Posted by: r.m. | April 23, 2010

Whale poop and climate change

Well…. This news shouldn’t be surprising. The Earth has a marvelous way of using everything — recycling, in other words.

While the whalers continue to battle to maintain their whale-killing (A proposal before the International Whaling Commission could lead to the resumption of commercial whaling as early as next year), it would be quite important to consider that “Saving endangered baleen whales could boost the carbon storage capacity of the Southern Ocean…”because whale poop is vital to the ocean’s carbon cycle! (Previous studies have shown that iron is crucial to ocean health because plankton need it to grow. …. The amount of iron in whale faeces means that protecting Antarctic whales could swell populations of phytoplankton, which absorb carbon dioxide.)



  1. As we have already discussed in class, We never thought that Whale poop could contribute to climate change,but it actually did. The more the phytoplakton are enriched with iron coming in huge amounts from whale feces as stated in the article, the more they will absorb CO2, and tend to have high capacity for storing carbone in the Southern ocean. Thats why killing whales will seriousely affect plankton population, thus increasing the CO2 concentration in the ocean, which means definitely affecting climate change. In my opinion Organisations in charge of proctecting Aquatic life should forbide killing whales, and take serious measurements against hunters.

  2. Very funny thing to know!! we should cherish everything from god’s creation. everything in this world has a reason why it’s there!! even poop apparently that could make a change in the ocean’s ecosystem.

  3. How ironic! Who could think that whale’s poop would contribute to a decrease in CO2? I’m speechless! It is very interesting to find such an easy process as defecating would be so beneficial. So studying spontanuous mechanism would be a way to discover lots of ways, easy ways, to contribute to a better world without suffering from their costs. This is a step toward new findings that may rescue us from the cursed future!

  4. well this actually convinced me more that everything affects everything. Even things that you never notice its presence, it will find its way to tell you I’m here, I’m important! Life is based on equilibrium and for that equilibrium to be maintained even minor thing should be maintained. Who would actually think of whale’s poop as important? usually we would think of such thing as a waste that we need to get rid of and ironically it turned out to be as important as everything else in this equilibrium!!!

  5. phytoplanktons have always been very important in the balance of life!!Phytoplankton account for half of all photosynthetic activity on Earth…throught this aricle we can see that life is all a chain and everything is interconnected!!

  6. That is very ironic we reached a point in our life that we need to seek the ways in which we could decrease CO2 in the atmosphere. Whales are a threatened species that could do both increase iron and decrease CO2. However human is ungrateful for nature’s resources and tries always to exploit it.

  7. the funny thing is that we are trying hard to reduce CO2 emmisions and yet its still this is an easy way to do that..but unfortunately human don’t see this advantage and thats why whales are endangered species.

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