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The Day After Tomorrow

Question: Why did the big freeze-over happen during the eye of the storm, and why was it then safe for Dr. Hall to continue his journey north?

Answer: Earlier in the film, Hall's team analyzes the Scotland helicopter incident and determines that it was caused by a new meteorological phenomenon like a reverse hurricane. Air from the upper atmosphere was pulled down to ground level, but remained at the temperature of the troposphere (-150 F). The eye of the storm is where the vortex from the troposphere to the surface terminates, with the air then moving outward with the storm and warming to ground temperature. This is why the freezing happens during the eye of the storm. Dr. Hall is safe continuing after the eye passes as conditions will get steadily better because he is passing out of the storm, until it abruptly ends overnight.

Question: On which continent does the movie start?

New this month Answer: Antarctica.

Question: I noticed the librarian, Judith, never appears after the retrieval of penicillin, I say this because I missed a tid-bit of the film after they acquired it. Is she there just camera shy or did she freeze?

Answer: She is indeed alive. Take a close look at the scene when Jack Hall arrives. Judith appears in that scene.

Question: Shouldn't cold air which was severe enough to kill a person upon exposure, have been cold enough to freeze the liquid in an LCD display?

Answer: It should. But perhaps Dr Hall carrys it close to himself, warming it with his own body heat, and only takes it out briefly to look at it.

Question: In the part where Frank falls through the glass roof, you see Jack use his pick to stop them.where does he stick his pick into if it is all glass? He couldn't have stuck it into ice because you see him wipe away just snow to see Frank.

Answer: The roof isn't one continuous piece of glass, it's many pieces fit together and separated by metal framing. The flat end of the pick can fit into the crack in the frame between two pieces of glass.

Question: After all of the snow melts, wouldn't it go into the ocean and cause the same disruption as before?

Answer: Who says it's going to melt? The point of the movie is that global warming has upset the ocean currents and triggered a new Ice Age. The snow is going to be there for a long time to come yet - say 10,000 years?

Question: I read somewhere that Kirsten Dunst had a cameo in this film...does anyone know where it was?

Answer: I've read it is when Sam calls his father to tell him the sewer has backed up into the school, she is supposedly standing at his elbow with a sweater pulled up over her nose and mouth.

Question: What did the girl cut her leg on when she was squeezing between the two taxis? It looked like it was cut on the edge of a license plate, but that would have made a horizontal cut, not a vertical one.

Answer: From what I saw the license plate rim was broken, exposing a sharp end. It looks like the moved her leg forward, the sharp peice cut into her leg and she moved her leg up which would create a near vertical wound.

Question: Why was the ship that stopped in the front of the library empty? Did the crew abandon ship? Or was there something more sinister?

Answer: Hard to tell why, it was not depicted. During heavy storms, most people would be on call, attending watches in the engine room and bridges. They probably died during the storm (several causes, as such heavy trashing, being swept away, the cold) etc., but their bodies were not shown, as it was irrelevant to the plot.

Question: How is it possible that at the end of the film, when the helicopters are arriving to New York, many people is coming out of the buildings. Aren't they supposed to be frozen?

Answer: The people in the library were able to survive by making fires and so on - obviously these other people were equally resourceful.

Question: Most tsunami are caused by earthquakes underwater that trigger a huge wave. However, there are no earthquake-causing fault lines anywhere near New York City. So what caused the tsunami?

Answer: That's not a tsunami - it's a catastrophic rise in sea level caused by the disruption in the ocean's balance. Same basic effect, different cause.

Question: Why was only the Northern Hemisphere covered in ice? We see in the first scene of the film that Antarctica was affected too, so why didn't the Southern Hemisphere enter a new ice age too?

Answer: Unlike the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere is mostly covered by ocean. Large water masses have a moderating influence on temperature, and are less prone to freezing.

Question: At the beginning of the film, Jack Hall quickly explains how global warming could cause an ice age by altering the global ocean currents. The explanation is short and I didn't catch all of it. Could someone explain in more detail, preferably as simply as possible?

Answer: Global warming melts the icecaps, releasing millions of tons of fresh water into the oceans. This upsets the delicate environmental balance of the oceans, leading to the ocean currents stopping. It's these currents that carry warm water up into the Northern Hemisphere, causing our temperate climate. The currents stop, everything cools down, fast.

Question: Is the Statue of Liberty strong enough to survive that amount of water pressure, or should it have buckled/bent/been destroyed completely?

Answer: The Statue of Liberty *should* have been knocked over by the tidal wave, but the director wanted to create a symbol of American values of "standing up" and persevering.

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Quotes

Vice President Becker: I don't accept that abandoning half of the country is necessary!
Tom Gomez: Maybe if you'd listened to him sooner, it wouldn't be.
Vice President Becker: Bullshit! It's easy for him to suggest this plan. He's safely here in Washington.
Tom Gomez: His son is in Manhattan. I just thought you should know that before you start questioning his motives.

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Mistakes

When the International Space Station is shown, it's spinning. The space station doesn't spin. The centrifugal force would create gravity on all the outer sides of the space station - and make it impossible to dock other modules.

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Trivia

Before the film was released, N.A.S.A. sent a memo out to all of its employees stating that they were not allowed to comment on the likelihood of the events portrayed in this movie.

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