Movie "Day After Tomorrow" Fact or Fiction? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/28/04

Movie "Day After Tomorrow" Fact or Fiction?

The blockbuster movie, "The Day After Tomorrow" opened in Lubbock theatres. And though many shows are selling out, the movie is spurring questions from the viewing public.

"My first reaction was that Hollywood would attempt to provide a lot of special effects to draw audiences, to draw people to see the movie, however the scientific basis behind the movie is weak," says National Weather Service meteorologist, Steve Cobb.

He says the film may be a blockbuster hit, but it's stirring a storm of criticism. In the film, tidal waves drown Manhattan- tornadoes tear through Los Angeles, and a dramatic climate change caused by global warming ushers in a new ice age.

Local scientists say the abrupt change the movie portrays is virtually impossible. In fact, they say those types of climate changes take decades, even centuries to happen.

"What the movie is attempting to portray is an abrupt change in climate happening in a period of days that just simply is impossible," says Cobb.

Impossible because widespread climate changes can't happen or can they?

"We have successfully studied small scale or short term climate changes such as El Nino and La Nina and those are short term climate changes and they do have measurable impact on local weather," says Cobb.

Cobb says it's weather phenomena like El Nino and other events they don't fully understand. But even though scientists don't back Hollywood's version of the Day After Tomorrow, movie goers are flocking to Lubbock theatres just out of curiosity.

"The different things that could happen I mean the way things are going now just to see what it's like," says one moviegoer.

Scientists say hopefully we'll only experience a catastrophe like this on the big screen. As for it happening in real life, they say it may be another 10,000 years before we know the answer to that.

As for global warming: Cobb says the earth's temperature is increasing, but gradually. He says it's temperature has risen about 2 degrees in the last 100 years.

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