Why ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ was a ridiculous movie on climate change

Why ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ was a ridiculous movie on climate change

New reports indicate that maybe the movie wasn't so far off -- but a lot of scientists think the film was absurd.

As we reported, new reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that the 2004 science fiction apocalyptic movie “The Day After Tomorrow” may be pretty close to reality — but why did scientists slam it before, and why do some still see it as a ridiculous film?

The film contained scenes of superstorms and New York City frozen over due to a new ice age after glacier melting in Antarctica interrupts the North Atlantic Current. This causes a chain reaction where warm water stops flowing from the Caribbean to the north Atlantic, triggering a huge disruption in the climate — something that IPCC scientists now say is a distinct possibility.

But still many scientists see the movie as ludicrous, especially at the time when it was released. Although glacial melting and a disruption of these critical currents is a possibility, the way it is depicted in the film is pretty far fetched to a lot of scientists.

The film had less than stellar reviews, scoring 45 percent on critic aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, with many of the critics dinging the movie for its liberties with science.

Many environmentalists did applaud the film for taking on an important subject, at the time of its release the scientific community, with Andrew Weaver of Canada’s University of Victoria quoted in a USA Today report as saying that a new ice age, as proposed by the movie, is “impossible.”

It had a fan in former vice president Al Gore, who has been ringing the alarm about climate change for a while now.

Other scientists said while some of the things in the film are likely to happen, as people are messing with the Earth in ways they never have, another ice age seems extremely unlikely — at least not how it is depicted in the film.

And even IPCC scientists would probably admit that although there could be a “tipping point” should the Greenland ice sheet melt and disrupt the currents, the notion that it would be as extreme as depicted in the film, with a totally frozen New York and hurricane-like mega storms swallowing up the Northern Hemisphere, is probably more than a little crazy.




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