In 2017, scientists from the University of TorontoWe saw a very unusual picture - in the cold winter month, when the ice becomes especially thick, a large hole formed on the surface of Antarctica. Then scientists could not explain the reason for this phenomenon, but now, thanks to a combination of satellite data and climate models, the researchers were finally able to give a fairly convincing answer. Scientists from New York University in Abu Dhabi shared the results.
Interest in the arisen polynya was special, becausethat in the same area of Antarctica in the 1970s, the same hole was found. At that time satellite technologies were not so developed, and scientists could not even give a scientific explanation for an unusual phenomenon. After almost half a century, the situation repeated itself - initially the polynya area was 9,500 square kilometers, but then increased by more than 740% and amounted to 800,000 square kilometers. Later, the hole merged with the open ocean.
By comparing satellite images and informationin climate, the researchers found that polynyas formed at the same time as cyclones and strong winds raged over this region. According to scientists, strong blows caused the displacement of ice and the release of warm water to the surface, which is why the hole did not freeze for a long time. Having merged with the world's oceans, polynyas could have a great impact on the regional climate, changing the circulation of water in the ocean.
A global rise in Earth’s temperatureincrease the activity of polar cyclones, so holes on the surface of Antarctica may be formed more often. It is noteworthy that due to the increased temperature, they will slow down to freeze and close. This, in turn, can affect not only regional weather, but also cause wider climate change.
Antarctica is full of surprises - more recently, the remains of extinct organisms have been found under its isolated Mercer Lake. More information about this discovery can be read in our material.
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