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What's Up With the Weather?

Program Overview


NOVA investigates the complex scientific, ethical, and political issues surrounding possible human-induced global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

The program:

  • explains the natural greenhouse effect of Earth's atmosphere and its role in creating a habitable environment.

  • describes the link between burning fossil fuels and an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas.

  • examines the variety of methods by which scientists are attempting to reconstruct Earth's climate history and predict its future.

  • compares existing and potential human-induced change with known natural causes of climate change.

  • presents a wide range of outcomes from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

  • quantifies the relationship between current and projected energy use and carbon emissions.

  • describes the growing global problem of fossil fuel use as developing nations become industrialized.

  • relates the difficulties surrounding recent international efforts to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions.

  • outlines the economic and political challenges associated with non-fossil energy sources and other possible solutions, such as carbon sequestration and improvements in energy.

Teacher's Guide
What's Up With the Weather?
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