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  • AutorenbildNorbert N. Vasen

The researchers are alarmed.

Since 1950 the humankind has been using more energy than the previous 12'000 years: the researchers are alarmed.

Electricity, fossil fuels or hydrogen as the energy source of the future: the human hunger for energy has seemed unstoppable since the industrial revolution at the latest. To maintain our economy and our standard of living, our modern society needs energy, and that in terrifying amounts, as an international research team with the participation of the Free University of Berlin has now found out.

The scientists led by Jaia Syvitski, a geologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA, calculated the ecological footprint of mankind as part of a study and came to alarming results. According to the scientists in the study, which was published in the freely accessible journal "Communications Earth and Environment", humanity has used more energy in the past 70 years than in the previous 12,000 years.

The researchers came to this frightening discovery on the basis of geological measurement data, with the help of which they were able to document the global energy turnover of mankind over many millennia, according to a press release from the Free University of Berlin.

A profound upheaval has emerged, especially since the 1950s. According to the researchers, developments such as the exponential increase in energy consumption, the increase in economic productivity and rapid population growth have left many geological traces. On the basis of this geologically measurable data, it has become clear what enormous changes the earth has undergone in the course of the last few decades and that we have exerted an increasingly greater influence on it.

Human energy consumption has been around 22 zettajoules over the past 70 years. In the period from the end of the most recent Ice Age (11,700 years ago) to 1950, however, only around 14.6 zettajoules were consumed, although even pure muscle power was included an increasingly greater influence on it.

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