Will the Earth Freeze "the Day after Tomorrow"

    Author:By Li Xing    2004-10-24

    They were not movie critics nor entertainment reporters, but watching film was their work this time.

    When the American film, The Day After Tomorrow, was shown at the cinema of the China Meteorological Administration on Saturday,yells and sighs were heard from time to time from among the audience of meteorologists, including Jack Hall's Chinese counterparts # the research team of China's Climate System Model of the National Meteorological Climate Center.

    Watching the violent hurricanes and floods sweeping away cities and people frozen to death, Dong Wenjie, who heads the research team, said such tragedies indeed might happen to mankind in the future.

    "What the movie depicts are not groundless. The global temperature has been rising significantly and will eventually cause abrupt climate change some day," he said. Ordinary people may find it difficult to understand how the global warming could result in a frozen earth, but experts can explain it. According to the latest report by Wang Shaowu,academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, global warming will cause the melting of glaciers and the decrease in the sea temperature and salinity in the Northern high latitude regions, which will eventually switch off the thermohaline circulation in the Northern Hemisphere and freeze the Northern continents.

    The Observer magazine of the United Kingdom revealed a report by the US Pentagon in February, claiming that climate change wouldbe a greater threat to the world than terrorism in the next 20 years. It warned that thousands of people would be killed by natural disasters and regional conflicts or even nuclear wars caused by sharp decrease of land and resources. Moreover, Britain would become another freezing Siberia and major European cities would sink into the sea.

    People may wonder if the reality would really be so and how far the disasters are from them. Wang believed that prominent climate change would take quite a long time.

    "But we cannot relax or go free, or a sudden and deadly consequence will come after our ignorance," Dong said.

    Figures by the World Meteorological Organization show the frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate incidents have been increasing in recent years. Under such circumstances, although it was true that the doomsday was not coming so soon as shown in The Day After Tomorrow, people must think over and prepare for it right now, Dong said.

    Luo Yong, Dong's teammate and also a researcher with the National Climate Center, urged that China should make preparationsfor climate change a national strategy and give more support to the development of the Climate System Models, so as to build up its capacity to "monitor climate, forecast changes, and prepare for possible disasters."

    "Anyway, we must do everything to prevent the earth from freezing 'the day after tomorrow'," said Dong.

Copyright:© 2005 ~ 2020 Beijing Climate Centre. All rights reserved.      Technical support: zhongyan

address:46 South Street, Zhongguancun, Haidian District, Beijing      Zip code:100081