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Interpreting Earth's Climate Record - Decoding the Weather Machine

NOVA, Public Broadcasting Service

Learn how scientists have pieced together a continuous 800,000-year record of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and ocean temperatures in these videos from NOVA: Decoding the Weather Machine. Use this resource to review the difference between inference and observation and to consider the relationships between carbon dioxide, Earth's temperature, and climate change.

These videos combined are 6:56 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

  • These videos are a good length to interject into any lesson.
  • This would be a good example of "how we know about ancient climates".
  • This is a good piece about how scientists do their work and about the evidence scientists use to draw conclusions.

About the Content

  • Ice cores and ocean sediments hold clues to our past climate.
  • The first video provides the viewer with a comprehensive overview of using ice cores to analyze past climates and how scientists compare those climates to today's climate.
  • The second video discusses how chemical information encoded in the shells of ancient ocean organisms are used to infer a record of ocean temperatures stretching back millions of years.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • There are annotations, including closed captioning, Spanish language, and transcripts available. There is a background document for educators, as well as Teaching Tips.

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

These videos are part of a collection called NOVA: Decoding the Weather Machine (2018) which includes a lesson and additional videos. see https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/nova-decoding-the-weather-machine/
Entered the Collection: November 2021 Last Reviewed: July 2021

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