisticated correlations between increasing temperatures and levels of carbon dioxide reveal a historical record that confirms carbon dioxide is causing warming.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The scientists interviewed are eminently experts in the field. The video does not provide references as such, but the experts giving comments are definitely of high caliber.

About the Pedagogy

  • The web page associated with the video contains important background material.
  • Ties in National Guard air pilots - can be used to demonstrate that careers other than scientists can have an impact on science.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • High Definition can be shown on a large screen, individual computers, or at home clearly.
  • Great visuals and related resources provided can be tied in.

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