Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/19/2014 (2 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 (2 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.

---


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


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2016
Universal:
Sports: That sports may be an opportunity for friendly encounters between peoples and may contribute to peace in the world.
Evangelization: Living the Gospel: That Christians may live the Gospel, giving witness to faith, honesty, and love of neighbor.



Comments


More Green

You'll never believe what Obama did in Hawaii! Watch

Image of A Hawaiian island's territory has just been expanded by the President of the United States.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

US President Barack Obama has just quadrupled the size of Papahānaumokuākea, Hawaii territory - but why? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The island of Papahānaumokuākea, pronounced "Pa-pa-hah-nou-mo-koo-ah-keh-ah," is a Marine National Monument ... continue reading


WATCH NOW! Two-for-one special on adorable newborn pandas Watch

Image of Giant Panda surprises zookeepers with twins (Tiergarten Sch?nbrunn/SWNS).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

One Giant Panda mother surprised zookeepers by giving birth to twins! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When zookeepers at Austria's Schönbrunn Zoo, also called "Vienna Zoo," discovered Giant Panda Yang Yang was pregnant, they were ecstatic.<a ... continue reading


How to see a Catholic meteor shower this week Watch

Image of The Perseids peak on Aug 11-12. Up to 200 per hour may be visible.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Later this week, you will have the chance to view a Catholic meteor shower. The Perseids, also known as "the tears of St. Lawrence," peak this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Perseids are a Catholic meteor shower. This means they are closely associated ... continue reading


Unexpected heroes of the sea - 'Observers were clearly puzzled' Watch

Image of Humpback whales fight orcas to the death.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Researchers are baffled by humpback whale behavior after the usually friendly giants begin rescuing animals from orcas. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Marine ecologist Robert Pitman witnessed a pod of killer whales hunting a Weddell seal in Antarctica back in ... continue reading


Mystery 15 Year Quake Drought Raises Stakes In Cascadia MegaQuake Fears Watch

Image of Are we prepared for a major quake?

By Tony Johnson

In 2006, geologists feared the worst - they believed a megathrust earthquake was imminent in the Pacific Northwest.  Now in 2016, the Pacific Northwest may be revealing an alarming pattern of missing earthquakes in the same megathrust region that generates ... continue reading


Greenland just lost ONE TRILLION tonnes of ice Watch

Image of Researchers survey melting on Greenland.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Greenland is melting faster than expected, as new data reveals. The ESA's Cryosat satellite has revealed Greenland lost over a trillion tonnes of ice between 2011 and 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Greenland has lost over a trillion metric tons (tonnes) ... continue reading


Why does ExxonMobil continue to spend millions on climate denial? Watch

Image of Exxon has been caught funding climate denial think tanks. That's not how science is supposed to work.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

ExxonMobil spent more than $2 million on climate science denial in 2015, records reveal. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ExxonMobil says it believes in climate change. Its executives probably believe it too, after all, they're smart people. But their profits ... continue reading


WE CAN FEED THE WORLD but choose to throw it away: Shocking truth behind U.S. waste Watch

Image of Food waste in the United States is estimated to be between 30-40 percent (sustainablog).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The United States faces accusations of wasting enough food to put an end to hunger and increasing methane-producing landfill waste. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website, the United States' food ... continue reading


Can you hear 'The Hum?' Only 2 percent of people can hear this mysterious sound (AUDIO) Watch

Image of Only 4 percent of the matter in the universe is directly observable.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two people out of every hundred can hear it. It's a strange, low grade humming noise coming from the Earth itself. They can't get away from it, they can't make it stop. And nobody knows why it's there. The call it "the hum" and it is one of the planet's most enigmatic ... continue reading


Scientists found a 1,700 mile crack across the USA. Here's what you need to know Watch

Image of Quakes can happen almost anywhere.

By Tony Johnson (California Network)

Is America at risk for Great earthquakes spanning across the full United States?  "Cracks Across America", in Rift zones, may conceal large fracture type faults where scientists may not be able to identify where these hidden fractures may unleash catastrophic ... continue reading


All Green News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Reading for Monday, August 29th, 2016 HD Video
  • St. Monica: Mother of Augustine, Model of the Virtuous Mother
  • St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus
  • St. Monica: Saint of the Day for Saturday, August 27, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, August 27, 2016
  • You'll never believe what Obama did in Hawaii!
  • The economic problem that could destroy America TODAY HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 1:26-31
26 Consider, brothers, how you were called; not many of you are wise by ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:12-13, 18-19, 20-21
12 How blessed the nation whose God is Yahweh, the people he has chosen ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:14-30
14 'It is like a man about to go abroad who summoned his servants and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 27th, 2016 Image

St. Monica
August 27: Saint Monica, also known as Monica of Hippo, is ... Read More