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Smithsonian Science How Webcast

Paleobotany - Climate Change Past and Present

In this video, paleobotanist Dr. Scott Wing reveals evidence for changes in plant communities during a distinct global warming event about 56 million years ago.

Description: 

Meet Dr. Scott Wing, a paleobotanist at the National Museum of Natural History. See what he found in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming that was worth eleven years of searching. Join him in interpreting the climate record from fossilized leaves and other clues. Explore how plant communities have changed in response to global climate changes. Understand today's warming of our planet in a geological context. This show aired June 5, 2014.

Paleobotany

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National Middle School Standards

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Earth Science

MS-ESS3

Earth and Human Activity
  • MS-ESS3-5Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
Life Science

MS-LS4

Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
  • MS-LS4-1Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.
  • MS-LS4-2Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.
  • MS-LS4-4Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals' probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
  • MS-LS4-6Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.

All Q?rius Resources for These Standards

MS-ESS3, MS-LS4