When whales were at their historic populations, it seems that whales might have been responsible for removing tens of millions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year.

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“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – John Muir

When whales were at their historic populations, before their numbers were reduced, it seems that whales might have been responsible for removing tens of millions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year. Whales change the climate. The return of the great whales, if they are allowed to recover, could be seen as a benign form of geo-engineering. It could undo some of the damage we have done, both to the living systems of the sea, and to the atmosphere.

 

Credits:

Narration: George Monbiot

For more from George Monbiot, visit monbiot.com/ and for more on “rewilding” visit bit.ly/1hKGemK and/or check out George Monbiot’s book Feral: rewilding the land, the sea and human life: amzn.to/1fjgirx

Producers: Chris Agnos and Dawn Agnos

Support Chris and Dawn: https://www.patreon.com/chrisanddawnagnos

Editor and Animator: Steve Agnos

For more from Steve Agnos, visit https://vimeo.com/steveagnos

 

Music Credits:

Cylinder 2 – Chris Zabriskie (bit.ly/1ya8Z4x)

Dramatic Film Strings (Cinematic Movie Soundtrack) – Ramazan Yuksel (bit.ly/1CwDMeR)

Film Credits:

The majority of footage found in this film was generously donated courtesy of Peter Schneider of underwatercam.tv. (underwatercam.tv/)

Other sources:

Humpback Whales Startle Kayakers – Discovery (bit.ly/12iSbKz)

Biggest Teahupoo Ever – leounn (bit.ly/1z6spV4)

Nature: Fellowship of the Whales – PBS (bit.ly/1pEdwJD)

Coral Reef Adventure – mobilmsm (bit.ly/1tt2PWx)

Humpback whales’ attempt to stop killer whale attack – BBC (bit.ly/1CwDvZm)

Humpback Whales – Bubble Net Feeding – BBC (bit.ly/12iSUve)

Bait Ball Feast – Nature’s Great Events – BBC (bit.ly/1tCvcR9)

Become a Direct Action Crew Member – Sea Shepard (bit.ly/12byPrS)

Academic Sources:

Stephen Nicol et al, 2010. Southern Ocean iron fertilization by baleen whales and Antarctic krill. Fish and Fisheries, vol 11, pp 203–209.

Kakani Katija and John O. Dabiri, 2009. A viscosity-enhanced mechanism for biogenic

ocean mixing. Nature, Vol. 460, pp 624-627. doi:10.1038/nature08207

Joe Roman and James J. McCarthy, 2010) The Whale Pump: Marine Mammals Enhance Primary Productivity in a Coastal Basin. PLoS ONE vol 5 no 10, pp 1-8. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0013255

Daniel G. Boyce, Marlon R. Lewis and Boris Worm, 2010. Global phytoplankton decline over the past century. Nature, Vol. 466, pp591-596. doi:10.1038/nature09268

Steve Nichol, 12th July 2011. Vital Giants: why living seas need whales. New Scientist, No.2820. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128201.700-vital-giants-why-living-seas-need-whales.html

Trish J. Lavery et al, 2010. Iron defecation by sperm whales stimulates carbon export in the Southern Ocean. Proceedings of the Royal Society: B. Vol 277, pp 3527-3531.

doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0863

James A. Estes, et al, 2011. Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth. Science, Vol 333, pp 301-306. doi: 10.1126/science.1205106

FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 106A-117 of the US Copyright Law.

James A. Estes, et al, 2011. Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth. Science, Vol 333, pp 301-306. doi: 10.1126/science.1205106

FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 106A-117 of the US Copyright Law.

 

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