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How Much Warming?

National Research Council, The National Academies

This short video, is the fifth in the National Academies Climate Change, Lines of Evidence series. It focuses on greenhouse gases, climate forcing (natural and human-caused), and global energy balance.

Video length: 5:05 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas
High School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

  • Video could be paused from time to time during viewing for further explanation and questions; it is too dense to show all at once.

About the Science

  • This video documents how human activities are affecting global temperatures.
  • A good treatment of greenhouse gases, climate forcing agents, and feedback loops in climate change.
  • The unit "watt" is used incorrectly in this video. A watt is a unit of power, not energy. Energy is measured in Joules, and can be expressed as a watt multiplied by a unit of time (ex. a kilowatt-hour is a unit of energy, a kilowatt is a unit of power).
  • Comments from expert scientist: Good overview of the science with no major errors.

About the Pedagogy

  • A lot of information is packed into the video - teacher will need to unpack terms and concepts that are presented rather quickly.
  • The other six videos in this series, plus a booklet, and copies of all the graphics and figures used in the booklet are available here: Climate Change: Lines of Evidence. The booklet is also available in Spanish.
  • The National Academy of Science is a highly respected body of scientists, and this is an important point to raise with students.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Good graphics and clear examples are used.
  • Closed-captioned text is available, but there are errors in the text.
  • The video is of sufficient quality to be viewed in full-screen mode for projection.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

MS-ESS2.D1:Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.

MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4

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

HS-ESS2.E1:The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.

HS-ESS3.D1:Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict, and manage current and future impacts.

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