The Day After Tomorrow

The Cold Hard Truth

Way up North in the Antarctica, over the great vast, blue, raging ocean and beyond many sheets of polar ice caps worked a team of Paleo-Climatologists. There are four in all, leader Alyssa McAllister and her three companions, couple Natalie and Brian Wells and close friend Jack Trent.

"Do you see how it's done?" Alyssa asked Brian who was on his first field research job. She was showing how to work the core drill.
"Yeah, I think I've got the hang of it." Brian replied.
"Okay then I'll go store away these cores." She told him picking up the long silver tubes and joining Natalie and Jack inside the tent.

"I hope your not working my husband too hard!" Natalie joked as she made up labels for the silver tubing.
"There's still some work left in him, considering he hasn't done much!" Alyssa stated with a sarcastic tone.
"Wait, you left Brian to operate the drill?" Jack asked with uncertainty.
"Yes, why not, he has to learn some time, may as well be now when were on our last core!" Alyssa said smiling.

Just then there was a tremor throughout the ground, Brian fell backward and the large drill wobbled, made a grinding noise and stopped. A huge crack ran along the glacier between the drill and the tent. Alyssa, Natalie and Jack exchanged fearful glances and ran outside, they all stared at Brian.
"What, I didn't do anything!" he said defensively then the ground gave another jolt and threw them all to the ground as the crack grew larger.
"What's happening?" Natalie yelled through the noise of the breaking ice.
"The whole dam shelf is breaking off that's what's happening!" Jack yelled back as he watched the ice break.

Brian hopped over the small gap and joined his wife... The crack grew bigger.
Alyssa didn't want to lose the last core of ice so she jumped the crack and grabbed the core. She was about to jump back over when the crack got bigger.
"Don't do it Alyssa you're not gonna make it!" her old friend Jack yelled.
Alyssa received her field training from Jack ten years ago, they'd worked together ever since and not once did she do as she was told, she wasn't gonna start now.

Taking a deep breath she ran and jumped throwing the core over with her. Jack, Brian and Natalie ran to her aid as she hung onto the edge. Alyssa looked down, she saw the sides of the ice part and the water swishing violently at the bottom, the ice was as tall as the empire state building, some distance to fall. As jack, Natalie and Brian were about to grab her arms, she fell.

"Nooooooo!" Jack yelled. Alyssa acted fast, she grabbed her snow pick and dug it deep into the ice, hanging there like limb rag doll, bits of ice falling around her.
Jack reached the edge of the ice and looked down, he saw her hanging desperately onto the pick for life and he reached down, "Grab my hand Alyssa, Grab it!" she obeyed, for once, and he pulled her up.

"Jesus McAllister, you're crazy!" Natalie remarked kneeling beside her and rubbing her shoulders. Brian appeared behind them,
"Guys this really wasn't my fault... Right? Guys? It wasn't my fault... Guys?" But not one of them were listening they just watched in awe as the large sheet of ice the camped out on broke in two.

* * *
A day later Alyssa landed at New Delhi Central Airport to attend the United Nations Economy Debate as a representative for the N.N.O.A, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, of whom she worked for. She knew the president would be there and if she could persuade him of her findings maybe it would pedal more money into the company. Although it would be a hard task since Vice President Edward Reeves was a stuck up bastard who thought Global Warming was a horrow story told by obbsessive tree huggers.

"What we discovered locked away in these ice cores is evidence of a cataclysmic climate shift that occurred ten thousand years ago," began Alyssa as she took to the podium with her powerpoint demonstration, "The concentration of these natural greenhouse gasses in the ice cores indicate that runaway warming pushed the planet into an ice age which lasted two centuries."

"I am confused I thought you were talking about Global Warming not an Ice Age!" an Arabic representative stated.
Alyssa answered him respectfully, "Yes, it is a paradox, but Global Warming can trigger a cooling trend... Let me explain... The northern hemisphere owes its temporary climate to the North Atlantic Current, by which heat from the sun arrives at the equator and is carried north by the ocean, providing our warm summers for example, however Global Warming is melting the polar ice caps and is disrupting this flow. Eventually the North Atlantic Current will shut down and when that happens there goes our warm climate!"

There was an outburst of gasps, horrified looked, mutters, whispering and sniggers. Alyssa kept her composure though and did not falter, she knew she was right.
"Excuse me Professor, but when do think this will happen, when?" A German representative asked.

Alyssa looked him straight in the eye but answered truthfully, "I don't know it could be in a hundred years, could be in a thousand, but what I do know is if we don't act soon it will be our children and our children's children who will play the price."
She looked sympathetically over the sea of faces before her, she glanced at the president who smirked. Without an exact date he wouldn't be convinced, she realized.

"And who's going to pay the price of the Kyoto Accord? It's going to cost the world's economy hundreds of billions of dollars!" Edward Reeves, remarked cockily.

Alyssa imagined what she'd do if they were alone in a room together, rip his eye balls from their sockets and roast them on Hannibal Lecter's barbeque.
But she couldn't, her inner being sighed and she went on.
"With all do respect Mr. Vice President the outcome of a disaster like this will cost more. Our climate is fragile, at the rate were burning fossil fuels and polluting the atmosphere the ice caps will soon disappear!"

"Professor McAllister... " The Vice President began, "Our economy is just as fragile as the environment," he said bluntly, "Perhaps you should keep that in mind before making sensationalist claims!"

"Well, Mr. Vice President (emphasis on the Vice)! the last chunk of ice that broke off was about the same size as the state of Rhode Island! Some people might call that pretty sensational!" She snapped cockily making him remain lost for words. The room erupted in a few sniggers.

Without another word Alyssa picked up her laptop, briefcase and handbag and made her way through the exit and out into the ice cold evening air. Snow fell around her as she did the buttons up on her jacket and walked forward to the pavement in hopes of hailing a cap.

"Professor McAllister?" Someone said beside her. She looked round and saw a man dressed in the likeness of Mr Sherlock Holmes and around his age too.
"I enjoyed your little testimony in there, it was very spirited!"
Alyssa pushed a strand of her straight of her blonde hair out of her face and looked of down the road, "Thanks, that's what we're here for right, to put on a good show?" She replied sarcastically still angry that the Vice dry walled her.

Realizing she wasn't being very hospitable to the only guy that had comlimented her she looked back at him, "I'm sorry, Reeves can be so..."

"Quite!" He agreed chirpily, "Perhaps we could have a little chat; I'd like to discuss your theory on abrupt climate shift, the names Rawson, Terence Rawson!" He held out his hand for her to shake. Alyssa recalled the name and beamed.
"Professor Rawson, of the Hedland Centre?" She said unbelievably and felt heartened by the appearance of her idol.

"That's right!" Rawson replied shaking her hand,
"Yeah I read your work on ocean currents!" Alyssa told him excitedly.
"What would you say to a spot of tea?" he suggested in his funny British accent.
"Definitely! If we can hail a cab!" Alyssa replied.

And with that the old man put down his case and stuck is fingers in his mouth sounding out a high pitched whistle, Alyssa stared in awe as the old man picked up his brief case and stuck his arm out in a wave to the driver.