One of them Global Warming morons has published a theory that whales crapping in the ocean are vital to protecting Mother Gaia from the dreadful effects of that made-up-scientific-abortion-that-made-Al-Gore fabulously-wealthy.
Apparently, whale shit contains a high concentration of iron, which it gets from the krill that whales eat, which when digested and expelled becomes food for the phytoplankton which the krill themselves eat. Phytoplankton, besides having terrible taste in entrees, absorb carbon dioxide. The theory goes that if you let phytoplankton populations explode -- by increasing the amount of baleen whale crap in the oceans -- the whales will clean up the planet by shitting all over the oceans. The phytoplankton eat the shit, the krill eat the phytoplankton, and the whales eat the krill in larger numbers, and leave bigger and more numerous turds, which leads to more carbon-dioxide-absorbing phytoplankton, and so on and so on.
Eventually, it just somehow seems appropriate that some "solution" to this bullshit "problem" would just have to include the heftier and more voluminous shit of a much larger animal.
Anyways, the scientists who did this study only collected 27 samples of baleen whale excrement, which seems to me to be a very small sample, indeed, upon which to base any scientific estimate, conclusion, or theory, but then again, I'm not a scientist getting a...ahem...shitload...of taxpayer money to scour the oceans for whale poop who has a gravy train to justify.
Maybe it's just really difficult to recover whale crap? Anyways, this sounds more like an excuse to put an end to whaling than it does sound science.
I'm reminded of this classic episode of South Park.
If two slacker cartoonists figured this stuff out years ago, why did it need a scientist with government funding to study it again?
It wouldn't surprise me if that episode wasn't the inspiration for the whole study in the first place.
(H/T To SouthParkStudios.com. Thank you Trey Parker and Matt Stone!)