Tomorrow and The Day After Tomorrow

As weather forecasters are warning of a “polar vortex” set to bring record low temperatures in many areas, is anyone besides me thinking back to the apocalyptic movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” which envisaged global warming disrupting weather patterns, leading to a new ice age?

The movie's scenario is obviously ridiculously extreme, but it is frustrating to see people responding to recent weather forecasts by saying “See, it is cold, therefore global warming is a myth.” How can people not understand that climate change does not mean that there are no longer seasons, that unseasonably hot summers may not be coupled with extremely cold winters, and indeed contribute to them?

Wherever you are, if you are in an area affected by the current weather pattern, I hope you stay safe and warm. My church, Crooked Creek Baptist Church, is cancelling its Sunday service, as the mayor of Indianapolis has advised people not to leave home unless it is an emergency.

 

 

 

  • Ros

    LOL I just said the exact same thing an hour ago – and googled to see if anyone else was thinking on the same lines. GMTA :-)

  • Michael Wilson

    James, unfortunately many peoples conception of this problem has been mired in the “Day After Tomorrow” thinking ever since an “Inconvenient Truth”, the early power point version of that film came out. I think Al’s hope was that sensationalizing the problem would lead more people to push for change in policy, which perhaps happened, but unfortunately it did so by convincing people that they ought to see disasters appear before their eyes if something didn’t change, and so when the prophesy failed, people moved on. perhaps in a few years Americans will look at the issue with a less polarizing view and come up with sensible solutions.

  • Henk

    I thought that the comparison was weird aswell….until I woke up floating on my bed.
    I live in Galway Ireland….and those snowstorms you get….they do a weird thing as of lately.
    Since half December we have had 11 severe storms here…7 force 10, 3 force 11 and yesterday a hurricane of the second category…in winter. Weirdly those storms when they cross over blow up to massive ones.
    I woke up because the sea had decided to move a kilometer inland….the end of my street was now the sea shore…my bedroom was flooding from underneath.
    That is pretty hardcore shit…..and tomorrow…they don’t know…its coming…its going to be massive once again…but the Met office cannot tell anymore what kind of storm will be in store. That is weird shit……so weird weather for sure….as if a treshhold has been crossed…..its never been this bad here….and its getting worse!
    Just a warning from the other side of the pond that things are getting spooky out here.

    • Ian

      Really hope you stay dry and safe Henk. We’re across the Irish Sea from you, in Wales, and the storms have been crazy here too, and that’s after Ireland has taken the sting out of them for us! Hope your next 24 hours is not too tough!

      • Henk

        Have a look at this.
        This is Lahinch….ehm…was Lahinch as it is pretty much destroyed along the shoreline now.
        THis pic was taken in the aftermath of the storm..according to the photographer the waves were even bigger during the storm ….nearly unthinkable….. Feel sorry for the people there.
        On inishboffin a concrete lighthouse building that has been there for ages was just gone the next day….

        • Ian

          ye gods and little fishes!

  • Rosa Zubizarreta

    Some time after I saw the movie, I read an article in Popular Science written by someone who had interviewed three different climate scientists, hoping to verify the “ridiculously extreme’ nature of the film. Instead, all three scientist agreed that the basic science underneath “The Day After Tomorrow” was quite accurate, with the main “exaggeration” being how fast the events might occur. The on-line posting of the article I’ve found seems to be missing the ‘third act’ of what was originally a longer article.… http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2004-06/hollywood-science-and-end-world-three-act-screenplay?page=0%2C1

    • Rosa Zubizarreta

      Just found a link where you can reach a full version of the original article, via your local library. http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/13224145/hollywood-science-end-world
      It includes a very useful distinction between global warming and abrupt climate change, which can be triggered by the former via the sudden shutdown of the Global Ocean Conveyor, a major oceanic current that moves heat from the tropics up to the northern latitudes. If and when the current shuts down (due to decreased salinity of ocean water, which in turn is caused by melting icecaps) this means that much of the Northern Hemisphere will become a frozen tundra, like Siberia.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        Thanks for these links to additional information!

      • Gary

        I still think the best integrator, over time, of global warming effects, are glaciers. They clearly are melting away. They integrate the moment by moment extremes of weather, and only show the long term effects. Until the conveyor belt stops. Then ice age, and then we’re really in trouble.

  • Ian

    Just thought: do churches or gov’t agencies have contingency plans to make sure all homeless people are off the street when a -60F night is coming in? Just ocurred to me that I’d never heard of something similar. If not, seems like something that needs to be in place: a contingency plan for homeless people during severe weather.

  • davidkallen

    Oh, that’s so funny. As soon as I read the NOAA weather report about a “polar vortex” I immediately thought of the movie too, and found your article, just as Ros did.. And regarding global warming – I think a better term is climate change. Even though the trends indicate that our current trend in change is a gradual warming of the planet. The term “climate change” better conveys a wide range of variation.

  • Julia

    I have been referring to the movie”The Day After Tomorrow” to my husband and my friends quite a lot in the last couple of years. It is so much like what happened in the movie and it is scary!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X