The Total Mass Of Earth's Technosphere Is Now A Huge 30 Trillion Tons, Research Reveals

First Posted: Dec 02, 2016 02:22 AM EST

A team of geologists made the first estimates of the mass of the physical structure of Earth's technosphere. It approximately now weighs to an enormous 30 trillion tons.

The finding of the study is printed in the Anthropocene Review. It was led by Professor Jan Zalasiewicz from the University of Leicester, U.K. and other colleagues, according to Sci-News.

Peter Haff, a co-author of the study and a professor of geology and civil engineering at Duke University, and his colleagues explained that technosphere comprises of complex social structures together with the physical structure and technological artifacts that support information, energy and material flows that enable the system to work. This includes transmission lines, power stations, roads and buildings, tools, farms, plastics, ballpoint pens, airplanes and transistors.

Prof. Zalasiewicz added that humans and human organizations form a part of it, too. He further explained that technosphere is a system, with its own dynamics and energy flows, and humans must help keep it going to survive.

The team said that the mass of Earth's technosphere now weighs about 30 trillion tons. That is about a mass of more than 50 kg for every square meter of the Earth's surface. They further said that highly preliminary estimates of the major components of the Earth System co-opted into the technosphere suggest a mass of 30 trillion tons, equivalent to >50kg/square meter of the Earth's surface.

The researchers also believe that the technosphere is a measure of the extent in which the humans reshaped and affected the planet Earth. This also refers to the Anthropocene concept that has provided understanding that humans have greatly changed the Earth, according to Times of India.

Professor Zalasiewicz said that the technosphere may be geologically young. On the other hand, it is evolving with furious speed and it has already left a deep imprint on the planet Earth. 

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics