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Biosphere 2 Photo Courtesy Biosphere 2 Center. Quick Overview of Biosphere 2 A 3.15 acre greenhouse - model of our Biosphere ~2,000 species of plants.

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Presentation on theme: "Biosphere 2 Photo Courtesy Biosphere 2 Center. Quick Overview of Biosphere 2 A 3.15 acre greenhouse - model of our Biosphere ~2,000 species of plants."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biosphere 2 Photo Courtesy Biosphere 2 Center

2 Quick Overview of Biosphere 2 A 3.15 acre greenhouse - model of our Biosphere ~2,000 species of plants & animals 5 separate biome types Agricultural area/space for residents Designed as a “closed” system - model for space travel Now - research & education for Columbia Univ. Rain ForestOcean Savannah Marsh Desert “Lungs” Agriculture, Research Residential

3 What is a Biosphere? Photo Courtesy Biosphere 2000, by Kaufman & Franz

4 Photo courtesy Carolina Biological

5 Overview of Project Image Courtesy Biosphere 2 Center

6 Rain Forest

7 Ocean, Marsh, Savanna

8 Desert Photo courtesy Biosphere 2 Center

9 Agricultural Areas Photo Courtesy Biosphere 2 Center

10 Now Used For Research

11 Human Habitat Apartment space for 8 people Kitchen and common area Library & computer facility Image courtesy Biosphere 2 Center

12 “Lungs”

13 Inside the West Lung Photo 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.)

15 Brief History Photo courtesy Biosphere 2 Center 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 million Many questions to consider (such as?)

16 Brief History, continued Sept Sept – year sealed study Mar.-Sept month sealed study Low Oxygen Levels – Oxygen was added 1 person was medically evacuated for 1 day No one has inhabited it permanently since 1994

17 Brief History 1996 – “Bio-Dome” starring Pauly Shore is released in theaters. Jan 1, 1996 Columbia University takes over the management of the Biosphere 2 Center Photo Courtesy MGM/UA and Amazon.com

18 Climate Change Research Cottonwood Plants that are Clones of Each Other Held at 400 ppm, 800 ppm and 1200 ppm CO 2 Examine photosynthesis rates to determine whether plants can take up additional CO 2

19 Impact of Climate Change on Coral Reef Systems Uptake of CO 2 by coral decreases by 40% under elevated concentrations of carbonates

20 Similar Studies in Other Ecosystem Types Rainforest Desert Other habitats difficult to isolate Computer simulation modeling Image courtesy Biosphere 2 Center

21 Problems Ants (Paratrechina longicornis) have become abundant. Quarantine Issues Costs a lot to operate. One of a kind.

22 How Should This Facility be Used? Model for Space Travel Climate Change Research Undergraduate & Graduate Education Public Outreach and Education Other Uses?

23 Advantages/Disadvantages as a Research Facility

24 Advantages Disadvantages Conducted at a large scale (more realistic) Controlled conditions (can manipulate CO 2 to exact concentrations) Possible to run several replicates at one time Possible to repeat experiments over time Not a precise model of native ecosystems Expensive to build and operate One of a kind (not perfectly applicable to a particular system) Others?

25 How is New Scientific Knowledge Obtained?

26 Scientific Method Observation Hypothesis (must be testable) Experiment (ideally has a control group and is replicated) Analyze Results (rely on prior research) Conclusion

27 How Well Does Biosphere 2 Achieve This?

28 The End For more information visit


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