Big History Project
- ACTIVITY: Living in the Extremes of the Biosphere
- ACTIVITY: DQ Notebook 5.3
- READ: What Is the Biosphere?
- ACTIVITY: Infographic — Chemical Abundances: The Oceans
- ACTIVITY: Infographic — Chemical Abundances: A Meteorite
- ACTIVITY: Infographic — Chemical Abundances: Human Body
- WATCH: How Do Earth and Life Interact?
- WATCH: How We Proved An Asteroid Wiped Out The Dinosaurs
- READ: Gallery — How Do Earth and Life Interact?
- Quiz: How Do Earth and Life Interact
ACTIVITY: Living in the Extremes of the Biosphere
In this activity you’ll describe what you think it might be like for humans to live in the extremes of the biosphere. Think about the challenges associated with living either underwater or in the upper atmosphere. Also, think about what humans might have to endure if the biosphere of Earth becomes inhospitable.
Humans live in a “comfort zone” close to the surface of the Earth, but there are many species that live outside of this comfort zone. What makes these regions different from the comfort zone we live in? What challenges would humans face if they chose – or were forced – to live in the extremes of the biosphere?
Study the image of the biosphere below, and then make a list of three challenges that humans would face if they lived in the extremes of the biosphere.
For Further Discussion
Share your answers in the Questions Area below and make sure to read what other people posted. Add some details to at least one other participant’s answers.
Want to join the conversation?
- The extremes of the deep: Our frail bodies would not be able to survive the pressures of the deep Mariana Trench. We can visit it in a pressurized container but that is not the same as being there.
We have gone to the top of the world and survived but needed to carry oxygen.
The extreme cold weather would prevent us from growing our own food.(7 votes)
- Actually, our frail bodies can survive the pressures of the deep ocean, thanks to homeostatis! The issue is that dissolved gasses in our blood stream came out of solution and that's what causes the issues.(1 vote)
- One of the less obvious issues that would arise is the immense pressures at the bottom of the ocean, which can cause the bends, and the lack of oxygen, and a possibly uncomfortable pressures at high zones, like the Mount Everest summit, which has a pressure that's about a third of that in New York, and of course then there are the lack of essentials,(3 votes)
- Why can’t go above or beyond the comfort zone?(2 votes)
- Above or beyond the comfort zone would start to make things very uncomfortable, and hard to live in. the Comfort Zone is the prime place for humans to live because it is the sweet spot of optimal pros and least cons.(2 votes)
- In the deep sea, we would need to find a way to get all our necessary vitamins. In the deep sea, we would also need to try to prevent cabin fever. While in the high air, we would need to combat the freezing temperatures.(2 votes)