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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Cyborg seals and floating robots have solved an antarctic ice mystery

Cyborg seals and floating robots have solved an antarctic ice mystery



Robots, satellites and seals bearing main sensors have been used to find out why there is a hole in the size of South Carolina in Antarctic sea ice.

Some background: Back in 1976, the researchers discovered that a large hole is occasionally seen in the floating ice that forms over the Antarctic Weddell Sea every winter. Why the hole (known as a "polynya") has become a mystery so far. The phenomenon seemed to disappear, but it occurred in 2016 and 2017, allowing researchers to study it.

Data Collection: A team from the University of Washington collected data from three sources: satellites, floating robots and elephant seals with temperature probes glued to their heads (don't worry, they don't hurt and fall naturally after a few months) . Because the seals often dive to extreme depths ̵

1; they have been known to go as deep as 2 kilometers (6,500 feet) – giving researchers access to areas of the sea that they had not been able to study before.

A discovery: Using these data, the team concluded that the latest polynyas were formed by a combination of intense storms, an underwater mountain, saltier water, and unusual ocean conditions. Their results were published in a document in Nature .

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