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Discover The Natural Wonders of Portugal

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From forests to coasts, discover the wildlife and landscapes of Portugal -- including wild horses, storks, monk seals and more.

8pm Sunday NATURE - PORTUGAL: WILD LAND ON THE EDGE - Documentary
Discover the wildlife and landscapes of Portugal, shaped by its history as a global trading hub. From forest to coast, witness the majesty of the country’s wild horses, storks, monk seals, flamingos and more.

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PBS
A monk seal in Portugal

Once a great power linking the Old and New Worlds, Portugal has a history that is deeply tied to its landscapes and wildlife. A unique breed of wild horses roams Portugal’s only national park, horses small and hardy enough to have accompanied Portuguese explorers on ocean voyages around the globe. Today, the seas off the west coast of Nazaré have become a mecca for surfers seeking the biggest waves in the world. Yet, beneath the surface, delicate seahorses cling to kelp beds, and endangered monk seals shelter in the protected bays of Portugal’s far-flung islands. On the red Mars-like landscapes of the Desertas Islands, the world’s largest wolf spider hunts lizards and sometimes, even its own kind. But the greatest wildlife spectacle here is the migration of millions of birds that stopover on their way from Scandinavia to Africa. Black-tailed godwits, pied avocets, vultures and brightly colored flamingos rest and even stay the winter in this land at the very edge of Europe – a crossroads between north and south, land and sea.

9pm NOVA - CAN WE COOL THE PLANET? - Science
As global temperatures rise, scientists look to geoengineering solutions, from planting trees to sucking carbon out of the air, as a means to cool the planet.

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The world’s average temperature has increased 1°C in just the past 100 years. Extreme weather and rising seas are already causing global unrest, and many scientists believe that if we cannot curb planetary warming, it could pose an existential threat to human civilization. As it becomes clear that reducing emissions alone will not be enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change, a growing group of scientists and engineers is working on technologies to cool the planet, ranging from geoengineering our atmosphere to reflect sunlight to sucking carbon dioxide right out of the air to enlisting forests to do the job for us. NOVA joins scientists and skeptics alike to examine the potential—and the peril—of the sometimes-controversial technologies that could help us combat a looming threat.