Why whales are a master weapon to combat climate change?

Whales capture a huge amount of CO2 from the atmosphere, which they bury in the oceans. A good formula to combat climate change.

At this point, measures to combat climate change are not only based on prevention. The institutions are committed to an active struggle. This implies that moderating emissions is only part of the pending task. The other side is to actively reduce greenhouse gases.

To achieve this, tree planting has traditionally been used. The vegetation not only captures CO2 but emits oxygen into the atmosphere, contributing to its equilibrium. However, a report from the International Monetary Fund has valued another natural resource to absorb carbon dioxide in a much more efficient way.

It is about whales. The calculations made by the IMF suggest that a whale, one of the great ones, can capture throughout its life 33 tons of carbon dioxide. All living beings serve as a reserve of carbon, which pass to the terrestrial or marine substrate at death. The bigger that living being is and the longer he lives, the more carbon he accumulates.

This causes the whales to accumulate a lot of carbon within themselves. To get an idea of ​​what these 33 tons of CO2 mean, a tree can absorb 21 kg of CO2 for a year. This means that not even in 100 years would the figure be minimally equivalent.

combatir el cambio climático

In addition, whales contribute their fecal waste, released near the surface, to the generation of phytoplankton. This marine plant emits half of the oxygen present in the atmosphere, but also captures 37,000 metric tons of CO2, a figure that accounts for 40% of all the compound produced. It would be equivalent to the carbon dioxide absorption capacity of four Amazon forests.

The obsession to trap CO2
Nowadays, systems to trap CO2 from the atmosphere and sediment it or give it other uses are already being investigated vigorously. In Iceland they have tried to literally inject it into volcanic rocks, in order to adhere it to basalt. There are also industrial plants created to capture carbon dioxide, to convert it into fuel or nutrients for agriculture, for use in the food industry, such as soft drinks.

To this extreme has come this trend that materials have been created, such as concrete, capable of capturing carbon dioxide. However, the solution could be much simpler. More natural, at least. There are currently just under 1.3 million whales. Before they hunted their number was between 4 and 5 million. If its population were promoted to grow to this figure, phytoplankton would also increase. A boost to the capture of carbon dioxide and a weapon to combat climate change.

Images: Free-Photos, IMF

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One thought on “Why whales are a master weapon to combat climate change?

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