The moral of the film becomes more tolerable when you realize that it's not saying that Global Warming is going to turn the world into a wasteland in an absurdly short period of time, but it's actually saying that Global Warming is happening faster than we think.
The French woman trying to get her passport makes sense in that she is more than likely a refugee and knows how important it is to save her (and her child's) papers in order to get help faster...
Becomes Fridge Horror if you consider that, while she spoke French, she appears to have been a recent immigrant from a French-speaking region in the Caribbean or perhaps Africa. Which means that she and her child would have been perfectly safe if they'd stayed in their homeland.
That, or she's from Quebec and everybody she ever knew back home is already dead, even before NYC iced over.
The reason the President decides to take a motorcade instead of using his fleet of helicopters? Because of the helicopter crash trying to rescue the royals at Balmoral!
The wolves' Attack! Attack! Attack! behavior seems pretty over-the-top, considering they're zoo animals that were probably used to some human contact before. Then you remember that it's been days since they got loose from their cages. They're hungry, and they're animals. With a new alpha in charge instead of the humans feeding them, and no food readily available, most predators will quickly revert to their survival instincts.
This trope is even in effect from the opposite angle. Wild wolves are typically very shy and approach humans with extreme caution under most circumstances. Wolves that have lived their entire lives in the zoo and are used to being near people and never having learned that humans can be a threat won't have the same fear as wolves living naturally.
They may even have initially approached a few humans hoping to be fed by them, same as their keepers. When their hopes were dashed, they got angry, and quickly discovered they could get food from humans another way.
The large wave hitting New York is one of the movie's EstablishingShots, but it also has a bit of real life inspirations. Powerful low pressure systems can push a large amount of water into an area, aka a storm surge. This is typical of tropical cyclones/hurricanes which the storms in the movie resemble, and considering the storms' eye are able to quickly freeze the surrounding area, it's possible the wave could get big. Whether it could get as big as in the movie, that's up for debate.
The helo crewman who survived the crash landing in Scotland only to freeze upon opening the door did not have a peaceful end. The brain is well encased and due to its composition and density has a substantial thermal reserve. So, while his eyes and skin froze and frost took his lungs, he would've retained useful consciousness for at least several seconds of absolute agony, unable to do a thing about it. And I Must Scream indeed.
It gets worse when you consider that every other person who got frozen alive by the storm's eye (the motorists on the ground in Scotland who froze in their cars), and presumably hundreds to millions of others around the world who didn't die by slowly freezing to death or in the earlier natural disasters; experienced the same fate.
Take a look around the group milling around in the library. All of those folks, the French-speaking lady and her child from the cab, the little girl the officer helps bundle up - they all froze to death. On screen we see two, then the snow-covered forms of a few more, but don't really get a feel for just how disastrous that expedition was. Just look at the size of that group.
Not the French-speaking lady and her kid. They're only in the background rather than having an active role, but we see when Jack finds the survivors in the library that the Fernch-speaking woman and her kid are among the few who stayed.
Jack and Jason didn't discover the exodus of frozen people from the library until shortly before he reached the library, which might suggest that either they didn't get too far, or they eventually had tried to turn back but they didn't make it in time.
If the world stays that cold, humanity's die-back has barely begun, because a huge fraction of it planet's arable land is either buried in ice or no longer climatically suited to the crops previously sown in the southern regions. If the freeze is temporary, humanity will still suffer starvation for many years, only to face another disaster when the ice melts and sets off another massive deluge.
Some humans in or near the remains of cities may survive for a time by mining for food; stuff that was in warehouses and mega-stores when it was flash-frozen would likely be edible when thawed out and cooked/heated.
If the President had just stayed where he was, he could have lived.
Or, y'know, if he'd evacuated via the Marine One helicopter instead of trying to evacuate by car.
If he did that, the helicopters would've crashed when their fuel lines froze.
Why didn't they just use the corded phones behind the library lady's desk? If the pay phones worked, that should have as well.
The desk phones were probably routed through a PBX or something. He refers to certain older pay phones that had direct connections, which even corded phones don't if they are in a major institution and share outside trunk lines.
"Yeah, guys, let's burn all of these books, which could very well contain the only human knowledge left on this world, instead of the thick wooden furniture, which would burn longer and leave less smoke!"
The wooden furniture would be coated with a stain/ sealant, which would have produced fumes that if not toxic would at the very least be noxious. Any fabric seat covering should be treated with flame retardant compound, and any padding would have to be flame resistant to meet public safety protocols.
Also consider that there's more than one library in the world. For that matter, even if it did contain the remainder of human knowledge and culture, extracting all of those books under the new climate conditions would be practically impossible.
And let's start bickering over valuable, important books like the Gutenberg bible, rather than the literally millions of cheap, mass produced paperbacks.
Those would be on the lower floors, which are flooded and frozen over. The top floor houses the more specialized collections.
Not that anyone would have missed the tax law section...
Wouldn't any police officer worth his salt know that snow and ice are actually effective insulators to the deathly cold outside? The officer's justification, apparently, is that the library will soon be buried in snow, hence risking potentially freezing to death. Thing is, the snow and ice covering the library would effectively insulate the building from the freezing cold?
To be fair, he seemed more concerned about their lack of food and other supplies than the cold itself.
Which actually makes sense, considering that with the number of people we saw in the library (and later frozen in the snow) the contents of the vending machines wouldn't have lasted nearly long enough.
He may also have worried about the roof collapsing. That was a lot of snow.
In the shots of NYC after the storm breaks, the snow is deep enough to bury the library to roof level, yet the actual roofs of the surrounding skyscrapers only have a light coating of snow. What, did the clouds specifically aim their precipitation at the streets?
The tops of the skyscrapers are exposed to the wind; the streets aren't.
The land hurricanes had eyes that forced air from the upper atmosphere to descend to the bottom so rapidly that it froze people and gas instantly. It must have also done something drastic to the air pressure to change the freezing points because the temperature from the top of the tallest clouds would be between 0°F and 25°F. Assuming it was like the last Ice Age, it might even go down to about -20°F. Still deadly but not insta-freezing.
I was thinking they were assuming it was like those videos you see of people taking hot water and throwing it in cold air and it turns to snow, it's called the Mpemba effect, basically they assumed that because humans are 60ish percent water, and we run kind of hot, a supercooled area of cold air would freeze up the liquid in our bodies extremely quickly, same with fuel running hot in engines.
Sam said he talked to his father, Jack, and was explicitly warned that the storm is going to get worse, he points out to the cop that his father is a government Climatologist, I.E a person who would be the most knowledgable about the current events, cop thinks "screw what a professional said, I'm going to take this massive group outside and walk to... somewhere" resulting in the death of the entire group that included children, rather than using the time to maybe send out a party for supplies and follow the instructions for an actual expert.