Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/22/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Can we really do anything about it?

A study published in Nature Geoscience reveals that global warming that occurred some five million years ago causing sea levels to rise dramatically, possibly as much as by 20 meters. Scientists suggest that Antarctic ice may be more susceptible to warming than previously thought.

Antarctic ice is thinning, leading many to suggest that we're returning to Pliocene-era conditions.

Antarctic ice is thinning, leading many to suggest that we're returning to Pliocene-era conditions.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/22/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Pliocene, epoch, ice, global warming, CO2, temperature, melting, human, future, sea level


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to a study published in Nature Geoscience, global warming led to the melting of the East Antarctic ice sheets, contributing to a worldwide sea level rise of about ten to twenty meters.

Researchers from the Imperial College London examined mud samples and discovered there were multiple episodes of warming which officered during the Pliocene epoch, between five and three million years ago. During these episodes of warming, massive amounts of Antarctic and Greenland ice melted raising worldwide sea levels by as much as 20 meters. As ice melted, it cast off mud into the oceans where it now bears witness to climate change in sediment cores studied by researchers.

The conclusion is significant because during the Pliocene epoch, world carbon dioxide levels are similar to what they are now, about 400 parts per million.

 Dr Tina Van De Flierdt, co-author from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London said, "The Pliocene Epoch had temperatures that were two or three degrees higher than today and similar atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to today. Our study underlines that these conditions have led to a large loss of ice and significant rises in global sea level in the past. Scientists predict that global temperatures of a similar level may be reached by the end of this century, so it is very important for us to understand what the possible consequences might be."

Later in the Pliocene epoch, temperatures dropped and ice sheets returned. However, the warm period found in the middle of the epoch is the time most similar to Earth's climate today. In fact, it was even warmer with temperatures at high latitudes as much as 10 to 20 degrees higher than present average. Temperatures in the tropics remained about the same.

During the Pliocene, parts of Florida and inland California were underwater.

During the Pliocene, parts of Florida and inland California were underwater.


Scientists have blamed the high temperatures on CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, and possibly on the rotation of the Earth around the sun. Many suggest the conditions are now comparable to the present day and use the period as a cautionary tale of what we can expect in the near-future.

At this time, many scientists agree that much of the CO2 in the atmosphere has been produced by human activity and that it can be a major contributing factor to future temperature increases and melting ice. Indeed, the change is about us. The Arctic ice cap is expected to disappear, at least during the summer months, within the next several decades.

However, Arctic ice mostly floats upon the sea and will not contribute significantly to seal level rise. What is more problematic is the melting of the ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland.

If all that ice melts, scientists say we could see another 20 meters or more of sea-level rise. Naturally, that would be incredibly catastrophic.

Incidentally, there were no humans to cause global warming during the Pliocene, although our primitive ancestors, Australopithecus, did exist in the open tropical woodlands of Africa.

It remains a matter of some dispute, the level of human involvement in global climate change, and if CO2 levels matching that of the Pliocene epoch will also produce the same result. It is also of great debate if humans can do anything other than adapt.

Our knowledge of the Pliocene era is incomplete and sweeping conclusions based on data from that era is certainly premature, including major policy shifts. However, the latest research provides a cautionary note that if our planet continues to warm, for whatever reason, we may see a much different, more watery world in the centuries to come.

---


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


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Green

Goodbye El Nino! Hello La Nina! What does this mean for the Atlantic Hurricane season? Watch

Image of One impact La Nina has is a more active Atlantic hurricane season.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Goodbye El Nino! The monster heating anomaly in the tropical Pacific has abated and experts now believe a La Nina event, the cool sister of El Nino, will come to dominate the tropical Pacific for at least the next year to come. It has implications for the United ... continue reading


Scientists surprised by sudden eruption on Costa Rica volcano. Could the same happen at Mt. Rainier? Watch

Image of Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica has erupted without warning.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A volcano has erupted in Costa Rica with sudden ferocity, surprising experts who did not believe an eruption was imminent. The plume of ash from the volcano has caused flights to be canceled or diverted. Hundreds of people have reported to the hospital with reports of ... continue reading


Is a Mt. St. Helens eruption imminent? Here's the secret you're not being told Watch

Image of Mt. Rainier as seen from Tacoma. Is this giant awakening from a long sleep? Are the people prepared if so?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A researcher, who has studied volcanoes for decades, has reached out to Catholic Online to share new information about volcanic activity in the Pacific Northwest. It appears activity is spiking in the region, and neither the public, nor geologists, may be fully ... continue reading


Eruption imminent? Mt. St. Helens quakes as magma rises Watch

Image of Mt. St. Helens steams in this image showing the new dome within the crater.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Over the past month, we've warned about volcanoes, earthquakes, and what feels like a sudden uptick in global activity.  Although all of the activity seems to fall within "normal" levels, it is still above average and making people uneasy. Now, new reports show ... continue reading


SEE THE SIMULATION: There's a monster sleeping in Southern California and when it wakes, there will be hell to pay Watch

Image of Worse than any shaking, will be the devastation to infrastructure upon which tens of millions of people rely for survival.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Earthquakes are making the news, not because they're happening, but because they will happen soon, and they will be more violent than anything in recent memory. Great quakes threaten both the Eastern U.S. and the Pacific coast. Now a new revelation about the San ... continue reading


The Eastern U.S. rides atop a horrifying geologic secret. Are you sure you want to know? Watch

Image of The Eastern U.S. could have a major quake of its own, even larger than those that strike the Western U.S.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have a new explanation for why mysterious quakes strike the Eastern U.S. when no fault lines are present. The crust of the earth is falling away beneath your feet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Contrary to popular belief, Californians don't have a ... continue reading


Skinned alive and left to rot: 'I have no sympathy' (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of Animals are inhumanely treated then killed in the name of fashion (TL McCormick).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Soft, cuddly, adorable little animals are slaughtered by the thousands in the name of commerce. One Russian fur farmer even admitted she felt satisfaction as she skinned some animals alive or injected them with lethal, but inhumane, drugs that slowly suffocate the ... continue reading


Thoughtcrime or free speech? Oil companies face prosecution for climate change denial, but should they? Watch

Image of Foolish to disbelieve in global warming? Perhaps. 

Criminal? No.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

At what point does it become criminal to promote an idea? Can any idea actually be off limits? These are questions that must be considered as the U.S. government begins a literal witch-hunt against climate change deniers and their corporate sponsors. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


'We see it:' The realities of global warming are finally accepted around the world Watch

Image of The Paris climate agreement saw Sen. Jeff Merkley state global warming is one of the greatest challenges of our generation (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With more and more nations agreeing that climate change is not only real, but also dangerous, more world leaders are making a move to save the planet. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Senator Jeff Merkley took the Senate floor last week to say global warming is one ... continue reading


Volcanoes erupting everywhere! Is this a sign? Watch

Image of Popocatepetl erupts in Mexico. Prominent volcanoes in Russia and North Korea are also erupting.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thirty-eight volcanoes are erupting right now. Earthquakes are making the news. Is something supernatural about to occur? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Take care that no one deceives you," Jesus admonished his disciples in the book of Matthew. The Disciples were ... 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 Readings for Sunday, May 29, 2016
  • Corpus Christi, The Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus
  • Memorial Day: Honor Those Who Have Given Their Lives in Military Service
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Woman diagnosed with 'nightmare bacteria' in US
  • St. Maximinus of Trier: Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 29, 2016
  • Advent Prayer HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:41-43
41 'Even the foreigner, not belonging to your people Israel but coming ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 117:1, 2
1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh, all nations, extol him, all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:1-10
1 When he had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he ... Read More

Reading 2, Galatians 1:1-2, 6-10
1 From Paul, an apostle appointed not by human beings nor through any ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 29th, 2016 Image

St. Maximinus of Trier
May 29: Bishop of Trier, Germany, from 332, and a miracle ... Read More