Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Biosphere 2 :: Papers
Biosphere 2 Biosphere 2 is a supersealed Ã¢â¬Å"greenhouseÃ¢â¬ enclosing an area of 3.15 acres. Exit and entry is through a double airlock. It consists of several different ecosystems within the Ã¢â¬Å"greenhouse.Ã¢â¬ It houses a tropical rainforest, savannah, scrub forest, desert, fresh- and salt-water marshes and a miniocean that even contains a coral reef. This biosphere is inhabited by over 4000 species in all. The biosphere is able to preserve it environment because; water vapor from evaporation and transpiration of plants is condensed to produce high amounts of rainfall over the tropical rainforest. From there the water runs back towards the marshes and ocean as is filters through the soil, providing for an ample supply of fresh water for the humans as well as the ecosystems. The carbon dioxide released from respiration is absorbed for photosynthesis and necessary oxygen is replenished. Thus, meeting the necessary requirements for a sustainable biosphere. Biosphere 2 is not completely self-sufficient, it does depend on solar energy, and the energy demands that are created to power the necessary machinery, would require another 30 acres of solar collectors. The conclusion of the Ã¢â¬Å"cycleÃ¢â¬ is that not everything went exactly as planned. The oxygen level at one point dropped and additional oxygen had to be added to compensate for the underestimated amount of oxygen used by the decomposers in the soil. Larger amounts of carbon dioxide were used because of chemical reactions with exposed concrete. A large number of the species introduced especially insects necessary for pollination, died off, requiring pollination of many plants by hand. Despite these drawbacks the water, soil, and nutrients they started with were the same as when finished, having gone through the cycle a countless number of times. We have learned from this experiment that it is possible to build a biosphere, that integrates humans, and have it function within the tolerable limits of sustainability. Future versions of this experiment may be used in constructing permanent space stations or for long distance space exploration. If we continue mistreating our present biosphere we may end up living in structures similar to Biosphere 2. In my opinion this experiment proved to be very valuable if we wish to set up colonies on the Moon or other planets. This experiment is the beginning of the necessary information that will be needed to construct a completely self-sufficient biosphere.