As global temperatures continue to rise, scientists are wondering if we need solutions beyond reducing emissions. Enter geoengineering. From sucking carbon straight out of the air to physically blocking out sunlight, the options may seem far-fetched. Can geoengineering really work? How much would it cost? And what are the risks of engineering Earth's climate?
The world's average temperature has increased 1°C in just the past 100 years. Extreme weather and rising seas are already causing global unrest, and many scientists believe that if we cannot curb planetary warming, it could pose an existential threat to human civilization. As it becomes clear that emission reductions alone may not be enough to avoid dire effects of climate change, a growing collective of scientists and engineers are developing technologies to hack Earth's operating system—from manipulating our atmosphere to reflect sunlight, to sucking carbon dioxide right out of the air, to enlisting plants to do the job for us. This is the controversial landscape of geoengineering—the effort to build controls for Earth's thermostat. NOVA joins scientists and skeptics alike to examine technologies that could help us combat a looming threat.
Producer: Laurie Cahalane, Melanie Wallace, Ben Kalina, Frauke Levin
Executive Producer: Julia Cort, Chris Schmidt
Production Company: Mangrove Media LLC; ARTE France
Copyright Year: 2020
Director: Ben Kalina, Jen Schneider
Narrator: Nicole Lewis
Writers: Ben Kalina, Jen Schneider
Number of Discs: 1
Length: 60 minutes
Subtitle Languages: English (SDH)
Audio Format: Stereo
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen