Was There Really an Ice Age? | The Institute for Creation Research

Was There Really an Ice Age?

The Ice Age has always been a problem for science. While abundant evidence has been found for continental glaciation, the cause has remained enigmatic. Scores of scenarios have been proposed: global cooling, decrease in the sun's intensity, rampant volcanic activity, etc., but none are truly able to bring about such profound changes—none except the creation proposal, that is.

First, let's talk about the nature of the Ice Age and clear up various misconceptions. To start with, the Ice Age was a time when great sheets of ice built up on land. As snow accumulated in extreme northern (and southern) latitudes, its own weight packed it into ice. And then, because ice is less than rigid, it can flow out from heavy snow accumulation areas into lower latitudes.

The glaciers never covered more than a minor portion of the globe. In North America, ice covered much of central Canada and as far south as Kansas. Weather in the rest of the world was affected, but the areas were not under ice. Some propose that there were several ice ages—from four to sixty such ages—each lasting for long periods and separated by vast ages, but the evidence for multiple glaciers is poor.

The obvious requirements for ice build-up are more snowfall and less snow melt. But how does this happen? No scheme, shackled by the constraints of uniformitarianism can alter earth's conditions to that extent. And besides, if things get too cold, the air can't contain much moisture. And it doesn't snow much. And so the puzzle remains.

A key to more snowfall is more evaporation, and the best way to achieve that is to have warmer oceans. We would also need somewhat warmer winters in polar latitudes to allow for more snowfall and intense weather patterns to transport the evaporated moisture from the ocean to the continents. And then we need colder summers to allow the snow to accumulate over the years. Everyone agrees that these conditions would cause an ice age, but uniformitarian ideas can't allow the earth's systems to change that much. Many creationists think the Flood of Noah's day provides the key.

As the Flood ended, the oceans probably were warmer than today. The pre-Flood world had been uniformly warmer, and during the Flood, the "fountains of the great deep" (Genesis 7:11) would have added much heat, as would the tectonic readjustments late in the Flood and following it. This warmth would be a continual pump of warm moisture into the atmosphere—thus warm, wet winters.

Furthermore, the land surface at the end of the Flood was little more than a mud slick, and would have reflected solar radiation without absorbing much heat. The large temperature difference between ocean and land and coupled with strong polar cooling, would cause intense and prolonged storms.

Finally, the late and early post-Flood times witnessed extensive volcanism, as the earth struggled to regain crustal equilibrium. This would cloud the atmosphere, bouncing incoming solar radiation back into space—thus, colder summers.

More evaporation, warmer winters, more intense storms, and colder summers: The result? An "ice age" which would last until the oceans gave up their excess heat, the volcanism lessened, and vegetation was re-established. This likely would take less than one thousand years following the Biblical Flood.

* Dr. John Morris is the President of the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Morris, J. 1993. Was There Really an Ice Age? Acts & Facts. 22 (8).

The Latest
The Cognitive Map: An Incredible Display of the Brain’s Complexity
To be spatially capable creatures, humans need their brains to tell them 1) where things are in relation to themselves and 2) where everything is in...

Another Sea Scorpion
There are few animals more nightmarish than an 8-foot sea scorpion! Although, they were not true scorpions, their fossils display a menacing and formidable...

June 2023 ICR Wallpaper
"From the rising of the sun to its going down the LORD's name is to be praised." Psalm 113:3 NKJV ICR June 2023 wallpaper is now available...

Sauron Inhabits the Amazon
“The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on...

Summer 2023

I Have NO Credentials! | The Creation Podcast: Episode 50
Do you need a science degree to be a champion of creation? How do we communicate the truths of Scripture to our friends and family? The good news...

Shark Jaws
Sharks are back in the news, and it’s in regard to their most formidable and fearsome structure—their jaws. Zoologists recently studied...

Established Day 4 | Creation.Live Podcast: Episode 13
Humans have long been fascinated by the night sky. As Psalm 19:1 reminds us, "The heavens declare the glory of God"—His creative signature...

Physical Evidence Trumps Evolution Theory
One of the hallmarks of good science is to formulate a cogent theory based on the physical evidence. For example, if the physical evidence (e.g. a fossilized...

Solar System Symmetries
Most all school children can recite the planets in our solar system using memory devices such as: “My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Names”...