Whales can help in improving the ocean’s ecosystem. This is a claim made by researchers from the Australian Antarctic Division, who have discovers that whale excrement could encourages growth of algae, which would further draw more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The team has found that the whale excrement is naturally rich in iron that helps in better algae growth.
No one would have imagined that an idea that popped up from a casual pub chat among Antarctic scientists in Australia’s island state of Tasmania could result in something so fruitful. Steve Nicol, one of the scientists on the team, believes that a larger population of baleen whales would boost the productivity of the whole Southern Ocean ecosystem, in addition to improving the absorption of carbon dioxide, which is blamed for global warming.
The unique circle of algae being eaten by krill, and krill by whales that results in iron-rich whale droppings, which helps in algae growth, keeping the system at a very high level of production. It is amazing to see such a self-sustaining system.