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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 3 minutes, 19 seconds, CC

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - South

Why are Hurricanes Getting Stronger?

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  • This short video uses Hurricane Harvey from 2017 as an example of how climate change is causing hurricanes to grow more intense, resulting in more rainfall and damage.
  • The narrator stresses that there is evidence that climate change is already making storms stronger, so we need to act now to mitigate and prepare for hurricane threats and damage.
Teaching Tips


  • There are helpful maps and diagrams to show the data describing warming oceans and hurricane threats.
  • The video reminds learners of the economic, environmental, and social toll that severe storms can cause individuals living in coastal areas while listing measures we can take now to help mitigate damage in the future.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There is a short advertisement before the video plays and an outdated call for a PBS listener survey at the end of the video.
  • Students should understand that climate change causes warming oceans.


  • The video is packed with scientific explanations and diagrams, so consider pausing at various points and having students fill in a graphic organizer to record their thoughts and questions.
  • This video shows how modeling and data can help scientists predict the intensity of future storms, so researching this topic a bit more is an excellent extension.
  • Consider completing a scientific lab or demonstration to explore the effects of thermal energy and heat transfer on water.
  • English language learners may benefit from having a copy of the video's transcript to facilitate comprehension.
  • It may help students with anxiety to discuss and research mitigation and adaptation measures that will keep them safe after watching the video.
Scientist Notes
The resource from PBS is a ~3.5-minute video that discusses the effects of climate change on a storm's strength. Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017 is used as an example of storms strengthening due to climate change. This video supports a classroom discussion about the effects of climate change on the weather and is recommended.

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

  • 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.
      • 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
      • MS-ESS3-2. Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
      • 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
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.ES.8.3 Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
      • SL.II.11–12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
  • Related Resources


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