Publication: Paper/Books

Biosphere 2 Incorrectly Described

BioScience 68(11): 833–834


The original purpose of Biosphere 2 is incorrectly described, which leads to misunderstandings. The review misstates the purpose of Biosphere 2 and misunderstands its biogeochemistry.

To say that Biosphere 2’s purpose was “to examine the survival of humans” repeats sensationalist media narratives that then declare Biosphere 2 was a “failure” because the system did not behave narrowly like a few assembled small slices of Earth. In the book preface, Nelson states the purpose: “Biosphere 2 was built to study how biospheres work, creating a laboratory for global ecological processes, to help ecology become an experimental science.” ...


Dempster, W.F. (2019): Biosphere 2 Incorrectly Described . BioScience 68(11): 833–834. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biy122