Yuka Yoneda

Scientists Discover Sperm Whale Poop Fights Global Warming

by , 06/16/10

Flinders University in South Australia, design by mother nature, southern ocean, sperm whales, whale poo, whale excrement, whale feces, whale poop, global warming, carbon offsets, carbon capture, whale poo offsets carbon, climate change, phytoplankton
Source: photoblog.is.a.perfect.name

According to a study released today by scientists at Flinders University in South Australia, we may have even more reason to stop senseless whaling. The researchers found that in an awesome example of design by Mother Nature, Southern Ocean sperm whales offset their carbon footprint by simply defecating – an action that releases tons of iron a year and stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which absorb and trap carbon dioxide. If only we humans could say the same for our poop, which really doesn’t do much more than just sit there.

Flinders University in South Australia, design by mother nature, southern ocean, sperm whales, whale poo, whale excrement, whale feces, whale poop, global warming, carbon offsets, carbon capture, whale poo offsets carbon, climate change, phytoplankton

And the giant mammals aren’t just offsetting a small portion of their own carbon footprint. Approximately 12,000 sperm whales that live in the Southern Ocean absorb about 400,000 tons of carbon each year – which is twice the amount they release by breathing. Imagine you could offset your own carbon footprint twofold and fight global warming just by pooping?

Trish Lavery, the marine biologist who led the study at the University said that without whaling there may have been 120,000 sperm whales in the Southern Ocean as opposed to only 12,000. According to Ms. Lavery’s calculations, those additional whales may have meant that some 2 million tonnes of carbon could have been removed from the atmosphere each year.

Via Reuters

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3 Comments

  1. henrikbejmar June 24, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    http://bit.ly/9Px7gc

    Here is some information, google-translated from SL.se, the company driving all buses, subways and trams in Stockholm.

  2. henrikbejmar June 24, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Your statement about our feces just sitting there is quite the opposite in Sweden. Especially in Stockholm. Here the city’s bus fleet runs on biogas. This gas is produced from biodegradeable stuff in the water, i.e. poop, at the waste water treatment plant. The gas is then pumped about 1km to the bus garage where they fill up the buses. So not only is it very carbon offsetting, it’s also very local and clean.
    Imaging going to the bathroom just to get you to work!

  3. HCR-LLC June 16, 2010 at 10:13 am

    This was a great piece of information. As an environmentalist, I am against whaling in general. It’s amazing what mother nature can do for our environment.

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