Christ Predicted Climate Patterns | The Institute for Creation Research

Christ Predicted Climate Patterns

In the gospel of Luke, Christ once reported a climate pattern in Israel.1 Alaska’s southeast temperate coastal rainforest corroborates His claims, illustrating once again how true science confirms the Bible.

Most rainforests are tropical, but not all. By definition, the term “tropical” means hot, referring to the warm temperatures of the tropics. However, the word “rainforest” refers to a forested region that receives at least 100 inches per year of rainfall. Thus, if a forested region receives this level of rainfall yet is not hot enough year-round to be tropical, its milder climate makes it a temperate rainforest. And if it is located on a coastline (like Alaska’s southeastern coast), it’s a coastal temperate rainforest.

Usually land next to a seacoast—such as shore-land by an ocean or a large saltwater sea like the Mediterranean—has mild temperatures year-round. The coastal saltwater moderates the land temperatures of the land it touches, absorbing excess heat during warmer weather and radiating heat during cooler weather.

These conditions explain the relatively mild weather of Southeast Alaska. It is considered a rainforest but not a tropical rainforest. What explains its huge quantities of annual rainfall, routinely receiving more than 100 inches (and sometimes much more!) of precipitation per year?

The answer is a phenomenon called orographic precipitation. This refers to how a mountain (or piedmont) range blocks free passage of rainclouds moving from ocean to coastland, forcing them upward and over the mountains. The process causes rainclouds to dump out most of their rain on the mountain slopes before they reach the other side of the mountain.2

Although it likely bypasses the casual reader, this climate pattern was alluded to by the Creator Himself during His public ministry. The Lord’s climate pattern observations were recorded for us by Luke, the empirical science-trained gospel writer:

Then He also said to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is.”1

The land of Israel is located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Evaporated saltwater pumps loads of moisture-laden air into the clouds floating above that sea. These rainclouds are often blown eastward over Israel, eventually bumping into the Judean foothills. This mountain-like piedmont range separates Israel’s coastland from the Jordan River and the trans-Jordanian highlands, causing the rain to spill on the coastal plain before being pushed eastward over the Judean mountains.3

In contrast, winds blowing from the Negev Desert south of Israel would be dry, hot, and likely rainless. The Negev’s dryness is due to a lack of atmospheric moisture in the Dead Sea area and the arid Sinai Peninsula farther south. At times when desert surface and air temperatures are 100oF or hotter, dry air blows from those locations and routinely produces the hot weather that Christ called the “south wind.”1,4

Again we have an account where the Bible reports scientifically relevant details. Our Lord knew exactly what He was talking about. Surely Luke would have appreciated the orographic weather patterns of Southeast Alaska’s rainforests.

References

  1. Luke 12:54-55.
  2. Kricher, J. C. 1993. Ecology of Western Forests. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 45; Eppenbach, S. 1997. Alaska’s Southeast: Touring the Inside Passage, 6th ed. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot, 27-31. I thank Dr. Tim Clarey for his help with this article.
  3. Robertson, O. P. 1996. Understanding the Land of the Bible: A Biblical-Theological Guide. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 41.
  4. Interestingly, the orographic precipitation that regularly dumps Mediterranean rainwater on the coastal plain of Israel occurs on Israel’s western coast, just like the temperate rainforests of Southeast Alaska and those in coastal Oregon, Washington, and Western Canada that also occur on western coastlines. Likewise, the west coasts of New Zealand and Chile illustrate this same biome ecology pattern.

* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. 2016. Christ Predicted Climate Patterns. Acts & Facts. 45 (5).

The Latest
NEWS
Great Unconformity Best Solved by Global Flood
The Great Unconformity is one of the most baffling mysteries in the geological sciences.1 It is marked by a massive surface of erosion that...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update–Dinosaur Fossils
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Update
A team of 11 people from the Institute for Creation Research is currently traveling on a multistate science expedition to dig up fossils, conduct field...

NEWS
ICR’s 2021 Science Expedition Begins!
The Institute for Creation Research launched its 2021 multistate science expedition last week as a nine-member team left the ICR headquarters in Dallas,...

NEWS
Inside September 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR focus on scientific research? How could paleontologists mistake a lizard fossil for a dinosaur? Is animal death before the Fall theologically...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Beauty by Design
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Defend Your Faith with ICR
Have you ever heard a pastor question the historical nature of Genesis? “The days of creation weren’t really 24 hours long. The Bible is...

ACTS & FACTS
Animal Death Before the Fall?
Both the Old and New Testaments teach that death entered the world when Adam ate the forbidden fruit (e.g., Genesis 2:17 and Romans 5:12). Since fossils...

APOLOGETICS
Transmitting Truth in a Modern Pagan World
We share the world with modern pagans who worship the sun—or idolize an imagined primordial Big Bang—so we need to be truth witnesses unto...

ACTS & FACTS
Waco Mammoth National Monument
Hunters in the 1970s discovered mammoth bones exposed in sediments near the confluence of the Bosque and Brazos Rivers in north central Texas. They...