Yet more spoiler-filled questions about AI's ending

…but it’s not about the robots that look like aliens.

In the film, the polar ice caps have melted, and as a result, Manhattan is under about 300’ of water. My question is two part, related to the two eras shown in the film:

  1. If the polar ice caps melted, what effect would that have on buildings, such as the Statue of Liberty and the twin World Trade Centers in New York? They appear to be fine, whereas a few buildings are shown ‘toppled over,’ as if a large wave pushed them down, or they cracked from stress. I imagine that the waters would rise steadily, but not suddenly: it would take time for them to rise the 300 or so feet as shown in the film. Right?

  2. Later, the film jumps forward 2000 years to show that all of the water has frozen. The buildings, albeit with some frost on them, seem to be standing up like toothpicks in icecubes. Again, would the architecture hold up?

These are nitpicks of a great movie, but it’s just stuff that makes me wonder.

I was wondering about that, too. It seems to me that if the polar ice caps melted, it would take a long time for the seas to rise, unless a huge chunk of the Antarctic ice cap slid into the sea at one time. That would cause a swift and dramatic rise in sea level. While it would not account for the whole 300 feet, it would cause massive waves that would encircle the globe. But then, how did the Statue of Liberty survive? The torch was still above the water, implying the rest of the statue was still there, beneath the surface.

The trouble with figuring all this out is that we are never told when the movie takes place. Maybe it’s no more than 100 years ahead. If so, then the seas would have had to rise pretty quickly to go up 300 feet. (Three feet per year for the entire planet is pretty quick. That is a LOT of water.)

Another thing I wondered was the wisdom of placing a robot factory in a flooded city. Was land really THAT scarce? What was the power source?

As for the buildings surviving the freeze, that seems doubtful. Ice moves. Ships trapped in ice have been known to be shattered by moving ice and ships are not fastened to a foundation on the bottom of the sea. The buildings should have been broken up by the ice and the debris moved around. Moving ice is what carved out the basins of the Great Lakes and canyons have been dug out of solid granite by glaciers.

FWIW, the online game takes place ~2142, which is supposedly about 40 years after the movie. Thus, for the mathematically impaired, the movie is in about 2102.

Anyway, about your question, I suspect the things you point out aren’t terrifically accurate, although keep in mind we’re not told what kind of preservation efforts the people have used. It’s simply a plot device to help us know where we are, as well as to inform us as to what the world is like. As I seem to be telling people ad nauseum, you have to think of the movie as a fairy tale for it to make sense.

Okay, thanks for the replies.

I’m not trying to nitpick the story. I’m just wondering what really would happen when the ice cap melt (and is there any doubt that they will?).