Huge, 'mysterious' hole appears in sea ice near Antarctica

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

Polynyas are a region of open water surrounded by sea ice.

A mysterious hole has been spotted in Antarctica's winter sea ice cover, which is as big as the Indian state of West Bengal.

The hole is covering an area of around 30,000 square miles. The scientists are unable to predict what the hole is exactly because its existence in the thick layer of sea ice is totally weird.

As the researchers are saying that it would be too soon to relate this hole with the climate change, therefore, the scientists are just researching and analysing the data to find out the real reason which caused the formation of this massive hole.

Read the full story at USA Today. He is studying about the bizzare hole which was visible from the satellite around September 9 along with the group, the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modelling at Princeton.

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NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of a polynya off the coast of Antarctica, near Ross Island and McMurdo Station on November 16, 2011.

'The Southern Ocean is strongly stratified, ' says Professor Dr Mojib Latif, head of the Research Division at GEOMAR. Ocean convection occurs in the polynya by bringing warmer water to the surface, which then melts the sea ice and prevents new ice from forming. Because there is a 40-year span between the last time this happened, there's no clear pattern for scientists to follow. Despite the freezing temperatures, however, the polynya is making a break for it. Some American scientists think that this polynya will never re-appear, as melting ice and more precipitation in the air separates the surface ice sheet from deeper layers of water.

Researchers say that with new ocean measurements, the space-based images and climate models, they're hoping to finally unravel the polynyas' secrets and their impacts on the climate.

"There's a bit of a mystery going on in Antarctica at the moment", said Céline Heuzé, a physical oceanographer at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, to Earther.

"Global warming is not a linear process and happens on top of internal variability inherent to the climate system". "The better we understand these natural processes, the better we can identify the anthropogenic impact on the climate system".

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