Found rare ‘Dragon-Skin Ice’ in Antarctica

Scientist observed in the west Antarctica, rare, peculiar Dragon-Skin Ice.

Scientists on a U.S. icebreaker, observed for the first time the peculiar phenomenon of the Dragon-Skin Ice.

Above, created by the wind this scaly formation.  Credit University of Tasmania

The sighting of “Dragon-skin” ice was an early highlight of an ongoing voyage to the Ross Sea by the Nathan B Palmer that began in early April, well after most Antarctic expeditioners have departed for warmer climes.

‘Dragon-Skin Ice’ in Antarctica

Credit University of Tasmania

Guy Williams, a polar oceanographer at the University of Tasmania, said:

“Dragon-skin ice is very rare, bizarre, evidence of a darker chaos in the cryospheric realm, not seen in Antarctica since 2007.

Imagine your standard ice cube tray, filled once.  After a week, you get one tray of ice cubes. But if you empty and re-fill the tray each night, you get so much more.

That is what the katabatic winds are doing in the polynya, removing the ice, exposing the water and making more ice form.”

via atlasobscura

source University of Tasmania