Jump to this Simulation/Interactive »
As Permafrost Thaws, Scientists Study the Risks
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/science/earth/warming-arctic-permafrost-fuels-climate-change-worries.html?ref=temperaturerising

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.

Discuss this Resource»
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
Life—including microbes, plants, and animals and humans—is a major driver of the global carbon cycle and can influence global climate by modifying the chemical makeup of the atmosphere. The geologic record shows that life has significantly altered the atmosphere during Earth’s history.
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3e
Based on evidence from tree rings, other natural records, and scientific observations made around the world, Earth’s average temperature is now warmer than it has been for at least the past 1,300 years. Average temperatures have increased markedly in the past 50 years, especially in the North Polar Region.
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4e
Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
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

  • 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.

Jump to this Simulation/Interactive »



Have you used these materials with your students? Do you have insights to share with other educators about their use? Please share with the community by adding a comment below.

Please use this space only for discussion about teaching with these particular materials.
For more general discussion about teaching climate literacy please use our general discussion boards.
To report a problem or direct a comment to the CLEAN project team please use our feedback form (or the feedback link at the bottom of every page).
Off-topic posts will be deleted.

Join the Discussion


Log in to reply