All Man-Made Stuff Around The World Amounts To About 30 Trillion Tons

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All Man-Made Stuff Around The World Amounts To About 30 Trillion Tons

image via phys.org
image via phys.org




Ever since man was able to create and use tools for his own betterment, so did the number of things made by them began. And over the years, it is no surprise that man was able to build and accumulate a lot of things. And if we were to somehow bring everything we’ve made, and which still exists today, and put it on a scale, the number will be astonishingly high.

Surprisingly or not, a few scientists have made a study on exactly that, quantifying every building, road, car, vehicle, piece of technology, article of clothing, piece of trash, and pretty much everything else made by man, and came to the conclusion that the sum is somewhere around a whopping 30 trillion tons.

This collective sum of man-made objects is what’s known as the planet’s “technosphere.” If we were to distribute it evenly over the planet’s entire surface, this technosphere would spread out to about 110 pounds (50 kgs.) for every 11 square feet (1 sq. meter).

“It is all of the structures that humans have constructed to keep them alive, in very large numbers now, on the planet: houses, factories, farms, mines, roads, airports and shipping ports, computer systems, together with its discarded waste,” study co-author Jan Zalasiewicz, a professor of palaeobiology at the University of Leicester, in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.

“The technosphere is a system, with its own dynamics and energy flows – and humans have to help keep it going to survive,” Zalasiewicz said.

This technosphere is linked to this new age we’ve entered in since the 1950s; the Anthropocene. This is the time when the Earth was completely shaped by humans. But unlike the biosphere, the technosphere is highly inefficient with its materials. Instead of recycling and breaking them down in order to refuel itself, the technosphere takes more and more raw materials from all the others, mostly from the biosphere.

“The technosphere may be geologically young, but it is evolving with furious speed, and it has already left a deep imprint on our planet,” Zalasiewicz added.