Question: Why would Sam and his friends go to the library?
Answer: Big building with lots of space and lots of books to burn for heat.
Answer: It was the closest building they could access. While the smarter move would have been to just go back to JD's apartment (which Brian and Laura suggest) it may have been too far a walk to get out of the flooding streets.
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: 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: Is the Statue of Liberty strong enough to survive that amount of water pressure, or should it have buckled/bent/been destroyed completely?
Chosen 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.
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.
I say it's a storm surge.
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?
Chosen 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: 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?
At the end of the movie the astronaut reports that he 'has never seen the air so clear.' Perhaps suggesting that the storm has cleared the air. So maybe it does melt. Also, to create 15 feet of snow on top of 1/2 the world, the air moisture would have to come from somewhere, the oceans. And thus bringing back the pre-storm sea levels when melted.
Maybe it will be there for a long time unless we introduce gases in the northern hemisphere re trapping the heat, and melting the snow.
Question: How is it possible that at the end of the film, when the helicopters are arriving to New York, many people are 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: 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: 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 is ironic about the people crossing the Rio Grande River at the border of Texas, USA and Mexico?
Answer: It's far more common for people from Mexico to seek a better life by crossing into the United States, rather than the other way around.
Question: What was the point of Jack going to NY? What did he actually achieve? They would have sent helicopters to look for survivors anyway...?
Answer: He was a father searching for his only son. What parent wouldn't do that. Besides, the government decided to evacuate all the southwest of the country, leaving the others to fend for themselves. Like the General said, in the conference room, as in war, we save only the ones we can save. When the cold burst hit everywhere, it was assumed everyone else in the country died. It was only after survivors were found in New York that they discovered all the others.
Question: When New York got hit with a tidal wave and Sam asked the receptionist where the "pay phones are?" Why didn't he just ask to use one of the 100s of phones throughout upper parts of the building? I'm sure a verbal warning was the last thing the receptionist mind, I mean there was a freaking oil tanker floating up the street. (00:25:00 - 01:00:00)
Answer: The power had been knocked out meaning anything more than a basic telephone wouldn't be able to work. Payphones would get their power directly from the phone line and given how essential phones are to call emergency services, phone lines usually have backup power sources (batteries, generators etc) in case of power outages.
Question: How fast do the satellite readings say the temperature is dropping?
Answer: I think the question is asking how fast is the temperature dropping as reported by the satellites. I did not review the data from the computer screens shown in the various scenes, but the dialog indicates that the temperature was dropping unusually fast and at a rate without historical precedent.
Answer: Most weather satellites are in geosynchronous orbits, about 25,000 miles above the earth and use infrared cameras to detect temperature changes. The satellite detects these changes almost instantaneously, but then has to transmit this information to the ground. Taking into account receiver, processor, and transmission delays, the satellite would report that the temperature is dropping in about a quarter second.
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?
Chosen 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: 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.
Answer: Possibly because it was the closest building with height to it as they are about to be hit by a gigantic wave of water. There was no snow yet, so I don't believe burning books or snow was on anybody's mind yet. It turned out to be a great idea as snow soon starts to fall and those books were literally a life saver.
Susan D. Santos