Whales as climate protectors
Experts at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have discovered that a whale absorbs as much CO2 as thousands of trees. According to marine biologists, large whales absorb an average of 33 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) over their lifetime.
In contrast, a tree can only absorb 20 kilograms of CO2 per year. If whale populations were to return to the level they had before whaling began, this would mark a huge step forward for the fight against climate change. However, there are now only 1.6 million whales out of a total of four to five million, according to the researchers. Whales are no longer suffering from whaling on a large scale. Instead, new threats such as ocean pollution are affecting populations.
Whales also play a role in climate protection in other ways. They ensure the growth of phytoplankton in the sea, which in turn captures large quantities of greenhouse gas CO2.