GREENPEACE — How much of Earth’s biomass is affected by humans? — PLANET EARTH FLOWERS group

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We know, even by casual observation, that humanity has disrupted the balance of life on Earth, eradicated habitats, reduced biodiversity, and driven some species to extinction. Now, an updated Census of Earth’s Biomass reveals some details of this transformation of the species diversity on Earth.

Voronoi diagram of global biomass distribution (used with permission from the Bar-On, Phillips, Milo census)

We find out that humans and their livestock now comprise about 96% of all mammal biomass on Earth. All other mammals – whales, sea lions, bears, elephants, badgers, shrews, deer, bear, cougars, rats, wolves, and all the rest – are about 4.2%.

Mammals, including humans and their livestock, represent only about 0.03% of Earth’s biomass. All animals – the mammals plus fish, insects, worms, birds, and others – account for only 0.37% of biomass. The two primary producers of biomass from solar energy – plants and bacteria – still dominate terrestrial and marine life forms, accounting for over 95% of all living biomass.

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