When I read this back in February, my first thought was “Oh s–t! We are all going to die.” My second thought was, “That would make a great movie!”
In quick summary, if enough cold, fresh water coming from the melting polar ice caps and the melting glaciers of Greenland flows into the northern Atlantic, it will shut down the Gulf Stream, which keeps Europe and northeastern North America warm. The worst-case scenario would be a full-blown return of the last ice age — in a period as short as 2 to 3 years from its onset — and the mid-case scenario would be a period like the “little ice age” of a few centuries ago that disrupted worldwide weather patterns leading to extremely harsh winters, droughts, worldwide desertification, crop failures, and wars around the world.
Funny thing is, it is being made into a movie. Actually, it already has been:
In “The Day After Tomorrow,” a $125 million disaster film set to open on May 28, global warming from accumulating smokestack and tailpipe gases disrupts warm ocean currents and sets off an instant ice age.
Although the NY Times authors seem not to have read the Thom Hartmann article, as they say:
Few climate experts think such a prospect is likely, especially in the near future.
Perhaps, but the possibility that this could happen quickly seems to be based on sound science.
Actually, the Times article is really about efforts to restrict the ability of NASA scientists to speak to the press about the science upon which the movie is based. This causes Kevin Drum to ask:
Does the Bush administration ever get tired of trying to exert almost Stalinesque levels of control over the news cycle?