A Hole the Size of Maine Just Opened in Antartica's Sea Ice

В Антарктиде обнаружена гигантская загадочная дыра

Currently scientists investigate the circumstances and cause of its occurrence

The hole that has opened up is several hundred kilometers across with an area of about 80,000 square kilometers (about 30,888 square miles).

The hole measures some 30,000 square miles - almost the size of SC. "In the depths of winter, for more than a month, we've had this area of open water", Kent Moore, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Toronto, told National Geographic.

The researchers were monitoring the area with satellites because a similar hole in Antarctica's ice opened up in 2016. They're also using robotic floats that are capable of operating under sea ice.

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The second type of polynyas is latent-heat ones.

Satellite images further confirmed its appearance.

Moore, along with the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modelling (SOCCOM) group at Princeton, are studying the mysterious hole, which showed up in satellite images around September 9. Then, it disappeared for 40 years only to reappear last year.

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Unbelievable how the #WeddellPolynya withstands / stears the local #SeaIce dynamic.

The specialist points out that this new formation is quite atypical because it is located deep in the ice pack, which is not a usual occurrence. However, the researchers are submitting this work to the British journal Nature, she said.

"While many climate models tend to produce such a large open ocean polynya, the feature was viewed more as a disruptive model glitch than a true phenomenon in the past", Torge Martin, a meteorologist and climate modeler at the Helmholtz Centre, told Earther.

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The Weddell Sea polynya could force more changes in ice as the melting ice causes a localised temperature contrast between the ocean and atmosphere - which drives a convection current. Therefore, the hole opened a year ago that's too after the four decades and after that, it made an appearance last month with the even more larger size. And this week, a paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters found that warming oceans are dramatically undermining the integrity of an important floating ice shelf in West Antarctica, Quartz magazine reported.

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