Anthropogenic metabolism  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Anthropogenic metabolism, also referred to as 'metabolism of the anthroposphere', is a term used in industrial ecology, material flow analysis, and waste management to describe the material and energy turnover of human society. It emerges from the application of systems thinking to the industrial and other man-made activities and it is a central concept of sustainable development. In modern societies, the bulk of anthropogenic (man-made) material flows is related to one of the following activities: sanitation, transportation, habitation, and communication, which were "of little metabolic significance in prehistoric times".

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