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Lee Hotz: Inside an Antarctic Time Machine

Lee Hotz, TED-Ed

In this TED talk, Wall Street Journal science columnist Lee Hotz describes the research of the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide project, in which scientists examine ice core records of climate change in the past to help us understand climate change in the future.

Video length 9:46 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 5 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Changes in climate is normal but varies over times/ space
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4d
Evidence is that human impacts are playing an increasing role in climate change
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4f
Natural processes of CO2 removal from atmosphere is slow; Long residence time of some GHG
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4g
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

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

  • This is meant to be used in a "flipped" lesson. Teachers should explore the Ted-Ed site to learn more about using flipped lessons.
  • Other resources in the CLEAN collection can be used to investigate ice cores more closely after watching this video.

About the Science

  • Science columnist Lee Hotz describes the project at Western Antarctic ice sheet divide, where a team of scientists drills into ten-thousand-year-old ice cores to extract and analyze vital data on our changing climate.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The video is concise and easy to understand for people not within science fields. The speaker, Lee Hotz, captures interest without using much jargon. This seems like a nice, brief introduction into Antarctic ice drilling.

About the Pedagogy

  • This is a TED-Ed video lecture, which viewers can watch and then take a quick quiz before digging deeper into some other online resources that align with the video.
  • Quick quiz and think questions are for accountability rather than conceptual understanding.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Quality up to 480 pixels. Best viewed online or using a projector.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 5

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.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.

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