WORLD NEWS TOMORROW – Much of the special effects that were used in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” including global warming resulting into an ice event have been put into questioning. However, the film has some truth. The beginning of movie theorizes why Scandinavia and Europe are not already colder if permafrost and ice covers all the other places within the same latitude. Though Greenland and Alaska are as close to the North Pole as Europe is, Europe is realistically not being kept warm by global warming.
Warm waters known as the Gulf Stream brings water from the Caribbean to the UK and Europe which then warms the countries along the way – thus Scandinavia, Europe and UK have a better climate than a state such as Alaska. A point worth noting about the Gulf Stream is that The Great Conveyor Belt is kept going by cool water being used in the loop and returned to the starting position in the Caribbean, thus the water is always in motion.
Global Warming could either slow down or completely stop the Gulf Stream in which case the waters would stay in Europe, Northeastern US and Scandinavian countries leading to ice age for the mentioned regions. The Gulf Stream gets gradually weakened with each major cooling event as seen in the last great Ice Age. In present times, this is caused by global warming as a result of burning fossil fuels though there are many other reasons.
In case a new Ice Age takes place, the most probable cause would be the liquefying of polar ice. Large amounts of cold, fresh water would be dumped in the ocean, hence distracting the Gulf Stream, and ultimately making the affected areas experience gentler climates. An ice age is a rapid phenomenon not a gradual one (but not as rapid as in the movie). It would take a few years resulting from global warming.
In the last 50 years, a weakening has been revealed by the go back flow of cold water from Greenland to Caribbean. This has shown a 20% reduction in the total amount of water current that flows towards that direction. Obviously, warm waters from the Caribbean have reduced too. The Global Thermohaline Circulation is made up of these currents.
The Gulf Stream could therefore be experiencing a slowdown thanks to global warming. Observation, statistics, historical and current data all point towards the fact that it might be possible for global warming to lead to an ice age.