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Will New Movie Wake People Up?

This weekend's Drudge Report says, "Employees at NASA have been told not to comment publicly on Fox's new summer fuss-film The Day After Tomorrow" for fear that "moviegoers will be alarmed enough to blame the Bush administration for inattention to climate change. 'No one from NASA is to do interviews or otherwise comment on anything having to do with' the film, said an April 1 message to employees."

Meanwhile, NASA's own satellite images reveal that a crucial part of the North Atlantic ocean circulation is slowing down, which could change our weather dramatically, just in time for the movie, which will be released worldwide on May 28. NASA's Sirpa Hakkinen said (before the media blackout), "It is a signal of large climate variability in the high latitudes."

Roger Highfield writes in the Telegraph that while climatologists once believed that the effects of global warming would occur gradually, new data from ice cores shows that it happened suddenly in the past. Climatologist Peter Rhines says, "The question is, how much 're-plumbing' of the ocean circulation is required to push the coupled atmosphere-ocean system over a threshold?"

Hakkinen and Rhimes have studied the weakening of the Gulf Stream, also known as the subpolar gyre. Hakkinen says, "If this trend continues, it could indicate reorganization of the ocean climate system, perhaps with changes in the whole climate system..." Rhines says, "Computer models have shown the slowing and speeding up of the subpolar gyre can influence the entire ocean circulation system."

Fred Pearce writes in New Scientist that despite the fact that it will wake up the world to what's happening to our weather, scientists' reactions to the upcoming film based on The Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber are not all positive.

A Pentagon report agrees with the movie scenario, which predicts that a shutdown of the Gulf Stream could plunge the northern hemisphere into a deep freeze. Both the Pentagon and the filmmakers think this could happen soon. But climatologist Stefan Rahmstorf says, "The DoD (Department of Defense) scenario is extreme and highly unlikely."

Peter Schwartz, who helped created the report, says that although the it is "not the most likely scenario, it is plausible, and would challenge U.S. national security in ways that should be considered immediately."

Will the movie wake people up so we can demand that our governments act?before it's too late?

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