Thought is something that everyone is familiar with, like the story of the fish who had just heard about water and wondered what it was. They went to a wise fish and asked him. They were told that it's all around them, and yet the fish were still thirsty. This is our situation with respect to thought. We experience it, use it continuously, yet we don't really know what it is or where it comes from. This was Vernadsky's problem and it is our problem as well.
Vernadsky could not make the connection between thought as a non-energetic "something" and the transformations involving human activity, such as thought leading to creation of new compounds or thought causing the significant effects in all the other spheres of the planet. However, what Vernadsky did in creating the idea of the Noosphere was to bring into scientific discussion the idea of Mind, the idea of mental operations within the Biosphere. From a scientific perspective, this was an enormous jump.
It must be pointed out that thought is more than thought. Thought as a mental operation would have to include emotions. Hence, for the sake of completeness, we can assume that mental operations in the Noosphere would include both thought and emotional activity.
Proceeding from where Vernadsky left off, we can define the Noosphere as an envelope within the Biosphere that is comprised of the sum total of all human mental operations. Using a characteristic Vernadskian naming convention, we could say that these mental operations are composed of "Mental Matter" either within or alongside the Living Matter of the Biosphere. Unlike the transformations of Living Mattter within the Biosphere, the only way we have of detecting the operation of Mental Matter is by its effects on human behavior. Mind, then, is a mechanism for transforming Mental Matter into behavior which then carries out the transformations of energy that we can measure with conventional methods. The idea that human behavior is our measuring tool of the state of the Noosphere is crucial to our understanding.
To get a picture of what is happening, consider all the thoughts and feelings in humanity going on at this very moment. Billions of people thinking and feeling. This is the Noosphere. The spinning globe at the top of this page serves as a simple graphical representation of this process in action. We can envision, on a mass human scale, thoughts/feelings with the colored rays representing differing types, quantities, qualities, and intensities of our thoughts/feelings. To use a current metaphor, we can begin to see our "Mental Footprint." However, I don't think we are going to be taxed on it - yet.
As much as we think we know about our minds and our behavior, we can see that the Noosphere is a very great mystery. What are thoughts? Where do they come from? What are they for?
AN IMPORTANT ARTICLE:
The Psychological Effects of Global Warming on the United States.
(National Research Report and Forum. National Wildlife Federation. 2012)