For the first time in history, man-made materials have had a greater total mass than all living things on Earth.
The study spelled out the “cross-mark”, the point where artificial products weigh more than those of the natural world. Specifically, every 20 years, the volume of roads, buildings or man-made materials has nearly doubled, now weighing about 1,100 billion tons. While humans continue to abuse natural resources, the volume of living organisms, including plants and animals, has fallen by 50% since the age of agriculture, to 1,000 billion tons.
The calculation of the change between the biomass and the artificial material mass has been carried out since 1990. Research shows that in the early twentieth century, the volume of artificial material was only 3% of the biomass. living being. However, since the global production boom after World War II, artificial products have grown rapidly. It is estimated today that, on average, humans make products with weight equal to the weight of every person on Earth every week.
Study co-author Ron Milo at the Department of Plant Science and Environment, at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), said the study provides a complete picture of Earth in 2020. Mr. Milo expressed hope These shocking metrics will make people more aware of their consumption.
Based on a wide range of ecosystem and industry data, the study estimates an additional 30 billion tons of artificial products per year. At the present rate, the total volume of man-made materials will reach 3,000 billion tons by 2040. At the same time, the amount of living organisms is decreasing, mainly due to deforestation and the use of land for agriculture. Roads and buildings make up the bulk of the man-made material, due to many construction trends, including the conversion of material from brick to concrete from the mid 1950s.
Lead author Emily Elhacham said the study points to signs of human undue influence on the natural world. Ms. Elhacham warns people cannot deny a key role in the natural world and must take responsibility for their actions.