This short film describes the greenhouse effect, the importance of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, how scientists study climate change, and how we know our actions are the primary cause of climate change today.
The film includes a series of interviews with climate scientists about the physical science of climate change and a description of the science used to study the atmosphere from long ago.
The film is an excellent overview of climate science and can serve as an introduction to a unit on climate change.
The resource is available in English and Spanish and includes a transcript in both languages.
Although the transcript can be printed and read, this resource is best suited for online use.
Students should feel comfortable reading and interpreting graphs.
Students should be familiar with terms like parts per million (ppm), CO2, greenhouse gas concentrations, and atmosphere.
The discussion on climate solutions only accounts for the last two minutes of the video. The global and dangerous nature of climate change may be overwhelming for some students, so following the video with a lesson on climate solutions and inspiring hope may be helpful.
Questions are asked throughout the video and are answered by the scientists. Students with a stronger understanding of climate science can be challenged to pause the video and try to answer those questions themselves.
This video can also be used in Earth science classes during lessons about the history of the Earth before human civilization or in history classes when discussing the impacts of various human civilizations over time.
This website provides key terms, standards, transcripts and a video in English and Spanish. The video (~17 minutes) begins with events that are linked to climate change, there is a discussion about how Earth’s temperature is controlled, how we know it is changing, and how the current changes compare to those over the last ~million years. This video would be an excellent addition to an older classroom discussing the occurrence and effects of climate change.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS2: Earth's Systems
HS-ESS2-5 Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
HS-ESS2-6 Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
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.
HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
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.
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.