Welcome to Biospherology!
There is increasing concern due to worldwide environmental changes caused by diverse forms of human activity. These changes cut across many lines of well-known environmental problems, including water and air pollution, deforestation, and loss of species, to name only a few. Many scientists have stated that the major problem area is significant planet-wide climate change due to CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions: global warming on a level and time-scale that is predicted to cause unprecedented changes in the Biosphere. Alongside this threat, another potential major issue is being investigated: the acidification of the oceans leading to the breakdown of the ocean food chain, a process that is also due to increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere. For an in-depth look at the threat of ocean acidification, view the excellent video "Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification" narrated by Sigourney Weaver. In addition, a new website on this topic has been launched by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP).
There is no doubt that action is needed to address and solve these problems. However, there are additional needs: information, education, and understanding. These pressing global issues indicate an urgent need for an expanded viewpoint that can encompass a broader understanding of the Biosphere. We are on the threshold of monumental decisions and in order to make the right decisions, people need to learn more about the Biosphere and what we're really dealing with.
We seek to promote the new science of Biospherology based on the idea of an integrated, interdisciplinary study of life on a planetary scale. To establish this basis, we bring attention to the concepts of the Biosphere originated by the great Russian mineralogist and geochemist, Vladimir Vernadsky. Working in the early 20th century, Vernadsky published in Russia his monumental work "The Biosphere" in 1926. Due to a variety of factors, it took more than a half century for this work to become known in the West. The current scientific authorities in ecological, environmental, and many other sciences have unanimously hailed Vernadsky as a major thinker, a man far ahead of his time in scientific discovery and insight into the mechanisms of life and its planetary implications.
Vernadsky's concepts of the Biosphere have provided a basis for an integrated approach to planetary sciences seen today in Ecology, Earth System Science, and the Gaia Theory. He was one of the important pioneers to point out the necessity of a holistic approach to science, a perspective greatly needed in today's world of over-specialization in all scientific disciplines. In addition, Vernadsky, along with his contemporary, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, introduced the idea of Mind in the Biosphere. This was termed the Noospshere - the "sphere of human thought." This revolutionary concept has yet to find its place in scientific thought, but promises to be of great significance as we begin to evaluate the human factor in the Biosphere.
A number of articles of importance to Biospherology and current environmental issues are available on our Articles page.
A new film "Biosphere" by the award winning Canadian composer/musician Jennifer Athena Galatis has just been released (2014) and is presented here.
And for fun, please visit the link to BBC Earth Programmes and view the amazing videos and images of the Biosphere.