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Photo by Jacqueline Schmid via Pixabay

Database Provider


CLEAN, British Antarctic Survey


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Regional Focus

Global, Polar Regions


YouTube Video

International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration: What is happening at Thwaites Glacier?

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  • This video discusses recent changes to the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica, the influence of Antarctic ice on the global sea level, and what will happen to coastal communities worldwide if the sea level continues to rise.
  • Students will learn that the Thwaites Glacier is collapsing at an alarming rate, most of the world's ice comes from Antarctica, the global sea level rises as Antarctic ice melts, and flooding will become a bigger problem for coastal communities if sea level rise continues.
Teaching Tips


  • This video is well-produced and filled with animations that illustrate the concepts for students.
  • This video does an excellent job of showcasing the Thwaites Glacier's size.

Additional Prerequisites

  • It may be helpful if students know where greenhouse gas emissions come from and how they contribute to global warming and glacial melt.
  • An advertisement may play before the video starts.
  • Students should know the terms glacier and bedrock.


  • After watching this video, students can consider ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • To assess prior knowledge, the teacher can ask the class questions about the Antarctic ice sheet before watching the video.
  • Students can predict and discuss coastal migration patterns that may occur if sea level rise continues and the socioeconomic impacts of this displacement.
  • This video can enhance a classroom discussion about the socioeconomic impacts of coastal flooding.
Scientist Notes
About 40% of the world's population lives within 100km of the coasts, putting billions of people at risk for displacement due to rising sea levels. The Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is collapsing, and the video explains why.

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

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, qualitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
      • 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.
  • 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-ESS3-1. 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.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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