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Katharine Hayhoe, Global Weirding, PBS


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Computer Science

Resource Type

  • Videos, 8 minutes, 8 seconds, CC

Regional Focus


Climate Models by Global Weirding

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  • This video examines the scientific accuracy of climate models, the basic physics and other information that climate models are based on, and the general tendency of climate models to underestimate future climate effects.
  • Students will learn that climate models are excellent at predicting changes in global temperature and that climate models consider satellite records, human gathered data, fluid dynamics, land cover effects, natural cycles, and paleoclimate records.
Teaching Tips


  • This video deftly handles counter-arguments about climate models and their accuracy.
  • This video features colorful and engaging animations.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students would benefit from a basic understanding of global warming and greenhouse gases prior to this video.
  • Prior to the video, consider introducing students to climate reports or summaries by the IPCC to show them what climate models have predicted recently.


  • Teachers could pause the video at certain moments in order to reinforce key concepts.
  • Students could use this video for an argumentative essay that debunks climate skepticism.
  • Teachers could create a formative assessment based on the main concepts of this video and introduce it as a graphic organizer or worksheet.
  • This video could supplement a classroom discussion on climate skepticism, where it comes from, and how to effectively combat it.
Scientist Notes
In this video, Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist explains what climate models are, how they work, and how accurate they are. She discusses how these models are verified, how they are used by scientists, as well as where the models may be inaccurate. Some extra explanation may be required for some of the concepts she touches upon, depending on the age level this is used with. However, because of this, there are many related topics that this video would complement. Despite being an older resource, it is still relevant (and will likely remain so) since it covers the fundamentals of climate models. The climate report she references is still the most recent (as of May 2023). When it is updated, the government will likely include a link to the most recent report on the site (as they have done for past reports). This information presented is accurate and this resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-1. Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.
      • 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.
      • 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.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 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.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.II.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • SL.ES.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.
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