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This is a short NASA video on the water cycle. The video shows the importance of the water cycle to nearly every natural process on Earth and illustrates how tightly coupled the water cycle is to climate.

Video length: 6:31

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea

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

  • Can be used as general overview or review of the water cycle.
  • Educators may wish to provide students a question sheet to keep student interest or ensure the video is watched all the way through.
  • Although this video does not directly articulate that water is a short-lived greenhouse gas, this is an excellent description of how one of the greenhouse gases (water vapor) impacts climate.

About the Science

  • Very basic overview of how the sun drives the water cycle and the interdependence between the water cycle and the climate system.
  • Emphasis on water in the atmosphere and how ocean currents transfer heat from the topics to higher latitudes.
  • Features interviews with several NASA scientists who study water and climate dynamics.
  • Comment from expert scientist: This video is accurate and explains the water cycle effectively and clearly. It traces the cycle in a linear fashion and marshals data, figures, and expert interviews to support its claims.

About the Pedagogy

  • One can use this video to review or introduce water-related activities, focusing on evaporation and water in the atmosphere.
  • The video uses a variety of images, diagrams, and data products to drive home how the water cycle and climate are impacted by changes in one or both processes.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Well-produced and easy-to-use introductory video.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:


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