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This edition: The Human Factor

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Episode Details

How humans use technology to affect ecosystems is central to the program’s stories. The possible effects of global warming on the environment are discussed in the first segment. Dr. John Roads explains how increased CO2 might cause global warming, while Dr. Walter Oechel measures how CO2 affects plant growth and predicts the potential impact changes might have on the atmosphere.
The second segment explores new non-carbon-based fuel supplies, hydrogen-powered vehicles, solar power, and fusion as possible solutions to a dependency on carbon fuels. In the third segment, Dr. William Frankenberger illustrates an innovative way to clean up toxic wastes by using microorganisms that occur naturally in the environment. The concept of bioremediation is explained.
These stories help to illuminate balance in ecosystems and human beings’ role in the environment.