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Increased Emissions: Climate Change, Lines of Evidence

Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate, The National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences

This video is one of a seven, Climate Change: Lines of Evidence series, produced by the the National Research Council. It outlines and explains what evidence currently exists in support of humans playing a role in contributing to the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Video length is 5:20 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Evidence is that human impacts are playing an increasing role in climate change
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4f
Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6c
Humans affect climate
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Humans affect 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

About the Science

  • This video explains why we know that humans have caused greenhouse gas concentrations to increase.
  • Evidence includes measuring atmospheric greenhouse gas inputs and uptakes through direct measurements, satellite measurements, and analysis of carbon isotopes.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The material goes through the main greenhouse gases and provides a discussion and graphs to indicate that they are increasing in a way that is unprecedented in the records up to now. It highlights the molecules –carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide and CFCs and states information about their production and states how they are both natural and produced by humans.

About the Pedagogy

  • No additional supporting materials.
  • Video is methodical in its historical approach to the story, providing records of the scientists contributing to the study of CO2 in our atmosphere and greenhouse gas concentrations. Science-heavy video covering a lot of data.
  • Because of the wide variety of data covered in this video, students may need additional support to understand the graphs. URLs for the graphics are listed in the "Related URL" field below.
  • Graphs and other visuals may need more time for real understanding.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Quality of video can be viewed in three different resolutions.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

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.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

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-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.

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