Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world


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The earth’s atmosphere

The Earth's atmosphere wonderfully sustaining life from space's hostile environment.
The Earth’s atmosphere wonderfully sustaining life from space’s hostile environment.

In all the stories describing the beginning of the earth there has not been such an emphasis put on the importance of the ATMOSPHERE as in Genesis.

It is only recently in history that we have come to realise just how important it is.
One whole day of creation is devoted to Earth’s atmosphere, when God said:

Let there be an expanse between the waters, to separate water from water.’
So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it.
And it was so. God called the expanse ‘sky’.”
Genesis 1:6

The water above the expanse must mean the clouds.
In Job 26:8 it says that God:

wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.”

Who would have thought that clouds have weight, they are light and fluffy, floating in the sky!
But clouds float on air because the moist air in clouds is less dense than dry air.
If you say a cloud has a density of about 0.5 gram per cubic meter, then 1 cubic kilometre (km3) of cloud contains 1 billion cubic meters.
This equals about 500,000 kilograms or about 551 tons! [i]

That is a LOT of weight above our heads! Clever Job for knowing that.

Some scientists take this further and believe that the earth was covered by a thick cloud canopy early in the Earth’s life, which trapped the sun’s rays thus creating a semi-tropical climate in the whole earth.

[i] How much does a cloud weigh? (opens in a new window)

Peter Reason

December 2011

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