[permaculture] BBC News - Whaling worsens carbon release, scientists warn

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Fri Feb 26 23:18:58 EST 2010

BBC News - Whaling worsens carbon release, scientists warn

"Whaling worsens carbon release, scientists warn
By Victoria Gill

Science reporter, BBC News, Portland

Blue Whale - Science Photo Library
Whales store carbon by the tonne

A century of whaling may have released more than 100 million tonnes - or 
a large forest's worth - of carbon into the atmosphere, scientists say.

Whales store carbon within their huge bodies and when they are killed, 
much of this carbon can be released.

US scientists revealed their estimate of carbon released by whaling at a 
major ocean sciences meeting in the US.

Dr Andrew Pershing from the University of Maine described whales as the 
"forests of the ocean".

Dr Pershing and his colleagues from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute 
calculated the annual carbon-storing capacity of whales as they grew.

"Whales, like any animal or plant on the planet, are made out of a lot 
of carbon," he said.

"And when you kill and remove a whale from the ocean, that's removing 
carbon from this storage system and possibly sending it into the 
atmosphere." "

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