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Whaling worsens carbon release, scientists warn

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A century of whaling may have released more than 100 million tonnes - or a large forest's worth - of carbon into the atmosphere, scientists say. Whales store carbon within their huge bodies and when they are killed, much of this carbon can be released.

US scientists revealed their estimate of carbon released by whaling at the Ocean Sciences meeting in Portland, US. Dr Andrew Pershing from the University of Maine described whales as the "forests of the ocean". Dr Pershing and his colleagues from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute calculated the annual carbon-storing capacity of whales as they grew.

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