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Secret of the Sea opened in the Antarctic winter. Now scientists know why.



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Secret of the Sea opened in the Antarctic winter. Now scientists know why.

Ice-hole in the Antarctic Weddell Sea.

Credit: Wolfgang Kahler / LightRocket via Getty Images

Roll out is free from sea ice, which is regularly open during the colder Antarctic winters are cyclones.

Sea ice in the Antarctic winter is thick, so that the appearance of open water embarrassing. This hole is called the open sea. In 2017, scientists noticed one in the Lazarev Sea, which they named the Maud Rise of the hole, because it sits above an oceanic plateau called Maud Rise.

Now, researchers led by Diane Francis, New York University Abu Dhabi atmospheric scientist, believes that the cyclone winds push the ice in opposite directions, causing the bag to open and expose the open sea. [Antarctica: The Ice-Covered Bottom of the World (Photos)]

In mid-September 2017 Maud Rise Wormwood was 3,668 square miles (9,500 square kilometers) in size. By mid-October it rose to 308.881 square miles (800,000 square kilometers).

Maud Rise hole in September 2017.

Maud Rise hole in September 2017.

: NASA Worldview

Analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery explains the rapid growth. Warm, moist air that enters the western part of the South Atlantic hit the cold air, which leads to the north from the south, setting the stage for severe storms. The obtained appreciated cyclones 11 Beaufort storm, i.e. they participate wind speed to 72 miles per hour (117 km / h) and a height of 52 feet (16 meters) anywhere they encountered the open sea.

These swirling wind pushed the ice away from the cyclonic centers, Frances and her colleagues wrote on April 24 in the journal JGR atmosphere.

The hole is not of & # 39 are new, or necessarily harmful. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), they can provide important access to the ocean Antarctic animals and habitat for phytoplankton.

However, the hole may change in the future, warming, Frances and her colleagues suggest. Antarctica is expected to experience strong cyclones, such as climate change, as the models suggest that the storm is likely to form more frequently towards the poles and to be more intense, according to NTSDSLO.

If these predictions are correct, Antarctica can see over the open water in future winters.

originally published live science.

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