The Miocene Warmness

A wealth of scientific reports concur that the bottom layers of the fossil record exhibit uniform temperature distribution across the earth and a generally warm, tropical environment from the Carboniferous through to the Miocene. Creationists would line up the pre-Miocene warmness with the environment after creation and up to the Flood. Since the Miocene, worldwide temperatures have remained diversified. The warm, moist climate recorded in the pre-Miocene deposits can be challenging for scientists to explain. A couple of sample articles follow…

“According to computer models of climate North Dakota and other continental interiors also had relatively harsh winters in the geologic past, even during periods like the early Eocene, about 50 million years ago, when global temperatures were the highest in the past 65 million years. But while the computers insist on harsh winters, Eocene fossils from continental interiors tell a different story: winters mild enough for crocodiles to roam through Wyoming and tree ferns to shade Montana.” (Kerr, Richard A., “Fossils Tell of Mild Winters in an Ancient Hothouse,” Science, vol. 261, 1993, p. 682.)

“Many Arctic Dinosaurs have been found. The bones of at least three dinosaur species and two other reptiles have been recovered from a site in the Alaskan tundra by researchers from the University of California at Berkeley. The dinosaur bones were first discovered at the site by Shell Oil Company in 1961, but Shell did not reveal the find until last year. Researchers say the fossil finds indicates both young and old dinosaurs were at the Alaska site in great numbers, and it represents the first find of dinosaurs at such high, cold altitudes. This adds further weight to the idea that the earth has had a period of time which was far more uniform in warm tropical-like conditions than it is at the present.” (Dusheck, Jennie,”Arctic Dinosaurs Raise Questions,” Science News, Vol. 128, No. 9, August 31, 1985.)

In 2022 scientists employed a DNA analysis of soils in northeast Greenland to determine what plants and animals were once present. Today this region is a polar desert. They were amazed to discover DNA from mastodons, rodents, deer, geese, and rabbits. This indicates there was once a warm-weather ecosystem present at these high latitudes. (Kjaer, K.H., et al., “A 2-million-year-old Ecosystem in Greenland Uncovered by Environmental DNA,” Nature 612, 2022, pp. 283-291.)

Some scientists have become frustrated with the difficulty of explaining primeval climactic conditions using computers. “Despite considerable effort using an array of models and boundary conditions, understanding the inability of models to correctly reproduce the high latitude warmth…for past greenhouse climates…has so far proven intractable and has become a ‘classic’ problem in paleoclimatology.” (Spicer, “The Late Cretaceous Continental Interior of Siberia: A Challenge for Climate Models,” Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2008, p. 229.)

But the Genesis account of the early earth can help provide clues as to how the primeval planet’s atmosphere differed from what we experience today. After the Flood, in Genesis 8:22 God commented on the seasons: “cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” This is quite a different description of seasons than that He gave in Genesis 1:14. There it seems only that the seasons were regular times of the year whereby one could keep time. The temperature differential is not mentioned till after the Flood. So it would seem that the Flood changed the climate in this regard. The antediluvian world would have enjoyed a temperate worldwide climate. What caused this greenhouse atmosphere worldwide?  Since water vapor provides 95% of greenhouse gases today, it is the most obvious choice for an increased greenhouse gas in the past. (Oard, Michael, “Is The Faint Young Sun Paradox Solved?,” Journal of Creation 25, 2011, pp. 17–19.)