In the news a lot these days is that global warming from greenhouse gases are affecting Earth's climate and causing the polar caps and glaciers to melt at an alarming rate. But do not fret, global warming is not new under the sun. "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us" (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10).
The Earth, "in the beginning" (Genesis 1:1), had a warmer climate. Fossil bearing rocks reveal that a worldwide warm climate once existed, with no distinct climate zones such as we now have. For example, palm trees and giant ferns grew in the far north and far south. "In those days (when the dinosaurs lived) the earth had a tropical or sub-tropical climate over much of its land surface, and in the widespread tropical lands there was an abundance of lush vegetation. The land was low and there were no high mountains forming physical or climate barriers" (E.H. Colbert, "Evolutionary Growth Rates in the Dinosaurs", in Scientific Monthly, August 1949, p.71).
"Climatic conditions were then much more uniform over the earth than now. Considerable limestone formations, of the Cambrian age at high latitudes, indicate strongly that they were there deposited in relatively warm or temperate waters" (W. J. Miller, " An Introduction to Historical Geology", (1952), p. 116).
Even evolutionary scientists recognize that coal was formed from deposits of massive amounts of vegetation, primarily trees. Large coal deposits exist today in the continent of Antarctica. This is definitely evidence for a worldwide warm climate. "There would have been no white polar caps or reddish-brown desert regions, for thick green vegetation covered almost all the land areas, even in polar regions (thick coal deposits have been discovered in the mountains of Antarctica)" (John C. Whitcomb, Early Earth,(1986), p.22).
Antarctica once had an abundance of vegetation and large trees, as is shown by widespread discoveries of coal and petrified wood. Also the Arctic regions were once tropical. "Geologists mine coal for science in ... the Horlick Mountains (of the Antarctic). The Ohio State University scientists found coal that dates from the Permian Period, about 250 million years ago, when Antarctica had a comparatively warm climate" (D.M. Tyree, "New Era in the Loneliest Continent", National Geographic, February 1963, pp. 288-296).
"Baron Toll, the Arctic explorer, found remains of a saber-toothed tiger and a 90 foot plum tree with green leaves and ripe fruit on its branches over 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the New Siberian Islands. Today the only vegetation that grows there is a one-inch high willow" (Joseph C. Dillow, "The Waters Above (1982), p. 346).
"Fossil plants found by Chilean scientists on King George Island puts Antarctica's ancient past in temperate clime. Further proof of the continent's warm ancestry lies in its coal, the transformed remains of forests long dead" (W.R. Cartsinger, "Antarctica's Newer side", National Geographic, November 1971, p. 653).
The Earth's atmosphere is different from what it was, when it was first created in Genesis 1:6-8. "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. and the evening and morning were the second day."
There are three factors in the atmosphere that provide us with whatever greenhouse-type climate we have today : ozone, carbon dioxide, and water vapor. The most powerful of the three is water vapor. According to the Scriptures in Genesis 1:6-8, there was a universal water-vapor blanket that covered our planet in the past. It is called the "vapor canopy". The evidence is clearly available that tropical plants were once in the far north and south. Only this great increase in encircling water could possibly explain that earlier worldwide warm climate.
"An increase of water vapor...would raise the temperature of the earth's surface...and would increase the temperature of the air at a height of four or five miles than that at the surface, and so lessen the decrease of temperature with height" (C.E. P. Brooks, "Climate through the Ages",(`1949), p. 115).
Christians are not to worry about global warming because we are looking for our Lord and Saviour : Jesus Christ who promises to come back for us according to the Scriptures, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:13-14).