Estimating Human Biomass

Hern (1999) provided estimates of the numbers of hominins on Earth from the approximate first appearance of Homo habilis some 3 million years ago up to the number of H. sapiens projected to occur in approximately the year 2455. His estimates, based on calculating doubling times for hominin and human populations, were constrained by the fossil record of human evolution, by archaeological information, and by historical and demographic records up to 1999. I used his estimates for the numbers of people on Earth at a given point in time and multiplied that by the average weight of a person to estimate global human biomass for each time slice of interest. Following logic detailed in Hern (1999), average weight for a human was considered 50 kg up to «400 years ago, and 67 kg thereafter.

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