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Data show warmer winter waters driving Antarctic ice shelf melt

Image: Jerzy Strzelecki [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Australian scientists have developed a system that allows measurements of winter conditions in Antarctic oceans, giving a year-round report on ocean temperatures and salinity.

Measurements were previously restricted to summer, but the researchers have developed a way to “park” instruments known as Argo floats on the sea floor during winter when the sea freezes over with the ice.

The instruments are part of a buoy that is designed to drift with ocean currents, and “parking” the floats allows scientists to gather winter data via satellite.

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