The events of the hit Roland Emmerich disaster movie may actually become a reality in the coming decades.
The 2004 movie saw the world plagued by a series of apocalyptic climate disasters ranging from tornadoes tearing up Los Angeles to extreme cooling and the beginning of a new ice age.
While the events of the film might seem far-fetched, some aspects of it might actually have a ring of truth to them – that is at least according to Sybren Drijfhout, a professor at the University of Southampton, who suggests that such a catastrophic scenario could actually happen for real.
In his new study, Drijfhout contends that if global warming continues over the next few decades then a collapse of warm ocean currents in the Atlantic – the same thing that caused the northern hemisphere to freeze in the movie – might actually become a realistic possibility.
Known as Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC), this crucial water current helps maintain milder winters and its disappearance could see temperatures plunging rapidly.
“The planet earth recovers from the AMOC collapse in about 40 years when global warming continues at present-day rates, but near the eastern boundary of the North Atlantic (including the British Isles) it takes more than a century before temperature is back to normal,” said Drijfhout.
Whether such a thing is likely to actually happen however remains to be seen, but as the effects of global warming continue to take their toll on our planet it may only be a matter of time before this, or something very much like it, will be along to give world governments a rather stark wake up call.