Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/25/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Cryosat 2 has affirmed that ice mass is being lost at an unprecedented rate.

The European environmental satellite Cryosat 2, has independently confirmed what scientists have been saying for some time - the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland are melting. The blame for this melting is laid squarely on global warming and correlates with global sea level rise.

An artist's impression of Cryosat 2. The ESA mission has confirmed that massive ice sheets are melting fast.

An artist's impression of Cryosat 2. The ESA mission has confirmed that massive ice sheets are melting fast.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/25/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Greenland, sea level, ice, global warming, Antarctica, Cryosat 2


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The European Space Agency's Cryosat 2 has confirmed that the world's largest ice sheets are losing ice much faster than it can be replaced. Ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting, losing thickness as their ice turns to liquid and flows into the ocean where it contributes to sea level rise.

The rate of loss has also doubled since just 2009, alarming scientists further. The concern is that the impacts of global warming are about to become increasingly apparent as climate change, spurred on by warming, becomes more dramatic.

Keep Catholic Online free, keep it going!

Notably, all of this appears to be happening at a time when the pace of global warming appears to be moderated to a minimal level, creating an apparent paradox that scientists have been struggling to answer. Global warming appears to be on "hiatus" with averages barely rising over the past decade. Despite this hiatus, other changes predicted by scientists as a result of global warming, appear to be developing.

The winter of 2014 was especially warm for most regions, including the western USA and Siberia. Nota

The winter of 2014 was especially warm for most regions, including the western USA and Siberia. Notably, it was exceptionally cold in the American east. This overall temperature pattern has remained constant into the summer of 2014.


Scientists can't agree on the reason behind the global warming hiatus, although they do not think the pace of warming has stopped -only that some previously unaccounted mechanism is absorbing more of the warming, keeping atmospheric temperature rise moderated. However, the hunt for the "missing warming" has continued.

Just last week, the most plausible explanation for this "missing warming" was announced. Scientists announced that the deep Atlantic could be storing the excess heat because of a natural process whereby the Atlantic currents absorb more heat and store it for an extended period. That period could last for another decade or even two, then it will reverse and release the excess heat, leading to a sharp spike in global warming.

However, in the meantime, global warming will remain moderated by the present natural cycle.

The problem with the Atlantic hypothesis is that good, comprehensive data is only dated to 2001 onwards which is right when the hiatus began. Before that time, records suggest the Atlantic was in a cool phase for the previous two decades, and was not absorbing as much heat. However, the data suggesting that isn't as comprehensive.

Scientists have also offered other competing hypotheses to suggest why global warming has paused, suggesting that solar activity or aerosols in the atmosphere could be to blame.

Despite this acknowledged speculation, the impacts of global warming appear to continue. As ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland melt, they powerfully suggest that the global climate is changing despite what temperature records suggest.

Also, 2014 appears to be among the hottest years on record, even with minimal warming occurring. A notable exception to global warming appears to be in the American east, where temperatures have hit record lows. Speculation also suggests that is also the result of global climate change.

It should also be recognized that the Cryosat 2 mission has demonstrated an increase in ice mass in some places in Antarctica, but mission scientists have warned this is not nearly enough ice increase to offset the losses from elsewhere in the continent.

What can be concluded with virtual certainty, beyond the raw data presented by the Cryosat 2 mission, is that climate models remain inadequate to explain precisely why the climate is behaving the way it is. There does appear to be a powerful, long-term correlation between human activity and global warming, however there remains a number of variables that are not yet factored into the equation.

For example, the north polar ice cap should be entirely melted, should we recall prior predictions from scientists. The fact that Arctic ice remains suggests that something is missing from the calculation. What those variables are and how powerful they are remains to be discovered.

Despite the imperfections in the models, we should rest confident that global climate change is real, the climate is warming, and despite any hiatus, the pace of climate change and warming will eventually increase leading to dramatic changes in many areas.

Certainly, global sea level rise continues at the rate of at least 3mm per year. This rate has increased within the past decade, during the current hiatus. In fact, sea level has increased by over one foot since 1870. Sea level rise is expected to increase for centuries with impacts on coastal communities and marine ecosystems.

All of the trends point upwards, so it is time to move the discussion from "if" global warming is real to "what" we ought to do about it. A delay in that discussion could lead to fewer options later on as the problem accelerates and grows increasingly critical for billions of people who are closely impacted by changes to the environment.

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Green

Incredible NASA video offers amazing sights of Pluto Watch

Image of Large areas of Pluto are completely or largely crater-free. This suggests that the dwarf planet remained geologically active until the recent past - and may even still be active today.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The distant, icy planet of Pluto was officially kicked out of our solar system in 2006. Our current solar system now only features eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune. A recent flyby by NASA has revealed a wealth of ... continue reading


Are the blood moons foretelling the impending apocalypse? Watch

Image of The Blood Moon is the result of Earth's shadow.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Blood Moon will grace the skies this year on September 27-28, leading end-of-time believers speculating that the end of the world is drawing near. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - There will be blood -in the sky that is. A "blood moon" is a lunar ... continue reading


Five-foot-long 'bizarre' sea scorpion fossil discovered Watch

Image of Pentecopterus decorahensis, or

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

More than 150 fossil fragments of the well-preserved ancestors of sea scorpions were unearthed in Iowa, according to The Daily Mail. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Named "Pentecopterus decorahensis," the creatures were the largest and oldest species of sea ... continue reading


President Obama shares apocalyptic vision of world destroyed by climate change Watch

Image of President Barack Obama viewing a rapidly melting glacier while on his Alaskan trip.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama shared his vision of the world if global leaders further refuse the facts of climate change. Warning that if we don't act today, "we will condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


World must address climate change or 'condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair,' Obama says Watch

Image of Obama recently gave final approval to Shell Oil's drilling in the Alaskan Arctic for the first time in 20 years. Environmentalists have called down Obama for hypocrisy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

United States President Barack Obama called upon world to act quickly on climate change or "condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair." The president used unusually strong language at the "GLACIER" conference in Anchorage, ... continue reading


Nearly all seabird species expected to have guts full of plastic by 2050 Watch

Image of A bird with plastic netting wrapped around its neck.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recently published study stated by 2050, nearly every seabird species is predicted to have plastic debris ingested into their systems. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Senior research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research ... continue reading


NASA captures space 'butterfly' with Hubble Space Telescope Watch

Image of  Hubble Scope's new image of Minkowski's Butterfly, a Butterfly Nebula.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A butterfly nebula recently beamed back via NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. NASA reports the phenomenon is the result of good luck, dust, a dying star and a smaller star. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -NASA explained that the occurrence had to do with ... continue reading


OMINOUS DEVELOPMENT: Massive chunk breaks off world's fastest melting glacier Watch

Image of It comes as ominous news to coastal cities and nations around the world vulnerable to sudden sea level rise . the world's fastest melting glacier had a massive chunk break off in over two days, setting an unwelcome record.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It comes as ominous news to coastal cities and nations around the world vulnerable to sudden sea level rise as the world's fastest melting glacier had a massive chunk break off in over two days, setting an unwelcome record. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


First for insect kingdom: Ants able to 'self-medicate' when unwell Watch

Image of It was also learned that the infected ants would also either choose to eat the poison as often as normal food, or only a quarter of the time, showing that the ants were

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The common ant is typically thought of as being an example of the "hive mind" - acting in concert with their respective colonies, without free will. Researchers have now learned that ants are able to feel when they are sick or unwell - and self-medicate themselves. LOS ... continue reading


WORLD-WIDE POWER OUTAGE: Is a massive solar flare in our near future? Watch

Image of [Photo by: Solar Flare/BENSOW]

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world is highly dependent on electricity, even more so now than ever before. A massive solar storm can leave the Earth in bad shape and cause a global-scale of darkness. We must always be ready for such an event to prevent further panic and havoc. MUNTINLUPA, ... 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, Colossians 1:9-14
9 That is why, ever since the day he told us, we have ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:2-3, 3-4, 5-6
2 Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:1-11
1 Now it happened that he was standing one day by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 3rd, 2015 Image

Pope Saint Gregory the Great
September 3: St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son 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