The biosphere (from Greek βίος bíos "life" and σφαῖρα sphaira "sphere"), also known as the ecosphere (from Greek οἶκος oîkos "environment" and σφαῖρα), is the worldwide sum of all ecosystems. It can also be termed the zone of life on Earth. The biosphere is virtually a closed system with regard to matter, with minimal inputs and outputs. With regard to energy, it is an open system, with photosynthesis capturing solar energy at a rate of around 130 Terawatts per year. However it is a self-regulating system close to energetic equilibrium. By the most general biophysiological definition, the biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. The biosphere is postulated to have evolved, beginning with a process of biopoiesis (life created naturally from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds) or biogenesis (life created from living matter), at least some 3.5 billion years ago.
In a general sense, biospheres are any closed, self-regulating systems containing ecosystems. This includes artificial biospheres such as Biosphere 2 and BIOS-3, and potentially ones on other planets or moons.