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Tuvalu - Islands on the frontline of climate change

Panos Pictures, panos Prictures

This narrated slideshow describes the impact of sea level rise on Tuvalu, one of the low-lying island nations in the South Pacific. As the frequency and intensity of floods and cyclones increases, the island is shrinking and saltwater intrusion is affecting local food production on the plantations. As a result, many residents are moving off the island to New Zealand, where they face major cultural changes.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 5 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

  • The short slideshow will enhance discussions of the impacts of sea level rise.
  • Given the approach - the human side of sea level rise - slideshow could be used as a conversation-starter with students.
  • This resource can be used in a variety of types of lessons in geography, climate change, environmental science and anthropology.
  • See urls below of other resources on this topic.

About the Science

  • Scientists present data and projections that suggest that, by the end of the century, the oceans could be one meter or more above their current levels. Coastal regions will be flooded and low-lying nations such as the tiny South Pacific country of Tuvalu could be submerged. Resource provides a clear example of the impact that climate change is having on both the physical and social-cultural aspects of life on a low-lying island.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This product appears to be more of a documentary focusing on the social impacts of climate change and sea level rise in small island states. It focuses on social science product and most of the observations are qualitative in nature. Makes connection between rising sea levels and other factors that influence inundation (e.g. seasonal variability, high tides, wind swell, and tropical cyclones)

About the Pedagogy

  • No background materials or Teacher's guide accompanying this video.
  • Overall impact of the resource is emotionally manipulative - may not appeal to all audiences.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The quality of the photos is very high. The presentation is understated and effective.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 5

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.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.

HS-ESS3.A1:Resource availability has guided the development of human society.

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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