Recorded lecture: Yadvinder Malhi – The Metabolism of Planet Earth

In this lecture Professor Yadvinder Malhi examines human influence on the natural world through the concept of metabolism: how much energy flows through human societies compared to how much flows through the biosphere. The lecture was held at the University of Bergen on April 25th, to mark the Darwin Day.


In this interesting lecture, prof. Yadvinder Malhi first looks at the biological metabolism of the planet, how it is measured and how it is distributed over the Earth. He then explores how these energy flows have changed through human history and prehistory, and scenarios for how they may change over this century, where human-appropriated energy flows threaten to overwhelm the life-sustaining metabolism of the planet.

The metabolic profile of a modern industrialised country (the UK) is explored detail: how much of our energy is directly consumed or embedded in products and in societal infrastructure?

The lecture was  a joint event organised by the Horizon Lecture Committee at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the Darwin Day Committee at the Department of Biological Sciences, and Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub. It is also available at Vimeo: