Jump to this Video »
How Global Warming Works

How Global Warming Works

This video succinctly explains the mechanism of the natural greenhouse effect and the cause of global climate change (anthropogenic global warming). It is short, basic, and to the point. It's also available in 12 languages!

Video length is 4:44 min. Other video lengths are available.

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

  • Multiple video lengths, all under 5 minutes, are available. Summaries (35 words and 400 words) explain "How Does Climate Change (Global Warming) Work?" Discussion questions are embedded in the video and offer an opportunity to stop the video for student input.

About the Science

  • This is a short video that explains greenhouse gases, the greenhouse effect, and anthropogenic climate change. It could be used for a quick introduction for someone who is uninitiated with the topic.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    - Explains how humans have increased GHG emissions and that is the reason why the planet is warming
    - Explains the reason why certain compounds such as methane and carbon dioxide absorb radiation while others such as oxygen let radiation pass through
    - Note that this resource fails to recognize that some of the back radiation actually reached the surface of the earth and doesn't just keep bouncing around in the atmosphere
    - Note that this resource simplifies the concept of radiation in the atmosphere by focusing on visible light coming from the sun. It does not talk about shortwave vs. longwave radiation or the amount of infrared that comes from the sun.

About the Pedagogy

  • This video's plain language and stylized illustrations clearly explain the greenhouse effect. The video shows how human activities are increasing greenhouse gases and are causing the atmosphere to retain heat. This video explains these topics simply with effective visuals.
  • Visual format addresses different learning styles. Multiple languages are useful for English language learners.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • An embed code and sharing options are provided. Source information is listed at the end of the video not on the website.
  • Has transcripts and is translated into multiple languages.

Jump to this Video »