• Views 97
  • Favorites

Database Provider


Crash Course


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


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Type

  • Videos, 10 minutes, 51 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - West, Asia, Polar Regions, Arizona

How Does Air Temperature Shape a Place?

Ask a Question

  • This video examines how latitude, distance from an ocean, elevation, and population density can impact the temperature of a location and how some cities, like Phoenix, Arizona, will need to respond to extreme heat.
  • Topics discussed include cultural impacts, urban development, location within a continent, and the specific heat of both land and water.
  • The video also explains why places like Siberia are very cold.
Teaching Tips


  • The pace of this video allows the viewer to stay engaged for its duration. 
  • The narrator is effective at connecting geography, earth science, and biology concepts. 
  • There are many useful visuals in the video that can be explored more intently. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • It would be helpful for students to know what an isotherm is and what it measures. 
  • To deepen context for students, cover the topics of specific heat, the relationship between insolation and latitude, visible versus infrared radiation, and the albedo effect either before or after viewing. 


  • Equity issues abound as the planet warms. One example is differential heating of rural and non-rural areas. Invite students to consider groups of people facing greater risks as the planet warms. 
  • Siberia and melting polar ice caps are central topics in this video. Challenge students to dig deeper into how changes in both of these locations are contributing to climate tipping points.
  • The video suggests that the color of surfaces impacts absorption of radiation. Ask them to test this out for themselves. This is a quick, low material activity that can be ideal for students who prefer to move and test ideas. 
Scientist Notes
Overall, this is a great resource from Crash Course and offers a detailed explanation of what drives temperature differences for a specific location. Towards the end of the video, the narrator says that "Phoenix is the fastest warming city in the United States". While I cannot specifically verify that Phoenix is the fastest, it certainly is one of the fastest warming areas in the United States. Despite that, this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-1 Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.
      • 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.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.6.6-8 Explain how the physical and human characteristics of places and regions are connected to human identities and cultures.
      • D2.Geo.10.6-8 Analyze the ways in which cultural and environmental characteristics vary among various regions of the world.
      • D2.Geo.4.9-12 Analyze relationships and interactions within and between human and physical systems to explain reciprocal influences that occur among them.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review