Hashem is remembering Noach and the occupants of the Ark with Rachamim, so why does the Torah use the word "E-lokim," which denotes Midas ha'Din?
Rashi: Hashem's Midas ha'Din was still in force, and the Tefilos of Noach turned it to Rachamim. 1
And just as the Tefilos of Tzadikim turn Midas ha'Din into Rachamim, so too, does the evil perpetrated by the Resha'im turns Midas ha'Rachamim into Midas ha'Din, as the Pasuk indicates above (6:5).
What merit did the animals have to be remembered?
Rashi: That they did not interbreed before the Flood, and that they desisted from relations in the Ark. 1
Ramban: Animals are not subject to merit, and what Hashem remembered was His personal undertaking when He created the world that all His creations should exist and not become extinct. 2
Moshav Zekenim (Bereishis 6:12): Above (Bereishis 6:12), Rashi said that "Kol Basar" transgressed sexual immorality! Their merit was abstinence in the Ark. Alternatively, the animals on the Ark were those that had not interbred before.
What was the significance of the "Ru'ach" that Hashem passed over the land?
Rashi and Targum Yonasan: This refers to a spirit of consolation (Rachamim), causing the water to become calm. 1
Ramban: It was a strong wind 2 that came from the bowels of the earth, causing the waters of the depths to subside (or to become absorbed, either by the wind or by the depths from where they came).
Da'as Zekenim: This is Ru'ach E-lokim that was over the water at the beginning of creation.
QUESTIONS ON RASHI
Rashi writes: "What did Hashem remember regarding the animals [on the Ark]? The merit that they had not corrupted their ways prior to the Flood." According to the opinion that it was people who had cross-bred animals (refer to 6:12:1.1:1), why is this considered a merit for the rest?
Mizrachi - This Rashi fits only with his first explanation to 6:7; namely that the animals corrupted their own ways.
Gur Aryeh: Even according to Rashi's second explanation, after the animals were initially cross-bred by people, most animals continued to do so of their own volition. The animals on the Ark, however, did not, and that was their merit. 1