Antarctica’s Mysterious Polynya -“Flipping Over an Entire Ocean”

Antarctica Weddell Sea


“Essentially it’s a flipping over of the entire ocean, rather than an injection of surface water on a one-way trip from the surface to the deep,” said Earle Wilson, an oceanographer at the University of Washington about winter ice on the surface of Antarctica’s Weddell Sea that occasionally forms an enormous hole, known as a polynya. A hole that appeared in 2016 and 2017 drew intense curiosity from scientists and reporters. Though even bigger gaps had formed decades before, this was the first time oceanographers had a chance to truly monitor the unexpected gap in Antarctic winter sea ice.