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Deforestation in the Amazon

NASA Visualization Studio

This NASA animation on land cover change zooms into Rondonia, Brazil. It starts with a Landsat satellite image taken in 1975 and dissolves into a second image of the same region taken in 2009 that illustrates a significant amount of land use change.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases / Carbon cycle
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d
Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6c

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

  • It is suggested that this be used as part of a unit on ecosystems and climate change.
  • There is no color key provided for the images. However, the images clearly indicate significant land cover change.

About the Science

  • Tropical forests act as major carbon 'sinks', places where ambient carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be absorbed by growing things and sequestered for years.
  • Data taken in 1975 and 2009 from the Landsat series of spacecraft shows enormous tracts of forest disappearing in Rondonia, Brazil.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Short and easy to read piece on a globally important topic. Visuals clearly show the effect of deforestation on land cover. There are a number of other similar NASA websites that seem more up to date.

About the Pedagogy

  • Scaffolding of the visualization is provided in accompanying text.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The visualization is very easy to use.
  • Multiple versions of the visualization are provided in different resolutions and formats.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Animation supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

MS-ESS3.C:Human Impacts on Earth Systems

MS-ESS3.D:Global Climate Change

Cross Cutting Concepts: 3

Stability and Change, Patterns

MS-C1.3: Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships.

MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

MS-C7.3:Stability might be disturbed either by sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

HS-ESS3.C:Human Impacts on Earth Systems

HS-ESS3.D2:Through computer simulations and other studies, important discoveries are still being made about how the ocean, the atmosphere, and the biosphere interact and are modified in response to human activities.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Patterns, Cause and effect

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

HS-C2.1:Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.

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