blue whale

Whales store carbon for decades

Image: Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) live for nearly a century, storing tons of carbon in their bodies throughout their lives. Credit: National Marine Sanctuaries

Whales’ massive weight and long lives help them play a key role in carbon storage. According to new research, this carbon relationship may help whales regulate climate change. Their size and age help to store carbon that might otherwise be released into the atmosphere, but their feces also contain nutrients that are quickly gobbled up by phytoplankton that suck up carbon dioxide. However, many species of whales are in peril. Researchers said that protecting whales not only conserves the species and the vital role they play in ocean ecosystems, but it also helps to buffer our planet from climate change.

Read more at CNN.

 

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