Recent reports have revealed the massive impact of human beings on planet earth, as man-made products surpass all that exists in the world confirming the creation of a new geologic epoch called the Anthropocene.
Human Beings often hid behind the “we are just specks” in a greater galaxy when it came to the impact of their doings on the planet. However, a recent paper by Nature has revealed that global humanmade stuff now outweighs all living biomass.
From roads, smartphones, buildings, chairs, telephones to bricks, blocks and bottles, have now dominated most of the Earth. According to the stats, the humanmade mass totals up to 1.1 million metric tons. This amount means that biomass created by men now dominates most of the Earth, a result caused by modern development to urban society.
Plastic alone acquires more space than marine and terrestrial animals, statistically, double the weight. Whereas buildings and other infrastructure have surpassed shrubs and trees. In simpler words, the material created by man has become the dominant force in 2020 and will continue to do so. Thus, human beings may not be just a trivial speck anymore. Now that we are the principal force, it shows the power that we hold. With this power, human beings also become responsible for the resulting consequences.
“We cannot hide behind the feeling that we’re just a small species, one out of many,” says study co-author Ron Milo.
Human-made biomass from 1900 – Present
Scientists say that this increase was bound to happen at some time. However, the process of expansion of humanmade products sped up after 1900. In 1900, the Earth made up only 3% of the humanmade biomass, which means that the materials have doubled up within the gap of 20 years. The scientists say that most of the construction is in infrastructure, concrete, and asphalt used between World War II and the oil crisis of 1973. That was the time when first-world countries were actively building new estate.
In 2020, we are living in a reality that is much closer to Anthropocene. A new geological epoch where the humans are the dominant force, and that actions of every living person is driving the changes.
“It is an indication that, indeed, the transition happened and the name is appropriate,” Milo says
What it means for the future
The increase of humanmade biomass is not unexpected. However, the decrease of the total biomass on Earth is a cause for concert. The research shows that total biomass on Earth has declined about 1100 billion tons since the year 1900. This decline could be attributed to deforestation and extinction. In this case, the increase in manufactured products made by man is somewhat problematic for human health. If the speed with which mass is increased in 2020 persists, the humanmade products will increase three times more by 2040, eventually turning into waste and a threat to human life.