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The Ecology of Climate Change

American Museum of Natural History

This video focuses on the conifer forest in Alaska to explore the carbon cycle and how the forest responds to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Topics addressed in the video include wildfires, reflectivity, and the role of permafrost in the global carbon cycle.

Video length: 8:07 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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 science findings described in the film, particularly the release of large amount of carbon into the atmosphere as permafrost thaws, may be overwhelming to some learners. As with many aspects of global change, educators should consider how to help students process the information.
  • Prior knowledge of the carbon cycle, photosynthesis, and respiration would be beneficial to viewers.

About the Content

  • Video examines research being conducted on climate change in the boreal forests. Thawing permafrost, carbon sinks, and feedbacks are discussed.
  • Examines the impact of wildfires on boreal forests and the resulting shift from coniferous forests to deciduous forests, the latter acting as a larger carbon sink with increased biomass production and increased albedo.
  • Video notes the need to couple this emerging knowledge, such as knowledge about permafrost thaw, into climate models.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This is a beautifully made movie. However, the information is passed on very quickly. This movie has beautiful footage and is very good in showing the methods of measuring aspects important for future climate change.

About the Pedagogy

  • A classroom discussion activity and an article accompany the video.
  • Shows scientists in the field and in vignettes explaining the science.
  • A variety of data collection methods are shown.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Good embedded graphic visualization of coniferous boreal forests changing to deciduous forests.
  • The Ecology of Climate Change can be viewed in low, medium, or high resolution.
  • Auditory impaired text scroll on bottom during video helps to track storyline.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Simplified climate models, such as this one from Windows to the Universe, may complement the video and related discussion: http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/climate/cli_model.html
Entered the Collection: February 2013 Last Reviewed: November 2016

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