Mysterious giant hole cracks open in Antarctica

Share
Mysterious giant hole cracks open in Antarctica

A huge hole almost the size of the state of ME has opened up in the thick sea ice blanketing Antarctica's Weddell Sea. It reportedly looks like someone, or thing, simply punched a hole in the ice. University of Toronto Mississauga professor Kent Moore told Motherboard that the hole is "quite remarkable", but scientists still can't figure out how or why that it has happened again.

Scientists have been tracking large-scale changes in the Antarctic ice sheet in recent decades, but these changes are usually the result of known processes. But in this case we are talking about hundreds of kilometers separating the hole from a line in section.

Back in 1970s, a polynia was seen at the same location in Antarctica's Weddell Sea but since observation tools that the scientists had were not as good at that time as they are now, that hole could not be analyzed. This gaping polynya, which measures an area equivalent to the Netherlands, opened right in the middle of a sea which would have otherwise been completely covered in thick ice.

Working with the Princeton-based Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modelling (SOCCOM) group, Moore and his colleagues are using observations from deep-sea robots and satellites to study the phenomenon, which in the 1970s was first detected on the same site. Then it wasn't seen for four decades, reopened for a few weeks previous year and has emerged yet again.

As scientists continue to hone their climate models and flawless their predictions, they're getting closer to being able to accurately simulate the exact process at work, but a full explanation may still be years away.

This is the second year in a row in which the reported polynia hole has opened in Antarctica, "the second year in a row it's opened after 40 years of not being there", according to Moore.

The unusual hole measured 80,000 km at its peak, and it will have a significant impact on the oceans by driving convection.

Researchers from the Princeton-based Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modelling (SOCCOM) group are conducting a study of the polynya that seeks to answer numerous questions. The melting of sea ice causes a localized temperature contrast between the ocean and atmosphere, which drives a convection current.

While Moore warns that it's too soon to blame global warming, other scientists note the differences between climate change caused by human activities and natural changes to the climate system.

Many will suspect this has something to do with climate change, which is the main culprit for numerous sea ice changes in Antarctica. He added that the polynya could stay open as the colder water reaches the bottom of the ocean and pushes warmer water to the surface.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Storm forces TNPA to suspend vessel movements at Durban port
The third vessel, also a shipping container (330m long) which ran aground near Maydon Wharf, was also successfully re-floated. It added that several of its premises, including that of the Transnet Maritime School of Excellence, had been flooded.

Ex-Trump aide Carter Page refusing to cooperate in Russian Federation investigation
He said he was offering to appear at a November 1 open hearing on the role social media played in influencing USA voters.

Eminem Rips Donald Trump 'You Don't Got The F****** Nuts'
Eminem has chucked himself back into the spotlight with an incendiary BET Awards cypher , verbally ripping into U.S. Eminem ended his freestyle with, " We love our country and we love our military , but we f***** HATE TRUMP".

Health Department: Flu arriving early this year
Past year the first flu-related death in Idaho occurred in December, and a total of 72 individuals in the state died due to flu-related illnesses.

The Boy Scouts of America votes to admit girls
BSA at the time pushed back against such claims, explaining they'd always been discussing introducing girls into the program. For more information about the expanded opportunities for family Scouting, please visit the family Scouting page .

Should Investors Take a Bite out of Vistra Energy Corp. (VST)?
Now the stock price is moving -13.18% off from the highest level of twelve months and 62.32% above from twelve months low. On average, analysts forecast that Vistra Energy Corp . will post $0.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

England seal last 16 berth with 3-2 win over Mexico
Sancho too volleyed over as Steve Cooper's colts found the going tough with the Mexico defenders clinging to them at all times. And the classy Three Lions stretched to a three-goal lead with goals from Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho after the break.

NYC Man Arrested For Threatening Las Vegas Part 2
In all, 58 died and hundreds more were wounded, while Paddock died of a self-inflicted gunshot. One message included the name of four company employees, including photographs.

Texas must not be 'sanctuary state for abortions,' state AG says
In this case, the 17-year-old is not being held in a facility with a religious affiliation, government lawyers said. The ACLU's original lawsuit posited that the HHS violated the First Amendment by refusing the girl an abortion.

Two Dead After Weekend Avalanche
Kennedy was known for climbing the Southeast Ridge in Patagonia's Cerro Torre in 2012. "There's never been democracy in climbing. In September - only a week before his death - he wrote for the blog Evening Sends about the loss of friends in the wilderness.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.