Earth's Manmade Technosphere Is Massively Heavy

The technosphere isn't an underground dance club where you need to know the password to get past the velvet ropes. Nope, you're already in this club. The technosphere is the massive collection of manmade baggage clinging to the Earth's surface—and we're all living in it.

Related: There Is A Ton Of Dangerous Space Junk Orbiting Earth

Earth Has Put On A Few...

According to, the Earth's technosphere is "comprised of all of the structures that humans have constructed to keep them alive on the planet—from houses, factories and farms to computer systems, smartphones and CDs, to the waste in landfills and spoil heaps." That's a lot of stuff. A study published in November 2016 in the journal The Anthropocene Review reports that Earth's technosphere now weighs a whopping 30 trillion tons.

Related: We've Known About Manmade Global Warming For More Than A Century

How Much Is That Really?

The mass of our technosphere shakes out to be more than 50 kilos for every square meter of the Earth's surface. Not only is our 30-trillion-ton technosphere heavier than you could feasibly wrap your head around, it's incredibly diverse too. According to ScienceDaily, "the numbers of technofossil 'species' now outnumber numbers of biotic species on planet Earth."

So who cares, and what does it all mean? The technosphere is remarkably poor at recycling its own materials, compared to our biosphere. (Landfills, anyone?) This might be a roadblock to its further growth, or could stop it altogether. As reports, "researchers believe the technosphere is some measure of the extent to which we have reshaped our planet." And, yes, we've reshaped it quite a bit already.

Related: ByFusion Turns Pollution Into Eco-Friendly Construction

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The Anthropocene And The Near Future

If we continuing growing the technosphere at this rate, what does the foreseeable future look like?

Written by Curiosity Staff February 8, 2017

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