Wow! Human-made materials outweigh all living things on earth, study finds

(Photo: CNN)

So BUZZ Fam, we hope this isn’t news to you but we haven’t been taking good care of the earth.

All the roads, buildings, cars, and plastic that we utilize to build civilisation has now outweighed the earth’s biomass. This is according to research published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature.

Researchers made their calculations by dividing human-made objects into six main categories: concrete, aggregates (including materials like gravel), bricks, asphalt, metals, and “other” materials. These include plastic, wood used for construction and paper, and glass.

The Human-made mass is now overwhelmingly dominated by concrete, aggregates, bricks, and asphalt, which today are the foundation for modern buildings, roads and other infrastructure.

So since the first agricultural revolution began roughly 12,000 years ago, humans have cut global biomass nearly in half, from 2 teratons to around 1.1 teratons today.

And then explosive growth continued almost unabated since World War II. Today, the authors estimate that human-made mass is being produced at a rate of roughly 30,000,000,000 tons (30 gigatons) per year.

This means that on average, materials outweighing the bodyweight of every person on the planet are being produced each week.

If this pace continues, human-made mass — including waste — is expected to exceed 3 teratons by 2040, tripling the weight of all living things.