Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/19/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

All life will be extinct on our planet in no later than 1.1 billion years.

As the debate rages in the public realm over whether or not global warming is real, there isn't so much in the scientific realm. Of course, it turns out that astronomers have been predicting global warming for quite some time and there's nothing more dire than the predictions of astronomers.

We are more dangerous to ourselves than nature is to us.

We are more dangerous to ourselves than nature is to us.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/19/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: global wamring, earth, life, extinction, astronomy, end of the world


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Those who have studied the life cycles of stars know that stars die, taking any life in their planetary systems with them. The Solar System is no different and our future is one of fire, and ice.

Solar output hasn't been constant throughout history. Stars, like people and everything else in nature have a life cycle. Stars begin as tremendous pockets of hydrogen gas and condense into swirling masses, fusing hydrogen atoms in their cores, forging helium in the process and firing off photons of light.

This process continues unabated for much of the star's life, however it eventually fuses and converts most of the hydrogen in its core and it is then that the star begins to change. Among the changes can be an expansion of the star's outer layers. This is just what will happen with the Sun.

As the outer layers of the Sun expand, they will radiate more heat towards Earth, eventually baking the planet so that no life can survive. This will happen in about 1.1 billion years. The Sun will literally swell until it takes up the entire sky. All life will be extinct by this point and water will vaporize and probably be lost into space with much of the atmosphere. Earth will become a molten ball of rock as it was when it originally formed.

The good news is that this transition is at least 1.5 billion years away.

At about 7 billion years, the Earth will actually orbit within the outer layers of the Sun's bloated surface.

Following that change, the Sun will cast off its outer layers into space leaving a condensed core behind that will eventually burn out. What was once Earth will be left as a ball of frozen rock, floating silently through space until some other unforeseen cosmic cataclysm destroys it.

Humans will be long-extinct, or perhaps, if we are successful, long living on other worlds. That future however, is so remote that it is literally impossible to even speculate what will be. Of course, the most likely scenario is extinction, but there is a basis optimism, for our species is curious and bright and motivated to survive.

However, humanity shouldn't be so complacent as if the clocks will tick forever. There are plenty of other more immediate threats to our species. Astronomers widely believe that comets and asteroids continue to pose a real threat to the planet and a single impact could destroy civilization as we know it. We do not yet have the guaranteed means to detect and protect against the imminent threat cosmic impact, regardless of what Hollywood claims.

There are also risks associated with other natural phenomenon such as volcanic activity, the drift of continents and changes in weather patterns. In about 250 million years, the continents of the planet are predicted to drift back together to form another supercontinent.

What we imagine as permanent is quite temporary on a cosmic scale.

Even more immediate than supercontinents are dangers we create for ourselves. Global climate change, human induced or not, is still a significant threat to humanity whether it gets hotter or colder. The pollution of the environment, the extinction f keystone species, and the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are all risk factors to humanity.

In short, we are doomed by nature, if we do not destroy ourselves first and do not find a way to safely sail to the stars.

The good news is that for us living today, the odds of natural cataclysm within our lifetime are miniscule. More likely is that we will destroy ourselves by some foolish means, but in that case we have the power to careen into oblivion, or to deftly avoid disaster by means of peace and responsible stewardship of our planet.

Beyond that, we must leave it to God to handle the rest.


Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


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


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Green

Are offshore oil rigs going extinct? Meet Prelude: The world's largest ocean going vessel Watch

Image of At over 1,600 feet long, Prelude is the largest ocean going vessel ever made, and will pave the way to new methods of natural gas and oil production.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At more than 1,600 feet long, Prelude is set to be the largest oceangoing vessel in the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ship is under construction for energy giant Shell, and is being built in Korean shipyards. The brilliant red ship is longer than both ... continue reading


Handwriting on the wall: Arctic warming twice as much as anticipated, USA to suffer consequences

Image of Arctic sea ice in 2012 (top) and 1980 (bottom).

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

People lie, numbers don't. The numbers are revealing an alarming trend in the Arctic. While global temperature increases have moderated across the globe (they are still rising, just slower) the Arctic continues to trap more heat which is melting ice and impacting ... continue reading


Study: 41 percent of Earth's amphibians destined for extinction Watch

Image of The issue of widespread extinction is exacerbated because of the huge gaps in scientists' knowledge about the planet's biodiversity.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A grim report as published in "Nature" magazine warns that the planet Earth's many animal species are irrevocably headed towards extinction. Forty-one percent of all the world's amphibians are set "to go the way of the dodo" bird unless the governments of the world ... continue reading


Ford takes hybrid plunge with electric-powered mountain bike Watch

Image of The Ford-branded beach cruiser is powered by an electric battery. The battery gives the user up to 20 miles of pedal-free operation or even longer, if the rider pedals part of the time.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

As part of its goal to put more lower-emission vehicles on the road, the Ford Motor Company has struck a deal with the California-based electric bicycle company Pedego: a battery-powered mountain bike. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Ford-branded beach ... continue reading


Move over honey! A new study suggests bees may have the cure for hair loss! Watch

Image of A substance used by bees to seal openings in their hives may be capable of preventing or reversing hair loss.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study out of Japan may bring hope to the millions of people around the world who struggle with hair loss, baldness and thinning hair. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Propolis, a resin-like material taken from honeybee hives, has helped speed up the growth ... continue reading


YUCK! 270,000 tons of garbage is sitting in the ocean Watch

Image of There is 269,000 tons of plastic pollution in the ocean, levels ten times greater than previously thought.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For decades, the international scientific communities have known-and warned-about the growing amount of plastic trash in the world's oceans. Since the 1990s it has been known that masses of plastic can clump up in the ocean and form islands of debris. LOS ... continue reading


California drought the opposite of what we should see if global warming were to blame Watch

Image of The drought in California has lasted for three years, but it's not because of global warming, NOAA says.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Government scientists have weighed in on the California drought, challenging the popular conclusion that the drought has been caused by global warming. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After three years of crippling drought, Californians have asked the question if ... continue reading


Natural climate change or global warming? Perhaps California's drought isn't your fault Watch

Image of A study shows California's drought to be natural rather than man-made.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Swimming in November, sweating in December; according to the National Climatic Data Center, California is experiencing its warmest year in 120 years of weather records. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The historic drought scorching up and down California is not as ... continue reading


African giraffe population drops by 40 percent over last 15 years Watch

Image of A rumor originating from Tanzania claims that the brain and bone marrow of the giraffe can help cure HIV has also led to a fall in its numbers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unless immediate steps are taken to redress the issue, the African giraffe could well be on the way to extinction. The giraffe population has already fallen by 40 percent in the last 15 years, according to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Scientists predict 16 FEET of SEA LEVEL RISE as a literal Mt. Everest melts into Antarctic seas every two years Watch

Image of Antarctic glaciers are melting into the sea at the rate of 161 billion metric tons per year. That ice is not being replaced and is contributing to sea level rise.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another study has been published, concluding that warmer ocean waters are melting Antarctic glaciers and contributing to sea level rise. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet has enough land ice to raise sea level by 16 feet alone. Meanwhile, 2014 is making the record books as ... 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, First Samuel 1:24-28
24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, ... Read More

Psalm, First Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8
1 Hannah then prayed as follows: My heart exults in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:46-56
46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Chaeromon
December 22: Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the persecution was ... 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