Factual error: When Sam climbs outside the ship he grabs the frozen metallic pipes and rails with both hands - one half covered with a glove, one is bare. He has no problem gripping the cold metal and he can get his hands free every time. If the moisture froze before contact, his hands would be frozen too, so that can't be the reason.
Factual error: The aircraft flying to rescue the British Royal Family are described as belonging to "an RAF search and rescue squadron." However the middle aircraft has white and green striped camouflage painted on it, which is a pattern only used by aircraft in 845 Naval Air Squadron (a Royal Navy unit).
Factual error: The football (soccer in the U.S.) match we see relatively early on in the film is said to be between Manchester United and Celtic, in Glasgow. However, the non-MU team isn't wearing Celtic's home strip as they should be if playing in Glasgow (it's actually Boca Juniors from Argentina, in a match played in 2002) and the stadium shown is actually Old Trafford, Man. U's home ground, as shown by the advertising billboards in the background. (00:09:25)
Factual error: NOAA headquarters is shown to be in downtown D.C, when in fact it is just outside of the District in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Factual error: Air descending cannot cause temperatures to reach a point where things freeze as fast as they do in the film. Firstly, the temperature of the upper troposphere is only -60° Fahrenheit. Secondly, air will warm as it descends no matter how fast it's descending, and the warming process will always prevent the air from getting cold enough to freeze things as fast as in in the movie.
Factual error: The penicillin should have been frozen since it was in liquid form. And it's never in liquid form in a vial. It's mixed with a powder and it's a milky white color, not clear.
Factual error: There is a scene where a helicopter's tail rotor freezes up, causing the copter to spin out of control and crash. The problem with this scene is that the helicopter starts to spin clockwise, in the SAME direction as the main rotor blades. In actuality, engine torque would cause a conventional tail-rotor helicopter to spin in the OPPOSITE direction of the rotor blades, in the event of a tail rotor failure.
Factual error: Given that the entire premise of the movie revolves around the melting of the ice caps and the disruption this causes, including a rise in sea-levels, and that at then end of the movie most of the Northern Hemisphere outside the tropics is covered by an enormously enlarged ice cap the sea-level should have lowered significantly enough for the shape of the land masses to appear different from space.
Factual error: At the end of the film a wing of Black Hawk helicopters are dispatched to NYC to evacuate survivors. The Black Hawk does not have anywhere near the fuel capacity for such a trip. And at its cruising speed, it would take a day to get there anyway.
Factual error: When we see a TV report saying how England is affected by the storm we see a shot of a street with hanging yellow traffic lights. England doesn't have yellow traffic lights, we have black ones. It's obviously footage of a storm in the United States.
Factual error: In the scene where the three scientists are walking on top of the mall and the older scientist falls through the glass, the rope becomes taut against the edge of the glass, stopping his forward motion, but he doesn't swing. The other two look through the glass and he's perfectly still, but he should be swinging, especially with the sled hanging down below him which would add even more movement.
Factual error: When the students arrive in New York, you can see the luggage tag on Laura's bag. It lists JFK below DCA. This means the bag would have flown from somewhere to John F. Kennedy airport in New York, and then connected onto another flight going to Reagan National in Washington DC. Since New York is their final destination, JFK should have been the top airport code, even if they had connected through somewhere else.
Factual error: When the big wave comes, it's hitting New York harbor and the Statue of Liberty from the west. Possible I guess but unlikely due to the fact that the harbor just starts there; the west side of the harbor isn't the ocean side, it's New Jersey. Later, the people are standing in front of the library, which faces east and the wave is coming right at them. Then they show an overhead shot of the water overtaking the city and its coming from the south.
Factual error: When some people are burning books in the library, one man is adamantly protecting a Gutenberg Bible. Considering how rare and valuable Gutenberg Bibles are, it would not have been on the shelf or even readily accessible. Likely it would be locked in a safe or at least a showcase. Considering the shortage of time to collect fuel and the plethora of books available, I doubt they would break into a locked container to get another bit of fuel.