Maxwell Bernstein | December 25, 2020
By the end of 2020, about one teratonne (one trillion metric tons) of human-made objects will be produced making this the first time that the combined weight of all human-made objects will exceed the combined weight of all animals and plants on Earth, according to BBC News.
This measurement was calculated by a team of scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Sciences in Rehovot, Israel by comparing the combined weight of human-made objects like plastics, bricks, concrete, machines, etc. from 1900 through the present, to the weight of biomass on Earth.
This is significant because for the first time, humans have officially become the dominant species on Earth in terms of sheer physical weight. This is further evidence that we have entered the Anthropocene, a geologic age that’s defined by human impacts on geology and ecosystems.
At our current rate of production, the amount of weight will almost triple from 1.1 teratonnes to about three teratonnes by 2040.