Did the climatic scenario shown in the 2004 movie “The Day After Tomorrow” appear impractical to you? Irrespective of the kind of answer you have to this question, it can be said that a recent development in the world of science will surely fascinate you. We are talking about University of Southampton researcher Sybren Drijfhout’s effort of producing a scientific study of the movie’s climatic scenario.
In the movie, we saw climate warming resulting in a sudden collapse of the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) and causing a series of disastrous events like floods in New York, freezing of the northern hemisphere and destructive tornados in Los Angles.
Climate scientists around the globe criticized the scientific credibility of the events shown in the film. However, to date no scientist tried to assess the scenario of a sudden global warming-induced AMOC collapse using a state-of-the-art climate model.
Drijfhout said that the Earth will be cooling continuously for twenty years if global warming and AMOC collapse take place simultaneously. After that, global warming will be continuing as if there was no AMOC collapse; however, this time it will be accompanied by an average temperature offset of around 0.8°C.
Drijfhout informed if global warming takes place at the current rate, our planet needs around 40 years for recovering from AMOC collapses. However, the recovery period required by the Earth’s surface near the North Atlantic’s eastern boundary is more than hundred years, the researcher added.
Here, it must be mentioned that the effects of AMOC collapse-induced atmospheric cooling have strong links with the flow of heat from the Earth’s atmosphere into the ocean. This has been observed throughout the climate hiatus of the past one and half decades.
Drijfhout explained that in case of a similarly reduced heating or cooling due to decreasing greenhouse emissions or volcanic eruptions, the flow of heat gets reversed from the ocean into our atmosphere. He said that a similar energy flow reversal is also observed at the top of our atmosphere.
The researcher added that these diverse fingerprints in the flow of energy between internal ocean circulation procedures and atmospheric radiative forcing allowed us to locate a suitable cause for a climate hiatus.