Biosphere 2 Arizona. An exploration in mismanagement and quasi scientific research. As you recall, 8 biospherians spent two years in this complex. The concept was to learn how to send humans into space. The science was questionable and the people involved were generally not scientists. The system was to be closed and sealed with no interference from the outside world. But after a few months, additional oxygen had to be added and along with additional food since the biospherians began to starve.
The fact that these additions were mostly hidden from public view essentially ruined any credibility for the pure science research. And I was mostly dismissive of the venture as a result.
But after reviewing a lot of the history, and the results arising from the experience, I’ve completely changed my mind.
This was really meant to be a scientific experiment. There was no theory to be proved. Instead, it was all about adaptive management.
No one really knew what was going to happen. Once things started to go astray, they incorporated adaptive strategies to get things back on track. Carbon dioxide had to be scrubbed out. Oxygen added. Mostly all the pollinators died out. Rising carbon dioxide levels raised acid levels and stress the ocean coral biome.
A number of scientific research papers were produced. Adaptive management, allowed course corrections as things proceeded.
It serves as a shining example that we are not as smart as we think we are, and nowhere as smart as we will need to be in the future.