Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/7/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

U.S. has been hardly affected by global warming until now.

Ice melting in both Antarctica and Greenland and is expected to increase sea levels by 3 feet or more by 2100. That means the destruction of many low-lying regions, including some island societies and billions of dollars in mandatory construction projects in low-lying areas, in the decades to come.

Within the next several decades, areas indicated in red will be routinely or even permanently flooded. Several metropolitan areas will be affected including New Orleans.

Within the next several decades, areas indicated in red will be routinely or even permanently flooded. Several metropolitan areas will be affected including New Orleans.

Article Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

1/7/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Climate change, global warming, Catholic, moral, pollution, sea level, rise, impacts

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The latest study published in the journal, Nature Climate Change, says the melting of polar ice, particularly in Antarctica and Greenland will cause a rise in sea levels of three feet within the next century. While a three-foot increase may seem insignificant, it will prove devastating to many regions around the world.

Global warming is no longer a debate in the scientific community. Recent revelations have laid virtually all scholarly discussion to rest as Greenland, once almost entirely covered in glacial ice, defrosts completely. North of Canada, the fabled Northwest Passage, long blocked by the permanent glacial cap which covers fringes of northern Canada, will likely open within the next several years, allowing shipping to pass through during warmer months.

Indeed, climate change is a normal part of Earth's environment. Within the past several hundred million years, the planet has endured significant swings between high levels of oxygen in the atmosphere, a development which led to the evolution of giant prehistoric insects, and large quantities of CO2, which led to the growth of massive tropical forests which spanned the globe.

In more recent times, climate change has coupled with human impacts, sometimes with devastating results. Most notably, all human civilization has developed in the latest period of warming brought about since the end of the last ice age, some 10,000-plus years ago.

However, the changes have not always been favorable. Ancient Mesopotamian empires collapsed as the region gave way from grassland to desert, and the Maya civilization collapsed under a decades-long drought that prevented them from growing enough food to sustain their population.

The Little Ice Age, a period of cooling which lasted from about 1350 to 1850, caused the collapse of Viking civilization and the failure of colonies in Greenland, shortened growing seasons in Europe, which brought about periods of famine, and much heavier snow and ice was recorded around the globe, particularly in Europe where diligent records were kept.

During this time in Africa, snow occasionally fell in places it has never fallen before or since.

However, after 1850 industrial output and environmental pollution skyrocketed, arguably to the point it has caused or at least contributed to present-day climate change.

While many people still debate the veracity of climate change and the cause behind it, the fact is climate change is real and the data bears this out extensively. Ultimately, the degree of human contribution is moot for two reasons. First, wanton pollution and destruction of the environment is inherently immoral, and second, the change is occurring anyway.

The ethical question then becomes, how should we cope with it?

"The consequences are horrible" glaciologist and co-author of the study, Jonathan Bamber told NBC News. Speaking on how much humans have contributed to climate change versus how much of the change is natural Bramber admitted, "There is really no consensus amongst the experts we approached. That's something that we in the scientific community need to address as a matter of urgency,"

Still, the changes are devastating. Several pacific island societies will be entirely displaced and likely destroyed as low-lying atolls are washed over by the rise in seal level. Millions of people will be displaced in countries such as Bangladesh, dikes in Holland will fail, and coastal cities from New York to Tokyo will only keep the waves at bay if they construct multi-billion dollar seawalls.

Already, the effects of climate change are being felt, although ironically, they seem to be felt the least in the United States where richness of resources, geographical luck, and modern technology have kept the harshest impacts at bay.

In other continents, the affects are acutely felt. Desertification and drought in Africa already causes crop failure, the loss of herds and wildlife, starvation, disease, and even conflict. In Asia, harsher weather now routinely displaces millions and causes food and health crisis more years than not. This wasn't the case a generation ago. But these developments rarely make U.S. headlines as we read instead about the latest celebrity scandal.

Today, with events such as Superstorm Sandy and record-breaking tornado outbreaks in the Midwest coupled with drought in the western states, the impact is being felt. It just isn't appreciated yet.

Higher food prices and economic disruptions will likely become more normal in the decades to come.

And while politicians and their antics still pose the greater threat to the everyday life of most Americans, have no more doubt, climate change is coming to a shore and sky near you.

Ultimately, the matter must be addressed. Scientists can debate causes all day, however we have a moral responsibility to serve as stewards of our environment and to show regard for our brothers and sisters who are already affected by these changes. To ignore the root causes of their suffering is an immoral act of willful ignorance.

Our time is limited. Today it is the deserts of Africa and the jungles of Asia. Tomorrow it will be the waterfronts, cities, and farms of the United States. We can debate and stall, or we can debate while we do. No matter what, we should guide our actions with moral principles, acting as stewards of the environment and keepers of our brothers, and our faith.


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

© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.


More Green

What a difference a millennia makes! Antarctic was at one time like coastal California Watch

Image of It's amazing what a millennia - or two can make on real estate. Two new studies claim that the chilly expanses of Antarctica were at one time very much like coastal California today!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's amazing what a millennia - or two can make on real estate. Two new studies claim that the chilly expanses of Antarctica were at one time very much like coastal California today! The two new studies are helping scientists determine the effects of long-term ... continue reading

BIOLOGICAL WARFARE? Smog from India, China winds way to U.S., Canada Watch

Image of The smog in Asia, it must be noted is caused by more than just the burning of fossil fuels - it's comprised of nitrogen oxides, methane and other volatile organic compounds that combine to produce ozone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ripples in the global pond, half a world away, can have effects all over the globe. Researchers at Texas A&M now say that air pollution originating in both India and China, almost certainly affects global weather patterns, particularly in the United States and ... continue reading

MONSTER El Nino forming in South Pacific, will being devastating weather around the globe in 2014-2015 Watch

Image of We may see a sharp increase in severe weather events for 2014-2015.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to scientists, a massive El Nino is forming in the Pacific and it may be the largest such El Nino ever recorded. If true then the entire planet may experience an uptick in extreme weather events with serious consequences for life and property around the ... continue reading

World must turn to wind and solar to combat global warming, report says Watch

Image of Scientists are optimistic that if renewable energy is quickly rolled out, homes are built in a more sustainable and energy efficient way, and human consumption and wastefulness is changed, climate change can be controlled.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world must turn to the wind or sun for its energy needs -- or face catastrophic consequences wrought by climate change. That's the news from a recent report from the United Nations on global warming. These devastating effects could take place as early as 15 ... continue reading

Former Indonesian tropical paradise reduced to garbage dump Watch

Image of The water at times turns red, green, yellow and black because of the high concentration of dyes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As people in China's most air polluted cities cheerfully don face masks, a fisherman on Indonesia's Citarum River has blankly accepted his polluted fate. Once searching for fish, Herman, the name of the fisherman proffered to news reporters says he now looks ... continue reading

THIRD Oarfish sighting in Sea of Cortez stokes earthquake fears Watch

Image of A tour guide lies beside a beached oarfish specimen on the Isla San Francisco in Mexico.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An oarfish has been found washed on an island beach in Mexico, leading to speculation if it is one of the two previously sighted and filmed last month, or if it is in fact a third specimen. If it is a third, it could fuel rumors of an earthquake since anecdotal ... continue reading

Japanese island consumes another in unusual volcanic activity Watch

Image of Two volcanic craters are shown on Niijima on November 22. The island emerged about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) south of Tokyo in the Ogasawara Islands, also known as the Bonin Islands.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a spate of highly unusual volcanic activity, one Japanese island has merged with another nearby island. Niijima Island, a volcano which broke through the ocean's surface last November, has now merged with a nearby island that formed from a volcano which last ... continue reading

Are these oarfish in Mexico predicting an earthquake? Tourists film TWO live oarfish trying to beach themselves Watch

Image of Oarfish are legendary harbingers of earthquakes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amazing new video shows two oarfish swimming just offshore in Mexico to the delight of ecotourists on a kayaking tour. The video, taken last March, shows the pair of fish possibly about to beach themselves. Oarfish are rarely sighted and legend associates their ... continue reading

MASS EXTINCTION: All life on Earth went extinct 252 million years ago Watch

Image of The Permian-Triassic extinction has been defined as a natural event that heated up the Earth's biological systems.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly all life on Earth became extinct 252 million years ago. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT scientists, the culprit was not an asteroid striking the planet, but a methane-spewing microbe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daniel ... continue reading

Bison, elk appear to be fleeing Yellowstone. Is supervolcano eruption eminent? Watch

Image of A supervolcano under Yellowstone could cause mass extinctions if it erupted.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Talk of a supervolcano eruption in Yellowstone National Park has hit the blogosphere after several people have posted videos of animals fleeing the sanctuary. A supervolcano eruption would destroy everything for hundreds of miles around and would plunge the planet into ... continue reading

All Green News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... 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