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Database Provider


TKSST, Grist


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Health

Resource Types

  • Videos, 4 minutes, 59 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - West, USA - South, Asia, Middle East, California, Florida

What Is Wet Bulb Temperature?

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  • This video and subsequent article examine the nature of wet bulb temperature, the geographical areas that have dealt with recent wet bulb threshold-crossing events, how dry regions like California's Death Valley and humid regions like Florida are impacted differently by high temperatures and what can be done to decrease the occurrence of these events.
  • Students will learn that humidity is an important aspect of wet bulb temperature, Pakistan and the Arabian Peninsula are especially susceptible to high wet bulb temperatures, and successfully halting climate change is the path towards less events above the wet bulb threshold.
Teaching Tips


  • The video is well-produced and filled with useful animations.
  • The article features a great quote from Sir David Attenborough. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to know what humidity is.
  • It may be beneficial if students already know what greenhouse gases are, how humans emit them, and how they impact the planet.


  • Students can watch the video at home to prepare for an in-class discussion on what regions in the United States are most susceptible to higher wet bulb temperatures.
  • This resource can accompany a brainstorming session where students consider different methods of pressuring lawmakers to address climate change.
  • This resource can support a classroom discussion on how students can stay safe if their community is experiencing wet bulb temperatures above the safe threshold.
  • This resource can enhance a lesson on how climate change impacts human health on a global scale.
Scientist Notes
This video resource from Grist and The Kid Should See This introduces students to wet bulb temperature. The video discusses the threat to human health posed by a wet bulb temperature over 95°F, as perspiration becomes ineffective at cooling the body. The resource uses illustrations to clearly show how wet bulb temperature is measured and how this measure accounts for both heat and humidity. The video shows locations in the Middle East where wet bulb temperatures have exceeded the 95°F threshold and shows projections that coastal Mexico is likely to face similar deadly temperatures as the planet continues to warm. This resource features attractive animation and clear narration and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 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.
    • 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-ESS3-5 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.
    • PS1: Matter and its Interactions
      • HS-PS1-5 Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.3.9-12 Use geographic data to analyze variations in the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics at multiple scales.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
    • 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.
  • National Health Education Standards
    • Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
      • 1.12.3 Analyze how environment and personal health are interrelated.
  • Related Resources


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