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Changing Planet: Ocean Acidification

NBC News, Windows to the Universe

This video addresses acidification of the ocean and the ecological and economic implications of the resulting pH change on marine life. It includes information about how ocean acidification resulting from increased absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere is affecting ocean species such as sea urchins and oysters. Scientists from the University of California at Santa Barbara discuss their experiments with sea creatures in acidic sea water. There is an associated lesson plan and classroom activity that has students test the effects of CO2 on water pH.

Video length: 6:20 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

  • This video provides background information and images that act as good introduction to a discussion or learning activity about ocean acidification.
  • It can be used as stand-alone or in conjunction with the related Lesson Plan.
  • The lesson plan and activity are both long and involved, but provide good grade-level appropriate, hands-on experiences. It is possible to parse this activity into several shorter exercises that could be effective. The last two pages of "thought" questions can perhaps be re-purposed for tests or the like; as is, they are not an engaging way to end the lesson.

About the Content

  • This video is on the NESTA Windows to the Universe website - see http://www.windows2universe.org/ but is originally from NBC Learn website - http://www.nbclearn.com/changingplanet.
  • It was produced by NBC News with support from the National Science Foundation.
  • Passed initial science review.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Shows both lab and field approaches. Explains the questions addressed by the lab experiments.
  • Shows observations of pH over time (shows the data graphically), and makes appropriate links from human actions changing atmospheric CO2, to impacts on ocean creatures, to impacts on other human activities (seafood harvesting).

About the Pedagogy

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • This is one of 19 videos in the Changing Planet NBC Learn series (as of 7/1/11).
  • The video can be viewed online but downloading requires a subscription.
  • The production quality of the embedded video is low-end Youtube level.
  • The associated classroom activity requires significant setup, but the necessary materials are likely to be available in most schools.

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

Windows to the Universe resource: http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/changing_planet/ocean_acidification_intro.html
Entered the Collection: March 2012 Last Reviewed: July 2016

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