The Great Ice Age
Historically, there is one catastrophic event mentioned in the Bible that could have produce a dramatic worldwide climate change. The Genesis Flood was the result of God's judgment to destroy by water every creature that breathes air. The Flood covered the earth and it gave rise to global cooling that resulted in the Ice Age. We would like to share with you how this happened in the light of God's Word, and show you how it is supported by the evidence at hand. We will attempt to answer these basic questions below, so that you will see how God's Word is affirmed by this grand Ice Age in the biblical context of a young earth.
How many Ice Ages have there been? You may have heard that there have been multiple ice ages, but there is no hard scientific evidence for more than one Ice Age. According to the evolutionary model, the last Ice Age in the Late Wisconsin Glacier Period took place about 10, 000 years ago. It was the largest of all the alleged ice ages occupying one third of the earth and erasing all geological evidence of the preceding eras. All evidence, including ice core data, that has been produced, is not very compelling. Larry Vardiman, who has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, conducted extensive studies on the Ice Age. Dr. Vardiman reports, "Nothing in the ice-core data from either Greenland or Antarctica requires the earth to be of great age. In fact, there are good reasons to believe that the ice cores are revealing important information about conditions following the Flood of Genesis and the recent formation of thick ice sheets." [www.icr.org/article/ice-cores-age-earth] As creationists, we believe there was only one major Ice Age, and the evidence is on our side.
An Ice Age doesn't just start by accident!
We have reasons to believe in one ice age. The Ice Age was a major event requiring a major cause. We simply don't see any mechanism that is capable of generating an ice age within the normal cycles of climatic change that our planet experiences today. In fact, we would argue that such an event could only be triggered by a worldwide catastrophe of Biblical proportions. The only reasonable candidate for such a catastrophe was the worldwide flood of Noah's day. "From whose womb comes the ice? And the frost of heaven, who gives it birth?" Job 38:29
So when was the Ice Age?
If Noah's flood caused the Ice Age, then it would have started right after the flood, which occurred somewhere around 2348 BC. The Ice Age is thought to have peaked about 500 years later followed by a warming period for another 200 years.
How does a flood trigger an Ice Age?
From the descriptions in the book of Genesis, we understand that Noah's flood was accompanied by a monumental amount of volcanic activity. The earth's crust was literally ripped apart all over the planet, both on land and under the oceans.
This occurred both during the onset of the flood, and most likely continued after the flood. The oceans were actually warmed as a result of coming into contact with hot magma and underground, super-heated water sources. Meanwhile, volcanic ash was being spewed into the upper atmosphere, almost blotting out the sun's rays. "On that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened," Genesis 7:11.
In the years and decades following the Flood, the lack of sunlight would have caused the land masses to become colder and colder. However, the seas stored their increased warmth for a longer period. Warm oceans created both a large-scale evaporation of ocean water and very strong convection currents in the atmosphere. These carried the moisture-laden air over the cold land masses where it fell as snow. And, over time, this snow became compacted into ice.
How did the Ice Age affect man and creatures?
After the flood, the evaporation from the warm oceans was so severe that, by most estimates, the ocean levels were actually at least 300 feet below today's sea level. The evaporated water was trapped as snow and ice, unable to return back to the oceans for many years to come. This exposed the land all the way out to what we now refer to as the “continental shelf,” the extended perimeter of each continent that appears just off the coast. As explored in the book and DVD, “Ice Age Civilizations” (available on u-tube), there is much evidence of cities being built along ancient coastlines. During the peak of the Ice Age, just like today, man's inclination was to build cities right at the ocean's edge. One reason for this was to allow for trade and seaports. However, the other reason is that the ocean's edge would, at some latitudes, have been the only place to find warmer weather due to air blowing off the ocean during this hard-to-survive Ice Age. Little did they know that the newly exposed coastline was only temporary, remaining only until the ice began to melt and sea levels began to rise.
Migration to Warmer Climates:
It is important to point out that the ice did not cover the entire planet. In North America, ice sheets and glaciers came as far South as the Ohio River Valley covering about a one third of the planet.
The warmer coastlines would have created a “corridor” that was used by animals to migrate toward warmer climates nearer the equator. Some creatures, however, did not have migratory instincts or they were simply not near enough to the ocean. They would have died off because they were trapped at the colder latitudes. Dinosaurs likely fell into this category. Dinosaurs were created on the sixth day of Creation week along with man, not millions of years before man as evolutionists try to teach. What's more, dinosaurs got onto the Ark and dinosaurs came off the Ark, but they stepped out into a very different world where it was more difficult for them to survive.
The drastic lowering of the sea level also created “land bridges” connecting the continents as well as many island chains to the mainland. Add to this the creatures' need to distance themselves from predators and establish their own territories, and it explains how they migrated to a more hospitable environment.
Ice Age Fossilization:
One final effect of the Ice Age was that warm oceans and cold land masses created the perfect “recipe” for weather patterns that could potentially produce more frequent and intense storms. These hurricane-like storms would have devastating effects with wind-driven rain over vast areas destroying anything in its path. It would also produce the typical destructive flooding that comes as a result of these powerful storms.
These abnormal Ice Age weather conditions are the best explanation for the thorough mixing of land and sea fossils that we find across the entire Florida peninsula all the way up to the eastern shores of South Carolina. In many of the fossils beds that typify these areas, there are remains of mammoth bones and other land dwellers mixed up with bones from whales, dolphins, sting rays, sharks and all manner of marine life. The best explanation for this mixing of fossils in loose sediment is that they were both picked up and strewn together by a massive wind vortex, and/or they were pushed there by a tsunami that washed over the entire Florida peninsula. In other words, Florida's fossils, unlike most fossils around the world, were not deposited by the Flood itself, but by its after effects. "From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind, And cold from the scattering winds of the north. By the breath of God ice is given, And the broad waters are frozen," Job 37: 9-10.
Extinct Ice Age Creatures:
Gigantism is found in many of the Ice Age creatures. There were mammoths the size of giraffes reaching 17 feet in height, sloths 18 feet tall, beavers the size of black bears, armadillos foraging for food the size of a Volkswagen and muscular saber tooth cats the size of an adult female lion on the hunt with two extremely large canine teeth protruding out of its mouth. The oceans were also filled with massive creatures like the giant megalodon sharks that measured 50 and 60 feet in length with many huge serrated teeth in mouths when open measuring 6 to 7 feet. These creatures are representative of what one might witness during the Ice Age right after the Flood.