Humans Have Bogged Down the Earth with 30 Trillion Metric Tons of Stuff, Study Finds

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From Smithsonian Magazine:

“Humans have produced a lot of stuff since the mid-20th century. From America’s interstate highway system to worldwide suburbanization to our mountains of trash and debris, we have made a physical mark on the Earth that is sure to last for eons. Now a new study seeks to sum up the global totality of this prodigious human output, from skyscrapers to computers to used tissues.

That number, the researchers estimate, is around 30 trillion metric tons, or 5 million times the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza. And you thought you owned a lot of crap.

The researchers refer to this tsunami of manmade stuff as the “technosphere.” The term “is a way of helping people recognize the magnitude and pervasive influence of humans on the planet,” says Scott Wing, a paleobotanist at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and a co-author on the study published last week in the journal The Anthropocene Review. Wing is part of a group of scientists and climate leaders seeking to define a new geologic epoch reflecting the significant impact humans have had on Earth, known as the Anthropocene.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/humans-have-bogged-down-earth-30-trillion-metric-tons-stuff-new-report-finds-180961365/#WSfj53sYfsWdWA2D.99
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Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/humans-have-bogged-down-earth-30-trillion-metric-tons-stuff-new-report-finds-180961365/#WSfj53sYfsWdWA2D.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

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