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Expecting the Unexpected: Abrupt Climate Change
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmIkppjplqU

Yale Climate Forum

In this video scientists discuss possible rates of sea level rise, storms and resulting damage, rising temperatures and melting ice, and their collective effects on ecosystems.

Video length is 7:24 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 6 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 5 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Evidence is that human impacts are playing an increasing role in climate change
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4f
Observations, experiments, and theory are used to construct and refine computer models
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5c
Sea level rise and resulting impacts is due to melting ice and thermal expansion and increases the risk
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7a
Increased extreme weather events due to climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7c
Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e
Human health and well-being will be affected to different degrees from the impacts from climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7f

Energy Literacy

The effects of changes in Earth's energy system are often not immediately apparent.
Other materials addressing:
2.7 Effects of changes in Earth's energy system .

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

  • Good companion video as enrichment for a class covering global warming, sea level rise, and uncertainties in science modeling.
  • Could be shown as a starting off point for any discussion of the effects of climate change/sea level rise.

About the Science

  • Video discusses the possibility of abrupt climate change and tipping points. Also discussed are the current unknowns and lingering questions about the sensitivity of the cryosphere (or areas of ice and snow) and how some species in the ecosystem have the ability to adapt to new conditions while other species cannot.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The interviews provide the viewer with an overview of what abrupt climate change is and how it affects the environment. Those interviewed use clear terms and expressions to convey the science of abrupt climate change.

About the Pedagogy

  • A diverse group of scientists are highlighted in the video.
  • Students might need some prompting questions to stay focused on the scientist discussions.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 6

MS-ESS2.C1:Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.

MS-ESS2.C3:Global movements of water and its changes in form are propelled by sunlight and gravity.

MS-ESS2.C4:Variations in density due to variations in temperature and salinity drive a global pattern of interconnected ocean currents.

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-ESS2.D3:The ocean exerts a major influence on weather and climate by absorbing energy from the sun, releasing it over time, and globally redistributing it through ocean currents.

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.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Systems and System Models

MS-C4.2: Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.

MS-C4.3:Models are limited in that they only represent certain aspects of the system under study.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 5

HS-ESS2.C1:The abundance of liquid water on Earth’s surface and its unique combination of physical and chemical properties are central to the planet’s dynamics. These properties include water’s exceptional capacity to absorb, store, and release large amounts of energy, transmit sunlight, expand upon freezing, dissolve and transport materials, and lower the viscosities and melting points of rocks.

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.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.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.

HS-ESS3.D2:Through computer simulations and other studies, important discoveries are still being made about how the ocean, the atmosphere, and the biosphere interact and are modified in response to human activities.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Systems and System Models

HS-C4.3:Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions—including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales.

HS-C4.4:Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models.


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