One could write numerous in-depth articles on Noah's Flood, but we have limited ourselves to merely introducing the subject so as to whet your appetite and motivate you to do research on your own. This is the third and last article in a series on the Flood, which included a discussion of why the Flood was necessary, preparations for it, how Noah's family experienced it, and some immediate results of it; then a discussion of how the continents, rocks, and fossils came to be as they are now. This final part will discuss the formation of such features as mountains and glaciers, the weather, and the Ice Age.
I do not pretend to be an expert on these things; this is just my interpretation of studies I have read! Please go to my favourite creationist websites Answers in Genesis, Creation Ministries International, and Creation Today for details and much better descriptions of these things, and consider buying some of the books on these subjects. It will be money well invested in your family's education! For the sake of this discussion, I highly recommend "The Weather Book," by Michael Oard, and "Life in the Great Ice Age," by Michael & Beverly Oard. I will attempt to give you a short overview of factors that affect weather and caused the Ice Age, but you really need to study these books (and others like them) to get a solid understanding of it.
When we study geography today, we often look at gorgeous photographs of such features as the Rocky Mountains, the Columbia Ice Field, and the Sahara Desert--and wonder why God made things like that. For many years I assumed He made them that way because He liked variety, and thought we'd appreciate it, too. But since studying Noah's Flood I've discovered that features like these didn't exist when the world was new; they were created by Noah's Flood!
The previous two articles made clear, I trust, that the flood was a violent event in which nothing survived that was not in Noah's Ark. The breaking open of the fountains of the great deep would have been caused and/or accompanied by earthquakes and volcanoes in which a great deal of hot water and molten lava spewed forth. This would have created warm oceans--a key element in the development of the Ice Age, which we'll discuss later. All that water compressed the land and everything in it, and pushed it downward.
But as the water (and later, ice) receded in some places before others, there would have been a release of pressure that allowed the land in those places to rise--creating, in some cases, mountains, and in others, where there was extreme run-off, enormous canyons. Continued volcanic and earthquake activity would have randomly twisted and helped to push up some areas of rock and caused secondary flooding and landslides. If you've noticed rocky mountain layers going in different directions, including vertically, then you've observed the results of this awesome power of nature.
Mountains influence the flow of wind around the earth and the climate in various places. You might notice, for example, a great deal of plant growth on one side of a mountain because it has received abundant rainfall but little on the other side because most of the moisture has fallen out before the wind made it over the peak. Deserts are often found on the leeside of mountains.
The wind itself is created by the flow of air from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas, and moves variously because of the earth's spin and things (like mountains) in its way. It carries moisture that has evaporated into the air from bodies of water, especially the ocean. The warmer the water, the faster it evaporates into the air; and the warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold.
At the root of the whole weather system is that magnificent star that God created "to rule the day" for us on earth. The sun's rays are either absorbed by the air and ground or bounced off things like clouds or snow and ice and reflected back into space. Rays that are absorbed warm the atmosphere; rays that are reflected back into space cool it. Anything in the air (like dust, pollution, and ash from volcanoes) helps to keep the sun's rays from reaching and warming the earth.
The water that drowned the earth in Noah's day was very hot, having coming up from the "great deep" and having also been heated by numerous lava flows, and it was warmer than the land that was finally exposed. Even that part of it which became the Arctic Ocean was warm in those days! Wind carried much evaporated water from these warm oceans over onto the cooler land and dropped it there as rain or snow. In the northern and southern parts of the globe the snow piled up and didn't get a chance to melt because the summers were cooler than they are now. As the amount of snow increased, its weight compressed it into ice, making glaciers and ice fields. The increasing amounts of white snow and ice reflected more and more sunlight back into space. This made the land cooler and increased the snowfall made by moisture carried from oceans that were cooling, but still warmer than the land.
For probably 500 years this snow and ice build-up went on, with the oceans gradually cooling down--causing progressively less evaporation and snowfall. Volcanic action slowed down so there was less ash in the air to block sunlight and warmth. As the land warmed up and snow began to melt, some of the melt-water spread out over the ocean where it froze because of the cooler temperatures that had developed there. Since the oceans were now cooler and the land warmer, the necessary ingredients for creating an Ice Age had ended and weather activities began to reverse. Summers grew warmer, permitting longer periods of time for the ice and snow to melt. Within another 200 years or so, the Ice Age had ended. With the advent of warmer summers the ice began to melt, permitting glaciers to recede and leaving behind lakes and seas, huge rocks and moraine.
There are many glaciers and ice fields remaining today, testament to the complicated weather system that was started by Noah's Flood.
It takes a global flood to create an Ice Age; so I assure you on the authority of God's Word that there will never be another one. The earth will be destroyed again, though--this time by fire. God frequently uses natural processes to accomplish His purposes, so I will speculate that the next destruction may be triggered by earthquake and volcanic action but without an influx of water. It seems logical to conclude, however, that Noah's Flood did set the stage for the future fiery destruction because of the many changes it made.
To get a good visual picture of how volcanoes can change the earth's geography in a very short time, I suggest you study Mount St. Helens. The Institute for Creation Research has produced a DVD called "Mount St. Helens: Modern Day Evidence for the World Wide Flood." Visit their website for further information on this and numerous other topics.
Have you heard what's going on in Yellowstone National Park? This is news that you do not want to let anyone withhold from you! It was brought to my attention just a few years ago that there is a supervolcano under most of the park, and that it is expected to erupt at any time. When it does, it will be disastrous! According to a program narrator, "If this giant were to stir, the United States would be devastated and the world would be plunged into a catastrophe which could push humanity to the brink of extinction." Sound familiar?
Earthquake watchers are monitoring the supervolcano very carefully but don't know what to do about it or how to prepare for its eruption, because no one has ever seen a supervolcano erupt. Earthquakes are increasing in number and intensity over the whole earth, as predicted in Scripture, and that includes the area of this supervolcano. On March 25, 2008 Yellowstone had a 4.1 magnitude quake.
You can keep an eye on earthquake events in this area yourself at the Yellowstone National Parks special map page. Jesus told us that earthquakes would increase, and they certainly have! He will be returning very soon now, and we need to be ready!
I had never heard of a supervolcano before, so I did an Internet search for it. One site, in particular, contained a very good description of what happens when large volcanoes blow. That article is a transcript of a program aired by the BBC in February 2000, in which Yellowstone was discussed. It is full of evolutionary and ancient earth comments, Evolutionary dating methods are based on the concept of uniformitarianism, which is the idea that everything has always happened in the way we see it happening today (slowly, so it must have taken a long time to get into its present form).
Uniformitarianism denies the idea of catastrophism, which is the concept that a catastrophe happened at some point in time and changed the earth into its current form.so you need to be on your guard not to swallow all their dating comments. (You can learn how to refute such ideas at the creationist websites I have recommended.) Despite these factors the article does give excellent information about the results of volcano activity. With that in mind read this article on Supervolcanoes, which you can find at the Science & Nature section of the BBC website.
Noah's Flood was a catastrophe of gigantic proportions and it pushed humanity to the brink of extinction! If it weren't for Noah and his Ark, all of earth's inhabitants would have perished. Only Yeshua can save us next time! Are you ready?
If you found this article helpful and wish to apply this information to a children's church class or in your home, just add one or more of the following to your teaching session: a volcano project, a memory verse (like 1 Thessalonians 5:3), excerpts from a book like "Life in the Great Ice Age" and "The Weather Book", a song like "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands", and a snack like s'mores (to illustrate melting and cracking). (Note: you can jump to the link to read that reference, and then click the "back to Activities" link to return.)
I trust you appreciated and have learned quite a bit from this short series on Noah's Flood. Please return to the Faith Matters index for additional articles.
3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Connie Lacelle, for the Connie's Comments column of the Northern Good News Journal, June 2004.
What did you think of this article? Do you disagree with anything the author said? Did s/he overlook anything important? Send me an e-mail to have your say.