Monday, July 16, 2007

“Clue” 1 - Ash Cloud: A single ash cloud cools the earth a fraction of a degree – A miniature example of the earth cooling after the flood

It was Benjamin Franklin, while serving as a US Envoy to the French Court, who made the first connection between the impacts a volcanic eruption can have with the climate. In 1783, Laki on the island of Iceland had erupted, producing a tremendous amount of sulfuric acid into the atmosphere, which had deleterious effects over Europe the following year (over 7,000 people died, most due to starvation).

But perhaps the most famous attempt to understanding the impact volcanic eruption had on the climate came a full century later when the British Royal Society took on the task to study the global atmospheric conditions left by the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia. Of course most recently, as climate scientists are attempting to understanding the complexities of our climate and global warming, the role volcanoes play in climate change is given close scrutiny.

Let’s for a moment give AiG the benefit of the doubt and say there was a global flood. According to Michael Oard, a researcher with ICR, the flood would had been as much as a volcanic event as it was a water event (although a literal reading of Genesis 6-8 supports only the water version.) Oard states, when the water and drained away and Noah was permitted to leave the Ark, the global atmosphere was chocked full of volcanic ash, setting the condition necessary for an ice age to develop.

It is good at least, YECers are finally admitting there was an ice age and lots of volcanism, because there was a time when YECers refused to acknowledge an ice age. However, the clue has lots of problems.

While volcanic ash will deflect sunlight, ash is not the only thing they emit. In fact, for the ash to even reach the stratosphere volcanoes must also become a gas factory (and a lot of it!). Among the gases produce by an erupting volcano include sulfur, sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and water vapor. And if you had been following the debate on global warming at all, each of these gases are considered to be greenhouse gases.

Volcanic gases are really a double edge sword. Sulfuric acid for example is able to deflect sunlight, causing global cooling, but water vapor, sulfur and the other greenhouse gases traps heat, thus preventing the heat to escape, which is the factor for global warming.

Oard suggest there were as many as 50,000 volcanoes that erupted during the time of the flood. If true, many of these eruptions were so-called super-eruptions like those found at Yellowstone and Lake Toba in Indonesia. Just one super-eruption can emit enough gas to create a global cooling; lasting for months to years, but 50,000 volcanic eruptions will produce a tremendous amount of gases, which can actually set about the conditions for massive global warming, as well as suffocate all of the survivors on the Ark in volcanic gases and kill all of the surviving fish in the acid laden waters.
But why stop?

Heat is enemy for YEC is another way. During the course of the flood, there would be a tremendous transfer of heat produce by the waters flowing from the depth, accelerated nuclear decay (the YEC explanation for why radioisotope dating methods report ages greater than their accepted 6,000 year date), volcanic activity, meteorite impacts and other possible sources.

Heat is a form of energy. And based on the explanations provided by YECers in recent years to explain the flood, there would be enough heat generated to increase the global temperatures by a burning 1000 degree Celsius. Not only this would be enough for all of the water used in the flood to flash into steam, this would also destroy what remained of the planet atmosphere. God would certainly have gotten his wish; everything on the planet would be destroyed, along with everyone riding the Ark.

Perhaps the people at AiG should have thought about this a little further, before comparing the volcanic eruption at Mount St Helens to their global flood theory.

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