Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

It's just a number, right?

New research suggests the planet is heating up, possibly to a level it last saw 3.6 million years ago during the middle Pliocene. This announcement comes as scientists announce that CO2 levels have now reached 400 parts per million, a symbolic threshold.

Trees will certainly benefit from the CO2.

Trees will certainly benefit from the CO2.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Carbon dioxide, pollution, global warming, greenhouse, gasses, climate change


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The last time the planet had this much CO2 in the atmosphere was 3.6 million years ago during the middle Pliocene era. The planet was free of arctic ice and trees grew in the across the region.

Sediment cores taken from the Russian lake El'gygytgyn reveal fossil pollen in the lake from Douglas firs and hemlock, suggesting the icy area was once covered with trees some 3.6 million years ago when it was much warmer than today.

A team of international researchers brought the cores up in 2009 and the study was co-authored by researchers Julie Brigham-Grette and Pavel Minyuk. Their findings help confirm the belief that the arctic was once a lush location.

Such is the world we might expect to see if global warming is happening. Indeed, satellite data also suggest the tundra is defrosting and green vegetation is creeping north as the snow and ice retreat.

This raises two questions, which are commonly asked.

First, if the planet has been so warm before, what's to say the current warming trend isn't natural? And second, if the planet has survived such temperatures before, then why the alarm?

Despite the seemingly benign effects of warming, climate researchers fear that the planet is warming much more quickly that it would if the warming were natural in origin. This rapid warming harshly impacts both natural habitats and human societies.

Humans are unquestionably introducing more CO2 into the atmosphere than would enter it by natural means, with the understood exception of singular, distinct events such as major volcanic eruptions. This input is a natural consequence of human mass consumption of natural resources. According to most climatologists, this extra CO2 is driving the recent warming trend, which the planet has noticeably experienced over the past several decades.

This warming trend is manifesting itself in various ways, including the loss of arctic ice, the spread of greenery into arctic regions, and the rise of sea levels. Although aggregate temperature changes appear to have increased more slowly than feared during past decade, scientists believe this slowdown is only because the planet is absorbing additional heat in the oceans. This only grants a temporary reprieve from the accelerated warming of the recent past.

Although the loss of Arctic ice and the greening of the north isn't likely to be fatal to humanity, it is likely to be very disruptive. Natural selection, which is the means by which organisms adapt to changes in their environment, cannot keep pace with the rapid speed of today's environmental changes. This is leading to major extinctions and loss of wildlife that would otherwise have much more time to adapt.

Human societies are also facing disruption as sea levels rise.

Regardless of the facts of the case, and regardless of what happens next, humanity will survive this transition just as it has survived similar major environmental shifts in the past. Humanity survived the last ice age, the desertification of the Sahara and the Fertile Crescent, and it will survive this. But how well it copes remains to be seen. Great environmental shifts also brought disasters which collapsed the earliest civilizations. It remains to be seen if our technologically sophisticated, massively integrated, and curiously fragile modern civilization can survive the coming changes before us.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Green

Dinosaur with freakishly big arms even more amazing than believed Watch

Image of The creature's name, Deinocheirus mirificus means unusual, horrible hands.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Paleontologists had long been mystified by the dinosaur known as "deinocheirus mirificus." Since the 1960s, only the huge arms of the prehistoric thunder lizard had been discovered. As more bits and pieces of the dinosaur have been brought to light, it appears ... continue reading


Antarctic ice reaches record level, but is global warming to blame? Watch

Image of Ice is expanding, but scientists warn it is a sign of global warming.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Antarctic ice sheets have spread farther than any other time in modern, recorded history, according to scientists monitoring their spread. Scientists are unsure of exactly why the sheets are growing but that global warming likely has a role. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Where's the global warming? Tempratures remain flat Watch

Image of Global warming? Really Mr. Connolly?

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to climate change skeptics, the Earth's temperature has "plateaued" and global warming has taken a hiatus. Virtually all records seem to agree with this assessment, so what gives? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Is the sky falling or not? From the looks ... continue reading


Holy Bat Cave Batman: Miao Room cavern in China, world's largest could accommodate jumbo jet Watch

Image of The cave would comfortably fit a Boeing 747, if you could get one in there - and is located about 325 feet underground. The cave also contains stalagmites as tall as 148 feet, which are among the world's biggest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The huge Miao Room cavern have been declared by a wide margin as the world's largest cave. Measuring 380.7 million cubic feet in volume, the cave achieved recognitions as the world's largest thanks to British explorers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Stanford scientists link California drought to global warming, NASA says 'not so fast' Watch

Image of California's farmers are asking people to pray for rain.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Stanford scientists say they have linked California's epic drought to global warming, although NASA scientists say they disagree. Regardless, the Golden State faces the most intense drought in recorded history with vast impacts on the state's residents. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Half the world's animals went extinct over past 40 years Watch

Image of Northern lapwings, pictured, an once-familiar sight on British farmlands have fallen 60 percent and grey partridges have halved in number.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The news for the Animal Kingdom is uniformly grim: Half of the world's animals went extinct over the past 40 years, all of it due to the fault of humanity. D4estruction of habitat, unlawful hunting and the destruction of the environment has sent countless ... continue reading


A new weapon in the war against Climate Change. How moderates and radicals are joining forces Watch

Image of More militant environmentalism is being fazed out as radicals and moderates band together and turn to civil disobedience as an effective weapon.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New York saw the largest climate-related march ever, where hundreds of thousands participated before the United Nations held a summit on climate change. The next day, hundreds were arrested in Manhattan as part of a demonstration against Wall Street, which blames ... continue reading


New hope for Monarch butterfly migration: butterflies seen entering Mexico Watch

Image of Butterflies have been sighted in the northern border state of Coahuila. This is slightly earlier than their usual arrival time when they come back in October from the United States and Canada, where they spend the summer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Much dismay surrounded the scarcity of Monarch butterflies last year. The colorful black-and-orange creatures had dropped to their lowest level in 2013. There is new hope, Monarch butterflies have been seen entering Mexico earlier than usual, which foretells ... continue reading


Mystery video: Remains of an ancient lizard - or just a rock? Watch

Image of Several professors and experts in paleontology have expressed their skepticism that the find is genuine, and say it might be a hoax.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Experts are still unable to identify exactly what the mystery crocodile-style object found buried in a Siberian river after a week of speculation. Fishermen supposedly bumped into the head of the "rock" last week. It has been confirmed by scientists to be the ... continue reading


Greenhouse gas emissions predicted to hit historic highs Watch

Image of Smog in China, a nation which produces more than 10 billion tons of greenhouse gas, more than that of the U.S. and Europe combined.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recently released study shows that greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil-fuel fuels and cement production will reach a record high this year, fueled primarily by rapid growth in Chinese industries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Global ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:1-6
1 I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:54-59
54 He said again to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 24th, 2014 Image

St. Anthony Mary Claret
October 24: Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was born in Salient in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter