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The Climate Question, BBC


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Podcasts, 27 minutes, 14 seconds

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - South, Asia, Polar Regions, Florida

How Can Oceans Help Us Capture Carbon?

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  • This podcast discusses various organisms in the ocean that have immense capacities for carbon capture and storage, hearing from many experts, including The Marine Diaries editor Rita Steyn, who also lectures at University of Tampa.
  • Students will learn about seagrass meadows, diatoms, and whales and their amazing ability to sequester carbon in the ocean.
Teaching Tips


  • It exposes unusual facts about the ocean and its role in carbon sequestration.
  • The hosts speak with various experts in marine biology.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The discussion about carbon and the ocean ends at 22:52, after which climate news and solutions are discussed.
  • It ends with an advertisement for another podcast on BBC.


  • This podcast could be used to explore ocean conservation and its benefits with science and social studies classes.
  • Part 03:41-6:24 explains seagrass and its capacity for carbon capture. An assignment asking students to compare seagrass to grass on land, in terms of mitigating climate change, could be given.
  • This podcast could be used in a biology class when discussing marine ecosystems.
  • At 7:11, it highlights diatoms, which could be used for biology or ecology classes while explaining phytoplankton and their role in the ocean.
  • At 16:27, it explains how whales store large amounts of carbon. Students can be asked to draw a diagram showing whales' absorption and storage of carbon.
  • In part 17:56-18:56, the expert discusses the history of whales near Georgia, which could be used in a discussion about the whaling industry and marine protection.
  • Civic classes can explore the international law of the sea, highlighting laws that preserve marine ecosystems.
Scientist Notes
Seagrass, diatoms, whales, and other marine resources that absorb CO2 are severely affected by an increase in ocean carbon content. As mentioned in this podcast, it's critical to prevent the depletion of these marine resources so they can continue to store CO2. The usage of this podcast in the classroom is advised.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
      • 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.
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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