Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/19/2014 (5 months 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 (5 months 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'


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

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


100,000 march to stop climate change in New York Watch

Image of A woman protests the development of the tar sands pipeline through the United States.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tens of thousands gathered in the streets of New York on September 22, as part of an international day of protest on climate change, and event organizers predicted it was the largest protest about the issue in five years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... 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 2:1-10
1 And you were dead, through the crimes and the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
2 serve Yahweh with gladness, come into his presence ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:13-21
13 A man in the crowd said to him, 'Master, tell my ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 20th, 2014 Image

St. Paul of the Cross
October 20: St. Paul of the Cross was born at Ovada in the Republic of ... 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