New HBO documentary features Dan Nocera

June 12, 2019
Nocera features in the HBO documentary on climate change, "Ice on Fire"

Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, the film reveals never-before-seen solutions designed to slow down our escalating environmental crisis


Last night, HBO premiered the documentary "Ice on Fire," a film produced by Leonardo DiCaprio (also the narrator), George DiCaprio and Mathew Schmid and directed by Leila Conners. 

In contrast to DiCaprio's first documentary on climate change, "The 11th Hour,"  "Ice on Fire" focuses less on the crisis and more on solutions hidden in labs, farmland, tundra, and oceans across the world. 

"Scientists have discovered solutions giving us a chance at reversing climate change, but the clock is ticking," the film's trailer warns.

On screen, scientists and farmers unveil technologies like direct air capture, sea farms, urban farms, biochar, marine snow, and bionic leaves, often less-well-known options to fight and possibly reverse climate change.

Nocera's bionic leaf is one of those potential solutions. With his artificial leaf, the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy already created an alternative fuel source, hydrogen, from just sunlight and water. But hydrogen on its own can be difficult to handle.

Now, Nocera's bionic leaf combines hydrogen with ambient carbon dioxide to create liquid hydrocarbon fuels. In concert, he developed a new type of flow battery that can integrate into the power grid and provide a way to store renewable energy. This storage system provides a platform for the large-scale deployment of solar energy, a small win for Nocera’s  renewable revolution.

With DiCaprio's name recognition and HBO's audience, Nocera's and other scientist's innovations might just gain traction and help reverse the current climate crisis.

"Technology can save us," the trailer ends. "If we do that, we could save the world. So why don't we do it?"


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See also: Faculty, Nocera