As Paleoclimatologist named Jack Hall is in Antartica, he discovers that a huge ice sheet has sheared off. But what he does not know is that this event will trigger a massive climate shift that will affect the world population. Meanwhile, his son Sam is with friends in New York to attend an event. There they discover that it has been raining non-stop for the past 3 days, and after a series of weather-related disasters begin to occur over the world, everybody realizes the world is entering a new Ice Age and the world population begins trying to evacuate to the warmer climates of the south. Jack makes a daring attempt to rescue his son and his friends who are stuck in New York and who have managed to survive not only a massive wave but also freezing cold temperatures that could possibly kill them.
美国气候学家杰克（丹尼斯•奎德 Dennis Quaid 饰）认为，温室效应正在引发地球的大灾难，北极冰川的融化，会让地球回到冰河世纪那样的劫难。他的提醒并没有引起美国当局的重视，一切都已经太晚：飓风、冰雹、洪水、冰山融化、极度严寒，一系列的地球巨变引发了一场不可挽救的灾难。美国政府组织北纬30度的民众转移到赤道周围，场面一片混乱。更糟糕的是，杰克的儿子，正困在曼哈顿的图书馆里，靠烧书生火来维持体温。大家怎样才能逃过这场灭顶的灾祸？冰天雪地的地球何时才能回暖？