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The climate change science behind 'Sharknado'
Writer Thunder Levin explains why an increase in emissions is leading to more shark-saturated tornadoes. (Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink)
Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 12:42 PM
True or false? Temperature and salinity changes in the oceans drives sharks out of their usual areas, making them more likely to be sucked up by water spouts. (Photo: SyFy Channel)
With "Sharknado 2: The Second One" readying for its global premiere on July 30
, you might be asking yourself why the world all of a sudden has to deal with tornadoes filled with airborne sharks. Thankfully, the writer behind the delightfully terrible franchise has an answer — and as with most things, we're all to blame.
"A warmer climate provides more energy for storm formation and leads to more extreme weather, including tornadoes," Thunder Levin told io9.com
. "Melting ice caps change the temperature and salinity of the oceans, altering major currents like the Gulf Stream. This drives sharks out of their normal habitats and makes them more vulnerable when storms come along and more likely to be sucked up by water spouts. C'mon, this is just basic science."
“While the tornado is spinning air along the surface of the water, it’s not necessarily like a vacuum where it’s sucking up sharks or sucking up marine animals out of the depths of the ocean,” Christopher Vaccaro, a spokesman for the National Weather Service, told NatGeo
. “So odds are the sharks wouldn’t even be close enough to be entrained in the circulation of the water spout in any way, let alone would they be lifted because they weigh so much.”
Real science aside, you might want to have a chainsaw ready just in case. Check out a trailer for "Sharknado 2" below.
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