Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Climate change: How whales change climate

Did you know plankton absorbs CO2?

How do oceans absorb carbon dioxide? Scientists find clues. - CSMonitor.com
Smallest plankton grow fastest with rising CO2

And did you know that whales not only eat plankton - but they 'farm' it?
Ocean Drifters on Vimeo
Plankton: Ocean Drifters - Script

In which case, we should not only be thinking about the effects of climate change on the oceans
WWF - Impact of climate change on whales

... but in fact we should be looking to whales as countering climate change:
Why whale poo could be the secret to reversing the effects of climate change | Philip Hoare | Comment is free | theguardian.com
Is Saving The Whales Key To Mitigating Climate Change?

This film suggests a type of 'benign geo-engineering'...

Published on Nov 30, 2014

This video was produced as a gift to humanity by Sustainable Human (sustainablehuman.me). Visit us to find out how you can support and create videos like How Whales Change Climate in collaboration with a global team of volunteers. Together, we can change the story of the world.

Visit the official landing page for more information on this incredible story: 
How Whales Change Climate - Sustainable Human

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

When whales were at their historic populations, before their numbers were reduced, it seems that whales might have been responsible for removing tens of millions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year. Whales change the climate. The return of the great whales, if they are allowed to recover, could be seen as a benign form of geo-engineering. It could undo some of the damage we have done, both to the living systems of the sea, and to the atmosphere.

Editor: Steve Agnos
Producer: Chris Agnos
Narration: George Monbiot

For more from George Monbiot, visit monbiot.com/ and for more on "rewilding" visit 
Feral | George Monbiot and/or check out George Monbiot's book Feral: rewilding the land, the sea and human life

Academic Sources:

Stephen Nicol et al, 2010. Southern Ocean iron fertilization by baleen whales and Antarctic krill. Fish and Fisheries, vol 11, pp 203–209.

Kakani Katija and John O. Dabiri, 2009. A viscosity-enhanced mechanism for biogenic
ocean mixing. Nature, Vol. 460, pp 624-627. doi:10.1038/nature08207

Joe Roman and James J. McCarthy, 2010) The Whale Pump: Marine Mammals Enhance Primary Productivity in a Coastal Basin. PLoS ONE vol 5 no 10, pp 1-8. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0013255

Daniel G. Boyce, Marlon R. Lewis and Boris Worm, 2010. Global phytoplankton decline over the past century. Nature, Vol. 466, pp591-596. doi:10.1038/nature09268

Steve Nichol, 12th July 2011. Vital Giants: why living seas need whales. New Scientist, No.2820. http://www.newscientist.com/article/m...

Trish J. Lavery et al, 2010. Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon export in the Southern Ocean. Proceedings of the Royal Society: B. Vol 277, pp 3527-3531.
doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0863

James A. Estes, et al, 2011. Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth. Science, Vol 333, pp 301-306. doi: 10.1126/science.1205106

How Whales Change Climate - YouTube

See also:
Futures Forum: The role of trees and sheep in managing flood risk
Futures Forum: James Lovelock and Science on 'Start the Week'
Futures Forum: New habitats, old habitats

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