Nature Club news

Annie Maud

One of the perks of living in SaddleBrooke is our proximity to Biosphere 2.

The Biosphere was the brain child of Space Biosphere Ventures and was built between 1987-1991. It was intended as a grand experiment, the precursor to a space colony on the moon.

The speaker at the Nature Club’s April meeting was Katie Morgan, manager of Marine Systems at the Biosphere. She is in charge of the Ocean Project, an experiment to find a way to save the oceans’ coral reefs.

The Biosphere’s ocean is the only ocean evolution observatory in the world and the only place to conduct experiments, as doing these in an actual ocean is too dangerous.

* 72% of our planet is ocean.

* 50 to 70% of our oxygen is produced by oceans.

* 1 Billion people depend on food from the ocean.

* 93% of our atmosphere’s heat is absorbed by our oceans.

Coral reefs keep our oceans healthy.

The University’s three phase study will monitor and test coral healing techniques. The project will introduce crabs, parrot fish and ocean sturgeon to eat the algae caused by rising ocean temperatures that are killing our coral reefs. They are also planting and studying heat resistant corals. Constant monitoring of the biome will show what works.

The results of the study will be used to heal coral reefs in several locations around the world. The next meeting of the Nature Club will be in May in the MountainView Ballroom.