A few years back, scientists made an unusual discovery high in the Canadian high Arctic. They found the fossilized remains of a foot-wide, tropical Asian turtle. In fact, they have also found the fossilized remains of crocodiles, ferns and other types of tropical animals and plants.
There is no way these could survive in the Arctic’s current climate.
And in the much more inhospitable southern antarctic, they have found the fossilized remains of a giant forest and even the remains of dinosaurs underneath the land perpetually covered with snow.
It is obvious at one point the planet was much warmer than it is today and somehow it was all taking place without the help of SUVs and man-made global warming.
But surprisingly the Bible may provide an explanation as it describes a different world at creation than what we see today.
Shortly after God judged the world with a flood, God made a promise to Noah that He would never destroy the earth again in this way:
13 I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, 15 and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. (Genesis 9:13-15 NASV)
Notice that God set rainbows in the sky as a sign of this covenant promise. This suggests that prior to the flood, there were no rainbows. If this is the case, does it tell us anything about the earth before the flood?
First what causes a rainbow?
Basically raindrops act as a prism and when sunlight passes through them, they reflects light at different angles producing the rainbow color that we see. But the key is this, we not only need water vapor, but a strong source of sunlight breaking through the clouds.
If there were no rainbows this suggests that the earth was surrounded by a heavier, more consistent cloud cover.
We see a vague reference to this when the flood hit:
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month—on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst open and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. (Genesis 7:11 NASV)
Notice how it says that the floodgates of heaven opened up, this implies a pre-existing cloud cover that exploded with rain. Remember Noah was living in what today is called the Middle East, an area not known for its abundance of rain.
So it would seem that after the flood God broke up the continuous cloud cover over the earth. Yet it wasn’t like God removed all the clouds, because they still cover about 70% of the earth on any given day.
But if it was 100% at one point, would this have impacted the climate of the earth?
The answer is yes, because water vapor is a significant form of greenhouse gas that could conceivably warm the full planet, even the northern and southern extremities.
In their article entitled, Water Vapor Confirmed as Major Player in Climate Change, NASA describes water vapor’s impact this way:
“Water vapor is known to be Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas, but the extent of its contribution to global warming has been debated. Using recent NASA satellite data, researchers have estimated more precisely than ever the heat-trapping effect of water in the air, validating the role of the gas as a critical component of climate change.”
At one time in its history, our planet had thriving tropical life in the arctic and forests growing in the antarctic, and the Bible provides the most logical explanation why.
- Tropical turtle fossil found in the Arctic: NBC News
- Water Vapor Confirmed as Major Player in Climate Change,: NASA
- UWM geologists uncover Antarctica’s fossil forests: UWM Report
- Fossilized Antarctic forest stumps scientists, but fuels Bible flood theories: Breaking Israel News
- Two-thirds of the earth is covered in clouds: ABC Science