SCIENCE

'The Day After Tomorrow' Scenario More Plausible Than Previously Thought

  • Osvaldo Nunez , Design & Trend Contributor
  • Oct, 11, 2015, 04:40 PM
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statue of libery climate change
(Photo : REUTERS/Carlo Allegri) The Statue of Liberty is in jeopardy of drowning because of global warming. Well, at least 2,000 years from now.

Although the 2004 disaster film "The Day After Tomorrow" was mostly a Hollywood product, a new study reveals that some of the events depicted in the film could actually happen.

Researchers from the United Kingdom said if climate warming can cause ocean currents to collapse around the world, the giant tsunamis seen in the film are plausible. Prof. Sybren Drijfhout, of the University of Southampton, noted how a collapse of the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) is possible if the Earth continues to warm up.

Drijfhout also noted that if global warming coincided with a collapse of the AMOC in 20 years, the Earth would start to cool instead of heat up. Average temperatures in the world will drop by at least 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Then the healing process would begin.

"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.

Atmospheric cooling because of an AMOC collapse has much to do with heat flowing from Earth's atmosphere to the ocean.

Other climate events have caused a reduction in warming, such as the El Niño phenomenon.

Science Daily quoted professor Drijfhout's explanation of the heat flow and its reversal.

"When a similar cooling or reduced heating is caused by volcanic eruptions or decreasing greenhouse emissions the heat flow is reversed, from the ocean into the atmosphere. A similar reversal of energy flow is also visible at the top of the atmosphere. These very different fingerprints in energy flow between atmospheric radiative forcing and internal ocean circulation processes make it possible to attribute the cause of a climate hiatus period. 

"It can be excluded, however, that this hiatus period was solely caused by changes in atmospheric forcing, either due to volcanic eruptions, more aerosols emissions in Asia, or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Changes in ocean circulation must have played an important role. Natural variations have counteracted the greenhouse effect for a decade or so, but I expect this period is over now."

What do you think? Could humanity see a real version of "The Day After Tomorrow" in the next century?

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