The reason for the melting of South Pole ice in winter is perhaps thousands of miles away.
The ice layer on the South Pole has shrunk in recent years, mainly because ice is breaking from the glaciers at the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica.
Researchers wondered why this happens mainly in the winter, but now scientists from the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, seem to have found the answer thousands of miles away.
The tropical Pacific Ocean has been getting warmer in the last 30 years and has caused so-called Rossby waves in the atmosphere. These are huge movements in the air currents that are significant for the weather around the world.
The scientists made a climate model for West Antarctica. The air temperature here has risen by 2.4 degrees over the past 30 years, a record for this continent.
Only when the model included the water temperature in the tropical Pacific and the corresponding changes in air currents in the calculation, the puzzle was correct.
The researchers warn that the Pacific Ocean is likely to continue to heat up for many years to come, which could have major consequences for the melting of the Antarctic ice in the future