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Decoding Antarctica's Climate History - Antarctica's Climate Secrets

Nebraska Educational Telecommunications

This 10 minute video builds connections between topics that are important in climate science such as: the impact of variations in Earth's orbit and wobble on it's axis on climate; how the cores being sampled fit into the bigger climate picture; connecting greenhouse gases to melting ice and sea level changes; the sensitivity of the ice melt / sea level rise relationship; and computer model simulations showing connections between ice sheets and sea level.
The companion website provides resources, an extensive list of activities, teacher guides, posters, and more.

Video length is 10:07 minutes.

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

  • The video is a stand alone learning tool about how climate change over geologic time was revealed through information in ocean sediment cores. Consider using the companion classroom lesson, not included with the video link but included here: http://www.andrill.org/flexhibit/flexhibit/materials/activities/Unit%205-Decoding_Antarctica's_Climate_History.pdf
  • Teachers will likely need to develop a video viewing guide for students to capture key information as they view the video.
  • The reviewers were disappointed that all 4 scientists shown were male. We recognize the importance of showcasing diversity among all the types of people that can be successful and influential scientists. Teachers should balance this video with others that show women, minorities, and younger people to illustrate that science is open to all.

About the Content

  • The video relates past change to current climate change to discuss how scientists are trying to look at the past when the planet was warmer to see what will happen with future warming. It introduces the Milankovitch cycles as the reason for Antarctic ice sheet advance and retreat over geologic time.
  • The video also details how research using ocean sediment cores have revealed the climate history of the Earth and discuss how the scientists use the rock cores and climate models for this work.
  • Comments from expert scientist: An overview of the importance of Antarctica for global climate. Importance of understanding the past climates for the future but rather outdated. New models have been developed since 2010 and new data has been collected.

About the Pedagogy

  • This video is a good discussion of climate change and how scientists use observations of the past and models to make predictions about the future. It could be a useful teaching tool for many topics related to climate change, Antarctica, and scientific processes.
  • Nothing is included with the video, but a companion activity produced by the same research project is available which promotes small group discussion, model building, data analyses and critical thinking: http://www.andrill.org/flexhibit/flexhibit/materials/activities/Unit%205-Decoding_Antarctica's_Climate_History.pdf

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Youtube video format allows for subtitles and Spanish translation.

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

Entered the Collection: April 2021 Last Reviewed: June 2019

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