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The Climate Question, BBC


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Podcasts, 27 minutes, 21 seconds

Regional Focus

Africa, Asia

How Can We Save the World's Tropical Peatland?

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  • This podcast details why preserving peatland is tricky, due in large part to the fact that keeping peatland healthy can be more expensive than digging it up and developing the land.
  • Students will learn what peatlands are, where they're located, what happens when they dry out, how they're connected to climate change, what governments are doing to protect them, and some of the roadblocks that are stopping peatland preservation. 
Teaching Tips


  • This podcast is thorough and includes multiple perspectives that will enhance student understanding. 
  • The narrator is clear and concise. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have an understanding of ecosystems, the carbon cycle, and conservation. 


  • Cross-curricular connections can be made in social studies classes discussing international politics and economics, or in language arts classes working with nonfiction sources or debate units. 
  • This resource lends itself well to a Socratic Circle activity. 
    • Break students into two groups called the inner and outer circles. Have the inner circle sit in a circle facing out, and then have the outer circle sit around the inner circle facing in. 
    • The inner circle begins by analyzing the resource through questioning themselves and gathering answers. Once they have concluded their conversation, the outer circle provides feedback and additional understanding. 
    • The previous step is repeated until the circles come to a cohesive understanding of the resource.
  • As an extension, have students research what government programs could be available to assist in peatland preservation. 
Scientist Notes
The podcast emphasizes the function of peatlands in storing carbon. The ecosystem of peatlands is under threat from human activity and more of the CO2 trapped in peat is released into the atmosphere as a result of warmer temperatures and farm expansion into peatland. The resource emphasizes the significance of protecting this ecosystem through the use of climate financing to build livelihoods and resilience, so as to lock up CO2. This resource has no scientific misconceptions, and it is a useful teaching tool.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 1: Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries
      • D1.2.9-12 Explain points of agreement and disagreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a compelling question.
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.1.9-12 Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of local, state, tribal, national, and international civic and political institutions.
      • D2.Civ.6.9-12 Critique relationships among governments, civil societies, and economic markets.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.14.9-12 Analyze the role of comparative advantage in international trade of goods and services.
  • 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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