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Whales - a natural solution to mitigate the climate crisis

Whales accumulate carbon in their bodies throughout their lives and when they die they sink to the bottom of the oceans, each (large) whale accumulates about 33 tons of DTP in its lifetime compared to a tree that absorbs about 25 kg per year. That is: in one year a whale accumulates more carbon than a tree in 1000 years. A tree that falls, burns or is burned returns the carbon to the atmosphere. A dead whale sinks to the bottom of the ocean and the carbon is buried

A large fin whale. Photo: shutterstock
A large fin whale. Photo: shutterstock

A series of articles Researchers suggest how global warming can be mitigated by supporting the preservation of whales and initiatives that will increase their population:

Below is a summary of the main points:

"When you want to save the planet, one whale is worth a thousand trees" Scientific research clearly shows the traces of human activity in the release of DTP into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming, a situation that threatens living systems.
The efforts to moderate the emissions are a challenge, among other things reducing the concentrations of DTP in the atmosphere by mobilizing resources to implement expensive and complicated technologies for adsorption directly from the atmosphere. The researchers offer an effective, cheap, financially proven solution to increase the number of whales in the world.

Recently, marine biologists discovered that whales play an important role in capturing EPA from the atmosphere. Supporting initiatives to protect whales leads to a breakthrough in the fight against climate change. The researchers suggest that in order to protect whales, an initiative like the "Reduction of Emissions and Stopping Deforestation" (REDD) initiative will be implemented, which finances the capture of DTP and the preservation of habitats.

Whales accumulate carbon in their bodies throughout their lives and when they die they sink to the bottom of the oceans, each (large) whale accumulates about 33 tons of DTP in its lifetime compared to a tree that absorbs about 25 kg per year. That is: in one year a whale accumulates more carbon than a tree in 1000 years. A tree that falls, burns or is burned returns the carbon to the atmosphere. A whale that dies sinks to the bottom of the ocean and the carbon is buried, therefore protecting whales will remove an impressive amount of carbon from the atmosphere. The whale population today is minuscule compared to what it was before industrial hunting began. It is estimated that today only about 3% of the number of whales in the past live, therefore the benefit to us and the environment is much less than it could have been.

Wherever whales live there are populations of phytoplankton that contribute to the world about 50% of the oxygen while capturing about 37 billion tons of DTP per year and it is estimated that this amount is about 40% of the emissions. The researchers calculated that: "This is an amount absorbed by 1.7 billion trees. That means the phytoplankton absorb 4 times more DTP than the Amazon trees. More phytoplankton means more carbon uptake. It turns out that the whales cause the phytoplankton amounts to double since the phytoplankton grows and multiplies on the excrement of the whales which contain minerals, iron, nitrogen and trace elements - the nutrients of the phytoplankton populations.

The vertical movement of the whales from the deep to shallow water is called the "whale pump", the migration of the whales across the seas is called the "whale conveyor belt", it turns out that both movements raise and spread fertilizer that adds food to the phytoplankton, meaning that the more whales there are, the more phytoplankton that supplies oxygen and absorbs carbon. Hence the great importance in creating the conditions for the growth of the whale population.

Now that the importance of the whales is becoming clear and the need to significantly increase their population, the question arises of how to reduce the dangers and vulnerability caused by ships, pollution, entanglement with fishing equipment, damage from noise and, of course, wild hunters. Incentives such as financial support or compensation for those who will be exposed to losses due to protecting the whales, for example: shipping companies will be compensated for the need to change routes to avoid a collision, hunters will be compensated and so on. For this, a financial source is needed to finance the maintenance. How much money would you be willing to finance whale watching? It is estimated that if the whale population returns to the size it was before industrial hunting began, it will add 1.7 trillion tons of DTP every year, which would require a subsidy of about 13 dollars per year per person. If we agree to pay this price, how will the collection be carried out according to people? by countries? By business? Assuming the initiative is accepted, how will it be implemented? The researchers note that international cooperation with the UN and other international organizations would be a step in the right direction.

Whales are frequent near developing countries, which will not be able to cope with activities to reduce emissions. Support for these countries should come from the Global Environment Facility, which will help these countries meet international environmental requirements. So is the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. All of them have the expertise to plan and implement projects that will rehabilitate victims of whale protection activities,

Since there will be an appeal to economic bodies to support the initiative, in order to solve the problem it is necessary to ask what the economic value of the whales is and show the profit from their preservation. The researchers claim that when you calculate the accepted values ​​in the market for carbon absorption and when you calculate the value of a large whale that absorbs carbon throughout its life and add to the calculation the value of a whale to the environmental system such as improving the fertility of fishing or tourism, you reach values ​​of two million dollars per whale. The current whale population is worth a billion dollars.

Since there is no substitute for the whales' role in carbon absorption and the mitigation of warming, their survival must be part of the commitment of the 190 countries that signed the Paris Convention (2015), a combination and understanding of the economic-environmental value of whale protection must come to the forefront of the minds of those dealing with climate change. Organizations and governments must recognize the need to change and implement a new way of thinking on which the survival of the human race within the limits of the natural world also depends. The new thinking that recognizes the inseparable value of whales' place in the existence of the oceans and the world. "A healthy population of whales is a healthy marine environment" but above all "whales are not a solution for humanity" they have the right to live and their own acquired value.

When climate change due to global warming is already here, no time should be lost in identifying and implementing new methods that will prevent damage to the environment, which is especially true regarding the protection of whales. The researchers estimate that if new measures are not taken immediately, we will need thirty years just to double the population and several generations to return the whale population to the numbers that existed before industrial hunting. "Society and our survival cannot imitate for such a long time" say the researchers.

Another article
Another article
A review on the site about whales

More of the topic in Hayadan:

23 תגובות

  1. Most of the problems in the world will only be solved if all people are united under one country, the country of the Earth
    With a constitution that is valid for everyone.

  2. Note: at the beginning of the first sentence "
    There is a reference:
    "a series of articles"
    At the end there is:
    Another article
    Another article
    A review on the site about whales

  3. Three points regarding the article:

    1]. Excellent article, the best I have read so far from the pen of Dr. Assaf Rosenthal. Well done.

    2]. An original and ingenious interview. To preserve and encourage the whale population, thereby mitigating pollution and atmospheric warming. So the "poor" Japanese will not eat whales but only fish. After all, the culture of the whales will cause an increase in the fish populations and perhaps also an increase in the Japanese population.

    3]. If the proliferation of whales may cause a decrease in the amount of DAT in the atmosphere, then it follows that => the increase in the rate of DAT is a result of the industrial killing of whales. After all, their number today is only 3% of their number before the beginning of their industrial killing during the 20th century.

    4]. Only one very important thing is missing in the article, and that is the reference to the original article(s) from which the things were quoted, and that's a shame.

  4. collect:
    If so many complain, maybe the problem is with you? Maybe you could write more clearly?

  5. to Maor
    Another commenter who has difficulty understanding what is being read?
    "Every (large) whale accumulates about 33 tons in its lifetime"
    There is a small difference between his life and "every year"
    And again it is appropriate for the respondent to concentrate
    In understanding what is being read...

  6. 33 tons a year, that is, in 50 years the whale will add about 1650 tons, which it will take to the grave, a bit strange in relation to the fact that a blue whale reaches about 150 tons in total, which probably also include other components besides carbon dioxide

  7. my father
    I did not think for a second
    The referral to you for a who pays check
    was for those who responded with "propaganda in scientific guise"

    to noreply
    Correct: this is a "writers" mistake
    And anyone who also read the previous sentence will understand,
    Even in the tsitats you brought it is written decades,

    For a lab turtle
    After you quit eating skeletons you suggest
    raise whales on farms or bury trees,
    which is equal in value to the first offer,
    As for the ecosystem, you are right again / partially
    Because, among other things, the researchers write that it is necessary to get well
    the ecosystem and one of the main ways is
    by an increase in the whale population,
    What is probably in the studies since Dr. Rosenthal points it out,

    Which brings me back to what Dr. Rosenthal writes over and over again
    Q "End of response in reading comprehension"
    Because it turns out that most of the respondents did not read everything or did not understand
    Or read to look for points to confirm doubts
    So that they can respond with "smartness"...
    Maybe it really is appropriate to "kill the messenger"

  8. to the gatekeeper,
    It's a shame you didn't address the claims I made very briefly in my response, and instead chose to address the fact that I'm willing to eat the carcasses of Vietnamese (for $100,000,000,000).

    for everyone,
    While I was reading the comments, I thought that the authors (from the quick glance at the article) probably did not refer to possible limiting factors, since whales are part of an entire ecosystem, and to restore the population to its size a century ago, you probably need an entire ecosystem that can sustain them.

    But if that doesn't work, you can always raise them on farms, and then drown them in cesspools.

    Wait, why not sink trees instead? It's much simpler. They may also decompose more slowly on the ocean floor.

  9. To Asaf who responded to me earlier.
    In order to respond correctly, it is necessary not only to understand what is read, but also to go back to the text itself and check if the mistake does exist!
    Go back to the article, the second line reads: "In other words: in one year a whale accumulates more carbon than a tree in 1000 years."
    It is *also* true that the sentence you quoted is written. But *also* the incorrect sentence to which I drew attention exists!

    As for your claim
    "Ground dwellers" takes a decade
    Until the final discharge of the skeleton" - wrong
    since the number is hundreds (not "tens")

    I made a mistake, I am quoting from Wikipedia
    A whale fall is the carcass of a cetacean that has fallen onto the ocean floor at a depth greater than 1,000 m (3,300 ft), ... They can create complex localized ecosystems that supply sustenance to deep-sea organisms for decades.
    Yes, decades, not hundreds, but not only that, in the event that the body reaches shallower water, the time is much shorter.
    This is unlike in shallower waters, where a whale carcass will be consumed by scavengers over a relatively short period of time.

    The rest of your comment is not clear and does not seem to be related to what I wrote.
    So before you respond, take a deep breath and check yourself.

  10. Lab turtle:
    It turns out that "a brief glimpse" in the abstract of one article
    You infer and know more than what is written in five studies,
    Oh well, it's possible that "Hidan" is not a site for geniuses
    who are competent enough to live in the depths of the oceans
    And ate skeletons for decades...

  11. To the gatekeeper, I can already tell you, neither I nor Assaf receive a penny from anyone. On the contrary, I wish someone from those I promote (because they promote science) would give something. They only know how to take advantage. After all, when you write the truth it's trivial, why pay for it? The oil tycoons who fund hundreds of millions of dollars a year pay cuckoo sites to post articles against the climate, no one pays a dime to those who really support it.

  12. to the gatekeeper,
    Well, so I took a brief look at the article mentioned at the top of the article. The article collects data from various sources and proposes a model to analyze this data while relying on a long and varied collection of basic assumptions and ignoring a long list of other questions, in particular those dealing with the return of carbon from the soil. Here is just one example.

    The article itself lacks data that tests the model, for example it did not take carbon-labeled whale carcasses, release them into the sea in various places where they might die, and track the carbon released from the carcass. He might have found that some of that carbon is returning to the atmosphere faster than he thought. He doesn't even know the distribution of whale carcasses in the wild.

    As a theoretical article this is nice, and only adds another reason to the wonderful goal in itself, of protecting whales, but from here until spending $100,000,000,000 based on this collection of speculations there is still a way to go.

    By the way, for this amount I am ready to eat the carcasses of the whales myself and move to live at the bottom of the ocean.

  13. to the gatekeeper,
    Regardless of the readers' arithmetic knowledge, the confusion can be caused not by lack of knowledge but by a lack of attention to detail, which can happen to anyone. This is especially fundamental when the comparison was made in the subtitle, so that it will be read by many readers who just skim the headlines of the articles without much depth (e.g. due to lack of time) and therefore can get confused due to lack of depth. I am sure that the writer of the news knows math, so for what reason did he choose to present the data in the specific way in which it was presented, which creates a misleading impression without when the reading is a superficial reading and not in depth, and did not convert the data for a fairer comparison?
    Regarding propaganda, according to Wiktionary for "propaganda": "aggressive and widespread dissemination of some opinion with the aim of swaying public opinion". There is no connection to payment, and in any case I do not pretend to understand the original motives of the writer. In any case, 100 billion dollars a year sounds like a very attractive amount, especially considering the fact that there is no mention of knowing what will be done with this money.
    Regarding reading the articles - while I am convinced that many readers will go and read the original articles, one cannot expect that from all readers because of the time involved. Therefore, it is appropriate that the article be understandable and fair even without reading the cited articles. Otherwise, you can simply bring the list of articles and let the readers read them on their own without having to write the article at all!
    Anyway, for the response I read the abstract of the first article. The value they gave for the carbon removal that would be obtained as a result of restoring the whale population is almost negligible compared to the amount consumed by trees.

  14. to Assaf
    First of all when the author's name is Asaf Rosenthal
    Responding on Assaf's behalf may create unnecessary confusion,
    to the body of your response
    In Hebrew, carbon dioxide is the correct abbreviation D'tef,
    Even if it is not acceptable, it is understandable,
    Regarding the title, see my previous response
    It is assumed that readers know basic arithmetic
    And they won't drag you into "deliberate deception",
    Since it is accepted that the trees are the main adsorbents
    The proper comparison is to trees,
    In the subsidy account, the amount is indeed stated per person
    I realized that there is no expectation that every person will pay,
    Because later there is a series of names and entities that will pay,
    There is a penny even if maybe part of what he will do with the money,
    "Propaganda" in my understanding means advertising for a fee in Hebrew
    Therefore, perhaps it is really worth checking who pays Dr. Rosenthal
    To publish "propaganda in scientific guise",
    I suggest that you contact the science editor to check the issue,
    And finally, again, have you read even one of these articles
    Who are the data customers from?

  15. First of all, the more accepted abbreviation is PADH and not DTP (isn't it easier to write CO2?).
    The subtitle is very misleading - it has a comparison of the amount of CO2 that is stored in a whale in its entire life compared to the amount of CO2 that is stored in a tree in just one year. A fair comparison should be for the same period of time for both cases (or for the lifetime in each case). The form written in the title does not help to really understand the data, but is deliberately misleading.
    In addition, there is no direct comparison between the amount of CO2 absorbed by whales and the amounts absorbed by other factors (whether today or in the past), so there is no way to understand how important their contribution really is.
    Regarding the subsidy - nothing was said about the direct purpose of the money. $13 per person per year may sound like a little to a person in a first world country, but in other countries it is a very high amount. What's more, this is a strange way of presenting the total cost, which is probably in the region of 100 billion dollars per year(!!!).

    All in all, the article gives the impression of propaganda in a scientific guise.

  16. A few sentences for the pretending skeptics
    Respond based on information and while responding attack
    not only the written but also the writer,
    There is no doubt that when dealing with scientific facts
    Skepticism is an important trait,
    Those who read scientific publications may try
    and challenge the conclusions of the publications based on knowledge,
    Dr. Rosenthal publishes abstracts of such publications
    and in the present case without expressing an opinion,
    That is, Dr. Rosenthal is the messenger,
    That is why it is appropriate that anyone who wants to disagree on what is written
    He will read the sources and only then express doubt
    or will disagree with what is written in the sources.
    Now a question:
    Have any of the respondents read even one article that is cited as a source?
    I am satisfied!

  17. Again:
    In order to respond correctly, it is necessary to understand what is being read:
    It says: "Levithan accumulates in his life about 33 tons of DTP
    Compared to a tree that absorbs about 25 kg per year
    Now noreply will come in handy and do the math
    How many years will it take for a tree to absorb 33 tons?
    As for the "false":
    "Ground dwellers" takes a decade
    Until the final discharge of the skeleton" - wrong
    since the number is hundreds (not "tens")
    Which is equivalent to technologies that try
    to bury death deep in the ground,
    For until the carbon enters the cycle again
    There will be more whales that will attach it...

  18. The wrong opening is not "in one year a whale accumulates more carbon than a tree in 1000 years", but throughout its life (about 100 years) a whale accumulates more carbon than a tree in 1000 years.

    And the continuation is simply false "a dead whale sinks to the bottom of the ocean and the carbon is buried,"
    He was not buried. There are bottom dwellers who break down the body, including the bones - it is true that it takes decades, but the carbon returns to the carbon cycle!

  19. Again it turns out that in order to respond correctly
    Reading comprehension is necessary,
    Lab turtle - right / partially
    Because the numbers were translated from articles in them
    The American method is used
    And since I am not a mathematician, I may have confused
    the concepts,
    Since the living whales absorb death
    The deadhead is removed from the system when they sink,
    That is why to annex (not eliminate finally) it is necessary
    In fifty million whales live
    Although this is also a huge number for the existing nation
    But this is the intention of the studies and the eavesdropping articles...

  20. Even from the details provided in this strange article, it is clear that this is something clearly far-fetched.
    Approximately in the middle of the article it is written "If the whale population returns to the size it was before industrial hunting began, it will absorb 1.7 trillion tons of DTP every year"
    If you divide 1,700,000,000,000 tons (1.7 trillion = 1,700 billion) of FDA by 35 tons of FDA per leviathan, you get that every year almost 50,000,000,000 whales will have to dive to the bottom of the ocean. That means about 6 whales for every human on Earth every year.

  21. The idea sounds great
    The fertilization of the water in the oceans should be added to it to compensate for the loss of minerals in the water.
    which happens because of fishing of millions of tons of fish per year. Fertilization will increase the amount of plankton,
    and will be able to further increase the number of whales

  22. Where did the abbreviation DTP come from?!
    Isn't the accepted acronym Padah?
    (carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide, respectively)

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