Inside Biosphere 2

Inside Biosphere 2
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Biosphere 2 was built nearly thirty years ago to develop technologies for human living in space and on other worlds. Eight biospherians survived sealed inside the engineered ecosystem for two years. The results of the mission were mixed, but they definitely succeeded in constructing a research facility like none other in the world.

Inside the amazing steel and glass structure the size of three football fields is an ocean, a rainforest, a savannah, and giant hillsides of newborn soil. Biosphere 2 today bustles with earth scientists of many kinds, all doing experiments that could not take place anywhere else. The gigantic enclosed laboratory is big enough to support complex ecosystems like those in nature. But scientists can control the conditions, unlike in the natural world. Biosphere 2 has the best of both a laboratory and a field study site.

Researchers and students, most from nearby University of Arizona, work alongside 100,000 annual tourists. Biosphere 2 scientists are studying climate change, how rainforests and oceans soak up carbon dioxide, how weather and water turn rock into soil, and how cities can use energy and water in more Earth-friendly ways. Decades after the biospherians' departure, Biosphere 2 is focused on what's happening to Earth now, not on a future in space. It's fascinating research that impacts all our lives.

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