Seals with antennas on their heads helped scientists solve an Antarctic mystery

CNN | 6/11/2019 | Staff
jenny1246jenny1246 (Posted by) Level 3
(CNN)Scientists now have a better idea of why giant holes have been opening up in the ice of the Antarctic, and they were assisted by some unique field partners.

In 2016 and 2017, a hole of open water, called a polynya, appeared in the winter ice of the Weddell Sea in Antarctica. It eventually grew to about 19,000 square miles; roughly twice the size of Vermont. Though polynyas are not unusual, this large and frequent of a hole was a great opportunity for scientists to figure out why, exactly, these holes were appearing. A team from the University of Washington explored the hole with a combination of robots, radio equipment and seals with antennas stuck to their heads. Their findings were recently published in the journal "Nature."

Hole - Sea - Ice - Polynya - Something

"We thought this large hole in the sea ice -- known as a polynya -- was something that was rare, maybe a process that had gone extinct. But the events in 2016 and 2017 forced us to reevaluate that," lead author Ethan Campbell said in a release. "Observations show that the recent polynyas...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNN
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