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Climate Giants

Planet Earth needs a healthy ocean.
And a healthy ocean needs whales.

Whales offer us hope. These climate giants can play an enormous role in providing a solution to the climate emergency.

The ocean absorbs more carbon and releases more oxygen than all of Earth’s forests combined, and whales help it flourish. But we know a lot more about how trees fight climate change than we do about how whales help. You can support projects that will change that, convincing decision-makers to protect the ocean as if our lives depend on it – because they do. We need to save the whales to save the world.

What are we doing?

WDC's Climate Giants Project aims to fund a series of ground-breaking research initiatives that unlock the secrets of how whales and dolphins benefit the world's climate, biodiversity and economies.  Using the very latest technology the project will gather, articulate and promote new data which transforms the way people perceive whales, and the role they play in all of our futures.

Great whale conveyor belt

This project is helping us understand how whale populations circulate nutrients around the ocean, strengthening our arguments for protection of these remarkable species.

Sperm whales
Collecting humpback whale poo © Sarah Mastroni

Whale pump, Alaska

WDC is helping to fund the University of Alaska Southeast's study to determine the extent to which migratory humpback whales circulate nutrients and carbon in Southeast Alaska and their impact on marine productivity and carbon sequestration, known as the "whale pump".

The next step

WDC has ambitious plans for two innovative research projects that will help our understanding of the role played by whales in the ocean ecosystem and combating climate change.

Blue whale tail

Animating the Ocean

By creating the first computer model of its kind, we will measure and calculate the different ways that marine mammals contribute to the ocean’s health. This allows us to the quantify how much carbon whales and dolphins capture and lock away, enabling us to share understanding of the extent to which they help us tackle climate change.

Life after death

Life After Death is a project which has never been attempted before. We will sink a grey whale carcass to a depth of 890m and monitor it continuously for a minimum of three years.

The results will further our understanding of how whale falls help tackle climate change by identifying the amount of carbon whale carcasses lock away.

Gray whale

How you can support these amazing projects

Individual support

Will you help make a big impact on one of the world’s biggest challenges, by getting behind the world’s biggest creatures? Your support will help the fight to stop whaling and dolphin hunts, prevent accidental entanglements, end the cruel practice of captivity, and create healthy seas where whales and dolphins can thrive.

Become a Climate Giant Hero today and sign up for our e-newsletter to receive regular email updates.

Corporate partnership

Whether your company is looking for an environmental organization to partner with, an exciting option as part of your sustainability efforts or you’re seeking innovative ways to meet your UN Sustainable Development Goals, investing in a safe future for whales through WDC’s Climate Giant Project could be just what you’re looking for!

Supported by:

Major gifts

Your philanthropic donation to support our work will allow you to have a real impact on the protection of these inspiring creatures, and the habitats they rely on, not just for now, but for future generations.

How do whales support the marine ecosystem?

Whales provide nutrients to phytoplankton which help the ocean produce more oxygen and absorb more carbon than all of Earth’s forests.

Scientists have identified two key ways in which whales play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ocean and planet:

WHALES IN HOT WATER

How climate change is impacting whales and dolphins and why we need to re-whale the ocean to achieve climate goals. 

Whales and dolphins are acutely vulnerable and exposed to suffering the long and short-term consequences of climate change which are already impacting populations and threatening their very survival. They are living barometers of our impacts on the ocean and climate systems. By contrast whales and dolphins are helping us to mitigate climate change impacts.  

This brand new WDC report makes a strong case for restoring populations of these climate giants to mitigate the fight against climate change and wider biodiversity loss.  

Download the report.

Published with support from:

Steam, Curve Games, Concerned Ape LLC and  all the developers and publishers who took part in the WDC World Oceans Day Steam Sale.

Games for Waves website

Latest climate news and views

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Our climate report highlights dramatic impacts on whales and dolphins

A new WDC report highlights the dramatic effect on whales and dolphins from climate change, including slowly boiling seas, shortage of prey and devastating mass death events. The effects are also reducing the role these majestic ocean beings can play in helping to fight climate breakdown and are threatening multiple species with imminent extinction. Whales…

Jaguar, humpback whale and African elephant

We’re urging governments to protect all of our climate heroes – CITES

Whales and dolphins are often overlooked by decision-makers, despite playing essential roles in ecosystems that keep every being on Earth alive, including you and me.

Humpback whale fluke in Alaska.

An unforgettable first encounter – observing the whales we work to protect

I have kept a dark secret since joining WDC back in June 2021. Despite my reverence and admiration for whales, my work to help them, all the talks and presentations I have given calling for their protection and restoration, and the numerous whale-themed items that adorn my home office video call backdrop; I had never…