The biosphere is the global sum of all ecosystems. It can also be called the zone of life on Earth, a closed (apart from solar and cosmic radiation), and self-regulating system. From the broadest biophysiologicalpoint of view, the biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. The biosphere is postulated to have evolved, beginning through a process of biogenesis or biopoesis, at least some 3.5 billion years ago. In a broader sense; biospheres are any closed, self-regulating systems containing ecosystems; including artificial ones such as Biosphere 2 and BIOS-3; and, potentially, ones on other planets or moons. Contents [hide] * 1 Origin and use of the term * 1.1 Narrow definition * 1.2 Gaia hypothesis * 2 Extent of Earth's biosphere * 3 Specific biospheres * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links
Origin and use of the term
The term "biosphere" was coined by geologist Eduard Suess in 1875, which he defined as: "The place on Earth's surface where life dwells."
While this concept has a geological origin, it is an indication of the impact of both Charles Darwin and Matthew F. Maury on the earth sciences. The biosphere's ecological context comes from the 1920s (see Vladimir I. Vernadsky), preceding the 1935 introduction of the term "ecosystem" by Sir Arthur Tansley (see ecology history). Vernadsky defined ecology as the science of the biosphere. It is an interdisciplinary concept for integrating astronomy, geophysics, meteorology, biogeography, evolution, geology,geochemistry, hydrology and, generally speaking, all life and earth sciences. Narrow definition
A familiar scene on Earth which simultaneously shows the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. Some life scientists and earth scientists use biosphere in a...
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