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GEF - Bhutan: Silent Tsunami

Global Environment Facility

This video shows the people of Bhutan working to prevent flooding from an outburst of a glacial lake in the country's Lunana region.

This video is 10:41 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

  • Highly recommend for classroom use.
  • This video is a good length to interject into a variety of lessons.
  • It does not include a teacher's guide, but background information about this project is easily obtainable through a web search and the supporting science can be found in a quality high school or college textbook.
  • It might be helpful for students to review where this area is in the world (although there is a map shown briefly of the region).

About the Content

  • This video provides the geologic and climate context for the issue of glacial lake outburst.
  • It tells a story about a community and its actions to adapt to climate change in mountainous Bhutan.
  • This is a compelling and memorable video about a community coming together to solve a challenge and protect its future.
  • It is a great video to show mitigation efforts in action and the hard work that goes into it.
  • This video emphasizes how the mitigation efforts create jobs. It is important to note that this is because the government is taking advantage of opportunities from a bad situation - not that climate change is good for the economy.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths: Describes potential hazards associated with outburst floods from glacial lakes. Highlights how community/government action was mitigating the hazard. Provides an vivid example of a local climate change impact.
    Suggestions: The title is misleading, as tsunamis are very different physical phenomena. It would be necessary for educators to clarify this difference and explain why the producers chose to use this terminology.

About the Pedagogy

  • This video could be used in the beginning of a unit on climate science or at a point in a climate unit when mitigation is discussed.
  • The video does not follow up with an update on the effectiveness of this project, and it is suggested that the user of this video research this topic before using the video since students will have questions related to the effectiveness of this project. More information on the project can be found here: https://www.thegef.org/project/reducing-climate-change-induced-risks-and-vulnerabilities-glacial-lake-outbursts-punakha.
  • It does not have a teacher's guide.
  • The video was created in 2010, and an update is warranted; however this should not be a deterring factor as it is still very relevant today.
  • This video shows cultural diversity and establishes the fact that climate change is not just a US issue.
  • This is a great resource, but would be best used with other material describing glaciers and glacier change. This recent CNBC piece provides useful background: https://www.cnbc.com/cop26-the-growing-climate-risk-of-glacial-lake-outburst-floods/

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • This is a YouTube video, which may not be accessible at all schools.
  • It is also advised to skip the ads at the beginning.

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

Entered the Collection: January 2022 Last Reviewed: July 2021

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