This video and article explains how melting ice and warming temperatures in the Arctic are often an early indicator for impacts elsewhere.
Students will learn about positive and negative feedback loops, the albedo effect, and what melting ice in the Arctic means for the global climate.
The animated video is engaging and easy to understand.
The interactive questions reinforce key ideas and are a great way for students to independently check their understanding.
An ad plays before the video.
A TED-Ed account is needed to access the interactive questions and use the discussion feature; accounts are free but students must be 13 or older to register.
Science classes could use this resource as a introduction to reflectivity, feedback loops, the albedo effect, equilibrium, or homeostasis.
As an extension activity, have students research examples of other feedback loops that impact climate change and present their findings.
Other related resources include this lesson on feedback loops, this article about feedback loops fueling wildfires, and this video about how a warmer Arctic will intensify global warming.
The Arctic is warming faster than any other place on the globe. As such, it is seeing a larger increase in extreme weather events. This resource from TED-Ed discusses some feedback loops that affect the Arctic. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Science and Engineering
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
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’s systems.
English Language Arts
R.9-12.4 Read various texts closely to determine what each text explicitly says and to make logical inferences; cite specific textual evidence to support conclusions drawn from the texts.