Whales Are Not To Be Trusted As Climate Protectors Anymore

by | Jul 18, 2023 | Animals, Carbon Capture, Environmental News, Wildlife

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We have long been aware of the contribution of trees in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, there are creatures that are just as excellent as trees in terms of absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Whale is the name of this incredible beast. In the course of their lifetime, whales may store as much carbon dioxide as 1500 trees. However, now research says whales are not trusted as climate protectors anymore. Let’s explore the reason behind this.

Whales Are Not To Be Trusted As Climate Protectors

Credit: Craig Lambert

Whales, mainly the baleen and sperm whales, are the largest creature on the planet. These huge creatures store huge amounts of carbon in themselves. They play an important part in the ocean ecosystem. When whales dive, they frequently push nutrients from the ocean’s bottom to the top. By doing so, it feeds fish, other smaller creatures, phytoplankton, and other marine vegetation that absorb carbon. The other method is by spewing forth faecal plumes.

However, whales are no longer capable of storing the huge amounts of carbon dioxide released into the environment by humans. The reason why Whales are not to be trusted as climate protectors anymore is that they cannot compete with humans because their rate of carbon dioxide absorption is always lower than the rate of carbon dioxide output into the atmosphere by humans. Furthermore, the killing of whales also lowers the rate of carbon dioxide absorption.

A study estimates that since 1950, fisheries have emitted at least 730 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These emissions are caused by the release of carbon from fish corpses into the air when they are consumed or disposed of on land rather than in the sea.

Unlike the majority of terrestrial creatures, which after passing away, release their carbon into the atmosphere. When whales pass away naturally, their bodies sink and trap carbon in the deep ocean.

Why Are Whales Being Hunted?

Humans have killed whales for ages. As early as 4,000 years ago, Norwegians were among the first people to kill whales. It’s possible that the Japanese were doing it much earlier. According to scientists, millions of whales have been killed by now, and their numbers may have decreased by anywhere between 66% and 90%. Whales are killed for their body parts because nearly every body part of the whale can be used.

As a significant source of protein, lipids, vitamins, and minerals, people consume meat, skin, blubber, and organs. Baleen was also used as a fishing line and was woven into baskets. Baleen was also employed as a roofing material in areas with warmer weather. Bones were mostly employed for manufacturing tools and sculpting ceremonial objects like masks. Pharmacies and dietary supplements employ their oil, fat, and cartilage. Even pet chow contains whale flesh, and tourists are given whale meat as a “traditional dish.

Also Read: India’s Mega Projects Endanger Earth’s Giant Turtles

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