February 24, 2018

Massive hole opens up in Antarctica, puzzling scientists

15 October 2017, 01:33 | Ruben Fields

Gigantic Mystery Hole Opens in Antarctica, Are the Aliens Here?

Massive hole opens up in Antarctica, puzzling scientists

However, an global team of scientists have discovered the mysterious, 80,000 square foot hole the size of Lake Superior, making it the biggest polynya observed in Antarctica's Weddell Sea, which has researchers confounded.

It's been quite a year for ice-related news at the bottom of the world: One of the largest icebergs - estimated at 1 trillion tons - ever recorded broke off from an ice shelf in Antarctica in July.

In this satellite image of the Weddell Sea polynya taken on September 21, 2017, blue represents the ice's edge. "If we didn't have a satellite, we wouldn't know it was there".

Since its discovery, the Antartic region always termed as mysterious. "They're always there", Moore said.

That's part of what makes it so scientifically fascinating, he said.

As it is, researchers will likely start or continue studying this unusual polynya which appeared in the Antarctic sea ice coverage. It would not be noticeable without satellite imagery.

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Polynyas allow heat to escape the ocean, cooling the top layer of water as it becomes colder and denser - allowing more warm water to rise and keep the hole open.

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.

Scientists have no idea why it's open now after being closed for four decades - or why it's bigger and longer-lasting than ever before.

But from these new ocean measurements, along with space-based observations and climate models, the secrets of the polynyas and their impacts on the climate may finally be revealed. However, it disappeared for several decades before showing back up, throwing a huge kink in many scientific explanations for its existence.

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.

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