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Science & Technology

Could 'The Day After Tomorrow' come true ?

October 11, 2015 | Comment icon 39 comments



Could the world be plunged in to a new ice age ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Paul Anderson
The events of the hit Roland Emmerich disaster movie may actually become a reality in the coming decades.
The 2004 movie saw the world plagued by a series of apocalyptic climate disasters ranging from tornadoes tearing up Los Angeles to extreme cooling and the beginning of a new ice age.

While the events of the film might seem far-fetched, some aspects of it might actually have a ring of truth to them - that is at least according to Sybren Drijfhout, a professor at the University of Southampton, who suggests that such a catastrophic scenario could actually happen for real.

In his new study, Drijfhout contends that if global warming continues over the next few decades then a collapse of warm ocean currents in the Atlantic - the same thing that caused the northern hemisphere to freeze in the movie - might actually become a realistic possibility.
Known as Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), this crucial water current helps maintain milder winters and its disappearance could see temperatures plunging rapidly.

"The planet earth recovers from the AMOC collapse in about 40 years when global warming continues at present-day rates, but near the eastern boundary of the North Atlantic (including the British Isles) it takes more than a century before temperature is back to normal," said Drijfhout.

Whether such a thing is likely to actually happen however remains to be seen, but as the effects of global warming continue to take their toll on our planet it may only be a matter of time before this, or something very much like it, will be along to give world governments a rather stark wake up call.

Source: Tech Times | Comments (39)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #30 Posted by ShadowSot 6 years ago
If I remember right, that indicates Venus goes through periods of resurfacing right? Also evidence that unlike Mars it still has active geology.
Comment icon #31 Posted by socrates.junior 6 years ago
Yeppers, catastrophic lithospheric overturn. At least that's the thought. It can't release heat effectively, cause it has a relatively "thick lid" (dry, strong, and thick lithosphere)-and no plate tectonics in consequence. Unlike Earth, where plate tectonics facilitates heat release. So, eventually, heat builds up at that boundary (lithosphere/mantle) since it's failing to get released through the surface effectively. The thick lid is more dense than the hot mantle below it, so it sinks! And then the upper mantle crusts up and Venus has a new surface. Really neat process. Some interesting stud... [More]
Comment icon #32 Posted by ShadowSot 6 years ago
If I remember right, the crust of Venus is thinner than Earth's, and due to the heat the rocks have greater plasticity. Is that considered part of the reason for lack of tectonic plates?
Comment icon #33 Posted by socrates.junior 6 years ago
The crust is pretty thick on Venus. And the lithosphere (the upper portion of the mantle + the crust) is thick too. And pretty uniform. Based on the distribution of topography (unimodal). The Earth's distribution of topography (bimodal) indicates plate tectonic processes. One of the main reasons, actually, for the lack of plate tectonics is believed to be the comparative difference in water content of the interior. Water has a major influence on rock strength/melt temperature. Venus has less water than Earth (is what accretion models indicate), so it has a strong, thick lithosphere. Too strong... [More]
Comment icon #34 Posted by ShadowSot 6 years ago
Ah, well thank you.
Comment icon #35 Posted by docyabut2 6 years ago
They do say there's a El Nino out there that could bring triple the snow we had last year, gee the U.S. was a Antarctica last year:) http://www.peoplemag...ow-this-winter/
Comment icon #36 Posted by Frank Merton 6 years ago
Venus' surface is actually extremely young, comparatively to other planets in the Solar System. By extremely young, I also mean ~700 Ma. Not saying he's right, and not saying it's anymore than a coincidence. But there is that. Young, yes, compared to some other planetary surfaces, but the resurfacing nevertheless happened a long time ago -- before the Cambrian explosion in fact. All the evolution of multi-cellular life on Earth happened after.
Comment icon #37 Posted by Doug1029 6 years ago
They do say there's a El Nino out there that could bring triple the snow we had last year, gee the U.S. was a Antarctica last year:) http://www.peoplemag...ow-this-winter/ It was in New England and the lake states and even Minnesota and North Dakota (North Dakota always looks like Antarctica in the winter.). But in California, it was as dry as ever. In OK we lucked out. Got a mild winter followed by a mild summer. The weather differs a lot from place to place. Doug
Comment icon #38 Posted by DieChecker 6 years ago
It was in New England and the lake states and even Minnesota and North Dakota (North Dakota always looks like Antarctica in the winter.). But in California, it was as dry as ever. In OK we lucked out. Got a mild winter followed by a mild summer. The weather differs a lot from place to place. Doug I don't remember getting any snow in Northern Oregon last year. At least not on the valley floor. Usually we get at least a foot over the winter. (Not usually all at once though.) The kids are looking forward to snow this year.
Comment icon #39 Posted by DieChecker 6 years ago
If you are short on things to worry about: a cold patch has developed in the North Atlantic when those waters should be warm. Are we seeing the beginning of a shutdown in ocean circulation? Doug So is that a possibly?


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