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Science, Biology, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 4 minutes, 42 seconds, CC, Subtitles

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YouTube Video

Using Space Mirrors to Cool the Globe

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  • This video discusses the pros and cons of possible geoengineering solutions to address rising global temperatures. 
  • The ideas presented include space mirrors to reflect sunlight, pumping sulfate aerosols into the atmosphere to scatter sunlight, adding water vapor to the air to increase cloud cover, and various methods of increasing the reflectivity of the Earth's surface. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video fosters curiosity and encourages creative approaches to solving the climate crisis. 
  • The video will be engaging for students because it includes more far-fetched ideas that they may not be familiar with. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • The actual content of the video ends at four minutes and there may be ads before the video. 
  • Students should be familiar with greenhouse gas emissions as the main cause of global warming and climate change. 
  • Students should be familiar with the concept of reflecting light and a basic understanding of the energy in solar radiation. 


  • This video could be used in a physical science or physics course when learning about the properties of light and the electromagnetic spectrum. 
  • This video could be used in an earth science class when discussing possible geoengineering solutions to climate change.
  • This video could be included in biology or environmental science classes to discuss the need for climate solutions that also protect biodiversity and increase our ability to live sustainably on this planet.
  • In an engineering course, this video could be useful in showing examples of technological advancements that may assist in ending climate change in the future. Students could assess the positives and negatives of these ideas and work to design their own combination of solutions to curb climate change using the ideas presented in the video and other more conventional solutions.
Scientist Notes
The video explores ways to reflect solar radiation back to space to help regulate earth's climate. However, innovations like space mirrors, salt spraying, sulfate aerosols, etc. are only immediate and short-term solutions but become unsuitable for other extreme weather events. Holistically, this resource highlights that there is no silver bullet to solving the climate crisis, however, we need to improve technologies and to collectively take actions to limit global warming and reduce CO2 emissions. This resource is valid and recommended for teaching.
  • 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.
    • PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
      • MS-PS4-2 Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
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