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Climate Change Explained in Minecraft

  • May 19, 2020 12:58 PM
    Message # 8979713
    Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Homeschool, Hinsdale

  • May 29, 2020 11:03 AM
    Reply # 9000987 on 8979713
    Lisa Albrecht

    I loved the concept of explaining climate change using Minecraft as the vehicle.  It worked really well most of the time and the graphics connected to the narrative really well.  It clearly took a lot of planning and thought to move from various topics to create graphics that coincided with the science being proposed.  It really worked!  The one thing I would say is that at times the graphics may have been a little too quick. For example, it was a little challenging to follow closely during the discussion around the Gulf Stream splitting.  As a viewer, it may have been a little more comfortable if the camera was still for a little while so that I could listen and put the pieces together.  The first image of the red line was good but it came and went so quickly that I couldn’t quite follow and understand the issue. As a result, I found I stopped actively listening because I got confused.  Sometimes pausing to let your listener catch up to you is as important as providing visual action to keep them engaged.  I’d just suggest, from the visual perspective, to go a little slower at times so my eyes and ears are in the same place.

    From a science perspective, it is clear that you have a strong understanding of the causes and effects of COand you make a clear connection that warming gasses are impacting weather patterns that in turn are causing issues such as warming weather, disrupted winds, sea level rise and desertification.  There were a couple of times where the dots could have been connected a little better. For example, it was a little confusing about desertification.  Perhaps explaining that a warmer atmosphere absorbs more moisture which acts like a sponge. That in turn is evaporating moisture from the soil which is what is causing deserts to form from once fertile land.  The Bermuda triangle was a bit confusing too and perhaps would have needed more time for this presentation and maybe distracted from the rest of the message.  Instead, I think focusing more on the methane issue that you brought up would be great. You make some very strong points there but it got a little distracted and maybe needed a little more to wrap it up.  Earlier you had mentioned that CO2 is not very potent but lasts a long time. Making a methane comparison here would have reinforced your point and demonstrated further the self-perpetrating cycle.  That was a very advanced concept which was very impressive. It just needed a little more explanation because it is new science to many people and a worthy concept to give a little more time to. The lead up to the topic was very well formed and the transitions were great! I just think it deserved a few more points to bring it greater attention.

    The conclusion was very good too, explaining the results if we don’t take action.  It may have been good to point out how tiny the atmosphere was earlier when you show the sky and the pollution. Then when you bring it up again at the conclusion you would be tying the hypothesis and observation from the beginning of the presentation to the conclusions at the end.

    Overall, very well done!  I loved too that there is a call to action at the end for humanity to act, that it should have happened long ago but we can do so now.  Nicely done!

  • June 02, 2020 7:54 AM
    Reply # 9009282 on 8979713
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Magnus, this presentation was one of the most incredible undertakings I have seen.  It is so creative and thoughtful.  Minecraft is a most appealing way to send a message about the climate crisis to students your age and younger.

    When educating others, you need to be precise.  Early on, you talk about “stuff” in the atmosphere.  You are the expert here; be specific. You did a terrific job explaining the Greenhouse Effect.  Follow that standard.

    I loved the way you introduced the bleaching of the coral reefs.  It was very powerful.  To make your presentation even more powerful, add some statistics about bleached coral.

    You tackled some very complex problems, i.e., wind currents, the Gulf Stream, and the Polar Vortex.  It drives me crazy that folks don’t understand the Polar Vortex.  Adding a sentence explaining that the warm water surrounding the Arctic pushes the cool area down south might edify folks. 

    I just checked to see whether there is permafrost in Greenland.  There is and it is melting.  I think exploring some of the consequences of melting permafrost would really add to your presentation.  For one thing, methane is released and the melting causes huge structural problems, i.e. damage to roads and bridges.  I find methane is really scary because it holds significantly more heat (think about eight times more) than carbon dioxide.

    Not sure there is a connection about methane and the Bermuda Triangle.

    I loved your ending.  It was so great to hear you compare a damaged Earth to Venus.  And, thank you for telling folks that it was time to face the problem of climate change.

    This is an extraordinary project!  Keep going with it.  We need students to be engaged in the study of climate change and Minecraft is a brilliant vehicle for engaging them.  


  • June 04, 2020 1:40 PM
    Reply # 9015514 on 8979713
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I love your idea to use Minecraft to explain climate change. You did a great job building everything and taking us on a tour.  The coral reef is beautiful and your map of the North Atlantic Current is amazing! Thank you for your clear and detailed explanations.

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