The big-budget worldwide catastrophe film “The Day After Tomorrow” hits theaters nationwide Friday and an Iowa expert says viewers need to be able to separate science fiction from science facts. The movie takes the greenhouse effect and global warming to the extreme, bringing multiple hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, floods and the beginning of the next ice age. Gene Takle, a professor of atmospheric science and agricultural meteorology at Iowa State University, says the movie has a legitimate basis, but “takes off from reality” by compressing the time scale. Takle says Hollywood squeezed some 50 years of the ice age’s arrival into a half-a-day. He says the weather theories that are fronted by the film do have their basis in fact.He says there’s no question global warming is occurring and that humans are contributing substantially to the warming of the planet. Takle blames the many decades of pumping chemicals into the air from the smokestacks of our factories and the tailpipes of our engines for poisoning the atmosphere, perhaps to a point of no return.He says there’s little we can do, other than to cut back on our continued burning of fossil fuels to keep the problem from getting worse. Takle says he does his part by riding his bike to work in Ames.
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