The giant human footprint stamped across the world in 2020 is greater than the impact on the planet of all other living things, research suggests.
The amount of plastic alone is greater in mass than all land animals and marine creatures combined, the study estimates.
While human beings might believe in “the immensity of the globe and the seeming infinity of the natural world”, the researchers say they wanted to provide an objective and rigorous measure of the reality of the balance between man and nature.
Their research shows that human activity including production of concrete, metal, plastic, bricks and asphalt has brought the world to a crossover point where human-made mass – driven mostly by enhanced consumption and urban development – exceeds the overall living biomass on Earth.
On average, every person in the world is responsible for the creation of human-made matter equal to more than their bodyweight each week, the paper published in Nature says.