Reviewed by Marc Zucker
The fourth and last episode in the One Ocean series narrated by David Suzuki focuses on numerous changes that are taking place within our oceans. We start with the changing predatory nature of the Humboldt squid as well as, or perhaps more importantly, the effects of climate change upon their migratory behavior. Other causes are given as well, such as the removal of other predators that might have been 'fished' out over recent years. But it is the idea that warmer waters might have brought these squid with them that is of particular concern—specifically the increase in carbon dioxide that leads to low oxygen zones and the trend towards lower and lower oxygen levels as a result of global warming. Low oxygen levels become the focus of the remainder of this episode. And, like the other episodes in this series, the narration brings our attention to the effects that human neglect has had and continues to have on our environment.
All the videos in this series are visually stimulating, and this is no exception. The footage of the kelp forests with its breathtaking images should be enough to hold the attention of any student or teacher. But as with the other videos in this series, there is a focus more on preservation and current hazardous ecological conditions than on historical backgrounds and oceanographic events, features, or facts (though there is definitely a very close and powerful tie between these two that is always at the forefront). Global warming, ocean acidity, and effects of the fishing industry play a stronger role than does the (technical) formation of coral reefs, though the importance of coral reefs, their role in the ecosystem, and biodiversity does play a dominant role throughout. But do not take this as an issue, just something that teachers might want to be aware of.
These videos should become an integral part of any library or multi–media part of a teacher's arsenal. Both informative and awakening, they were expertly produced, and it shows at all levels.
Review posted on 1/16/2013