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At the Core of Climate Change
http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/kqedcl11.sci.ess.atthcoreofclimatechange/

KQED, Teachers' Domain

This video shows where and how ice cores are extracted from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), cut, packaged, flown to the ice core storage facility in Denver, further sliced into samples, and shipped to labs all over the world where scientists use them to study indicators of climate change from the past.

Video length is 19 min 29 sec.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Global warming and especially arctic warming is recorded in natural geological and historic records
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4e
Observations, experiments, and theory are used to construct and refine computer models
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5c
Climate models are robust enough to be used for guiding decision and actions as response to climate change
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5e
Our understanding of climate
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Our understanding of climate

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

  • Because the video is long (19 min) and has a great deal of information, teachers may want to use it in chunks.

About the Science

  • Dr. Kendrick Taylor of the Desert Research Institute and Chief Scientist for the WAIS Divide Ice Core project narrates the video. He takes viewers on a tour around the camp, discusses the process by which ice cores are drilled and extracted from the ice sheet, and explains the importance of ice cores in the overall understanding of Earth's climate history and current climate change. The greenhouse effect and climate models are discussed within the context of ice core data.
  • At the very beginning of the video, scientist refers to heating of the inside of the vehicle cab as an example of the greenhouse effect. This is an oft-used but not a good analogy for the greenhouse effect. The reason for heating a car is due to lack of convection and the heating due to the greenhouse effect is based on absorption and reemission of Earth's infrared energy by greenhouse gases.
  • Comments from expert scientist: It takes students into the places where the research is conducted. It deals with two of the main tools of climate research: paleoclimate data and climate models. It is interesting without pandering to short attention spans.

About the Pedagogy

  • KQED has developed curricula materials to go along with this video, but they are simply watch and answer questions and thus do not represent best pedagogical practice.
  • The video is full of information that can be used in a variety of ways. For example, the video can be the basis of a flipped lesson with some of the better questions culled from the KQED lesson or new ones written by the teacher.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

MS-ESS2.C1:Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.

MS-ESS2.D1:Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.

MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Patterns

MS-C1.1:Macroscopic patterns are related to the nature of microscopic and atomic-level structure.

MS-C1.2: Patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships can provide information about natural and human designed systems

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4

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.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-ESS2.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.

HS-ESS3.D1:Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Patterns

HS-C1.1:Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena

HS-C1.5:Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.


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