The CLIMATE Project

The Climate project had its official beginning in 2006 following the completion of the RATE project. It was composed primarily of numerical simulations of winter storms in the western United States enhanced by ice age conditions for warm oceans and cold continents, and simulations of hurricanes and tropical cyclones into hypercanes and hypercyclones due to warm sea-surface temperatures. However, various climate studies were conducted by Dr. Larry Vardiman and his students in the ICR Graduate School (ICRGS) beginning as early as 1982. The early climate projects between 1982 and 2001 were reported in numerous technical articles published at the International Conferences on Creationism and summarized in the ICR monograph Climates Before and After the Genesis Flood.1

David Rush completed an ICRGS master’s thesis in 1990in which he used the U.S. Air Force LOWTRAN code to simulate the radiational heating under a water vapor canopy.2 The vapor canopy model was found to exhibit a major flaw that could not be overcome in numerous attempts to adjust parameters such as the mass of water in a hypothetical canopy, solar power, radiation geometries, and earth albedos. Earth’s surface temperature was far too hot for survival of life on earth prior to the Genesis Flood with water content as low as 1 meter (3 feet). At this time the ejection of water and vapor into the atmosphere during catastrophic events of the Genesis Flood seems to be a better explanation for the deluge of water from the windows of heaven(Genesis 7:11) than from the collapse of a pre-Flood vapor canopy.

Dr. Vardiman published an ICR monograph in 1990 on helium flux through the atmosphere.3 A complete theoretical calculation was made of the thermal escape of helium from sources in the earth’s crust through the atmosphere to space. Helium is a light, noble gas that has a very small escape velocity driven by the temperature of the gases in the atmosphere. The calculation showed that the concentration of helium in the atmosphere should be much larger than is currently observed if the earth is 4.5 billion years old and thermal escape is the only means by which helium can be lost to space. The amount of helium currently observed in the atmosphere would indicate that the earth could only be 2 million years old, at most. Unfortunately, within ten years after the calculation was performed, another method of escape—the polar wind—was theoretically and experimentally confirmed, which could explain where all the helium had gone. So, the calculation was found to not be a valid indicator of young age.

Dr. Vardiman published an ICR monograph in 1993 on ice cores.4 It reported on the development of an equation that described the growth of ice sheets under non-uniformitarian conditions, such as would have been prevalent in the Ice Age following the Genesis Flood. The conventional uniformitarian ice sheet growth equations were developed by W. Dansgaard and J. Nye. Dr. Vardiman modified the conventional equations to accommodate an initial high precipitation rate declining exponentially to that observed today. Boundary conditions for precipitation were applied to boreholes at Camp Century, Dye-3, and Summit, Greenland, to obtain a timescale. Distributions of atmospheric temperature as a function of depth in the ice sheets were calculated using stable oxygen isotopes. Complex but tractable equations were found for the three ice cores. The temperature distributions were similar in all ice cores—warm temperatures at the bottom of the cores, cooling to a minimum at the end of the Ice Age, warming rapidly during deglaciation, and uniformly warm for the past few thousand years.

As part of the ice age research, Dr. Vardiman published an ICR monograph in 1996 on sea-floor sediments.5 It reported on the distributions of stable oxygen isotopes and the estimated ocean temperature from sea-floor sediments derived from the calcium carbonate in the shells of foraminifera. The distributions of stable isotopes from numerous sea-floor sediment cores from the Deep Sea Drilling Project showed the same shape as in the ice cores in Greenland, except the distributions were inverted; that is, when the ice showed a maximum in oxygen-18, the sea-floor sediment showed a minimum. From this analysis, the timing for the accumulation of sea-floor sediments and the growth of ice sheets in polar regions were found to match and occur over a timeframe of hundreds, not tens of thousands, of years, confirming a young-earth model.

Karen Spelman (Bousselot) published an ICRGS master’s thesis in 1996 on numerical modeling of global climate after the Genesis Flood.6 The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) CCM1 global climate model that normally ran on a Unix-based mainframe computer was adapted to run on a PC computer by a retired government programmer, Herman Daily. The sea-surface temperature was increased in the model to 40oC (104oF) and warmer in various configurations to compute the precipitation rates as a function of temperature, latitude, and longitude. Graphical displays showed that precipitation was increased by as much as 50 mm/day (~2 in/day) in polar regions and on mountain tops. This is enough to produce 60 feet of solid ice per year, or 6,000 feet in a century—more than enough to explain the polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers in only a few hundred years since the Genesis Flood.

Dr. Vardiman published a research article in 1997 on the dispersion of oxygen isotopes near the edge of an ice shelf.7 The basic conclusion was that the growth and melting of ice shelves on the ocean upwind of the borehole location could explain the consistent distribution of formation temperature with time among the ice cores. The minimum in oxygen-18 and, consequently, the coldest temperature found in the ice cores at the height of the Ice Age could be explained by the greater distance from open ocean that was the source for oxygen-18. And, the maximum in oxygen-18 and highest temperature before and after the Ice Age could be explained by the short distance from open ocean when ice shelves were reduced. The warmest temperature at the bottom of the ice cores before the Ice Age also implied that the oceans were very warm prior to the Ice Age.

Nancy Zavacky published a master’s thesis in 2002 on hurricane growth over hot sea-surface temperatures.8 The new mesoscale meteorology model (MM5) developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research was applied to a weak hurricane (Florence, 1988) which formed in the Gulf of Mexico and moved northward from the Yucatan Peninsula to New Orleans. The sea-surface temperature (SST) was increased in 5oC increments between 30oC (86oF) to 45oC (112oF). Actual Hurricane Florence had a sea-surface temperature of about 30oC (86oF) and was simulated very accurately on MM5. When the SST was increased the horizontal wind speed, the vertical wind speed, and precipitation rate all increased, becoming a hypercane as coined by Kerry Emanuel at MIT. At an SST of 45oC (112o) the horizontal wind speed quadrupled, the vertical wind speed doubled, and the precipitation rate increased by a factor of 10. Because the ocean was significantly warmer after the Flood, there were likely many hypercanes and major erosion for hundreds of years.

Stephen Goodenow published an ICRGS master’s thesis in 2004 on the Younger Dryas.9 The Younger Dryas is an intense but short-period reversal in the warming trend following the Ice Age. The reversal is evident in most of the ice core records and resulted in major changes in climate in Europe and various other locations in the Northern Hemisphere. Goodenow analyzed various climate trends near the beginning and end of the event and found that it began and ended abruptly and lasted less than 40 years, possibly, less than 4 years. Such an intense and short event was catastrophic, not associated with typical climate changes that occur over much longer periods of time. Goodenow hypothesized that the intense and brief cooling was probably due to the sudden release of a large quantity of meltwater from central Canada during deglaciation of the Canadian ice sheet. The cold water broke through ice dams and flowed catastrophically down the Mississippi River and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Cold, fresh water from the Mississippi River would have flowed through the Gulf of Mexico, around the tip of Florida, up the East Coast of the United States, met the water escaping the St. Lawrence Seaway, and traveled eastward across the North Atlantic. The cold, fresh water would have floated on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, creating an extensive, cold region upwind of Europe. An unusually cold North Atlantic would have formed cold, dry content of the snow falling in Greenland. Such an event could have happened quickly because only the upper few meters of the ocean would have been affected.

Michael Oard, an adjunct faculty member at ICR, published an ICR monograph in 2005 on ice cores.10 It is an updated examination of the ice core history of Greenland and Antarctica. He compared the various evidences, models, and interpretations for estimating the timing of the ice age. His basic conclusion was that the young-earth, creation-Flood model is more likely than the old-earth, evolutionary-uniformitarian model. He believes the creation-Flood model is a superior interpretation of the wild ice core fluctuations in d18O during the Ice Age; the Greenland ice cores generally show only one Ice Age, contrary to the expectations of mainstream scientists; the surprise broadening of the evolutionary-uniformitarian timescale of volcanic and 10Be spikes with depth supports the creation-Flood model; and troughs and ridges in isochronous radio echo data line up vertically with the bedrock topography, indicating no movement of the ice sheets.

James Zavacky published a master’s thesis in 2006 on estimating age from ice layers in ice cores.11 He applied the non-uniformitarian ice accumulation model developed by Dr. Vardiman to the latest high-resolution GISP-2 core in Greenland in order to determine if the conventional interpretation that 250,000 annual layers is valid. He concluded that there was a shift in storm frequency evident in the ice core data at about 1,381 meters (~4,000 ft) below the current surface of the ice sheet. Relatively calm storm conditions above this level are consistent with conditions today that permit annual layers of a foot in thickness or more to accumulate and be observed. Below 4,000 feet, the layers are thought to be due to many individual storms each year that leave distinctive layers. Stormy conditions during the accumulation of ice at lower depths contain large amounts of dust and hoar frost layers that indicate a long period of time if interpreted incorrectly as annual layers. Consequently, the conventional view that ice sheets accumulated over 100,000 years or more is wrong. They likely developed over only a few thousand years.

In 2005 Dr. Vardiman began a series of numerical simulations of storms energized by a warm ocean due to the Genesis Flood. Attention was devoted primarily to additional snow in the mountains of the western United States for mid-latitude storms and stronger winds, and greater precipitation for tropical cyclones in the Middle East and Florida. He used an improved version of NCAR’s mesoscale climate model MM5 called the Weather and Research Model (WRF) to simulate Ice Age conditions in Yosemite National Park and Yellowstone National Park. He also simulated the greater winds and precipitation of hypercyclones in the Middle East and hypercanes in Florida.

Dr. Vardiman and Dr. Wesley Brewer published two technical articles in 2010 on a young-earth explanation of the Ice Age in Yosemite National Park.12, 13 Their conclusions were that if 20 Deep Upper Low storms and one Pineapple Express storm occurred each year for 100 years during the Ice Age, the depth of glaciers in Yosemite National Park was estimated to be at least 3,500 feet (~1 km). Glaciers thousands of feet thick could have readily developed in Yosemite National Park following the Genesis Flood. Warm sea-surface temperatures doubled or quadrupled the precipitation in Yosemite National Park and throughout the Sierra Nevada. This enhanced snowfall and greater frequency of storms appear to be adequate to explain glaciation in the Sierra Nevada during an ice age in a young-earth time frame. Glaciers thousands of feet thick could have readily developed during hundreds of years following the Genesis Flood.

Dr. Vardiman and Dr. Brewer also published a technical article in 2010 on a young-earth explanation of the Ice Age in Yellowstone National Park.14 Their conclusions in the Yellowstone area were that glaciers over a kilometer thick (3,300 ft) could have readily developed in the mountains in and around Yellowstone National Park during hundreds of years following the Genesis Flood. Glaciers filled the basin of Yellowstone Lake, topped many of the mountains, and flowed down the canyons and valleys in and around Yellowstone. The glaciers in Yellowstone were estimated to be on the order of 1 km (3,300 ft) thick for sea-surface temperatures warmer than 30oC (86oF) over a period of a century. This is slightly less than the estimate of 1.1 km (3,500 ft) for the same period in Yosemite National Park reported earlier by the authors. The difference is hypothesized to be due to the descending motions inland from the coastline caused by convection over the ocean. Yosemite National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada closer to the coastline and was less influenced by these descending motions.

Dr. Vardiman and Dr. Brewer published a technical article in 2011 on a young-earth explanation for more vegetation in the Middle East following the Genesis Flood.15 They simulated how cyclones in the Arabian Sea would grow into hypercyclones (extreme cyclones) over hot sea-surface temperatures and change the circulation patterns and precipitation over the entire Middle East. Their conclusions were that hot sea-surface temperatures created a large counterclockwise, low-level circulation over the Middle East. A large counterclockwise circulation near the surface and a clockwise circulation aloft developed over the entire Middle East for hot sea-surface temperatures. The circulation had a diameter of about 5,000 km (~3,000 miles), and the circulation at the surface exceeded 65 m/s (~145 mph). The winds in the clockwise circulation high in the atmosphere exceeded 130 m/s (~290 mph). Heavy rain was produced near Oman as the simulated hypercyclone Gonu moved northwestward across the Arabian Sea exceeding 1,200 mm (~48 in), compared to about 600 mm (~24 in) for the actual cyclone. During the 18 days of numerical simulation, over 8,000 mm (320 in) of rain fell over the central Arabian Sea and Pakistan. Heavy rain also fell farther inland at higher terrain in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Moderate rain exceeding about 1,000 mm (~40 in) occurred near the sources of humidity, such as the eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Oman. Moderate rain fell in Egypt, Israel, and along the western coast of Saudi Arabia, and in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Throughout the Middle East, light rain greater than 380 mm (~15 in) fell, producing much wetter conditions than are now present. There are places in the deserts of North Africa and Saudi Arabia today that rain has not fallen for tens of years. When occasional rain falls, vegetation springs up quickly, but only lasts for a short time. Under the conditions simulated in this study, it is likely that permanent vegetation would cover much of the sand and rocky soil in these regions.

Other technical articles have been published since that time on the effects of extreme weather that would have followed the global Flood.16, 17


  1. Vardiman, L. 2001. Climates Before and After the Genesis Flood. ICR Monograph. Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research.
  2. Rush, D. L. 1990. Radiative Equilibrium Temperature Profiles Under a Vapor Canopy. Master’s Thesis, Institute for Creation Research Graduate School, San Diego, CA.
  3. Vardiman, L. 1990. The Age of the Earth’s Atmosphere: A Study of the Helium Flux through the Atmosphere. ICR Monograph. Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research.
  4. Vardiman, L. 1993. Ice Cores and the Age of the Earth. ICR Monograph. Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research.
  5. Vardiman, L. 1996. Sea-Floor Sediment and the Age of the Earth. ICR Monograph. Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research.
  6. Spelman, K. 1996. A Sensitivity Study of the Post-Flood Climate Using the NCAR CCM1 Model with a Warm Sea-Surface Temperature. Master’s Thesis, Institute for Creation Research Graduate School, San Diego, CA.
  7. Vardiman, L. 1997. Rapid Changes in Oxygen Isotope Content of Ice Cores Caused by Fractionation and Trajectory Dispersion near the Edge of an Ice Shelf. Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal. 11: 52-60.
  8. Zavacky, N. 2002. Hurricane Response to Extreme Sea Surface Temperatures. Master’s Thesis, Institute for Creation Research Graduate School, San Diego, CA.
  9. Goodenow, S. 2004. A Catastrophist Cause for the Younger Dryas. Master’s Thesis, Institute for Creation Research Graduate School, San Diego, CA.
  10. Oard, M. 2005. The Frozen Record. ICR Technical Monograph. Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research.
  11. Zavacky, J. 2006. An Analysis of Annual and Sub-Annual Layers Using a Young-Earth Analytical Model for the Formation of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Master’s Thesis, Institute for Creation Research Graduate School, San Diego, CA.
  12. Vardiman, L. and W. Brewer. 2010. Numerical Simulation of Precipitation in Yosemite National Park with a Warm Ocean: A Pineapple Express Case Study. Answers Research Journal. 3 (2010): 23-36.
  13. Vardiman, L. and W. Brewer. 2010. Numerical Simulation of Precipitation in Yosemite National Park with a Warm Ocean: Deep Upper Low and Rex Blocking Pattern Case Studies. Answers Research Journal. 3 (2010): 119-145.
  14. Vardiman, L. and W. Brewer. 2010. Numerical Simulation of Precipitation in Yellowstone National Park with a Warm Ocean: Continuous Zonal Flow, Gulf of Alaska Low, and Plunging Western Low Case Studies. Answers Research Journal. 3 (2010): 209-266.
  15. Vardiman, L. and W. Brewer. 2011. A Well-watered Land: Numerical Simulations of a Hypercyclone in the Middle East. Answers Research Journal. 4 (2011): 55-74.
  16. Vardiman, L. and W. Brewer. 2012. Numerical Simulations of Hypercanes Charley and Fay in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico over a Warm Ocean. Answers Research Journal. 5 (2012): 13-24.
  17. Vardiman, L. and W. Brewer, 2012. Numerical Simulations of Three Nor’easters with a Warm Atlantic Ocean. Answers Research Journal. 5: 39-58.

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