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Whales Help Measure Global Warming

Narwhals in Baffin Bay were chosen because the area is significant for climate change research due to the large concentration of sea ice and marine mammals. Baffin Bay is over five hundred miles wide in some places. It is right next to Greenland where huge slabs of ice are breaking off and sliding into the ocean. Some of the slabs are so large they are referred to as islands, such as Petermann B 2010. This ice island, estimated to be 80 square kilometers, is big enough helicopters can land on it.

These gigantic slabs of ice are melting and releasing fresh water, disrupting the balance of fresh water and salt water, which blocks certain marine life from forming. They also can disrupt the food cycle, it is thought, by blocking sunlight plankton need to survive. Without plankton the narwhals and other species living there might not have enough food. The ice islands also scrape the ocean floor in some places dislocating clams, starfish, and whatever is in their paths. “All these organisms are very important food sources for animals like seal and whales or walrus,” said scientist Jean-Eric Tremblay. (Source:

Narwhals are known for their long tusks, which are actually teeth.

Image Credit: Public Domain

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Read more: Nature, Nature & Wildlife, , ,

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10:11AM PDT on Apr 8, 2013

Very cool!!! Canada please protect these unique animals...thanks

6:14PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012


6:53PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Wonder what the whales think of this?

6:45PM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

11:01AM PST on Feb 11, 2012


2:23PM PDT on Jul 19, 2011

love narwhal whales, can we reimburse them for their help by working as hard as possible to mitigate/minimize the effects of global warming.

6:47AM PST on Jan 8, 2011

Great animals. Thanks for sharing.

9:11AM PST on Dec 24, 2010

I agree with your concern butI just read a book about interspecies communication, a work of fiction by American Indian author, Four Arrows, entitled Last Song of the Whales, that says as long as we remain "human-centered" we may never fix the problem. This is a short easy read and perfect for the beginning of understanding. Read it!

5:19PM PST on Dec 2, 2010

They are amazing creatures!!! Great article!

10:48AM PST on Dec 2, 2010

Bless All The Whales... & ty Jake.

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