It’s the perfect place to start a trip down the ocean, right?
Not so fast.
According to the latest findings from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Antarctic Program, the ice-free Antarctica is a patchwork of glaciers, ice sheets, ice shelves, and other floating debris that are all linked by ocean currents.
And that makes it hard to accurately map and study the world’s oceans.
The most accurate maps we have of the oceans are based on a single continent.
So how do we know exactly where all the water is in the ocean?
And how can we measure its density and volume?
As we learned when we first started mapping the oceans, there’s a lot more than just surface water.
In fact, scientists know that the ocean is filled with thousands of floating objects, like floating islands, reefs, and even the occasional floating ice cap.
“When you look at the world around us, it’s not the same ocean,” says Peter W. Johnson, director of the NSF’s Antarctica Program.
That’s why the NSG is dedicated to improving our understanding of the world and improving our ability to protect it.
“We’re looking for the ocean as a system that is not just a surface but a complex web of floating debris, so we can better understand what’s happening in that world,” Johnson says.
And there’s more than one way to look at what’s floating in the water.
The NSF is using data from the CryoSat-2 satellite and the Advanced Microwave Sounder (AMS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite to map floating debris around the world.
It also uses the Polar and East Pacific Oceans Oceans Active Extent Measurement (PEAMO-E) instrument on the International Space Station.
Both instruments have been around since 2008 and both are instruments that look for ocean water moving along the ocean floor, and they measure the amount of it.
The AMS instrument, in particular, is capable of detecting water that floats along the seafloor, or that floats in a particular way, which can help us measure how much water is moving.
The sea floor is the bottom of the ocean and is what the ocean’s surface is made of.
The ocean floor is an enormous expanse of water, about three times larger than the Earth.
The water is a mixture of both salty and freshwater, and the more salt in the sea water, the more water there is.
So in order to map how much of the water in the world is floating, we need to know where it is.
“One of the first things we do is look at where the water has been floating,” says Wojciech Wójcik, the director of Oceanography at the University of Leeds.
“So what we do in that process is we look at that ocean floor as a whole.
We then try to understand where it’s located.
So we look for the same things as we do for the seaflpier, which is the topography of the sea floor, but we look further down.”
What the scientists see is the most common feature is an ocean of floating material.
The researchers find that about 60 percent of the land mass of Antarctica is covered by floating ice.
The rest of the Antarctic is covered mostly by land and icebergs.
“This is one of the few places on the planet where the sea ice is not uniform, which means that you have floating land masses and floating ice shelves,” Johnson explains.
“If you look across the sea, you will see floating landmass and floating shelf.
So what you see is that the sea surface is divided into a lot of different layers.”
In other words, the ocean can look like a lot or a little.
The largest floating objects are called floating islands.
“The bottom of these islands is floating land, which makes them more stable than the top of the ice shelves and ice shelves on the sea level,” Johnson adds.
But they also are vulnerable to floating debris.
“There are a lot floating debris floating around on the seafloors and these floating islands are more vulnerable to the wind because they are more exposed to the winds and wind shear,” he says.
That means that these floating objects can break up in wind.
The floating debris can also affect the amount and type of ice that floats on the ocean surface.
“Sometimes the ice is really small,” Johnson continues.
“But sometimes it’s very large.
So when there is a lot debris floating on the water surface, there is also less ice there.”
When scientists have a look at these floating debris and their locations, they can tell where the floating debris came from and where it went.
“What’s happening here is that a lot is floating on top of a large ocean,” Johnson tells