In 1991, eight humans entered a biosphere seated on Earth, yet it was separate from Earth’s biosphere (what they called Biosphere 1). The Biospherians lived in Biosphere 2 for two years, almost entirely separate from Biosphere 1.
Amazing But True!
- The eight Biospherians were sealed in what was supposed to be a self-sustaining habitat.
- Biosphere 2 contained five wilderness areas: a rainforest, an ocean with a coral reef, mangrove wetlands, savannah grassland, and a fog desert.
- Biosphere 2 also contained an agricultural system and a human habitat. However, the Biospherians could not grow enough food to sustain themselves. They broke into emergency supplies and many lost quite a bit of weight.
- Below ground contained the system’s infrastructure.
- Biosphere 2 is now owned by the University of Arizona and is the site of earth science research. They are especially interested the effects of a warming climate on ecosystems.
With the link below, learn more about Biosphere 2. Then answer the following questions.
- Ted, Jane Poynter: Life in Biosphere 2 (watch until 7:40): http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_poynter_life_in_biosphere_2.html
- What is the main reason that people would need to live in a biosphere separate from Earth’s?
- What happened to the air and water that was trapped within Biosphere 2 during the two year experiment?
- Why did it take Poynter four months to make a pizza?
- What happened to the oxygen in the sealed biosphere?
- What did the experiment at Biosphere 2 teach us? Did the people involved learn what they wanted to learn from it?