A new study just found out that stuff produced by humans now outweighed life on earth. The study published in the journal Nature was carried out to put perspective on the adverse impacts of human activities on the planet.
Study authors Emily Elhacham and Ron Milo said the study sought to provide a geological age of humanity’s era on the planet. They explained that it was symbolic and quantitative research. From empirical evidence gathered, the authors concluded that humanity had played a significant role in the affairs of our planet.
In order to carry out their study, the authors grouped human-made stuff into six categories. They include concrete, bricks, asphalt, metals, and other materials like plastic, wood, and glass. Human-made stuff was compared with the weight of things natural things found on the earth that made up its biomass, including humans themselves, plants, and animals.
When calculated, the earth’s total biomass weighed 1.1 teratons. It is worthy to note that it was this year that stuff made by humans outweighed nature.
The study also found out that every 20 years, the weight of human-generated substance more than doubled. The study also found buildings and other landmark projects usually made from substances such as concrete, bricks, or asphalt to be the heaviest. Unsurprisingly, the weight of plastics alone exceeded the weight of all animals on land and also in water.
However, the study had not taken the amount of human waste into cognizance. Had it done so, then human-generated stuff might have eclipsed the planet’s biomass since the year 2013, rather than seven years later.
According to a report by USA Today in 1900, the weight of human-generated stuff was just merely 3 percent of the earth’s biomass. So how did humans generate enough stuff to outweigh that of the earth’s biomass in a little over 100 years? Two factors are credited for this. First, it is because humans have produced enough stuff that has given birth to people. And the other? It is because, in the process of producing more things, humans have inadvertently reduced the earth’s biomass.
The study said that advances in agriculture enabled humans to reduce the mass found in plants. Deforestation and other unwholesome practices have also contributed to the loss of the earth’s biomass, thereby affecting the carbon cycle and the overall quality of human health.
Milo said that maybe if these shocking figures are released, and everyone gets to see them, humanity would evaluate and see for itself how its actions are affecting the planet, accept responsibility and ultimately change its actions.