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.

---


'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 DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Green

2016 is the hottest year on record - so what? Watch

Image of Why should anyone care if the world is a degree, or even half a degree, hotter?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It seems like 2016 is now officially the hottest year on record since records were kept. It's a disturbing milestone, and a sign of a greater problem. The planet has warmed by another fraction of a degree over previous years. But it's also easy to ask, "so what?" LOS ... continue reading


What frightened these scientists off? The alarming reason why scientists abandoned one of the world's most famous Antarctic bases -- and why you could be in danger too Watch

Image of The Halley VI team. The team rotates each year and new members take the place of the old.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists are abandoning a base in Antarctica for fear that a massive crack in the ice sheet could destabilize their area. The Halley VI ice base on the Brunt Ice Shelf has been closed amid fears the shelf is nearing collapse. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- ... continue reading


Photos show dramatic transformation as California's drought is BUSTED by rains of Biblical proportions Watch

Image of Northern California has been inundated with rain and snow, which is flooding rivers and filling basins that have been dry for years.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

For five years, California has suffered through record-busting drought that has alarmed planners. Now, the state may be emerging from the drought as epic rains follow epic heat. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- A few years ago, it was difficult to ascertain if ... continue reading


Scientists stunned to discover that one mythological animal is perfectly real, and has now been captured on film Watch

Image of The mythical horse deer does in fact exist after all.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A mysterious animal has been captured on film in China reigniting a discussion about cryptids. Cryptids are mysterious animals often associated with folklore and myth. But in this case, one animal appears to be real. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- ... continue reading


Was 2016 really the hottest year yet? Watch

Image of Was 2016 the hottest year yet?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

If you thought 2016 was hot, that's because it was. In fact, 2016 was the second hottest year on record for the USA. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- As most of the nation freezes under a blanket of January snow, it's difficult to remember the warm months of ... continue reading


California watches with disbelief as massive 'atmospheric river' phenomenon with FIFTEEN TIMES the water of the Mississippi, develops offshore Watch

Image of A portion of the I-5 is closed as crews struggle with clearing snow from a mountain pass.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Northern California is about to be hit with a massive storm that contains so much rain, it is known as an "atmospheric river." Meteorologists say the event happens about only once in a decade. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - An epic storm is poised to hit ... continue reading


AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION 2.0 - How everything you eat is about to change forever. Say goodbye to farmers and ranchers! Watch

Image of Vertical farms already exist on small scale, but their popularity is catching on and rapid expansion and development is expected within the next decade.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In about a decade or so, your food is going to be a lot different. For the first time since humans began farming and ranching, the way we grow and produce food is about the change --dramatically. Farmers and ranchers, your days are numbered. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Not by fire but by ice? The frigid scenario where global warming triggers an ice age gets a second look Watch

Image of An unlikely scenario is getting a second look from climate scientists.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The climate change skeptics are going to love this one. Under one scenario global warming could trigger a new ice age that will devastate Europe. The good news is, if it happens, it will take some time. The scenario shows just how difficult the impact of global climate ... continue reading


Is Earth in danger of being hit? YES, this is a cosmic shooting gallery and Earth is a target Watch

Image of Plans to deflect an asteroid include using lasers, mirrors, and solar sails to change its orbit.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The inner Solar System is a cosmic shooting gallery, and Earth is a target. This is very apparent this year as NASA is tracking several objects headed our way. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Anything headed towards Earth is of monumental importance. Earth has ... continue reading


What do the colors of the northern lights mean? NASA shares stunning photos of aurora from space Watch

Image of The beautiful colors have inspired many legends and theories about their meaning. However, scientists say it's just the different gasses and altitude that determines the colors.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

NASA has released some beautiful images of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, captured from space. The pictures show the glowing, colorful lights against the curvature of the Earth, from about 250 miles up. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- ... 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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
15 This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so that, now that a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:22-30
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, 'Beelzebul ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 23rd, 2017 Image

St. Ildephonsus
January 23: St. Ildephonsus is highly regarded in Spain and ... Read More