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Climate Models by Global Weirding

Katharine Hayhoe, Global Weirding, Public Broadcasting Service

This video offers the audience a specific definition of the term 'global climate models'. It highlights and defines key climate modeling concepts such as the physics of fluids, carbon, nitrogen and water cycles, paleo climate data vs current and projected data vs predictive and real data.

Video length is 8:08 mins

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

  • Excellent animations that show how satellite data corresponds to actual 'on the ground' data.
  • Older students would be able to take notes from watching video; however, teacher may need to provide a 'vocabulary or concept list' for younger students.
  • This video could be watched as a whole group or in a flipped classroom setting. Could be utilized as either an introduction to further research or as a reinforcement tool.

About the Content

  • The video starts off talking about the history of the creation of climate models (primarily based on physics) and then discusses how many different factors go into climate models over a variety of timescales.
  • The narrator, Katharine Hayhoe, explains how correct computer coding is essential to the creation of models, the errors that have occurred without correct coding, and that data from satellites can sometimes cause errors in models. Land cover, El Nino, carbon + nitrogen cycles, changes in energy, volcanoes, heat exchange, sea level rise, biomes, other Earth planetary data and human activities all have to be accounted for in reliable models. The video explains that scientists continually improve these models, especially when they see any confusing data in the model output (shows students the scientific process).
  • She also discusses ELSD, the phrase coined by climate scientists, "erroring on the side of least drama".
  • Addresses climate model cynics but also explains that scientists may actually be underestimating the severity of long-term impacts due to rising temperatures.
  • Data is referenced from the 4th US Climate Assessment Report
  • A considerable amount of scientific terms and concepts are used throughout this video. There is no written background information given other than directing viewer to the National Climate Assessment Report.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Since this video defines key concepts and factors used in global climate modeling, a prerequisite knowledge of the overall concept of global warming is needed before viewing.
  • Video provides explanations of scientific terms, concepts and factors that are used in predictive global climate modeling data.
  • Since it appears to assume some basic knowledge of global warming and climate change models, using it as an introductory anticipatory set would not be recommended for younger grade-levels. Otherwise this is a great introductory tool that can be used to drill down into the specific issues named in this video. It can also serve to initiate student-led research, re-teaching or as a reinforcement tool.
  • This video presents a high degree of key concepts and should engage students.
  • The speaker is engaging and the video provides some animations during her explanations.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • This is a video, 8 min long, and easy to include in any classroom.
  • Video does provide closed-captioning for the hearing impaired.

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

Entered the Collection: November 2021 Last Reviewed: November 2020

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