In Antarctica, there was a huge hole
On the surface of Antarctica suddenly appeared a giant hole the size of almost three Lake Baikal, and scientists do not fully understand how it happened?
"It's like, you simply punch a hole in the ice," - says atmospheric physicist Kent Moore, a professor at the University of Toronto at Mississauga.
The sudden appearance of the hole area of about 80 thousand kilometers a second year in a row baffled scientists, whose access to the site is limited. "It is hundreds of kilometers from the ice edge, - said Moore. - If we did not have satellites, we would not know that it's there. "
The observed phenomenon known as lane occurs when an open ocean water is surrounded by a continuous sea ice, which leads to changes in the surrounding ice and below. This particular polynya known scientist of the 1970s, although in the past they could not fully explore it.
"While the scientific community has just launched the first satellite, which filmed images of the sea ice cover from space - said meteorologist Dr. Martin Tordzh. - Measurements on the ground in the Southern Ocean will continue to require enormous effort, so they are very limited. " This is the second year in a row, when informed about the emptiness, appeared in Antarctica, "the second year in a row it opens after 40 years of absence," - says Moore. While some may find this a consequence of climate change, Moore insists on the need for further study before drawing any conclusions.
However, climate change can certainly affect the structure of the sea ice and open water. "As soon as the sea ice melts, there is a huge temperature contrast between the ocean and the atmosphere - said Moore. - This can lead to convection. "
Regardless of its origin, this polynya is an additional source of information for the study of climate. "For us, this ice-free area is an important new data point, which we can use to confirm our climate models - Moore said. - Her appearance a few decades later confirms our previous estimates. "