With our continuous desire to innovate, we don’t think about its impact at first. Our impact on the earth and the biomass, however, is unfortunately negative. Additionally, it is well known that the climate is changing due to our activities—that’s how consequential our steps are. Our desire to innovate and constantly to change infrastructure have carved huge gaping holes inside mountains or beneath the ocean. And, according to a new study, the human has culled most of the earth’s creatures, replacing them with our livestock and crops.
The world’s 7.6 billion people are just 0.01% of all biomass on Earth, as per the report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday. On the other hand, Bacteria make up 13% of all biomass, whereas plants account for the major share as high as 83%, and all other forms of life such as insects, fungi, fish, and animals make up 5% of total weight, according to the report.
The study shows that 82% of biomass is in the form of plants, which is nearly 7000 times more than the human. Over 85% of biomass is totally found on land, and just 1% is attributed to oceans.
Yet since the rise of civilization, humanity has been steadily destroying everything else on the earth in many ways. Majorly, the human has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of the plants, the report found. Additionally, a human has a disproportionate impact on the Earth’s biosphere which can be seen in numbers. For instance, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild animals, 80% of marine animals, 50% of plants, and 15% of fish.
Mankind has destroyed almost five-sixths of wildland animals, which resulted in mammal extinction since the industrial revolution began, in more than a century and a half ago. Moreover, in the oceans, three centuries of human activities such as aggressive fishing and whaling have shrunk the number of marine mammals to the fifth of what they used to be.
“The numbers can clearly quantify our impact,” said Prof Ron Milo from the Weizmann Institute. He continued, constant innovations such as the domestication of livestock, adoption of an agricultural lifestyle, and the Industrial Revolution, are some major factors dramatically showing radical ecological effects. One major factor that has rapidly impacted our environment is domesticated livestock biomass, according to the report.
The researchers calculated the estimated results using data from hundreds of studies, involving modern techniques such as gene sequencing that can unravel the myriad organisms in the microscopic world and satellite remote sensing that can scan great areas.
There are two noteworthy points that need to be taken into consideration from this research,” he said. “To begin with, humans are exploiting natural resources to a great extent and have reduced, and sometimes killed, wild animals for food or delight in across all continents. Second, the vast majority of plant biomass is in the form of wood.”
If this continues at the same pace, we are likely to destroy hundreds of species by our activities. In fact, our propensity to damage the environment and replace wildlife will soon change the scenario, and we will start living in a new geological era called the Anthropocene.