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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Videos, 3 minutes, 13 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 3 minutes, 43 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global, Polar Regions


Downloadable MP4/M4V

Interpreting Earth's Climate Record

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  • These two videos, an article, and discussion questions examine the scientific analysis of the Antarctic ice sheet and fossil sea shells and what these analyses tell us about the Earth's atmosphere and ocean temperatures in antiquity.
  • Students will learn about and discuss the differences between direct and indirect evidence, the implications of the correlation between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperature, and the benefit of aligning datasets.
Teaching Tips


  • Both videos are well-produced and filled with intriguing visuals.
  • Both videos interview geologists who are experts in their field.

Additional Prerequisites

  • To access the Spanish subtitles, click the dropdown menu to the right of the video.
  • To download the video, you must sign up with a free account.
  • Students should understand the Keeling curve, carbon dioxide, and climate change.


  • After watching the video, science teachers can begin a lesson on how humans impact the Earth's climate.
  • Inspired by the two examples of field studies and research, students can discuss the importance of funding scientific endeavors.
  • Teachers can show this video after teaching about the Keeling Curve and its importance.
  • This video can augment a chemistry lesson about how the same element can exist in different forms.
  • The resource includes an English-to-Spanish transcript for the videos, which can benefit ELL students or bilingual classes.
Scientist Notes
This resource from PBS Learning Media features two short videos about uncovering the Earth’s climate history. The first video follows geologist Ed Brook as he studies the history of atmospheric carbon dioxide using ice cores from the Antarctic ice, which provide direct evidence of what the air was like up to eight hundred thousand years ago. The second video highlights geologist Andrea Dutton’s work studying fossil sea shells to measure ocean temperatures indirectly back millions of years. Both of these videos feature informative graphics and clear narration. Teachers should stress to students that both studies show the same pattern using different data, adding credence to their results. The site includes support material for teachers, background reading, and transcripts of both videos in English and Spanish. This resource features a wealth of information, is accessible to all learners, and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's 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.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
      • 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.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Statistics & Probability: Interpreting Categorical & Quantitative Data (9-12)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.ID.C.9 Distinguish between correlation and causation.
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