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Tim Flannery


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


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 13 minutes, 51 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, Oceania


Downloadable MP4/M4V

Can Seaweed Help Curb Global Warming?

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  • This video explains how seaweed farming could remove significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, reduce ocean acidification, and provide a food source to people and ocean ecosystems.
  • Students will learn about Tim Flannery's concept that seaweed is the carbon hero the world needs if we want to curb climate change quickly.
Teaching Tips


  • This is a great example of a creative and nature-based solution to a number of problems facing the world.
  • The speaker does an excellent job in explaining some of the trickier concepts and includes graphics that will benefit visual learners.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have an understanding of climate change, greenhouse gases, and ocean acidification.
  • There is a brief ad before and after the video.


  • Science classes could use this video to introduce seaweed as a way to curb climate change. Some discussion questions include:
    • How could seaweed farming positively affect the changing climate?
    • What surprised you about seaweed's potential impact?
    • Do you see a future in seaweed farming/ocean permaculture? Why? Why not?
    • What are some of the challenges that this solution will face?
  • Social studies and economics classes could discuss the governmental and economic implications of a solution like ocean permaculture and seaweed farming. 
  • Other related resources include this video about seaweed, this interactive lesson about climate change and oceans, and this interactive table of possible solutions.
Scientist Notes
According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in order to keep global warming to under 2°C by 2100, reducing greenhouse gas emissions will simply not be enough. We must also find a way to physically remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In this TED talk, Tim Flannery explains his hopes that seaweed can help us in this endeavor. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • MS-LS1-6 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
      • D4.6.9-12 Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
  • Related Resources


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