Near Antarctica, 40 Years After first Sighting, a Huge Polynya Re-Opens

In Antarctica, we discovered a wormwood the size of Lake Superior in North America. This is reported in a press release of the Center for Oceanic Research Helmholtz, briefly about this writes the publication Motherboard.


The area of Polynyas is about 80 thousand km (which is comparable to the size of the Nizhny Novgorod region, the area of ​​which is 76,6 thousand sq. Km) The find was found in the Weddell Sea in the Southern Ocean. Scientists cannot yet explain the reasons for its occurrence. It is noteworthy that the polynyas in the Weddell Sea are far from the coast.

“It’s hundreds of kilometers from the ice edge. If it were not for the satellite, we would not have found out that it is there, “said physicist Kent Moore, professor at the University of Toronto.

The polynyas are an area of ​​open water in an ice-covered pond, on all sides it is surrounded by ice. Such areas are usually formed in the coastal regions of Antarctica. Because of them, seawater circulation occurs, bottom currents are formed and ice migrates.

For the first time, this polynya was discovered in 1974 by scientists from the Princeton Southern Hemisphere Climate Research Group. The polynyas opened in the winter from 1974 to 1976. Since during the first observation the scientists did not have the opportunity to study it, it remains unclear why it appears and how it disappears.

Forty years after the first observation of the polynia in the sea, the Weddell did not open, and now it is the second year in a row that has opened. This year it opened on the 9th of September. According to satellite imagery, it appeared in the same place as it did forty years ago.

Despite the fact that the exact reasons for the appearance of polynyas are still unknown, the mechanism of its formation is approximately comprehensible, the N + 1 site specifies.Huge Polynya

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. Under certain conditions, the warm layer can rise to the top, which leads to the melting of ice on the surface. 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. In addition, scientists hope that in the near future it will be possible to simulate such a system with the help of computer simulation.

According to scientists, the formation of huge holes in the ice layer on the sea surface can lead to significant climate changes as a result of the circulation of sea water, and further analysis of the data will help to more accurately assess the possible consequences of these processes for the terrestrial climate.