Whales are the largest animals on the planet, and when it comes to storing carbon, they act like trees in a forest.
Andrew Pershing of the University of Maine School of Marine Science and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute presented his calculations of carbon recycling through whale bodies at the Ocean 2010 conference of the American Geophysical Union in Portland, Oregon.
Whaling may have removed as much carbon from the oceans as deforesting much of northern New England. Industrial whaling removed 90-95 percent of many whale populations over the last 100 years. Restoring whale populations may have the added benefit of sequestering carbon.