Human-made materials outweigh Earth's entire biomass now, says study

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 10, 2020, 12:26 PM(IST)

File photo. (Image source: Wikipedia) Photograph:( Others )

Story highlights

The meaning of this inference is scary. It means that our plastics, our concrete, electronic waste materials etc along with other things weigh more than plants, animals and other biomass

It's a well-established fact that humans take a heavy toll on nature. This has been especially true in the 20th century and ahead. But now there are signs that we may truly be stretching limits of the planet we call home. A study published in Nature magazine says that Human-made materials outweigh Earth's entire biomass.

The meaning of this inference is scary. It means that our plastics, our concrete, electronic waste materials etc along with other things weigh more than plants, animals and other biomass.

The study has examined changes in global biomass and human-made mass from 1900 to present day. The researchers found that at the beginning of the 20th century, the mass of man-made objects was just 3 per cent of world's total biomass.

But now the human-made mass has reached a whopping 1.1 teratonnes. 

1 teratonne is 1,000,000,000,000 tonnes.

The amount of plastic alone is more than the mass of land animals and marine creatures combined, said the study.

Also Read: Outer space just got a little brighter

The study mainly focussed on man-made materials such as concrete, metal, plastic, bricks and asphalt among other things and does not include man-made waste.

However, the reasearchers say that each person in the world is responsible for creation of human-made matter equal to more than his or her body-weight.

The study has been carried out by Ron Milo and his colleagues from Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Read in App