A Hole the Size of Maine Just Opened in Antartica’s Sea Ice


According to new satellite images, a gaping hole the size of Maine has appeared in Antarctic sea ice — and scientists are not sure why.

Motherboard reports the hole is called a polynya — and they typically appear near coastal regions of the continent. Researchers are stumped by the appearance of the new hole because it is “deep in the ice pack,” Kent Moore, an atmospheric physicist at University of Toronto Mississauga, told the website.

This new polynya appeared around September 9 and is hundreds of kilometers from the coast. It would not be noticeable without satellite imagery.

Though the appearance is mysterious, it’s too early to blame climate change, according to Motherboard. Moore told the site that a polynya roughly the same size and location appeared in the 1970s. A similar one appeared last year as well, though not as big. “We’re still trying to figure out what’s going on,” Moore said.

For more, visit Motherboard’s story here.

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