Does Mpemba Effect exist in natural-systems ?

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I watched a video Hot water freezes faster than cold water-the Mpemba effect, and I think that might have a big implication in ocean-atmospheric dynamics. It might be a good idea to explain it this way:


  1. Poles receive less sunlight than the tundra region, so the water bodies in the poles are colder than those in the tundra.
  2. If hot water freezes faster than cold water, when winter approaches; the water in the tundra region freezes faster than the water at the poles. (This only applies to a small boundary region)
  3. Water bodies generally flow towards the equator and so exert a pressure towards the equator. Although rivers in the arctic and Antarctic flow towards the poles, the water currents in the large water bodies  such as the arctic and the Antarctic ocean exert pressure towards the equator.
  4. At some region, the hot water freezing phenomenon slowly moving pole-wards, is counteracted by the water current towards the equator, forming a lake trapped by frozen water in in the tundra-polar region.
  5. The lake provides better habitable region than the frozen water bodies. This might be able to explain why the polar region has more animal biodiversity than the tundra-a bit equator-wards.
  6. Reversibly, the colder ice melts faster in the summer, so the water body grows as the ice melts, restricting the mobility of pole-animals.
  7. For the plants however, it is better to stay pole-wards as they receive greater amount of heat and sunlight in the summer pole-wards; and since they can not migrate, it’s better that they stay equator-wards.

This phenomenon, even though might only effect a small region; if true, could have tremendous impact on glacial and inter-glacial periods, evolution, and improve our understanding of earth dynamics. ‘You have no idea where the camels really came from- TED talk’ was something that really interested me in evolution and geological periods (also a lot of PBS eons videos and other lectures ).

 This idea also resonates with the idea that heat flows pole-wards in the atmosphere(as near pole regions radiate more energy in infrared that they receive from sunlight, and vice versa for the equator-wards regions ). As a consequence of that even when the shortest day in the Northern hemisphere is December 21, the coldest day is much later. And the further you go up the latitude the greater is the delay, until reaching about the arctic circle where the energy received by the earth from sunlight equals the energy emitted in infrared. Near that region there is this sharp fall in the delay between coldest and shortest days, which was a relatively gradual increase.  Further pole-wards the coldest days are not delayed and probably the same as the shortest days.

To describe the freezing and liquid water interactions, I think studying something else might help us understand something. I can not really explain the relationship between the two phenomenon but have an intuitive feeling it might be related.


The pieces of wood that remain after the fire almost dies away, glow red light. But they don’t just glow, they seem to pulsate the light as the red part oscillates around each piece giving this blinking kind of astonishing showcase of art. The pieces losing energy to the atmosphere is related to the using of light-either the temperature across the piece fluctuates or maybe something else that’s interesting might happen. I am just excited that understanding the radiation profile of the pieces can relate to the freezing phenomenon profile. This is a talk: How does an inverted flag flap? Given the non-linear dynamics associated with a possible Mpempa effect, this idea could help us understand dynamical layers of atmosphere and ocean.

Studies have shown that Mpemba effect is not observed under standard well maintained laboratory conditions. However, as the video suggests it has been reported that Aristotle, Sir Francis Bacon and Descarte have suggested observations dating from times in history, and clearly those observations were made in ordinary conditions and not well maintained laboratories. The Mpemba effect which reports the freezing of hot cream and water faster than colder ones, reports it as an observed cooking project. 

Such an effect if exists in the global freezing and melting cycles, could play a major role in influencing global climate, ocean-atmosphere dynamics, life and evolution and probably a lot of other things. Th video suggests the possible causes as Frost Melting, Evaporation, Dissolved gases, Convection and Supercooling; which are all prevalent and influence world's water bodies and hence there could be such an effect happening in the world's climatic conditions.

Maybe that studies have not been conducted in the natural processes, or that they have not been studied to produce significant results; but if such and effect can be observed to exist in the ocean-atmosphere climate dynamics, it will add a dimension to our understanding of climate dynamics.

So, is it worth trying to find if the effect exists in natural climate dynamics?



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