Review of Pushing our Limits: Insights from Biosphere 2 by Mark Nelson

AchutaRao, Krishna | from Multimedia Library Collection:

AchutaRao, Krishna. Review of Pushing our Limits: Insights from Biosphere 2 by Mark Nelson. Conservation & Society 17, no. 1 (2019): 116-17.

Anybody who lived in the US in the early 1990s would remember the television coverage of “Biosphere 2”—a prototype Mars colony on earth built in the Arizona desert. The lingering memories are of media coverage that focused on the failures and bordered on the salacious. Four women and four men entered a glass and steel frame building that “included small chunks of Earth’s biodiversity; bonsai rainforest, tropical grassland (savanna), desert, mangrove marsh, and coral reef ocean” in September 1991. They began a two-year “closure” experiment to study how global ecological processes work in a sealed environment. Twenty five years after the event, one of the 8 volunteers—Mark Nelson has written a book about it. With a fascinating account of the challenges faced in maintaining quality of the air and water inside, the author makes the case that many of the lasting lessons of the experiment may be applicable right here on Earth where climate change and environmental pollution have assumed centre stage in a way not foreseen at the time of the closure of Biosphere 2. (Excerpt from book review)

© Krishna AchutaRao 2019. Conservation & Society is available online only and is published under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.5).