Wednesday's special feature was biosphere2 and it was truly a trip! "Biosphere1" is the earth we live on, but you already guessed that. You can visit the website for more information, but how ever anyone could have or would have imagined the original experiment was remotely scientific had something else coming to them. Rumor has it the eight people who lived and worked at biosphere2 during the original experiment in the early 1990s became physically and mentally very unwell, lost tons of weight and threatened to kill each other. Well, considering that no natural sunlight entered the building and anyone imagining they could reproduce five environments (ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, tropical rainforest, savannah grassland and fog desert) even in ultra-mini habitable form or especially in an ultra-mini configuration hardly could have been more unreal.
This was the ocean? Looked more like a bay or backyard pool with 1/4" ripples, but then again, I'm used to routine double overheads.
During the course of the 11/2 hour-long uphill, downhill, up the stairs and down the stairs tour the guide defensively explained of course this was not a failed experiment, no way whatsoever! However, I believe that by the early 1990s scientific methods were well established with concepts of controls and common sense solidly in place.
The people who lived on site (all scientists, carefully selected for their specialties) originally contracted for 5-year terms but due to failing mental and physical health along with many of the originally imported plants and all the animals dying they quit at the 21/2-year point. Rumor has it although they were supposed to find and prepare all their own meals, that wasn't possible with the scant resources available in the limited arrangement and for the final 6 months they got tasty, nutritious meals delivered from a high-end establishment. Basic biosphere2 specs include:
• 3.14 acre Biosphere facility
• 7,200,000 cubic feet of sealed glass, 6,500 windows
• 91 feet at highest point
• sealed from the earth below by a 500-ton welded stainless steel liner
• 40-acre campus
• 300,000 sq. ft. of administrative offices, classrooms, labs, conference center, housing
• 3620' elevation(info from the website)
Here's a View From The Road— I ♥ Arizona and adore the desert!It amazes me *they* imagined life could prevail in an environment that was close-to hermetically sealed off from the rest of life. Not long before that all of those theys had discerned that a residence needed a certain number of daily exchanges of air in order to be healthy, though previously they'd tried to create situations with fewer air exchanges that still allowed room to breathe and for living things to be.
Who administers this facility? Since June 2007 Biosphere 2 has functioned as a department of the University of Arizona College of Science; they're trying to use it to help quantify some aspects of climate change.
My last pic features the tropical rainforest.
all photos from the biosphere2 site