Video length: 8:11 min.
In this video, a team of paleontologists, paleobotanists, soil scientists, and other researchers take to the field in Wyoming's Bighorn Basin to document how the climate, plants, and animals there changed during the Paleocene- Eocene Thermal Maximun (PETM) when a sudden, enormous influx of carbon flooded the ocean and atmosphere for reasons that are still unclear to scientists. The PTEM is used as an analog to the current warming occurring. The scientists' research may help inform our understanding of current increases in carbon in the atmosphere and ocean and the resulting impact on ecosystems. Supporting materials include essay and interactive overview of animals that existed in the Basin after the PETM event.
In this feature, a team of paleontologists, paleobotanists, soil scientists, and other researchers take to the field in Wyoming's Bighorn Basin to document how the climate, plants, and animals there changed during the PETM. Their work will help predict how our current global warming event could affect life on Earth
ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION AND TEACHING MATERIALS
Read >> Essay: Long Ago, in a Climate Not Far Away...
Explore Interactive >> Bighorn Basin after PTEM
Engage >> Classroom Activity
See >> Glossary
TEACHING NOTES / CONTEXT FOR USE
Teaching Tips developed by CLEAN reviewers.
- Having students read the essay would increase students' awareness of the science content on the importance of scientists studying the PETM.
- It may be helpful to provide students with the questions from the classroom discussion activity pdf (http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/content/e.f.PETM.20081126/resources/643/classroom_PETM.pdf) prior to watching the video to guide their note-taking.
About the Science
- This video illustrates how a team of paleontologists and geochemists do field research to determine changes in climate and biota during the PETM.
- Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.
About the Pedagogy
- An essay about the PETM event and impact accompanies the video.
- In addition there is a link to an interactive activity and a question set that complement the video.
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- High resolution
Assessment is at the descretion of the educator and how this video is applied.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
- Natural History magazine: Hot Times in the Bighorn Basin
- Ocean Drilling Program
- Paleomap: Earth's geography in the Eocene epoch
Fifty-five million years ago, a sudden, enormous influx of carbon flooded the ocean and atmosphere for reasons that are still unclear to scientists. What is clear is that as atmospheric CO2 content increased, the average global surface temperature rose 5°C to 9°C (9°F to 16°F). The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), as this global warming event is known, lasted upwards of 170,000 years and had dramatic impacts on living things both on land and in oceans. .