To the Editor:
I am writing to express alarm about rapid climate change. Scientists agree that climate change is occurring fast. The facts are overwhelming. Consequently, most mainstream Christian denominations, such as, Episcopal, Lutheran, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Presbyterian and Methodist are warning about carbon dioxide emissions changing the climate.
Scientific examination of Antarctic ice core sample readings reveals the last 800,000 years of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Those levels range from 180 to 280 parts per million of atmospheric concentration. We are now well above anything experienced in the last 800,000 years.
During the previous 800,000 years, the greenhouse gas levels of carbon dioxide followed the natural climate changes produced by fluctuations of solar output and earth’s axis tilt movements — called the Milankovitch cycles. However, today earth’s climate is out of order with the natural rhythm. The climate pattern is instead being driven by manmade released carbon emissions.
How fast is the climate changing? In the 1950s the observatory in Hawaii began measuring carbon in the atmosphere at 300. Today, we are at a carbon level of 410. The crisis is upon us.
Through the teaching paper titled Laudato Si our Holy Father, Pope Francis, calls on us to act.