Does the Earth Have a Thermostat?
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
When scientific ideas seem to disagree with the Bible, Christians should hold firm. The Bible is God’s word, and oftentimes changes in those scientific ideas create renewed alignment with the Bible.
One such idea that I read recently concerned the regulation of temperatures on the Earth. Many scientists are concerned about so-called climate change and the problems that they believe are caused by the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration. Ignoring for the moment the fact that many of us consider the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration to be insignificant, one team of researchers has suggested that atmospheric CO2 concentrations vary with rates of erosion.
Rocks containing calcium silicate can be chemically weathered by rainwater, but only if that water contains increased levels of dissolved carbon dioxide. Therefore, an increase in this sort of weathering will, it is supposed, lead to a decrease in atmospheric concentration. Increased temperature often causes the increased precipitation required for increased weathering. So, in summary, increased global temperature leads to increased chemical weathering, which leads to decreased atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, which, because it is a greenhouse gas, leads to cooler global temperatures. To summarize our summary: increased global temperatures cause global temperatures to decrease, by this weathering effect. It is supposed that the converse is also true, so the Earth has a thermostat.
Genesis speaks of climate regulation thus: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)
Prayer: The more we learn about how Your world works, Lord, the more we marvel at how well You have put everything into place. May Your Name be praised! Amen.
Ref: vonStrandman, P. et al (2017), Global climate stabilisation by chemical weathering during the Hirnantian glaciation, in Geochem. Persp. Let. 2017 (3), 230-237. Image: A natural arch produced by erosion of differentially weathered rock in Jebel Kharaz, license: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.
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