A Giant Hole Just Appeared in Antarctica

A Giant Mysterious Hole Has Emerged In Antarctica And Scientists Still Don't Know The Reason

Scientists aren't sure how it got there.

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. It is noteworthy that the polynyas in the Weddell Sea are far from the coast. In addition, scientists hope that in the near future it will be possible to simulate such a system with the help of computer simulation.

Moore has been working with the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project at Princeton University to monitor the area with satellite technology.

After closing back up, and remaining that way for roughly 40 years, it has re-opened. This is the second year that a polynya formed, though last year's hole was not as big. A similar hole opened previous year too. Instead, the Weddel Polynya can be pinned to water stratification in the Southern Ocean, according to scientists at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research who closely following its development.

Since the hole continually exposes the water to the atmosphere above, it is hard for new ice layers to form.

'A very cold but relatively fresh water layer covers a much warmer and saltier water mass, thus acting as an insulating layer.

"For us this ice-free area is an important new data point which we can use to validate our climate models", Torge Martin, Ph.D., a meteorologist and climate modeler for GEOMAR, said in a statement.

'The Southern Ocean is strongly stratified, ' says Professor Dr Mojib Latif, head of the Research Division at GEOMAR. Now we managed to collect a very large amount of data, the further analysis of which will help explain the processes responsible for raising the warm layers of sea water closer to the surface.

A preliminary analysis run by American scientists suggests that the Weddell Polynya should not occur again because of climate change at all.

With these new ocean measurements, along with space-based observations and climate models, comes the possibility that these polynyas' secrets and their impacts on the climate may finally be revealed, they said.

'Global warming is not a linear process and happens on top of internal variability inherent to the climate system, ' Latif says.

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