Night Shyamalan's "The Happening" terrified movie audiences with the tale of a mysterious toxin that causes loss of speech, physical disorientation and death. But if anyone is worried that plants will suddenly evolve a defense mechanism that allows them to communicate with each other and target despoilers of the environment, biologists say you can rest easy. Click the "Next" arrow above to learn how science fared in nine other disaster movies.
In the span of just a few days, tornados devastate Los Angeles, huge hail pounds Tokyo, and colossal tsunamis and blizzards whip New York.
Could it really happen?
Could global warming really cause such incredible disasters? Recent scientific discoveries show that the present day climate is unusually stable, and that "normal" climate for Earth is the climate of frequent extreme jumps--like a light switch flicking on and off.
Thus, the popular conception that global warming will lead to a slow and steady increase in temperature that humans can readily adapt to may be incorrect. Global warming could push the climate system past a threshold where a sudden, irreversible climate shift would occur.
This would most likely happen if the increased precipitation and glacial melt water from global warming could flood the North Atlantic with enough fresh water to slow down or even halt the mighty Gulf Stream ocean current.
In addition, shifts in the jet stream pattern would bring about severe droughts and damaging floods in regions unaccustomed to such events, greatly straining global food and water supplies. Climate experts consider a sudden global warming-induced climate shift unlikely in the next years, but do acknowledge their computer models are too crude to know just what the probabilities are.
But no, a sudden global warming-induced climate shift could not cause the kind of instant wild weather mayhem depicted in the movie. The laws of meteorology get seriously abused here.
Whitley Streiber is a UFO expert and author of the best-selling book Communion, a non-fiction account of his abduction by extra-terrestrials. They argue that a sudden climate shift would create such strong atmospheric instability that an incredible "superstorm" must result. The clusters of thunderstorms would merge into a continent-sized "superstorm" that would suck energy from the oceans heated by global warming, generating winds of mph, blizzard conditions with hundreds of feet of snow, temperature falls in Canada of degrees in an hour, and incredible thunderstorms with huge hail and tornados.
The primary scientific evidence Streiber and Bell offer to support their intuition involves the discovery of wooly mammoths with partially digested plant remains in their stomachs: It required a storm that was capable of delivering unprecedented levels of extreme cold to the surface and doing it so suddenly that the animals which were caught placidly grazing, did not even have time to look up To all appearances they were simply frozen solid where they stood without enough warning to do more than raise their heads.
But Bell and Streiber are not scientists, and certainly didn't run any computer models of the atmosphere to verify their theories. Modern computer models of the Earth's weather show that the only types of storms planet Earth can manage are the current ordinary hurricanes, blizzards, and thunderstorms.
The formation and evolution of the superstorm as described in The Day After Tomorrow and The Coming Global Superstorm is a meteorological impossibility. Let's summarize just a few of the scientific impossibilities in the movie: The superstorm sucks vast quantities of frigid upper atmospheric air down to the surface, flash freezing any living thing caught outside.
However, any graduate of a high school physics course could tell you that the air would warm on its descent in response to the requirements of the Ideal Gas Law, and would never be able to flash freeze anything. One scientist in the movie does remember his high school physics and asks, "But wouldn't the air warm as it descends?
If you were on my thesis committee, I'd kick you off. Clusters of thunderstorms cannot merge together to form a continent-scale blizzard with a calm eye over land.
Huge storms with calm eyes can only happen over the oceans. These storms are called hurricanes, and require that the core of the storm be over warm ocean waters in order to utilize the powerful latent heat energy that water vapor gives up when it condenses into rain.
And the laws of physics do not allow these type of storms to create blizzard conditions, only heavy rain. A foot high storm surge whipped up by the intense winds of the superstorm smashes through Manhattan. There's a little problem here--the winds needed to create a storm surge of this magnitude are probably at least twice the speed of sound mphyet there is little apparent wind on the ocean's surface as the wave smashes ashore.
The superstorm is shown in many scenes rotating clockwise, and in other scenes counter-clockwise.
Oops, all large-scale storm systems in the Northern Hemisphere must rotate counter-clockwise, thanks to one of the laws of physics on a rotating planet called the Coriolis force.
So, enjoy the special effects. Discuss how you wished they'd spent more money showing more special effects instead of showing so much drippy melodrama.The Day After Tomorrow is a American science-fiction disaster film co-written, directed, and produced by Roland Emmerich and starring Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, and Sela Ward.
It is based on the book The Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber. The film depicts catastrophic climatic effects following the disruption of the North Atlantic Ocean . The Analysis of 'The Day after Tomorrow' ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal was the long awaited big money blockbuster from the .
The science and fiction of ‘Day After Tomorrow’ Federal lab and nonprofit provide 'Warming ' Below: x Jump to text Many who see the global warming disaster movie "The Day After Tomorrow.
Hollywood's doomsday movie "The Day After Tomorrow" used a kernel of climate science to hype awareness about global warming two years before former Vice President Al . THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW - some comments on the movie.
The film shows a disastrous and abrupt climate change. Due to man-made global warming, first the Larsen B ice shelf breaks up (this did happen in the real world, see animation of satellite images - allegedly only after the authors had written it into the film).
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW - some comments on the movie. After a preview of the film in Berlin I had the chance of a good talk with the script writer, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, and I was quite impressed how well-informed about the science and politics of global climate change he was.
Clearly this is a disaster movie and not a scientific.
|Contribute to This Page||StoeckingerLarry Kemp, Glenn T. Jaeger Nominated Political and scientific criticism[ edit ] Emmerich did not deny that his casting of a weak president and the resemblance of vice-president Kenneth Welsh to Dick Cheney were intended to criticize the climate change policy of the George W.|
|The Day After Tomorrow | Weather Underground||In the span of just a few days, tornados devastate Los Angeles, huge hail pounds Tokyo, and colossal tsunamis and blizzards whip New York.|
|Federal lab and nonprofit provide 'Warming 101'||Strieber also wrote the film's novelization. So does the novel Ice!|