Protect the Whales, Save the Planet

Slanted Media
Aug 7, 2018 · 2 min read

LOS ANGELES — Over the past couple of years, I have reported on skyrocketing whale deaths — it is horrific and worrisome.

Let me tell you why:

Whales are farmers of the sea. Their flocculent fecal plumes are rich in iron and nitrogen, which fertilize phytoplankton and prochlorococcus (cyanobacteria). Together, the phytoplankton and bacteria provide almost two-thirds of all the oxygen we breathe. Oxygen makes up almost 65 percent of human body weight.

Fossil fuel heat has infused 300 zettajoules of energy into the oceans, half of that has accumulated since 1997. It’s the equivalent energy of detonating one Hiroshima-style bomb every second for 75 straight years. Think about that for just a minute. Hiroshima. Every. Second.

That fossil fuel heat has disrupted the cold ocean currents from upwelling and carrying iron and nitrogen to fertilize phytoplankton, the base of the entire marine food web. As a result, the oceans are missing 40 percent of the phytoplankton. The whales are attempting to re-grow the phytoplankton, thereby enabling us to breathe and sleep.

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