Arctic Heat Wave | The Institute for Creation Research

Arctic Heat Wave

Download PDFDownload Arctic Heat Wave PDF

Drill cores from beneath the floor of the Arctic Ocean have revealed a startling find. Fossils from around the 430 meter mark indicate the seabed was once a balmy 23 degrees centigrade (74 degrees Fahrenheit)! Today's temperatures beneath the Arctic vary within a few degrees of zero. The find is thought to reflect a global condition of warming, suggesting that all the oceans were once at least this warm pointing to a period called "the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum" (PETM). Although it has long been suspected, from oxygen isotope data derived by analyzing both the deep sea Cenozoic record and from ice cores, such remarkably warm temperatures have taken most scientists by surprise. However, this fits in very well with the young-Earth creationist view of history which includes a global Flood.

Several implications follow from a warm ocean. Warm waters would result in high rates of evaporation, high rates of precipitation, and a very wet world. How wet? ICR research has predicted that a globally uniform sea surface temperature of 30 degrees centigrade would result in sustained precipitation in localities at over eight inches per hour. Heaviest precipitation would have been over the polar regions where the precipitation would fall as snow, the snow would compact to ice, and the ice would move out as glaciers. If the PETM corresponds to the immediate post-Flood period, an Ice Age following the Flood makes great sense. Second, a warm ocean would mean enormously energetic storms. A computational run using a globally uniform surface temperature of 37 degrees centigrade eventuated in cyclones of hundreds of miles in diameter breaking out across wide portions of the earth and not just the lower latitudes. Called "hypercanes," these storms would have generated horizontal winds of over 300 mph, vertical winds of 100 mph, and precipitation of over ten inches per hour. It is not difficult to imagine moisture-laden fronts ripping across polar regions producing temperature drops of scores of degrees centigrade. Flash-frozen mammoths recovered in the Arctic have up until recently been a cryogenic mystery. Although the mystery is by no means solved, a more credible answer is now possible. Such conditions so far from human experience apparently took place in the relatively recent past.

Many scientists suspect some kind of catastrophic release of carbon dioxide is to blame for the warm spell; others argue that a rise of temperature would be the expected cause rather than the effect of a carbon dioxide rise. But there is a more obvious possibility. If a global Flood occurred in recent world history, then one would expect warm oceans and a relatively temperate (or cool) air mass would have followed. Reasons for warm oceans following the Flood include: relatively warm pre-Flood oceans, extraordinary levels of submarine volcanism during the Flood, and possibly elevated rates of radioisotope decay during the Flood. Only a few decades ago it might have been considered preposterous to suggest oceans of 30-plus degrees centigrade that drove an "abbreviated" post-Flood Ice Age (of relatively short duration), but not today. Questions such as the duration of the Ice Age, the lag time between the end of the Flood and maximum ice advance, and many others, will await future research. In the meantime, the overall Flood model of Biblical Earth history looks very good.

* William Hoesch, M.S. geology, is Research Assistant in Geology.

Cite this article: William A. Hoesch, M.S. 2006. Arctic Heat Wave. Acts & Facts. 35 (8).

The Latest
NEWS
Milankovitch Ice Age Theory in the News
A letter to the editor in Nature Geoscience notes that this year marks the 100-year anniversary of Milutin Milankovitch’s (Milanković’s) book...

NEWS
Viking DNA Highlights Post-Babel Genetic Diversity
The standard theme often given for Viking history is that of blond-haired, blued-eyed, burly men exploring, trading, ransacking, and pillaging across Europe,...

NEWS
Getting Carbon into the First Cell
Today’s secular mindset replaces “In the beginning God…” with “In the beginning, hydrogen….” The extreme specificity...

NEWS
Secular Science Struggles to Explain Origin of Earth’s Water
Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Jake Hebert, Ph.D. Secular scientists continue to struggle to explain the origin of Earth’s water. And a new study...

NEWS
South American Plant Fossils Confirm Flood Boundary
Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. Fossil pollen, leaf and fruit impressions, and petrified wood taken from multiple locations...

NEWS
Record-Breaking Mouse, Higher Than Any Mammal
Recently, researchers have reported on the world’s “highest-dwelling mammal,” the yellow-rumped leaf-eared mouse, observed upon a dormant...

NEWS
Was This Cave Bear Really “Prehistoric”?
The preserved carcass of a “prehistoric” cave bear has been discovered in melting permafrost on an Arctic Russian Island.1,2 Reindeer...

NEWS
Have Scientists Found Life on Venus?
Secular scientists are obsessed with attempting to show that life on Earth is not unique and therefore must exist, if not elsewhere in our solar system...

NEWS
Inside October 2020 Acts & Facts
What is ICR’s vision for the next chapter of creation ministry? Why do mosquitoes attack humans? How did we celebrate the first anniversary of...

ACTS & FACTS
Abound in This Grace
One of the strongest exhortations for Christian giving is found in Paul’s encouragement to the believers in Corinth. In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul...