This is part of our five-episode pack on how science and technology can fight climate change. With better air conditioning, more whale poop, souped-up plants, and a giant vacuum. If all else fails, planet B. With David Biello, science curator at TED, author of The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth’s Newest Age, and contributing editor at Scientific American.
We love blue whales. They’re our ocean’s majestic, floating giants. They have hearts the size of cars. They travel alone or with a single friend. And also they poop. Super-fertilizing, massive turds.
The iron in whale poop fertilizes ocean algae. Which then blooms, makes oxygen for us, and helps sink CO2 into the Earth.
Our guide David explains how whale poop has inspired innovations, like iron fertilization and ocean gardening. And how other technologies, riskier but cheaper ones, are stealing the spotlight a little. Note to self, beware of the climate change quick fix.