Have you ever wondered about the amazing features of Earth’s atmosphere? It permits light to pass through to us and illuminates the beauty of creation while providing oxygenated air to breathe, and plant fertilizer in the form of carbon dioxide. It also creates a warming greenhouse effect and acts as a shield that greatly diminishes the amount of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays that can reach us. In short, it is wonderfully designed for life.
The atmosphere is remarkably designed to sustain the life of plants and animals, and us, as human beings with protection from harmful radiation. We also live in a world adorned with beauty, including being able to see the stars at night. This is all done through God’s amazing design. This points to the wonder of an intricately designed atmosphere, one that is essential for life.
In the words of Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork”, or the well-known hymn of praise: “O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, consider all the works thy hand hath made, I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.“
Greenhouse Gases: Trace gases such as water vapour (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) produce nearly all this trapping effect, helping warm the planet and making it habitable for life. Without greenhouse gases, Earth’s temperature would be a whopping 33° C (59.4° F) colder than its current average of about 15° C (59° F)! And water vapour causes about 90% of this warming effect.
Carbon dioxide in the air often gets bad press as the chief culprit for climate change. But it is vital for providing food for plants through the process of photosynthesis. Indeed, plant productivity has surged with the increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Plants use the energy of sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into sugars and other carbohydrates, and oxygen is also liberated as a by-product.
A quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.
An international team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries led the effort, which involved using satellite data from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer instruments to help determine the leaf area index, or amount of leaf cover, over the planet’s vegetated regions. The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.
In turn, humans and animals consume the plants as food, and rely upon the oxygen for respiration, producing water and carbon dioxide as by-products; the reverse process. This apparently simple cyclical process is all part of the wonderful design of life—a testament to the amazing wisdom of God. However, when the details are looked at, the level of complexity is anything but simple.
It is amazing that God tells us that “in the last days” i.e. the days before Jesus returns, most people will deny Biblical history that 1. God created the heavens and earth, 2. There was a global flood that destroyed all but eight people and the animals on Noah’s Ark. They will also deny Biblical prophecy 1. Jesus is coming back to earth a second time and 2. the heavens and earth will eventually be destroyed by fire.
“You should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” 2 Peter3:2-7