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Baking the Breadbasket: Persistent Drought in the Heartland
http://www.climate.gov/news-features/videos/baking-breadbasket-persistent-drought-heartland

Deke Arndt, NOAA

In this video, NOAA’s Deke Arndt, Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch at the National Climatic Data Center, recaps the temperature and precipitation data for the continental US in summer 2012. It describes how these conditions have led to drought and reduced crop yields.

Video length is 2:02 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 7 Disciplinary Core Ideas
High School: 7 Disciplinary Core Ideas

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Humans affect climate
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Humans affect climate
Effects of climate change on water cycle and freshwater availability
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7b
Increased extreme weather events due to climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7c
Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e

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 short video provides great support for discussion of extreme weather events in the US Plains states.
  • It could be used by teachers in the Midwest to explain how drought and excessive rainfall relate to global temperature increases.
  • Suggest watching the video twice, perhaps pausing at each of the indicator maps - drought monitor, air, temperature, precipitation, so students can read and apply the key provided with each.

About the Science

  • The video reports that summer 2012 was the third hottest on record in the U.S. and all of 2012 was on track to being the warmest year in the U.S. (This was confirmed, but by the time you read this, a new record may have been set.) The video goes on to explains why intense heat and lack of rain lead to crop damage and failure. No explicit connection is made to anthropogenic climate change.
  • Comments from expert scientist: It does a very good job at explaining the link between above normal temperatures and rainfall deficits and crop stress/failure.

About the Pedagogy

  • The video is presented with a full transcript but no links to additional background material or data sources are provided. Narration is a nice way to introduce students to these climate indicator maps (and others like them) available from NOAA and others.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The maps and their explanation are clearly presented.
  • The resolution is sufficient for classroom projection.
  • The 'You Might Like' section at the bottom of the page offers videos on similar events.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 7

MS-LS4.D1:Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services that humans rely on—for example, water purification and recycling.

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.A1:Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.

MS-ESS3.C1:Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things.

MS-ESS3.C2:Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise.

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.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 7

HS-ESS2.C1:The abundance of liquid water on Earth’s surface and its unique combination of physical and chemical properties are central to the planet’s dynamics. These properties include water’s exceptional capacity to absorb, store, and release large amounts of energy, transmit sunlight, expand upon freezing, dissolve and transport materials, and lower the viscosities and melting points of rocks.

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.E1:The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.

HS-ESS3.A1:Resource availability has guided the development of human society.

HS-ESS3.C1:The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources.

HS-LS2.C2:Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem and threaten the survival of some species.


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