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Photo by Wren Meinberg via Unsplash


Bonnie Waltch, Susan Gray


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 14 minutes, 10 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, South and Central America

Feedback Loops - Forests

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  • This video explains how tropical, boreal, and temperate forests are essential carbon sinks and how they cool our planet. 
  • Students will learn how dangerous feedback loops, caused by climate change and deforestation will turn forests into carbon emitters unless people cut emissions, stop deforestation, and regreen the Earth to begin a cooling feedback loop. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video is articulately narrated by Richard Gere and provides powerful visuals to make the information easy to understand. 
  • This video has subtitles that are available in 25 languages. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers may want to show this video to introduce students to the concept of feedback loops.
  • This topic can be emotionally challenging for students, so it would be beneficial for teachers to prepare ways to support students' wide range of feelings about this topic. 


  • Teachers could stop the video at 2 minutes, 32 seconds and have students create a graphic organizer similar to the one in the video to ensure understanding of the feedback loop presented in the video. 
  • In art classes, students could analyze the photographs at the beginning of the video and discuss the role of nature photography in environmental and climate activism. 
  • Allow students to use this interactive map to gather more information on deforestation, fires, tree cover, forest variation, and the rate of change in the world's forests. 
  • Consider having students watch other videos on feedback loops including these videos on permafrost, atmosphere, and albedo
Scientist Notes
The resource highlights the importance of forests and biodiversity conservation in carbon sequestration and their ability to limit global temperatures. Forests around the world could be a net emitter of CO2 if they are degraded. This resource is recommended for classroom use.

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

  • Visual & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceiving and analyzing products.
      • 1.5.12acc.Re7a: Recognize and describe personal aesthetic and empathetic responses to the natural world and constructed environments.
  • Science
    • 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-ESS3-5. 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.
      • 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.
    • 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.
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