Climate Change: Extinction of Ice-Free Antarctic Polynyas Due to Trapped Ocean Heat (Eric Galbraith)

Published: 1 April 2014

Researchers from the McGill University and University of Pennsylvania have found evidence to show climate change is the main reason for the disappearance of ice-free regions, known as polynyas.

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Until now, they believed the phenomenon, known as the Weddell polynya, to be a rare occurrence. But researchers at McGill say that the polynya in Antarctica has been effectively held shut for nearly 40 years because of global warming. According to the research, increased precipitation in the Southern Ocean and the melting of glaciers on Antarctica as a result of climate change has flooded the ocean with massive amounts of freshwater, preventing the warm water underneath from rising to the top.

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