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'The Day After Tomorrow', Q&A Response


Q & A



Is this movie realistic?


NSIDC: While aspects of the movie have a distant basis in fact and real theories of climate change, the film greatly compresses and exaggerates events. Scenarios that take place over a few days or weeks in the movie would actually require centuries to occur. Nevertheless, climate change is real, and is having an effect on Earth’s ice and oceans. Not tomorrow, or the day after, but today.

Sea ice 2002
September 2002

Sea ice 2003
September 2003

sea ice extent color bar

Sea ice extent and concentration anomalies relative to 1988-2000.

In September 2002, satellite data showed that sea ice extent was 4 percent lower than any previous September since satellite monitoring began in 1978.
Source: Fetterer, F. and K. Knowles. 2002. Sea Ice Index . Boulder, CO: National Snow and Ice Data Center. Digital media.

You may also be interested in reading:

  • Serreze, M. C., J. A. Maslanik, T. A. Scambos, F. Fetterer, J. Stroeve, K. Knowles, C. Fowler, S. Drobot, R. G. Barry, and T. M. Haran. 2003. A record minimum arctic sea ice extent and area in 2002. Geophysical Research Letters 30(3): 1110, doi: 10.1029/2002GL016406.

  • Sturm, M., D. K. Perovich, and M. C. Serreze. 2003. Meltdown in the north. Scientific American 289(4): 60-67.

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