Boffins have warned that more than 100 years of whaling may have released more than 100 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere.
Apparently whales store carbon within their huge bodies and when they are killed, much of this carbon is released.
Dr Andrew Pershing from the University of Maine described whales as the “forests of the ocean” only without trees of course.
The annual carbon-storing capacity of whales as they grew and when you kill a whale from the ocean, that’s removing carbon from this storage system and possibly sending it into the atmosphere.
The body of dead whales sink and if they go deep enough the carbon they have stored goes with them.
His team worked out that 100 years of whaling had released an amount of carbon equivalent to burning 130,000 sq km of temperate forests.
This is the same as driving 128,000 Humvees continuously for 100 years or breathing the atmosphere at the Rat and Handgun before it forced smokers outside into the freezing cold.