Saturday is Earth Overshoot Day, the date when humanity will have used “all the biological resources that Earth can renew during the entire year,” as calculated by Global Footprint Network, an environmental research organization.
The group has been doing this annual assessment since 2006. That year, Earth Overshoot Day fell in October. The date then crept earlier every year until this one, when the coronavirus pandemic put a dent in the global economy.
To determine the date, Laurel Hanscom, the Global Footprint Network chief executive, said the group collects more than 15,000 data points per country, largely from United Nations sources.
Researchers then compare Earth’s biocapacity (the amount of resources the planet’s land and seas can generate in a year) to humanity’s ecological footprint (that year’s demand for things like food and urban space, and forests to absorb our emissions of carbon dioxide), determine the gap and project the results onto the calendar.