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Author

Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Regional Focus

Global

Format

YouTube Video

Geoengineering: A Horrible Idea We Might Have to Do

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  • This video from Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell explores geoengineering, how geoengineering might be necessary in the future, and the potential risks of geoengineering. 
  • Students will learn about the basics of the greenhouse effect, how we are currently disrupting global average temperatures, how geoengineering strategies like stratospheric aerosol injection could buy us time, and the potentially catastrophic consequences of geoengineering strategies. 

Positives

  • It presents a balanced and researched perspective on the benefits and potential risks of geoengineering.
  • It concludes that education and knowledge are beneficial whether we need to rely on geoengineering in the future or not.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The content of the video ends at 7:54 and the remaining time is an advertisement.
  • Students should know about some natural disasters and their potential harm to humans.

Differentiation

  • This video can be used in an English class as an introduction to a class debate on geoengineering and stating an opinion with evidence.
  • Groups of students in social studies or science classes could research geoengineering solutions and provide their recommendations to the rest of the class. Students could research stratospheric aerosol injection, nuclear fusion, direct air carbon capture, or adding iron to the ocean to boost phytoplankton growth rates.
  • The description links to their sources and further reading on the topics covered.
  • Other resources on this topic include Geoengineering: Can Techno Fixes Save Us From Climate Change? and MIT Climate Primer: Solutions.
This resource explores geoengineering, an option that injects sulphur into the stratosphere to block solar radiation from penetrating the Earth's surface. It could delay our decision to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, but it is also beneficial to rapidly reduce global surface temperature. This concept is recommended for students to learn.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.12.9-12 Evaluate the consequences of human-made and natural catastrophes on global trade, politics, and human migration.
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