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A New Climate State: Arctic Sea Ice 2012

Peter Sinclair, The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media

This video contains a visualization and explanation of the Arctic sea ice and how it has changed over the 25 years. In September 2012, the National Snow and Ice Data Center recorded the lowest extent of Arctic sea ice. The video discusses the climate importance of ice thickness, reflective properties, and self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms.

Video length is 6:39 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

  • Video can be used to show scientific evidence of climate change.
  • Middle school viewers may need some context due to the seriousness of the video.

About the Content

  • Video discusses how decreasing the ice extent also decreases the albedo or reflectivity. When this happens, more energy will be absorbed by the ocean, which melts more ice, part of a self-reinforcing feedback loop.
  • Video shows the decreasing trend of Arctic sea ice volume. Thin ice is weak, so storms can potentially break up the ice, increasing the potential for energy to transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere, further increasing storm potential.
  • At the time of this review (2016), the summer of 2012 still holds the record for minimum sea ice in the Arctic. But that may change. Up-to-date information on sea ice can be found on the Arctic Sea Ice News page of the NSIDC.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The video provides a good presentation of the changes in Arctic sea ice and what happened during 2012. The interviews with scientists and the reports are clear overall. The visuals and animations are well-done and illustrate the scientific concepts clearly.

About the Pedagogy

  • Video contains sea ice extent visualization, Arctic storm track visualization, graph of sea ice volume, and Arctic maps. These aspects can be used to prompt classroom discussion.
  • Comments section of YouTube may contain irrational expressions.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Includes interactive transcript and closed captioning.

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

Link to National Snow and Ice Data Center's information on Arctic Oscillation: http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/arctic-meteorology/weather_climate_patterns.html#arctic_oscillation
Entered the Collection: May 2013 Last Reviewed: October 2016

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