Whale Poop may be the Key to Fighting Climate Change
Who doesn’t love a good poop story? This one starts with a quick science lesson.
Carbon Dioxide (C02) levels in our atmosphere continue to rise at near rampant levels. Why is this bad? Well, when C02 is released into the atmosphere, it acts as a blanket around our lovely planet.
But, instead of keeping it cozy on a cold winter’s night, the heat-trapping blanket is causing Earth’s temps to continually rise, throwing off weather patterns and ecosystems around the world. Not good.
Often times we think of trees as our saviors when it comes to climate change. The absorb C02 and turn it into glorious oxygen. But, the fact is that they simply do not take in very much C02, especially when compared to our oceans.
The number one thing we can do to fight climate change is to stop emitting C02.
The second might be to increase whale populations.
Hear me out…
Phytoplankton are microscopic plant-like organisms that make up the base of the food web in the ocean. They also produce well over 50% of the oxygen we breathe and absorb boatloads of C02; about the equivalent of 1.7 TRILLION trees.
And they eat whale poop.
As it turns out, whale excrement contains just the right nutrients to spur massive blooms of phytoplankton. Basically, where there are pooping whales, there are way more phytoplankton.
Putting our efforts into protecting and propagating whale species around the world is now considered a vital practice in the effort to combat climate change thanks to a new groundbreaking study.
The author of the paper, Ralph Chami said: “At a minimum, even a 1% increase in phytoplankton productivity thanks to whale activity would capture hundreds of millions of tons of additional CO2 a year, equivalent to the sudden appearance of 2 billion mature trees.”
Accelerating the recovery of our whale populations could be considered a type of geoengineering; the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth’s climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of climate change.
Dr. Chami’s study was presented at the World Economic Forum and the response for potential conservation investment was “overwhelming.”
Thanks to the team’s hard work, and the whale’s gigantic poops, funding for whale conservation is poised to drastically rise in the coming years, benefitting the entire planet.
This article was originally published here.