In just over seven months, humanity has used up a full year's allotment of natural resources such as water, food and clean air – the quickest rate yet, according to a new report.
The point of "overshoot" will officially be reached on Monday, said environmental group Global Footprint Network -- five days earlier than last year.
"We continue to grow our ecological debt," said Pascal Canfin of green group WWF, reacting to the annual update.
"From Monday August 8, we will be living on credit because in eight months we would have consumed the natural capital that our planet can renew in a year."
In pictures: the environmental crisis across the globe
A woman wears a mask on a polluted day in Beijing, China, on November 30, 2015. Beijing choked under the worst smog of the year on November 30, with dangerous particulates nearly 20 times healthy levels. © Fred Dufour
In this September 23, 2015 photo, ice chunks are seen in the Northwest Passage near the CCGS Amundsen, a Canadian research ice-breaker navigating in the Canadian High Arctic. © Clement Sabourin, AFP
One of the glaciers of the Monte Rosa (top) slides towards the Belvedere Glacier (bottom) on September 26, 2015. The Belvedere Glacier is a valley glacier, mostly covered by rocks, located above Macugnaga in the region of Piedmont, Italy. © Olivier Morin, AFP
This photograph taken on November 20, 2015, shows the remains of Bangladeshi villager Lutfun Nahar's house beside the destroyed embankment on Kutubdia Island some 330km from Dhaka. © Munir Uz Zaman, AFP
People walk through a flooded street that was caused by a combination of the lunar orbit, which caused seasonal high tides, and what many believe is the rising sea levels due to climate change on September 29, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida, USA. © Joe Raedle, Getty Images/AFP
A man gestures near the ruins of the former subprefecture of the Ivory Coast town of Grand Lahou, situated where the Bandama River meets the Gulf of Guinea, on October 15, 2015. © Issouf Sanogo, AFP
An Indian fisherman pushes his bicycle over dried mud on the banks of the Yamuna river in Allahabad, India, on September 11, 2015. © Sanjay Kanokia, AFP
Firefighters battle flames in Placerita Canyon at the Sand Fire on July 24, 2016 in Santa Clarita, California, USA. © David McNew, Getty Images/AFP
The gloomy milestone is marked every year on what is known as Earth Overshoot Day.
In 1993, the day fell on October 21, in 2003 on September 22 and last year on August 13.
In 1961, according to the network, humankind used only about three-quarters of Earth's annual resource allotment. By the 1970s, economic and population growth sent Earth into annual overshoot.
"This is possible because we emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than our oceans and forests can absorb, and we deplete fisheries and harvest forests more quickly than they can reproduce and regrow," the network said in a statement.
To calculate the date for Earth Overshoot Day, the group crunches UN data on thousands of economic sectors such as fisheries, forestry, transport and energy production.
Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions, it said, are now the fastest-growing contributor to ecological overshoot, making up 60 percent of humanity's demands on nature -- what is called the ecological "footprint".
According to the UN, the number of people on Earth is forecast to grow from 7.3 billion today to 11.2 billion by the end of the century -- piling further pressure on our planet and its finite resources.
But there was some good news, too.
"The rate at which Earth Overshoot Day has moved up on the calendar has slowed to less than one day a year on average over the past five years, compared to an average of three days a year since the overshoot began in the 1970s," said the network.
Date created : 2016-08-07