Jane Poynter was one of the first eight pioneer members, known as ‘biospherians,’ to live in an enclosed environment where every aspect of one’s life is developed and maintained from the enclosure. The stay in the research center was not that smooth because the ‘biospherians’ faced their fair share of challenges. The first problem they had was that their atmosphere, in biosphere 2, was losing oxygen and carbon dioxide at an alarming rate (Poynter, 2009). Both gases are essential in the ecosystem, so the scientists started by sequestering carbon; they did this by growing many plants and taking their biomass to be stored. This was done to take carbon away from the atmosphere of biosphere 2. Raising a lot of plants was one of the best ways to increase the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, so it was suitable to grow plants.
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With a high number of plants and in such a controlled environment, the oxygen levels continued dwindling to a much lower level. Therefore, growing many plants was not a brilliant idea because, at night, plants respire like humans as they take in oxygen and take out carbon dioxide (Sevik et al., 2018). The other measures meant to prevent greenhouse gases, such as halting the tilling of land, were okay. Low oxygen levels are often caused by polluted air, and greenhouse gases in biosphere 2 contribute to a significant percentage of the pollution. Therefore, stopping the influx of greenhouse gases in a controlled atmosphere is an innovative and lifesaving move. At long last, they had to pump in oxygen to continue with the project and ensure it was successful. Sometimes, it requires extreme measures against certain beliefs and rules to survive a harsh environment.
Poynter, J. (2009). Life in Biosphere 2. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. Web.
Sevik, H., Cetin, M., Guney, K., & Belkayali, N. (2018). The Effect of Some Indoor Ornamental Plants on CO2 Levels During the Day. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, 27(2), 839-844. Web.