Huge Hole Opens Up in Antarctica, and Scientists Aren't Sure Why

Lena Tucker
October 15, 2017

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.

This new polynya appeared around September 9 and is hundreds of kilometers from the coast.

"At that time, the scientific community had just launched the first satellites that provided images of the sea-ice cover from space", Dr Torge Martin of the GEOMAR Research Division explains of its initial discovery many decades ago.

A hole the size of Maine-or larger than the Netherlands, depending on which geographic mass means more to you-has opened up in the Weddell Sea in Antarctica.

Moore told Vice that scientists observed a similar polynya in the Weddell Sea in the 1970s, but they hadn't seen it again until a year ago. Interestingly, this isn't the first polynya to open up in this region.

A smaller polynya was observed in the same area in the 1970s but the exact sale of that fissure was not recorded.

Scientists - including a team from the University of Toronto - have discovered a mysterious hole the size of Lake Superior opening up in Antartica.

A view of the polynya by ACE CRC, Australia.

Many will suspect this having something to do with climate change, but scientists are yet to confirm. However, scientists have not yet confirmed that.

The mid-1970's featured an even larger polynya; there is a nice recent summary from @NASAEarth at As the surface water comes into contact with the Antarctic atmosphere, it cools and sinks, then heats up again and rises back toward the surface.

The hole, known as a polynya, was discovered about a month ago in Antartica's Weddell Sea as a team of scientists from the University of Toronto and the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling project used satellite technology to monitor a similar, much smaller, hole that opened past year.

"We don't really understand the long-term impacts this polynya will have", Moore told the magazine.

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