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Humans Have Destroyed 83% of Wildlife and Half of All Plants on Earth — study

by Ane Krstevska

Humans Have Destroyed 83% of Wildlife and Half of All Plants on Earth — study

According to one report which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the weight of 7.6 billion humans on the planet Earth makes up only 0.01% of all its biomass.

In comparison, according to the report, bacteria make up 13% of all biomass, plants make up for 83%, and all the other forms of life account for 5% of the total weight.

According to the Guardian, despite it is such a small part of Earth, humanity has been steadily destroying everything else that is on the planet for the past few millennia.

In fact, as the authors of the report discovered, humans have caused the annihilation of 83% of all wild mammals, as well as half of all plants.

And, it is not only the fact that humans are wiping out wildlife, but they are also determining the remaining animals, as well as plants.

Of all the birds which are left on the planet, about 70% are poultry chickens and other farmed birds. And out of the mammals that are left in the world, about 60% are livestock, 36% are pigs, and a mere 4% are wild.

Meanwhile, the report showed that marine mammals have plunged by 80% over the past century.

One professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, who led the report, named Ron Milo, told the Guardian:

It is definitely striking, our disproportionate place on Earth. For example, when I am doing a puzzle with my daughters, there is often an elephant next to a giraffe next to a rhino. But, if I were trying to give them some kind of more realistic sense of the world, it would be as follows: cow next to a cow next to a cow and then a chicken.

Industrial farming, as well as extraction of resources and the expansion of human civilization, is driving the huge imbalance between domestic and wild animals, all of which reportedly destroy ecosystems.

Some other studies have also discovered the decline of animals and plants. For instance, recently, scientists have argued that the planet is experiencing its sixth mass wave of extinction, as billions of local animal populations are endangered all over the world.

By no means, the decline is slowing down. According to one study, if temperatures at the end of the century are 3.2 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, species that are across the animal kingdom could lose up to half of their geographical ranges.

But, according to the authors, the study that was spearheaded by Milo is the first taxonomic breakdown of the mass of all the organisms on the planet Earth, and they also pointed out that further research and advances in technology have developed in order to refine the data.

Milo told the Guardian:

I really hope that this is going to give people a perspective on the very dominant role that humanity now plays on Earth.

Ane Krstevska



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