A new study in the journal Science suggests that humanity is on the very of causing “a major extinction event” in our oceans while another study has found that 2014 was the hottest year in 135 years of record keeping. In the meantime, Pope Francis has again raised climate change and called environmental destruction a “sin” and affront to God.
Pope Francis has made it clear that in his view man-caused climate change is real and threatening humanity. In the Philippines, he called out to youth to rally behind environmental protection: “This is not only because this country, more than many others, is likely to be seriously affected by climate change. You are called to care for creation, not only as responsible citizens, but also as followers of Christ!”
His view is getting new support this month. In the ocean study by Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and their colleagues, the results show an accelerating level of damage but also found that it was possible to reverse this course.
They combines data from a wide range of sources from fossil records to fish catch rate to seabed mining. They found overwhelming evidence of over harvesting as well as habitat loss and coral reef destruction. While fishing and mining were found to be major threats, it was climate change was the major culprit in the long run. The 40 percent reduction in coral reefs were viewed as tied to climate change.
In the meantime, the data out of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA is not encouraging. The data show that 2014 was they hottest year in 135 years of record-keeping. This follows similar findings by the Japanese and an independent group out of University of California Berkeley.
The respected NOAA scientists reported 2014 averaged 58.24 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.24 degrees above the 20th-century average. (NASA only differs slightly in its finding of 58.42 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.22 degrees above their average).
NOAA also found that last month was the hottest December on record and that six months last year set marks for heat. Nine of the 10 hottest years in NOAA global records have occurred since 2000. According to University of South Carolina statistician John Grego, the odds of this happening at random are about 650 million to 1.