Earth has more man-made ‘things’ than living things


Current situation in figures

  • Man-made materials / objects: 1.1 trillion tons
  • Biomass (animals, plants): 1 billion tons

By estimating the changes in global biomass and artificial mass since 1990, Research showed that the mass of man-made objects accounted for only 3% of the weight of biomass at the beginning of the 20th century.

But nevertheless, a circumstantial change occurs after this moment.

After the heyday that followed World War II, manufacturing has increased to the point where humans now produce, on average, the equivalent of the weight of each person on Earth each week.

Greater consumption and urban development

If we continue as before, this concrete jungle in which we live will reach more than two teratons (two trillion tons), or more than double the mass of living beings, in the year 2040. And the fact is that the weight of roads, buildings … doubles approximately every 20 years.

“The face of the Earth in the 21st century is affected in an unprecedented way by the activities of humanity and the production and accumulation of man-made objects,” say the authors.

“This study adds to recent efforts to quantify and evaluate the scale and impact of human activities on our planet. The impacts of these activities have been so abrupt and considerable that it has been proposed that the current geological epoch be renamed the Anthropocene. . Our study rigorously and quantitatively supports this proposal“, conclude the experts.

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