Running head：HOW GLOBAL WARMING COULD CAUSE AN ICE AGE
How Global Warming Could Cause an Ice Age
Or：What scientific knowledge do we learn from the movie, “The Day After Tomorrow”？
Wang Yao-Wei （Daniel）
March 10, 2006
What is global warming? This is a very popular issue all over the world. In order to learn more about global warming, we should go through what makes the earth warm and how warming affects the earth. The first thing we need to be familiar with is the greenhouse effect. It plays an important part in controlling the earth temperature. Thus, we need to know how the greenhouse effect is to know how it could affect the earth. ...view middle of the document...
The first one is the changing of the climate. Global warming is the main cause.
From their article, Titus, et. al. (1987). They said that the greenhouse effect will make the earth’s temperature rise. They also said the rates of climate change are about 15 to 40 times faster than ever before. On average, the earth’s temperature will raise 3℃ every hundred years. To put it simply, the climate that we know now would be very different in the future. It will become warmer in the summer and colder in the winter.
The second thing is the rising sea level. Common sense, tell us that because of the global warming, the ice from the South Pole and North Pole will melt. And this is definitely occurring right now. The increasing temperature of both poles may melt the ice from the lands and the mountains and make the sea level rise about 0.2 to 1.4 meters. Many cities will be flooded by the rising sea level.
Now that we have some basic scientific knowledge about global warming and how it affects the, now we can consider the scenario presented in the movie “The Day After tomorrow”. Do we still have the day after tomorrow? This is what I want to talk about in the next paragraph.
In the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”, we see that the land was covered by ice and the earth enters the next ice age early. I want to focus on this part’s, how global warming could cause an ice age. Will the climate change so fast that human beings cannot predict？We will know after talking about this.
The movie mentioned that the big climate change is due to the extreme variation of the North Atlantic Ocean current. And this is the question. How can the ocean current affect the climate? It should be global warming, right？ In fact, it is global warming. But global warming is the background of the climate change. So I could tell that the ocean currents have their own direction to flow. Although the surface of the sea we see is clam, there are lots of differences under the seas. The flow of the water depends on its mass. Its density, temperature, and concentration will influence the ocean currents. The ocean currents play an important part to modulate the heat energy on the surface. For example, the lower latitude ocean currents will bring the warmer water to the higher latitude areas. That means the ocean current control the heat balance and they may affect the climate.
So the greenhouse effect is one part of global warming and it makes the South Pole ice melt. And we know that ocean current may change the climate. Now we have to connect two things and make it relate to the movie. A large volume of fresh water goes into the sea and dilutes the salt water concentration of the sea because of the melting of the icebergs. So the melting water affects the ocean current and destroys the balance of the heat on the surface. Because the heat balance doesn’t exist anymore, the climate changes rapidly and causes an ice age. This is what the movie says.