The term biosphere came from the geologist Eduard Suess in 1875 who defined it as “the place on earth’s surface where life dwells”.Physical Geographers describe the biosphere as the biological component of the Earth’s systems, it is the surface of the Earth and the life forms within this. It goes from deep into the ground, caves or in the ocean at hydrothermal vents, on the ground where the trees and animals live and then extends all the way up to the lower atmosphere where birds and insects live.  

The biosphere concept is common to many scientific studies such as astronomy, geology, evolution and many others.

The biosphere interacts with all the other ‘spheres’; the biosphere or land interacts with the water or hydrosphere and the atmosphere and even forces from inside the earth and space, all the forces work with the biosphere to create energy on the living planet.

There are many factors that affect the biosphere and therefore our life on earth. Some of the large factors include the distance of the Earth from the Sun, if our planet was too close or too far away the temperatures wouldn’t be right for life. If the Earth did not have a tilt, there would be less obvious seasons and the world may not be able to cope with this.

Other, smaller factors include weather, erosion and the general climate of the area and the organisms in the areas have to adapt to each of the changes in effects.

The smallest factors that affect the biosphere include corrosion where the landscape is changing one molecule at a time.

Many studies have been done on the biosphere, the most notable being Biosphere 2 created in the Santa Catalina Mountains in Arizona  where, in 1991, eight people from seven countries were placed in Biosphere 2 for two years to see whether they could live and adapt; they all survived apart from some communal and agricultural problems.

A second group of people entered after for another two years but due to the bad planning and social problems, the experiment was stopped. 

Biosphere 2 is now part of Columbia University for studies and tourism to explain the concepts of the biosphere.

From this, the interest in space colonisation and creating another biosphere on another planet and experiments are currently on the go to see if we could do this on the Moon or on Mars.