At the end of last year, on the occasion of the publication of an exciting new study, several reports went through the press such as "Human-made stuff now outweighs all life on Earth" (Scientific American), "Human-made materials now weigh more than the Earth's entire biomass" (The Guardian) or "Human-made mass exceeds biomass for the first time in 2020" (Bayerischer Rundfunk). In fact, the new study published in the renowned scientific journal Nature on 9.12.2020 was also titled "Global human-made mass exceeds all living biomass" (Elhacham et al. 2020). In the meantime, I have been asked several times whether the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) (and thus also I) has not already come up with completely different, orders of magnitude higher values for the mass of the "technosphere" at the end of 2016 and how this new study fits in. Such questions, as well as the metabolism metaphor often used in my recent Scilogs blogposts to compare the biosphere and the technosphere, but also the creation of some new number-based graphs for lectures, current talks and a paper in preparation, are what I take as an opportunity to compare the different approaches in more detail in this post. (this is the english version of an online article based on several invited talks, and posted on Scilogs/Springer under https://scilogs.spektrum.de/der-anthropozaeniker/die-menschengemachte- masse-darfs-ein-bisschen-mehr-sein/ (An extended version on the topic with other members of the Anthopocene Working Group is in preparation)
500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik::550 Geowissenschaften, Geologie::550 Geowissenschaften
The human-made mass – “Would you like a little more?”
Die menschengemachte Masse – Darf‘s ein bisschen mehr sein?
Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften
Biologie, Chemie, Pharmazie
Institut für Geographische Wissenschaften / Fachrichtung Anthropogeographie