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Carbon Dioxide and the Flood

Copyright 1998, G.R. Morton. This may be freely distributed so long as no monetary charges and no alterations to the text are made. (

Not only do volcanoes produce lots of sulfuric acid, they produce more CO2. I found this:

“Using the Kilauea eruption as a model, Terrence M. Gerlach of Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque estimated that the Deccan Traps injected up to 30 trillion tons of carbon dioxide, six trillion tons of sulfur and 60 billion tons of halogens (reactive elements such as chlorine and fluorine) into the lower atmosphere over a few hundred years.” ~ Vincent E. Courtillot, “A Volcanic Eruption,” Scientific American, October, 1990, p. 85-92, p. 89

Now, the Deccan traps contain 8.2 x 106 cubic kilometers so the output from the Deccan traps is:

30 x 1012 tons/8.2 x 106 cubic kilometers = 3.658 megatons (Mt) / cubic kilometer of basalt.

There are huge lava flows on earth, called volcanic traps, which must have occurred during the flood year because they lie on top of supposed flood deposited sedimentary rock and beneath flood deposited sedimentary rock. So if the geology requires that they be extruded during the flood, how much sulfuric acid must come with them? Here are some of the volumes of rock extruded to the earth's surface during such episodes:

Volcanics flood basalt flows (Coffin and Eldholm).

Ontong Java/Nauru 121-124 my 38-55 x 106 km3
Kerguelen Plateau/ Broken Ridge 114-109.5 my 15-25 x 106 km3
North Atlantic 57.5-54.5 my 6.6 x 106 km3
Deccan Traps 65-69 my 8.2 x 106 km3
Columbia River 6-17.5 my 1.74 x 105 km3
Ethiopian Traps 7.5 x 105 km3 before erosion
Siberian Traps 249-216 my 2.3 x 106 km3
Central Atlantic Magmatic Prov. (CAMP) 200 my 2 x 106 km3

(estimated from the data of Mohr and Zanettin, 1988, p. 63; Siberian Traps from Reichow et al, Science 296(2002), p. 1849 CAMP from Marzoli et al, Science 284(1999), p. 618).

Other Basalt flows Volcanics flood basalt flows (Hess, 1989)

Snake River Plain 16 my .5 x 105 km2
Parana Plateau Brazil 119-149 my 12 x 105 km2
Karoo Basalts 166-206 my >1.4 x 105 km2

Assuming a 1 kilometer thickness for the second list of traps this adds up to approximately 98 x 106 cubic kilometers.

So at 3.6 megatons/km3 x 98 x 106 cubic kilometers of basalt = 3.5 x 1014 tons of CO2.

Given that there are 1016 kg/ton this means that during the one year flood, 3.47 x 10^17 kg of CO2 would be released. According to my CRC the mass of the atmosphere is 5.2 x 10^21 g or 5.2 x 10^18 kg. Thus the amount of CO2 released ONLY by the volcanic traps during the YEC global flood, is equal to 6.6% of the entire atmosphere.

How does this relate to the present atmosphere? Currently we are approaching 400 parts per million (ppm) CO2 in the atmosphere, yet the YEC scenario would produce an atmosphere that had AS A MINIMUM a CO2 level of 58615 parts per million. Scientists are worried about a 600 ppm CO2 world next century, the YEC post flood world would create such a hot climate that all life would be destroyed. Yet amazingly, Creationists like Austin, Baumgardner, Wise, Snelling, Vardiman, Humphreys and Oard think that the post flood world would be glacially cold. (See “Austin et al, Catastrophic Plate Tectonics” 3rd ICC 1994, p. 615 and Michael Oard, “A Rapid Post Flood Ice Age,” CRSQ 16(1979):29-37; Oard, “An Ice age Caused by the Genesis Flood,” 1990 ICR).

Of course, CO2 is a strong greenhouse gas and young-earth creationists have not given the thought to this issue that they should have. Their global flood would choke Noah on sulfuric acid and then choke him again on the CO2, and with an atmosphere so clogged with CO2, Noah would burn up. Venus has an atmosphere with lots of CO2 and the temperature there is several hundred degrees C.! But somehow, YECs want us to believe that the postflood, CO2 rich atmosphere would be very cold. Is there any scientific fact that will move them to reconsider their views?

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