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How Do Ice Cores Allow Researchers to Look at Global Climate Change?

Bess Koffman, Anya Rose, Karl Kreutz, Ron Lisnet, University of Maine

In this video, a PhD Student from the University of Maine explains how ice cores are used to study global climate change.

Video length: 4:54 minutes.

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

  • Could be used as in a lesson or unit on Antarctica and climate change.
  • Effective brief framing tool for use as an introduction to a unit on paleoclimatology or "how do scientists know what they know?" The video does not delve into details of paleoclimatology.
  • Teachers could also use this video to have a discussion about young women in climate science.
  • Progression of time that is captured in the ice cores should be clarified by the educator.

About the Content

  • The video shows how ice cores are handled and measurements taken in an Antarctic lab.
  • The PhD student working with the ice cores discusses what variables of atmospheric chemistry are measured.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This video introduces the concepts of annual variations within ice cores, and gives the viewer a feeling for the methods involved in taking ice core measurements. It also describes why ice cores are useful as paleoclimate records, and briefly touches on the limitations of individual proxy records. The narrator states that global temperature can be determined from Antarctic ice cores, which isn't correct- only global temperature trends as indicated by sea level and greenhouse gas content can be approximated. Overall, this was one of the best videos on the cryosphere.

About the Pedagogy

  • The two narrators of the video are young female researchers. This provides a nice opportunity for students to see that researchers can be relatively young, and can be women.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Technical quality is good.
Entered the Collection: November 2012 Last Reviewed: April 2016

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