The hole is known as ‘Polynya’, which Russians use to describe an area of water surrounded by ice, and the mysterious hole was initially observed back in the 1970’s, before disappearing and recently reappearing last year.
It is common belief that the hole is formed when a layer of warm water rises from the bottom of the ocean, displacing the colder layer above it and then melting the ice.
“This is like opening a pressure relief valve,” said Professor Mojib Latif.
“The ocean then releases a surplus of heat to the atmosphere for several consecutive winters until the heat reservoir is exhausted.”
The key to understanding the phenomenon now requires more investigation and a key factor to determine is whether the anomaly is caused by climate change.