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Listed under:  Science  >  Earth and space  >  Earth structure  >  Earth's crust  >  Oceans
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Patterns of El Nino and La Nina

Australia's rainfall is best described as 'unreliable'. Long periods of drought can quickly give way to extensive floods. This clip uses animations to help you understand how the El Nino and La Nina phenomena contribute to Australia's climate patterns.

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Greenhouse effect tips toward climate catastrophe

Follow the carbon atom, the central character in this story about oil, as it is released as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contributes to the greenhouse effect. See how other events like melting glaciers amplify that effect and contribute to an increasingly overheated climate. Learn about what might tip us over ...

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Climatic cycles in the Pacific

Australia's climate is characterised by regular cycles of flood and drought. But the same cycles also affect our near neighbours in the Pacific Ocean. In this animation the Climate Crabs take us on a journey through the Pacific Islands as we learn more about the climatic phenomena known as El Nino and La Nina.

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How ocean rips work

Watch as Adam Spencer and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki plunge into the ocean near Sydney and do battle with a major rip. Who will make it safely back to shore and who will need to be rescued by a lifesaver? Find out the best strategy to use when caught in a rip.

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John Ellerbock smoking cigarette on boat, with family, Mordialloc, 1960

This is a black-and-white photograph showing the Ellerbock family on a boat at Mordialloc. John Ellerbock is smoking a cigarette while surrounded by his children Ingrid, Herb, Anna and John Jr. The photograph was taken in 1960. The image is a digital scan of the original photograph.

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Cattle swimming to St Margaret Island, c1910

This black-and-white photograph shows cattle swimming in a line towards St Margaret Island. It was taken in about 1910. What appears to be a fenced wooden walkway runs through the water from the mainland to the island, onto which a few of the cattle are climbing. Post-and-rail fencing runs across the island from its edge. ...

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Horses swimming to St Margaret Island, c1910

This black-and-white photograph shows horses swimming together towards St Margaret Island, and was taken in about 1910. As most of the fences are covered by water, it must have beeen high tide. The image was collected as part of the Melbourne's Biggest Family Album project in 2006, and is part of the Museum Victoria collection. ...

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Map of ocean gyres

This is a colour map showing the Earth's main ocean gyres - mounded circular currents - and the Antarctic circumpolar current. Segments of each gyre are colour-coded to show cold and warm currents.

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Map of ocean salinity

This is a colour map showing the variation in salinity (salt content) of the oceans across the Earth. Increments in salinity are shown in colours ranging from light blue to red. A legend is included.

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Surface currents in the Tasman Sea

This is a colour map of the region around the Tasman Sea showing the ocean currents that influence the climate of south-eastern Australia and New Zealand. Different colours are used to identify warm and cold currents.

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Carbon dioxide and the oceans

This is a colour video clip describing how carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are increasing global temperatures and causing acidification of the oceans. It features two New Zealand scientists, hydrologist Dr Dave Campbell of the University of Waikato, who talks about atmospheric water vapour, and ...

Interactive Resource

Environmental forensics at sea

The main screen shows a marine environment and research boat against a background of coastal hills and a fiord. There are two entry points for investigation: Phytoplankton clues and Sediment cores, containing five interviews with a scientist explaining how science investigations can be used as a forensic tool to investigate ...

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Predicting earthquakes

Will scientists ever be able to accurately predict earthquakes? Imagine the number of lives that could be saved if this were possible. Dr Maryanne Demasi joins a group of researchers drilling into one of the most earthquake-prone regions on Earth as they try to improve earthquake prediction to add precious seconds to earthquake ...

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Thinning ice sheet

Discover that that the massive ice sheet in East Antarctica has been losing mass since 2006 instead of growing, as was previously thought. Watch animations to see how scientists from NASA and Australia are using satellite technology and aerial monitoring to investigate the thickness of East Antarctica's ice sheet. Find ...

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Seals help climate research

Discover how seals are helping scientists study Antarctica, polar regions, oceans and climate change. Scientists use Weddell and southern elephant seals to gather data and monitor the way currents move heat around the world's oceans.

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Climate and bushfires in Australia

What can science tell us about the major cause of bushfires in Australia's past? How can it help us predict future bushfires? Two scientists discuss evidence related to bushfire regimes (bushfire patterns, types and intensity). Please note that this clip contains recent images of homes destroyed by fire that may disturb ...

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Waves supply nutrients to marine ecosystems

Dive through the marine kelp forests off Australia's western coast and discover how ocean waves help cycle nutrients to sustain the plants and kelp forests of marine ecosystems.

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Japanese tsunami's nuclear threat, 2011

Remember the earthquake and following tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011 and damaged a nuclear power plant? Find out about the damage caused, what exploded and why, and the aftermath of the disaster. What debates about nuclear power plants were reignited by the events in Japan?

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'Cooking' carbon to make crude oil

Visit the rugged Arabian mountains to see the exposed remains of the bottom of the ancient Tethys ocean, the prehistoric algal soup that gave rise to today's massive oil fields of the Middle East. Hear how oil-source rock laid down in the Jurassic Period changed over millennia as the Earth's surface was re-shaped. Under ...

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Carbon and the origins of crude oil

Follow a carbon atom as the central character in a story about crude oil. Watch as this ancient chemical that has existed since the dawn of time is recycled through all life forms, oceans, rocks and the atmosphere. See the origins of the vast oil fields on which the modern world now depends.