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Encyclopedia > Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 is a 3.15-acre structure originally built to be an artificial closed ecological system in Oracle, Arizona (USA) by Space Biosphere Ventures, a company whose principal officers were John Polk Allen and Margaret Augustine. Constructed between 1987 and 1991, it was used to explore the complex web of interactions within life systems. It also explored the possible use of closed biospheres in space colonization, and also allowed the study and manipulation of a biosphere without harming Earth's. The name comes from the idea that it is modeled on the first biosphere, which is the life system on Earth. The funding for the project came primarily from Edward Bass's company, Decisions Investment, and cost $200,000,000 from 1985 to 2007. Biosphere 2 in Arizona, Taken by User:Gleam at 9th. ... Biosphere 2 in Arizona, Taken by User:Gleam at 9th. ... An ecosphere Closed Ecological Systems (CES) are ecosystems that do not exchange matter with any part outside the system. ... Oracle is a census-designated place located in Pinal County, Arizona. ... Official language(s) English Spoken language(s) English 74. ... John Polk Allen (also known by the nom de plume Johnny Dolphin) is an explorer, author, poet, playwright, scientist[1] and inventor. ... Artists conception of a space habitat called the Stanford torus, by Don Davis Space colonization (also called space settlement, space humanization, space habitation, etc. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ...


The size of a football field, it was the largest closed system ever created. The sealed nature of the structure allowed scientists to monitor the ever-changing chemistry of the air, water and soil contained within. The health of the human crew was continuously monitored by a medical team.


Inside was a 850 square meter ocean with a coral reef, a 450 square meter mangrove wetlands, a 1900 square meter savannah grassland, a 1400 square meter fog desert, a 2500 square meter agricultural system, a human habitat with living quarters and office, and a below-ground level technical facility. Heating and cooling water circulated through independent piping systems, and electrical power was supplied from a natural gas energy center through airtight penetrations.


By 2006, the structure was no longer maintained in an airtight state, and the property, which is in exurban Tucson, was slated to be redeveloped for a planned community.[1] Commuters waiting for the morning train in Maplewood, New Jersey to travel to New York City A commuter town, is an urban community that is primarily residential, from which most of the workforce commute to a nearby metropolis to earn their livelihood. ... Nickname: The Old Pueblo Location in Pima County and the state of Arizona Coordinates: Country United States State Arizona Counties Pima Mayor Bob Walkup (R) Area    - City 505. ...


As of June 5, 2007, the property including surrounding land, totaling 1650 acres (668 hectares), was sold to a residential home developer for US$50 million. A development including homes and a resort hotel was planned for a portion of the land. The Biosphere itself will remain open for tours.[2] is the 156th day of the year (157th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ...


On June 26, 2007, the University of Arizona announced it would be taking over research at the Biosphere 2. The announcement ends immediate fears that the famous glass terrarium will be bulldozed. University officials said private gifts and grants will enable them to cover research and operating costs for three years with the possibility of extending that funding for 10 years. [3] is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... The University of Arizona (UA or U of A) is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. ...

Contents

History

Pilot Experiments

Prior to the closure of the Biosphere, three mini-missions were carried out in the Test Module (TM), a much smaller enclosure. The objectives of these tests were quite modest — an important one was to test the waste-recycling system.


John Polk Allen spent 72 hours in the TM, then Abigail Alling spent five days, then finally Linda Leigh set a new world record by being shut in for three weeks. These mini-missions were, of course, far too short to attempt any meaningful agriculture or animal husbandry. No data were gathered that might have been useful in estimating whether the Biosphere itself was capable of sustaining eight people for two years.


Mission 1

The first closed mission lasted from September 26, 1991 to September 26, 1993. The crew were medical doctor and researcher Roy Walford, Jane Poynter, Taber MacCallum, Mark Nelson, Sally Silverstone, Abigail Alling (a late replacement for Silke Schneider), Mark Van Thillo and Linda Leigh. is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Roy Lee Walford (June 29, 1924 - April 27, 2004) was an advocate of caloric restriction. ... Jane Poynteris an author, businesswoman and environmentalist. ... Taber MacCallum is one of the original crewmembers of Biosphere 2. ...


Bananas grew very well in the structure, and formed a significant source of food. Other crops included sweet potatoes and peanuts. But they were not able to grow enough food to satisfy the eight inhabitants with a very strenuous lifestyle, and they reported continual hunger. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Binomial name L. “Camote” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Peanut (disambiguation). ...


There were other problems, too. During the first mission, oxygen levels began falling at a steady pace of 0.3% per month. This continued to the point where the atmosphere inside resembled that of a community at an elevation of over 4,000 feet (1,200 m). The medical officer, crew member Dr. Roy Walford, closely monitored the oxygen levels in consultation with doctors on the outside from University of Arizona, and eventually requested pure oxygen to be pumped in from the outside. Two injections were added, on January 13 and August 26. January 13 is the 13th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 238th day of the year (239th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


These atmospheric issues were partly caused by low light levels. The weather that year was unusually overcast, reducing photosynthesis. In addition, a side effect of the building construction meant that the structure's support beams blocked a significant amount of light. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


Many suspected the drop in oxygen was due to microbes in the soil. The agricultural, savanna and rain forest sections had all been infused with microbes in order to encourage plant growth. In addition, the overall quantity of carbon installed in the soil at the beginning of the experiment was too high. It was now felt that these microbes were consuming too much oxygen, converting the carbon in the soil into carbon dioxide and removing the oxygen from the air. A cluster of Escherichia coli bacteria magnified 10,000 times. ... In order to meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article requires cleanup. ...


One problem critics of this theory have cited was that microbes breathing that much oxygen would also be creating a massive amount of carbon dioxide. So the jump in CO2 would have been greater than what was actually detected in the atmosphere readings. Further investigation revealed that the concrete at the base of the facility had been absorbing much of this carbon dioxide as it cured. This effect absorbed a large portion of the carbon dioxide being produced by the microbes which in turn had been depleting the facility's oxygen supply. Concrete being poured, raked and vibrated into place in residential construction in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ...


According to the general biology textbook "Biology" by Neil Campbell and Jane Reece, Biosphere 2 suffered also from CO2 levels that "fluctuated wildly" and that most of the vertebrate species and all of the pollinating insects died. Ants were deliberately introduced since they are a companion to one of the tree species (Cecropia) in the Rain Forest. Typical classes Petromyzontidae (lampreys) Placodermi - extinct Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish) Acanthodii - extinct Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish) Actinistia (coelacanths) Dipnoi (lungfish) Amphibia (amphibians) Reptilia (reptiles) Aves (birds) Mammalia (mammals) Vertebrata is a subphylum of chordates, specifically, those with backbones or spinal columns. ... A pollinator is the agent that moves pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of a flower to accomplish fertilization or syngamy of the female gamete in the ovule of the flower by the male gamete from the pollen grain. ... The Acropolis of Athens, seen from the hill of the Pnyx to the west The Acropolis of Athens, seen from the north, with the restored Stoa of Attalus in the foreground The south wall of the Acropolis of Athens, seen from the Theatre of Dionysus The Acropolis of Athens, seen...


Mission 2

The second closed mission began on 6 March 1994, with an announced run of ten months. Crew was Norberto Romo (Capt.), John Druitt, Matt Finn, Pascal Maslin, Charlotte Godfrey, Rodrigo Romo (no relation to Norberto) and Tilak Mahato. is the 65th day of the year (66th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar). ...


On 1 April a severe dispute within the management team led to the ousting of the on-site management by armed federal marshals serving a restraining order[4], leaving management of the mission to Ed Bass' company Decisions Investment. is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


At 3 am on 5 April Abigail Alling and Mark Van Thillo, members of the first crew, deliberately vandalised the project, opening all the doors and violating the closure. is the 95th day of the year (96th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Soon after that, the captain Norberto Romo (by then married to Margaret Augustine) left the Biosphere. He was replaced by Bernd Zabel, who had been nominated as captain of the first mission but replaced at the last minute. Two months later, Matt Smith replaced Matt Finn.


The ownership and management company Space Biospheres Ventures was officially dissolved on June 1. June 1 is the 152nd day of the year (153rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The mission was ended prematurely on 6 September 1994. is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar). ...


Columbia University

In 1995 the Biosphere 2 owners transferred management to Columbia University. Columbia ran Biosphere 2 as a research site until 2003, at which time management reverted to the owners. During Columbia's tenure, Columbia students would often spend one semester at the site. Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... Columbia University is a private research university in the United States and a member of the prestigious Ivy League. ...


For sale

On January 10, 2005 Decisions Investments Corporation, owners of Biosphere 2, announced that the Biosphere 2 campus was for sale. They preferred a research use to be found for the complex but were not excluding buyers with different intentions, such as universities, hotels, resorts, spas, etc. Finally, in February, 2006, Fairfield Homes agreed to purchase Biosphere 2 and use its 1600 acres (650 hectares) to build a planned community. Biosphere 2 is still open for tours and plans to be open into the future. January 10 is the 10th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Sold

See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19055888 .


Under New Management

On June 26, 2007, the University of Arizona announced that it would take over management of Biosphere 2, using the site as a laboratory to study climate change, among other things. The university will pay $100 per year to the owners of the 1,600 acre development in order to lease the 3.15 acres that contain Biosphere 2's structures. Original Biosphere financier Edward P. Bass has given the university an additional $30 million to maintain the site.[5] is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... The University of Arizona (UA or U of A) is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. ...


Engineering

Biosphere 2 from the inside. Seen here are the Savanna (foreground) and Ocean (background) sections.
Biosphere 2 from the inside. Seen here are the Savanna (foreground) and Ocean (background) sections.
The Coastal Fog Desert section of Biosphere on 2 August 2005.
The Coastal Fog Desert section of Biosphere on 2 August 2005.

Like Project Apollo, Biosphere 2 is an achievement of engineering more than science. The above-ground physical structure of Biosphere 2 was made of steel tubing and high-performance glass and steel frames. The frame and glazing materials were designed and made to specification by a firm run by a one-time student of Buckminster Fuller, Peter Pearce (Peter Pearce & Associates). The window seals and structures had to be designed to be almost perfectly airtight, such that the air exchange would be extremely slow, to avoid damage to the experimental results. Download high resolution version (1024x768, 311 KB)Biosphere 2 from the inside, half the original size. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 311 KB)Biosphere 2 from the inside, half the original size. ... Savanna at Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... Image File history File links The Coastal Fog Desert section of Biosphere 2. ... Image File history File links The Coastal Fog Desert section of Biosphere 2. ... is the 214th day of the year (215th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Project Apollo was a series of human spaceflight missions undertaken by the United States of America (NASA) using the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicle, conducted during the years 1961 – 1975. ... Engineering is the design, analysis, and/or construction of works for practical purposes. ... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983)[1] was an American visionary, designer, architect, poet, author, and inventor. ...


The structure was notable for how it dealt with atmospheric expansion. During the day, the heat from the sun caused the air inside to expand and during the night it cooled and contracted. To avoid having to deal with the huge forces that maintaining a constant volume would create, the structure had large diaphragms kept in domes called "lungs". These permitted the structure to remain at ambient pressure at all times, without allowing air in or out of the habitat. Essentially this permitted the building to grow larger during the day, and shrink during the night.


Since opening a window was impossible, the structure also required huge air conditioners to control the temperature and avoid killing the plants within. For every unit of solar energy that entered the structure, the air conditioners would expend approximately three times to cool the habitat back down.


Science

A special issue of the Ecological Engineering journal edited by B.D.V. Marino and Howard T. Odum (1999) represents the most comprehensive assemblage of collected papers and findings from Biosphere 2. The papers range from calibrated models that describe the system metabolism, hydrologic balance, and heat and humidity, to papers that describe rainforest, mangrove, ocean, and agronomic system development in this carbon dioxide-rich environment. The book "Biosphere 2: Research Past and Present" (ISBN 0080432085, 330 pp., Elsevier, 1999) by the same authors probably contains much the same information. Howard Thomas Odum (1924-2002), commonly known as H.T. Odum or Tom Odum, was an eminent American ecosystem ecologist and a professor at the University of Florida. ...


Criticism

It has been alleged that carbon dioxide scrubbers were secretly installed, oxygen was added, and electric power was derived from natural gas rather than solar panels. Opinions differ as to whether this constituted "cheating" or in some way degraded the science that was taking place. However, as this was the first structure of its kind, it is logical that adjustments, refinements, and adaptations to this complex system would be needed.


One of their own scientific consultants came to be critical of the enterprise, too. Dr. Ghillean Prance, director of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, designed the rainforest biome inside the Biosphere. In a 1983 interview, Prance said, "I was attracted to the Institute of Ecotechnics because funds for research were being cut and the institute seemed to have a lot of money which it was willing to spend freely. Along with others, I was ill-used. "[6] Sir Ghillean Tolmie Prance (b. ... “Kew Gardens” redirects here. ... Kew is a place in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in South West London. ... A biome is a major class of ecologically similar communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, often reffered to as ecosystems. ...


Psychology and conflict

Much of the evidence for isolated human groups comes from psychological studies of scientists overwintering in Antarctic research stations[7]. The study of this phenomenon is "confined environment psychology", and according to Jane Poynter [8] [9]not nearly enough of it was brought to bear on Biosphere 2. Greek ἀνταρκτικός, opposite the arctic) is a continent surrounding the Earths South Pole. ...


Before the first closure mission was half over, the group had split into two factions and people who had been intimate friends had become implacable enemies, barely on speaking terms.


The faction inside the bubble came from a rift between the joint venture partners on how the science should proceed, as biospherics or as specialist ecosystem studies. Was the Biosphere a scientific experiment or a business venture? Or perhaps just an enormous art installation? There was a high-powered Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), and they, of course, felt that Biosphere 2 was about science, or else what were they there for? The faction that included Poynter felt strongly that they should be making formal proposals for research for the SAC to evaluate. The other faction included Abigail Alling, the titular director of research[10] inside the bubble, and who sided with John Allen in blocking that move. On February 14, the entire SAC resigned.[11] Time Magazine, wrote: Installation art uses sculptural materials and other media to modify the way we experience a particular space. ... is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Time (whose trademark is capitalized TIME) is a weekly American newsmagazine, similar to Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. ...

Now, the veneer of credibility, already bruised by allegations of tamper-prone data, secret food caches and smuggled supplies, has cracked .... the two-year experiment in self-sufficiency is starting to look less like science and more like a $150 million stunt.[12]

Undoubtedly the lack of oxygen and critically low food supply contributed to low morale. The Alling faction feared that the Poynter group were prepared to go so far as to import food, if it meant making them fitter to carry out research projects. They considered that would be a project failure by definition.


The external management could certainly have done more to defuse the intolerable situation inside. Instead they provoked the Poynter faction further by putting Sally Silverstone in charge of day-to-day agricultural operations, replacing Poynter.


In November the starving Biospherians began eating emergency food supplies that had not been grown inside the bubble.[13] Poynter made Chris Helms, PR Director for the enterprise, aware of this. She was promptly dismissed by Margaret Augustine, CEO of Space Biospheres Ventures, and told to come out of the biosphere. This order was, however, never carried out. Look up November in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Public relations (PR): Building sustainable relations with all publics in order to create a postive brand image. ...


At the end of the closure, the Biospherians dispersed, mostly in couples, and it was ten years before the adversary factions spoke to each other again.


Results

As with all experiments, whether considered successes or failures, the results have proved informative; in the case of Biosphere 2, the experimenters learned that small, closed ecosystems are complex and vulnerable to unplanned events. This lesson will almost certainly be applicable in the more hazardous environment of space.


In a strictly business evaluation, Biosphere 2 has to be judged a failure of management. There was never any consideration that the project could be profitable, but it had the means of defraying some of its vast expense given that 10,000 visitors a month were paying up to US$80 for the tour at one time.[14] Ed Bass quite evidently believed that the management could be improved upon.


See also

BIOS-3 was a closed ecosystem at the Institute of Biophysics in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, in what was then the Soviet Union. ... Krasnoyarsk (Russian: ) is the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia, and the third largest city in Siberia. ... “Siberian” redirects here. ... The Eden Project Inside the tropical Biome The Eden Project is a large-scale environmental complex in England. ... Jane Poynteris an author, businesswoman and environmentalist. ... Taber MacCallum is one of the original crewmembers of Biosphere 2. ... Roy Lee Walford (June 29, 1924 - April 27, 2004) was an advocate of caloric restriction. ...

In fiction and music

  • Cheers episode #251, originally broadcast November 12, 1992, features Lillith Sternan-Crane deciding to spend a year in "the ecopod," an apparent parody of the Biospherians.
  • The 1996 movie Bio-Dome was set in a Biosphere-2-like enclosed environment.
  • The song 'Old Black Dawning' by Frank Black is about Biosphere 2.

Cheers is a popular American situation comedy produced by Charles-Burrows-Charles Productions in association with CBS Paramount Television for NBC. Cheers was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles. ... Bio-Dome is a 1996 movie starring Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin and directed by Jason Bloom. ... Frank Black (born Charles Michael Kittredge Thompson IV on April 6, 1965) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. ...

External links

is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Notes and references

  • Poynter, Jane (2006). The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2. Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 978-1-56025-775-2. 
  1. ^ Nintzel, Jim. "Bio Bust", Tucson Weekly, February 16, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Biosphere 2 bubble sold to developers", MSNBC, June 5, 2007. 
  3. ^ Ryman, Anne. "UA to take over Biosphere 2 research", The Arizona Republic, June 26, 2007. 
  4. ^ Poynter, pp. 324–6
  5. ^ Arizona Daily Star, June 27, 2007, page 1
  6. ^ Phoenix New Times, June 19, 1991.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Poynter, op. cit.
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ Poynter, p.270
  12. ^ quoted at ibid
  13. ^ Poynter, p. 247.
  14. ^ Phoenix New Times
  • BIOSPHERE 2: RESEARCH PAST AND PRESENT B.D.V. Marino and Howard T. Odum (1999)

Coordinates: 32°34′43.60″N, 110°51′02.14″W The Arizona Republic is a newspaper published in Phoenix, Arizona. ... is the 178th day of the year (179th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Biosphere 2 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1141 words)
Biosphere 2 is a structure built to be a artificial closed ecological system in Oracle, Arizona by John Polk Allen, Space Biosphere Ventures and others.
According to the general biology textbook "Biology" by Neil Campbell and Jane Reece, Biosphere 2 suffered also from CO levels that "fluctuated wildly" and that most of the vertebrate species and all of the pollinating insects died.
Biosphere 2 is still open for tours and plans to be open into the future.
Biosphere - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (883 words)
From the broadest geophysiological point of view, the biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere (rocks), hydrosphere (water), and atmosphere (air).
This biosphere is generally thought to have evolved, beginning through a process of biogenesis or biopoesis, at least some 3.5 billion years ago.
For example, geochemists define the biosphere as being the total sum of living organisms (the "biomass" or "biota" as referred to by biologists and ecologists).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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