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Hot Mess


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 15 minutes, 59 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Essentials of Environmental Science: The Basics of Climate Science

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  • This video provides a fast-paced and detailed overview of the many environmental science topics related to climate change.
  • Students will learn about a variety of topics including terrestrial biomes, global wind and ocean patterns, atmospheric dynamics, the greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases, carbon sinks, sea level rise, ocean acidification, climate injustice, and climate adaptation and mitigation.
Teaching Tips


  • This video does a good job of explaining a variety of topics, and because the video is broken into chapters, teachers can show one section at a time.
  • A variety of charts and graphs make the information interesting and easy to understand.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The narrator speaks very quickly, which may make it difficult for students to take in the information presented without pausing or slowing the playback speed to 0.75. 
  • Advertisements play at the beginning and the mid-point of the video.
  • This video is a part of the Hot Mess video series, Essentials of Environmental Science.


  • Science classes could make climatograms (like the ones pictured at 0:49) showing local precipitation and temperature data for their area or perform labs and demonstrations shown in the video (solar radiation at different latitudes, temperature and condensation, etc.).
  • Earth science or chemistry classes could watch this video on how scientists collect climate change data from ice cores in Antarctica, and then use this resource to read more on the topic and assess students' understanding.
  • Biology classes could learn more about ocean acidification in this video and worksheet from ACE and this experiment and activity from Biointeractive.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on the history of climate science and this lesson on the basics of climate.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a 16-minute video that presents an overview of climate science. This resource starts by presenting a brief overview of the basics of our Earth's climate before focusing on three primary greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Additionally, this resource presents impacts of climate change including animal migration, changing seasons, ocean warming, among others. Finally, strategies for addressing climate change are presented. This resource does not shy away from jargon, but does an excellent job explaining terminology and making the topic approachable. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-6 Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS2-4 Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
      • HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-2 Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • MS-LS1-6 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
      • HS-LS1-6 Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for how carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from sugar molecules may combine with other elements to form amino acids and/or other large carbon-based molecules.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-5 Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
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