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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Whale poop helps solve climate change problems

How the world responds to man-made climate change involves a very complex, expensive, and politically divisive array of potential solutions and lifestyle adjustments. However, one natural process of which you may have been unaware involves the largest mammals in the world: whales.

As explained in the excellent video below, whales play a primary role in the ecology of the oceans, and, as a result, the world as well. Just like the rest of us, they need to eat to survive, and, well, they need to relieve themselves afterward too.

So why is this important one may ask?

When their waste products are released into the ocean, they provide vital nutrients for algae and plankton growth in the upper reaches of the ocean.  In addition to providing a source of food for ocean fish and animal life, plant plankton also adsorbs CO2 from the atmosphere, thus providing a sink (or removal process) for CO2 emissions as well.

Scientists have estimated that before whaling populations were decimated by decades of hunting, whales were indirectly responsible for removing tens of millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Therefore, efforts by environmental groups and governments to stop whaling activities will not only lead to a resurgence of whale populations, but also result in more CO2 being removed from the atmosphere.

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