## Tuesday, April 01, 2008 ... /////

### Supercooling: global warming comes to Michigan

Warning: the pictures could be from Antarctica, after all, and it is not even clear whether supercooling was the only cause.
Michigan has had the coldest winter in decades. Water expands to freeze, and at Mackinaw City the water in Lake Huron below the surface ice was super-cooled.

It expanded to break through the surface ice and froze instantly into this incredible wave. Isn't it beautiful?
More 640 x 480 pictures: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.
I've seen pictures of this wave phenomenon in Antarctica, but in Michigan? Yes, it's been quite a winter!

Hat tip: Fred Moss and Jiří Wagner

#### snail feedback (4) :

These pictures were in fact taken in antarctica and were lifted from a website and dropped into the Michigan supercooling email (so naughty!) - check it out on snopes.com where one can see ALL of the expedition's photos. Very impressive, especially the ice-wave ones. No picture of Lake Huron's ice wave...if there is one.

Lubos,
Unable to find your email address, this blog seemed the next best place to pose my question. Or should I say challenge? I firmly disagree with your position on global warming and here is why:
You are familiar with Erwin Schroedinger, no doubt, but you might also be familiar with his arguments regarding entropy. While I do not endorse everything Schroedinger says I wish to point out only one of his more compelling (if not obvious) remarks: that life is an improbable microstate which will invariably tend towards a state of maximum entropy - that state corresponding to our ultimate demise. And so given the improbable nature of life, along with the observable fact that dead bodies don't spring from the ground fully animated, we are forced to conclude that, while alive, all random motion will put one inevitably closer to that final macrostate. Global warming, pollution, eating, breathing, it all contributes towards our irreversible drift away from the initial state. The point is that, as an improbable state, the longevity of life that one experiences will depend upon their surroundings. Toxins - for instance from the air, are far more likely to do harm than good (where harm is taken as an increase in entropy). Global warming, whether caused by humans or climate variability is more likely to increase the entropy of an improbable system than to decrease it. My point is that anything but the most carefully executed action will increase the entropy within our bodies more than it increases on its own. Taking this, along with the self evident fact that human industry dramatically alters the environment without the least bit of concern for the health of those whom it affects, one must conclude that an alert public hypersensitive to even the potential consequences of imprudent mass production is a welcome shift away from pop-culture and towards something that might make a difference. So what do you have to gain from arguing against it?

Dear fonzo, what you write is not a proper interpretation of Erwin Schrödinger or a rational analysis of something but a misinterpretation of the second law of thermodynamics by a chronic pessimist.

The fact that the entropy increases doesn't mean that everything is getting worse all the time. Living objects are able to reduce their own entropy. They are very good at it. While they are doing so, they are increasing the environment's entropy even more so that the second law holds but it is a part of their strategy.

Erwin Schrödinger understood this ability of alive beings very well. Your ideas, when looked at properly, can clearly tell us nothing about climate change or its impact.

Best
Lubos