A hole has opened up in Antarctica and, well, rsquo, scientists aren &;t certain what it’so doing.
The discovery is thought to be as big as the state of Maine, notes Motherboard, and larger than the Netherlands. In September it was 60,000 square km (23,000 square miles) in size, but at its greatest, it was 80,000 square km (31,000 square miles).
This opening is called a polynya, and this specific hole is the biggest seen from the Weddell Sea since the 1970s, if it was five times bigger. It was found by the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modelling (SOCCOM) team at Princeton University in Washington.
The area is and may be the result of natural climate fluctuations. Its creation is not really understood. Actually mounting expeditions this is tough, too, but scientists expect that robotic floats (small submersible items(such as mini-submarines) can tell us more.
Rather surprisingly, 1 float surfaced within the polynya. Its dimensions are being studied, and scientists expect to reveal the secrets of how it formed. Unlike 40 decades back, we could gather info now around.
“This really is hundreds of km from the ice edge,” Kent Moore, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Toronto, told Motherboard. “If we did not have a satellite, we wouldn’t know it was there.”
He added that it looked like somebody had “punched a hole” in the ice.
The issue right now is what role climate change played in the overall look of the polynya. It wasn’t expected to appear again, but it has now surfaced twice in two decades. It may be the consequence of fluctuations in the Southern Ocean due to manmade climate change.
“We really don’t understand what’s moving on,” Céline Heuzé in the University of Gothenburg in Sweden informed Earther. “We don’t have observations of the Southern Ocean. ”
The polynya is expected to keep on releasing heat and water that was sinking before the spring air brings it. Until then, it will continue to be researched in earnest to learn more phenomena.
Read more: http://www.iflscience.com