Scientists have recently discovered a new ice hole in Antarctica. The discovered polynesia is about 77v000 square kilometers, about the size of the Czech Republic, and it is not yet known what effect this may have.
A mysterious hole the size of the Czech Republic opened on the ice cover that forms in the winter of Antarctica. The polynesia (name of these phenomena of glaciology) was discovered at the end of September by scientists at the University of Toronto and the Southern Ocean Climate and Carbon Observing and Modeling project (SOCCOM), which became aware of satellite images.
This polynesia has about 77,000 square kilometers, making it the largest ever observed in Antarctica since the 1970s.
“In the depths of winter, for more than a month, we have a hole of this size in the ice cover”, said University of Toronto physics professor Kent Moore to National Geographic. “It is remarkable that this Polynesia has disappeared for 40 years and I have returned”.
The deep waters of this part of the ocean are hotter and saltier than the surface waters, however, the currents cause the hotter water to surface, which eventually melts the ice sheets that form on the surface of the ocean in the winter. This process of melting caused the polynia that is found in Antarctica.
Winter in Antarctica makes it difficult to detect and monitor these phenomena, and this is the second consecutive year that Antarctic ice forms in the Antarctic ice, but 2016 was not as big as this.
“We do not fully understand the long-term impacts of this polynia”, Moore adds, adding that more studies will have to be done to see whether the process is related to global warming or climate change or whether it is a natural phenomenon limited to extreme conditions in Antarctica – which are still very unknown today.