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Study: Earth’s ‘technosphere’ weighs 30 trillion tonnes

An international team of scientists led by Professor Mark Williams from University of Leicester (UK) have calculated the size of the planets’ technosphere.

 It turned out to be 30 trillion tonnes.

The concept of ‘technosphere’ defines all the human-made things - houses, factories, farms, computer systems, smartphones and so on, including household and industrial waste. It is truly enormous figure. It turns out that the technosphere’s mass amounts up to 50 kg of human-made products for every square meter of the Earth’s surface.

According to Professor Williams, the technosphere has budded off the biosphere and is partly parasitizing on it due ti its rapid growth. However, compared with the biosphere, it is remarkably poor at recycling its own materials, as burgeoning landfill sites show. It is waste that can stop the development of the technosphere.

ʺThere is more to the technosphere than just its mass,ʺ observes Professor Walters. ʺIt is an enormous array of material objects from simple tools, coins, ballpoint pens, books and disks to the most sophisticated computers and smartphones. Many of those, entombed in ground, will be preserved as a stratum, which can be called ‘technofossils’".

Technofossils should be qualified as well as normal fossils, based on their shape and texture. Currently, the number of individual types of ‘technofossil’ reaches a billion, which outnumbers the number of biotic species.

Source: techcult

  • December 9, 2016 4:40 PM MSK