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Ancient Ice and Our Planet's Future

WAIS Divide Ice Core Project, National Science Foundation

This short video describes how the compression of Antarctic snow into ice captures air from past atmospheres. It shows how ice cores are drilled from the Antarctic ice and prepared for shipment and subsequent analysis.

Video length: 4:38 minutes.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Global warming and especially arctic warming is recorded in natural geological and historic records
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4e
Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b

Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
Other materials addressing:
7.3 Environmental quality.
The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
Other materials addressing:
Energy affects quality of life .

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

  • Use as a short intro to lesson on ice cores. This is the first in a three-video series, which also includes "Life on the Ice" and "Modeling our Future Climate".

About the Science

  • Video shows the process of collecting ice cores. No data is shown or discussed.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The video explains the importance of climate change, and the usefulness of scientific study to understand past climate for the purpose of becoming better at predicting future climate. The focus is WAIS Divide and the ice coring operations taking place there. The video explains how ice layers accumulate and how pockets of air form within the layers. Explanations of how the cores are collected and logged are included. The science is accurate, but does not go in-depth.

About the Pedagogy

  • The video is not accompanied by any background materials - although there is lots of background material on the project website - http://www.waisdivide.unh.edu/

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Excellent quality. The images and video are high resolution and suitable for projection in a classroom.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

MS-ESS2.A2:The planet’s systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth’s history and will determine its future.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4

HS-ESS2.A3:The geological record shows that changes to global and regional climate can be caused by interactions among changes in the sun’s energy output or Earth’s orbit, tectonic events, ocean circulation, volcanic activity, glaciers, vegetation, and human activities. These changes can occur on a variety of time scales from sudden (e.g., volcanic ash clouds) to intermediate (ice ages) to very long-term tectonic cycles.

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.D2:Gradual atmospheric changes were due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen.

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

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