Mysterious hole the size of ME opens in Antarctica

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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. The latest change is something tougher to explain.

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

A hole the size of Maine-or larger than the Netherlands, depending on which geographic mass means more to you-has opened up in the Weddell Sea in Antarctica.

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.

Scientists first spotted it via satellite in the early '70s, when it opened up for three consecutive winters. Then, it disappeared for 40 years only to reappear last year. A smaller polynya was observed in the same area in the 1970s, but the exact scale of that fissure was not recorded.

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Located in the Weddell Sea, scientists discovered the South Carolina-sized hole about a month ago, according to National Geographic.

A view of the polynya by ACE CRC, Australia. However, scientists have not yet confirmed that.

There are two types of polynyas: coastal and open-ocean. The melting of sea ice causes a localized temperature contrast between the ocean and atmosphere, which drives a convection current. This can help maintain or even expand a polynya.

A team that includes researchers from the University of Toronto and the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modelling (SOCCOM) group at Princeton University are monitoring the area with satellite technology and using robotic floats that are capable of operating under sea ice to finally shed some light on the polynya and their impact on the climate. Until then, this hole in the ice will remain mysterious. "So something's going on, but we just don't have enough data yet to really pin it down".

It's been open for four months so far in 2017 "and my guess is it will stay open for the rest of winter", Moore added.

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