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One Whale Is Worth Thousand Trees In Our Fight Against Climate Change, Says IMF Report

One Whale Is Worth Thousand Trees In Our Fight Against Climate Change, Says IMF Report

Whales have been under significant man-made threat and it includes ship strikes, entanglement in fishing nets, waterborne plastic waste, and noise pollution. 

In case we needed another reason to save the whales, a recent compelling study by a group of scientists have found that whales are much more important in fighting climate change than trees.

This news comes from the courtesy of the International Monetary Fund. According to the study, whales are known to have captured vast amounts of carbon in their bodies before sinking to the bottom of the ocean, reported TIME

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This group of environmental scientists has been working against the clock to find the best ways for humans to reduce our carbon footprint in the world by taking appropriate measures to allow more greenhouse gases to be absorbed from the atmosphere.

Planting more and more trees has been one of the most common ways to combat climate change.

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While trees are undoubtedly important and forests referred to as "the lungs of the Earth", this latest research has found that one whale is worth more than thousands of trees when it comes to carbon absorption.

Whales have been under significant man-made threat and it includes ship strikes, entanglement in fishing nets, waterborne plastic waste, and noise pollution. 

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The whale population has been decimated over the last century from 5 million to 1.5 million and it has been predicted that if no proper action is taken right now, it could take more than 30 years to restore their population as they are still under siege from whalers and choking on plastic pollution.

 



 

 

These massive mammals store carbon dioxide in their bodies throughout their long lives and some species of whales live up to 90 years, and then when they die they take that carbon to the bottom of the ocean, where it is stored for centuries.

 

Each whale can lock up to 30,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide on average out of the atmosphere while a tree absorbs only up to 21 kilograms of carbon dioxide a year.

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Additionally, whales also support the production of phytoplankton and they contribute to at least 50 percent of all oxygen to the Earth’s atmosphere and captures as much carbon dioxide as 1.7 trillion trees or four Amazon forests.

This process takes place when they swim up to the surface from deep waters and their large bodies move nutrients up with them. By bringing up nutrients this way, it increases the food source for the tiny but crucial organisms. 

 



 

 

Apart from locking carbon dioxide, these mammals bring minerals up to the ocean surface through their vertical movement, called the “whale pump, and it also happens through their migration across oceans, called the “whale conveyor belt".

 

Increasing the phytoplankton population of the world is even increased by 1 percent, it would have the same effect if suddenly two billion trees suddenly make an appearance on Earth. 

 



 

 

Ralph Chami and Sena Oztosun from the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development, along with professors from Duke University and the University of Notre Dame said, "Coordinating the economics of whale protection must rise to the top of the global community’s climate agenda."

 

"Since the role of whales is irreplaceable in mitigating and building resilience to climate change, their survival should be integrated into the objectives of the 190 countries that in 2015 signed the Paris Agreement for combating climate risk."

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