Visitors: Masks are required at all times when visiting Biosphere 2.
Micrometeorological variables measured in the BIOSPHERE-2 Center (B2C) enclosed rain forest biome for 1 year were compared with similar measurements made in the Amazon rain forest. In the B2C rain forest, the overlying glass and supporting structure significantly reduces (by approximately a factor of two) the incoming solar radiation. Monthly mean values of above-canopy and within-canopy air temperature, vapor pressure, and vapor pressure deficit are reasonably similar to those of the Amazon rain forest, but there are marked differences in the above-canopy values of these variables in the Arizona summer. Monthly mean diurnal trends also show significant differences. Measurements of vertical air temperature gradient clearly showed two very distinct environments in the 27.4 m high rain forest dome during daylight hours. There is a comparatively cool and fairly well-mixed environment (which is reasonably similar to that found in a natural rain forest) below about 10 m and a hot, thermally stable environment above about 15 m. The nature of the atmospheric turbulence within the B2C rain forest also is significantly different from that normally found in natural rain forests. There is little turbulent mixing above the forest canopy in this enclosed environment. These findings are important for guiding the operation and use of this experimental rain forest facility in future research and for understanding how the rain forest biome functions in an enclosed environment.
Arain, M.A., Shuttleworth, W.J., Farnsworth, B., Adams, J., Sen, O.L. (2000): Comparing micrometeorology of rain forests in Biosphere-2 and Amazon basin . Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 100(4): 273-289. doi: 10.1016/S0168-1923(99)00153-7