Antarctica DISCOVERY: Huge hole opens up and NO ONE knows why

A Giant Mysterious Hole Has Emerged In Antarctica And Scientists Still Don't Know The Reason

"It's just remarkable that this polyna went away for four years and then came back".

A "polynya" is a large ice-free area that develops in an otherwise frozen sea, and this particular formation is situated in the Weddell Sea, east of the Antarctic Peninsula.

At its largest the polynya measured 80,000 kilometres - making it larger than the Netherlands and roughly the same size as the USA state of Maine.

"This is now the second year in a row it's opened after 40 years of not being there", Moore said, adding that scientists were still trying to determine "what's going on".

Ocean convection occurs in the polynya when warmer water comes to the surface and then melts the sea ice and prevents new ice from forming.

"In the depths of winter, for more than a month, we've had this area of open water", says Kent Moore, professor of physics at the University of Toronto.

Describing the hole to Motherboard, Moore said, "It looks like you just punched a hole in the ice".

Without the insulating effect of sea ice cover, a polynya allows the atmosphere and ocean to exchange heat, momentum and moisture leading to significant impacts on climate. "Its occurrence after several decades also confirms our previous calculations".

The holes which are surrounded by the ice is being called Polynyas.

It's larger than The Netherlands, and almost the size of Lake Superior.

A hole the size of one of the Great Lakes found in Antarctica has researchers scratching their heads.

The Southern Ocean has a fairly layered structure, and above the layer of warmer and salt water is a layer of cold and relatively fresh water. Despite the freezing temperatures, however, the polynya is making a break for it. Now we managed to collect a very large amount of data, the further analysis of which will help explain the processes responsible for raising the warm layers of sea water closer to the surface. Now polynya opened again on 9 September. "While many climate models tend to produce such a large open ocean polynya, the feature was viewed more as a disruptive model glitch than a true phenomenon in the past", Torge Martin, a meteorologist and climate modeler at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, said.

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