Whale Poop Vital to Ocean's Carbon Cycle

Discussion in 'Environmental' started by Matt Rogers, Apr 25, 2010.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    A recent study by the scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) has shown that excrement from baleen whales in the Southern Ocean is vital to the ocean's carbon cycle. Baleen whales consume large amounts of krill. Krill has a high concentration of iron from eating algae. The krill account for 'approximately 24% of the total iron in in the Southern Ocean surface water.' As a result, whale poop is laden with iron - 10 million times the concentration found in the Antarctic seawater - and helps fertilize the ocean and start the whole cycle over again.

    [​IMG]
    Aerial photograph of a whale fertilizing the Southern Ocean. Photo: J. Brokowski

    "The research suggests that, in future, increasing populations of baleen whales and krill would have a positive effect on the productivity of the entire Southern Ocean ecosystem and could improve the ocean's ability to absorb CO2."

    Source:
    Whale poo fertilises ocean (Science Alert)
     
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  3. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Great article, the more that is found out, the more we find out how little we really know about nature.
     
  4. HopHead

    HopHead Plankton

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    Took my tank all most 2 months to cycle, I wonder how long it took the ocean? :cheesy:

    Amazing stuff.
     
  5. reefmonkey

    reefmonkey Giant Squid

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    I believe that the keys to life are hidden in the oceans and I pray that we don't destroy them before they are found and become lost forever. Great read Matt, TY for sharing!

    Side note: By guesstimating the size of the whale and comparing that bunch of poo I'm seriously glad whales cant fly!;D
     
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  6. blackraven1425

    blackraven1425 Giant Squid

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    With that much water, it probably took a billion years. ;D
     
  7. suckafish

    suckafish Montipora Capricornis

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    does this mean that I need to get whale poop for my tank??

    And I thank the stars that whales dont fly, especially after that pic
     
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  9. fischkid2

    fischkid2 Dirty Filter Sock

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    :yelrotflm:laugh5::laugh5::laugh5::yelrotflm

    we would need weatherman who track whale flocks to warn ppl to take cover... like storm trackers