2Quick Overview of Biosphere 2 Rain ForestOcean Savannah MarshDesertAgriculture,ResearchResidential“Lungs”A 3.15 acre greenhouse - model of our Biosphere~2,000 species of plants & animals5 separate biome typesAgricultural area/space for residentsDesigned as a “closed” system - model for space travelNow - research & education for Columbia Univ.
3What is a Biosphere?Photo Courtesy Biosphere 2000, by Kaufman & Franz
13Inside the West LungPhoto Courtesy Biosphere 2 Center
14“Technosphere” Water filtration Reverse Osmosis Sprinkler system Electricity for computers, sensors machinery, etc.Not really a closed system (energy inputs from the sun and AZ Electric Power Corp.)
15Brief History Mid 1980’s – Land Purchased by Space Biosphere Ventures 1989 – Test module constructed and inhabited for 21 days.Biosphere 2 built at a cost of $150 millionMany questions to consider (such as?)Photo courtesy Biosphere 2 Center
16Brief History, continued Sept Sept – year sealed studyMar.-Sept month sealed studyLow Oxygen Levels – Oxygen was added1 person was medically evacuated for 1 dayNo one has inhabited it permanently since 1994
17Brief History1996 – “Bio-Dome” starring Pauly Shore is released in theaters.Jan 1, 1996 Columbia University takes over the management of the Biosphere 2 CenterPhoto Courtesy MGM/UA and Amazon.com
18Climate Change Research Cottonwood Plants that are Clones of Each OtherHeld at 400 ppm, 800 ppm and 1200 ppm CO2Examine photosynthesis rates to determine whether plants can take up additional CO2
19Impact of Climate Change on Coral Reef Systems Uptake of CO2 by coral decreases by 40% under elevated concentrations of carbonates
20Similar Studies in Other Ecosystem Types RainforestDesertOther habitats difficult to isolateComputer simulation modelingImage courtesy Biosphere 2 Center
21Problems Ants (Paratrechina longicornis) have become abundant. Quarantine IssuesCosts a lot to operate.One of a kind.
22How Should This Facility be Used? Model for Space TravelClimate Change ResearchUndergraduate & Graduate EducationPublic Outreach and EducationOther Uses?
24Advantages Disadvantages Conducted at a large scale (more realistic)Controlled conditions (can manipulate CO2 to exact concentrations)Possible to run several replicates at one timePossible to repeat experiments over timeNot a precise model of native ecosystemsExpensive to build and operateOne of a kind (not perfectly applicable to a particular system)Others?