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As Permafrost Thaws, Scientists Study the Risks

Josh Haner, New York Times

This article and slide show from the New York Times, features several scientists from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, who study the effects of thawing permafrost in Alaska.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases / Carbon cycle
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Biosphere drives the global carbon cycle
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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

  • The slide show, article, and graphic provided can easily be used in a unit/lesson on the carbon cycle and climate change, or a geography lesson/unit that includes the Arctic.

About the Science

  • Science focuses on the release of methane from decaying organic matter that thaws as the surrounding permafrost thaws, due to rising surface temperatures. Other related effects of thawing permafrost are mentioned as well.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This articles conveys an important process in the Arctic in a clear and articulate manner. It is engaging to read and the concepts are well explained. The article interviews relevant scientists in the field and provides links to source material.

About the Pedagogy

  • Article is entitled "As Permafrost Thaws, Scientists Study the Risks"; slide show entitled "Hunting for Clues to Global Warming"
  • related graphic shows the extent of permafrost in the Northern hemisphere

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Annoying ad appears when link is first accessed.
  • Excellent quality.
  • Article, graphic and slideshow print well if hard copies needed.

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