TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - 30 Million dollars to help understand our Earth and how it is changing.
That's the gift to help UA expand its research at Biosphere 2. Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass built Biosphere to research ecological issues, now he's adding a 30 million dollar endowment to sustain and enhance its operations.
Outreach director Kevin Bonine says, “The real value of Biosphere 2 is that you can do things on a large scale but with a level of control of a laboratory. So the reason the University of Arizona is interested in participating in research there is because we can do things on a scale we can't do anywhere else and there are emergent properties that happen at larger scales that you don't see on a lab bench. But when you do them in a controlled setting inside a large, three-acre space like Biosphere 2 you can understand a lot more about how the real world works."
One Biosphere experiment uses a simulated rainforest to learn how rising temperatures affect forests.