Creation Scientists have proposed that from the time of Creation to the Flood of Noah there was a great quantity of water in the high atmosphere. Is there any evidence for this? Actually, there is, and one of this evidence is presented here.
From latitudes 50o to 70o in the summer time special forms of cloud are often seen called ‘’Noctilucent’’ or ‘’Night-Glowing’’ clouds. It is not immediately obvious that these are unusual clouds. However they are much higher than most at altitudes of 80 to 85 km. (The next highest clouds are Cirrus Clouds which reach only an altitude of 13 km) Because of their great altitude they can be seen long after sunset.
When the sun is from 6 to 16 degrees below the horizon you can still see it if you are at altitudes of 80 km and higher. This also means that the sun will light up clouds that are there. Noctilucent Clouds will glow with the reflection of the setting sun’s light long after sunset. The clouds can cover an area of up to three million square kilometers and may last several hours. Even below a latitude of 50o, they are sometimes seen for a few hours. They are very obvious because in the evening they are seen against a dark sky.
At this altitude, known as the Ionosphere, the temperature is at a minimum, about -100oC. Both higher and lower the temperature increases. Above 85 km the sun’s radiation ionizes the air, charging it electrically and heating it up to 1,750oC. Below this the ozone layer converts ultra violet light from the sun into heat, raising the temperature to about 25oC. At this height 25oC is above the boiling point of water. If any liquid water or ice exists here it is trapped. If it goes down, it will evaporate and rise again. This is similar to the pre-flood canopy of water proposed by many Creation Scientists. This shows that before the Flood there was a great canopy of water in the atmosphere that would not precipitate as rain. This did eventually fall due to some disturbance at the start of the flood, giving forty days and nights of rain.
How does water reach this altitude?
If water droplets, dust or other particles are ejected to altitudes of over 30 km, (the upper stratosphere), it will move through the ozone layer at 50 kilometers up to the Ionosphere where the air is electrically charged. This takes about two years.
Noctilucent Clouds were first seen June 8th, 1855 in Germany. Within a month they were seen throughout Northern Europe. They have been seen frequently ever since, but no clear records exist of their detection before this time. We know from other records that observations were made of the areas of the sky that would have shown these clouds, had they been there.
Two years earlier a major event occurred that probably formed the Noctilucent Clouds.
The island volcano Krakatoa exploded on August 26-27, 1883. Australians heard the explosion 3,500 km away. Winds (pressure waves) from Krakatoa were recorded around the world. Twenty cubic kilometers of rock were thrown into the air, along with a tremendous quantity of ash and water vapor. Nearly half of the island vanished. The water vapor and ash took two years to reach the Ionosphere forming Noctilucent Clouds at just the time that they were seen in Germany. According to Gary Thomas, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Colorado, Krakatoa was the reason for these clouds.
What are they?
What are the clouds actually made of? Instruments placed in rockets have established that the clouds are composed of particles 0.1-0.3 microns in diameter. They are probably meteor dust particles or dust from the Krakatoa explosion. The particles themselves are too small to reflect sunlight, but most have crystalized water vapor surrounding them. This is the water vapor, and possibly some of the dust, that Krakatoa produced.
Why are they still there?
Why do we still see them? Thomas states that Krakatoa’s debris would not continue for such a long time. He also says that not enough other water vapor rises to account for these clouds. He suggests that methane from rice paddies, swamps, cattle, and termites are the current cause. This is pure fantasy. These factors have been around for centuries before Krakatoa. It is true that very little water from Cirrus Clouds travels upwards above 13 km. Water vapor from this and lower levels of the atmosphere goes up in minute quantities so it cannot be the source of Noctilucent Clouds.
Before the flood water stayed in the high atmosphere for centuries. There is no reason it shouldn’t stay there for a long time now. Instead of investing complex ideas for its replacement, it is easy to see that since it stayed for a long time once, it is doing so again, but on a smaller scale.
Noctilucent Clouds are the debris from the Krakatoa explosion. The reason they can still be seen is the same reason the water canopy stayed up in the air before the Flood of Noah. Conditions at those altitudes prevent the clouds from falling as rain.
Again this shows Creationist thinking borne out by evidence of science. Water vapor can exist for extended periods in the atmosphere. The canopy of water presented by Creation Scientist is more than just possible, a minute version of it formed just over a century ago and is still There.