Skip to content

New data proves Antarctica melting fast; denial is becoming an expensive luxury

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/19/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

True costs of global climate change could come in political form.

New observations reveal that Antarctica is losing over 176 billion tons (160 tonnes) of ice annually. Much of this ice is flowing into the ocean where it is expected to contribute to sea level rise at the rate of almost one-half a millimeter per year.

Satellite imagery shows Antarctica ice is melting much faster than imagined.

Satellite imagery shows Antarctica ice is melting much faster than imagined.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/19/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: global warming, global climate change, solution, Antarctica, glacier, data, luxury, politics


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ESA's Cryosat II spacecraft has taken the most precise measurement of ice-loss in Antarctica and the rate of loss is alarming researchers. A report on its data published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters shows the continent is losing over 176 billion tons of ice per year.

This combines with alarm that several glaciers are already on the retreat in Antarctica and that retreat is now inevitable. The rate of melting is so significant that one glacier, the Smith Glacier, is losing about 9 meters of height per year.

It's time for a moral way forward. Let us pray we find it.

These rates of loss are not normal, nor seasonal, nor are they sustainable. This is blatant evidence that Antarctica is warming and the world will certainly see the impacts of this warming in the decades to come.

If the only harm to Antarctica were limited to melting ice, the world could ignore the problem, however much of the ice on the continent rests on landmass as opposed to floating in the ocean. That means as the ice melts, it contributes to sea level rise. Several island nations as well as low-lying coastal areas are vulnerable and sensitive to even a sea-level rise of just inches.

The International Panel on Climate Change says that small island nations and deltas, which are rich in biodiversity, are most susceptible to immediate changes in sea level. Several island nations are expected to disappear under the waves as they are eroded by forces above sea level, such as storms, and the sea level rises. Within several decades, the lowest islands will be lost.

This issue is significant since any island that washes beneath the waves ceases to exist politically, opening its surrounding areas to exploitation outside of national control. Fisheries and mineral wealth could then be extracted by non-native entities without payment to the nation that once claimed the waters.

Low-lying cities, such as some districts of New Orleans in Louisiana, and parts of the Netherlands will be at even greater danger of flooding and damage in the years to come.

Within a few centuries, coastlines around the world could look significantly different.

None of this is expected to destroy the world or humanity itself, however it will contribute to the urgency for people and nations to adapt to the problem. What adaptations are selected will depend on the situation as well as the moral philosophy and approaches favored by each society and the world at that time.

Scientists warn that future consequences of climate change could still grow more severe if the world does not begin reversing its trend of emitting pollutants into the atmosphere. Chief culprits include CO2 and methane.

Although plants consume CO2 as food, humans are releasing more of the gas into the atmosphere than plants can consume as we tap into ancient reserves of carbon locked deep within the Earth as coal and oil.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which means it traps heat in the Earth's atmosphere. Much of this heat is also being transferred to the oceans.

Some Americans still argue that climate change is not occurring, or that it is not being caused by human activity, however such denial is being increasingly condemned as a delaying tactic sponsored by wealthy elites who prefer to continue profiting from exploitation of the environment.

Several countries such as China, continue to be legendary polluters, emitting astounding amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere in an effort to develop their economies. Millions of people are being lifted out of poverty by this development, but it is simultaneously destroying long-term sustainability in many parts of the world.

Global fish stocks are dwindling and although new regions are being opened for farming as the climate shifts, the world is experiencing a net loss of farmland. Farmland losses are offset by improved farming techniques which include the development of genetically modified crops and the use of chemical fertilizers. These farming techniques have led to an increase in world food production despite climate change and represent how technology may be used to offset some of the harms created by global warming.

However, as the climate changes the misery will compound as diseases, conflicts over resources, and the loss of keystone species all combine to leave us in a world that is less diverse and substantially different from what we enjoy today.

Already global climate change is being cited as a growing culprit behind infant mortality as well as incidences of disease and poverty in various parts of the Third World.

Perhaps the most serious impact of climate change will be the exercise of political control over the people to reduce consumption, control population, and reduce individual liberties in the face of scarcity, which may be real or imagined, but will nonetheless be exploited for political gain. Unless the world develops a moral approach to the environment, its preservation, as well as the potential scarcity of resources, malevolent powers could enforce a new era of control over the world unlike anything ever seen before.

This should be avoided at great cost and the first step towards that avoidance is the recognition of the evidence provided to us by science. The planet is warming and Antarctica is melting. The sea levels are rising and we need to decide how to act now, while we still have time to decide for ourselves.

The luxury of denial is fast becoming one the world cannot afford.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


More Green

Will the Big One hit California in 2018? A new study suggests it is possible Watch

Image of Scientists predict a major quake will hit California soon, but soon could mean in thirty years, or it could mean...today.

Californians have been warned to expect a major quake soon. But how soon is unclear, since the event is forecast between now and the next ... continue reading


Has Pope Francis violated the 8th Commandment, speaking out against climate skeptics? Watch

Image of Pope Francis has made clear that care for creation is a major concern of the Church and humanity.

Pope Francis has issued a stinging rebuke against those who deny that human-caused global warming is real. He called the notion a "perverse ... continue reading


Warning from scientists, the end of the world is near Watch

Image of According to Malthus, overpopulation leads to widespread poverty and misery. Other economists disagree and say more people means more people making more stuff, which increases the collective standard of living. Both appear to be right, but with Malthus likely to have the last word.

More than 1,500 scientists have issued a warning to humanity, stating that our activities, and life as we know it are on a collision ... continue reading


Scientists discover the Egyptians also recorded the day the sun stood still, and now we know when it happened Watch

Image of The sun may not have literally stood still. Instead, the original Hebrew suggests and eclipse rather than a suspension of the laws of physics.

Scientists have discovered the exact date when the sun stood still in the book of Joshua. The discovery was made using an Egyptian source ... continue reading


Another year without summer ahead? TWO volcanoes threaten catastrophic eruptions Watch

Image of Over 120,000 people have been evacuated on the island of Bali, away from the slopes of Mt. Agung, which is about to erupt.

Two volcanoes are about to erupt almost simultaneously, spewing massive quantities of ash and soot into the air. Scientists have warned ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.