Southern Ocean is recognized as the fifth largest ocean in the world

On the day of World Oceans Day, the National Geographic Society of the United States announced that the waters around Antarctica will be called the Southern Ocean and officially recognize the Southern Ocean as the fifth largest ocean on the planet. After being recognized by relevant international institutions, the Southern Ocean is expected to be called the "Five Oceans of the World" together with the four recognized oceans in the world-the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Arctic Ocean.

Anyone who thought the world had four oceans will now have to think again, after the National Geographic Society announced it would recognize a new Southern Ocean in Antarctica, bringing the global total to five.

Scientists have long known that the waters surrounding Antarctica form a ‘distinct ecological region defined, by ocean currents and temperatures’. Photograph: British Antarctic Survey/Reuters

People who think that there are four oceans in the world need to think again. The National Geographic Society of the United States announced that the waters surrounding Antarctica will be called the Southern Ocean, so that the four oceans will become five oceans.

The National Geographic, a non-profit scientific and educational organization whose mapping standards are referenced by many atlases and cartographers, said the Southern Ocean consists of the waters surrounding Antarctica, out to 60-degrees south latitude.




According to the National Geographic Society, the Southern Ocean surrounds Antarctica and extends from the coastline of the continent to 60 degrees south latitude. The National Geographic Society is a non-profit scientific and educational organization. Many atlases and cartographers refer to the organization's cartographic standards.

National Geographic Society geographer Alex Tait said scientists have long known that the waters surrounding Antarctica form a “distinct ecological region defined, by ocean currents and temperatures”.

According to Alex Tate, a geographer at the National Geographic Society, scientists have known for a long time that the waters around Antarctica form a "unique ecological area defined by ocean currents and temperature."

Tait told the Washington Post that the span of water is yet to be officially recognized as an ocean by the relevant international body: “But we thought it was important at this point to officially recognize it.”

Tate told the Washington Post that relevant international agencies have not officially recognized this part of the waters as the fifth ocean, "but we think it is necessary to officially recognize the status of the fifth ocean at this time."

The US Board of Geographic Names, a federal body created in 1890 to establish and maintain “uniform geographic name usage” through the federal government, already recognizes the Southern ocean as occupying the same territory, but this is the first time the National Geographic has done so.

Previously, the American Geographical Names Committee had identified the Southern Ocean as the fifth largest ocean in the world, but this is the first time the National Geographic Society has recognized the status of the Southern Ocean. The American Geographical Names Council is a federal agency founded in 1890 that "unifies geographical names" through the federal government.

"We think it’s really important from an educational standpoint, as well as from a map-labeling standpoint, to bring attention to the Southern Ocean as a fifth ocean,” Tait told the Post.

Tate told the Washington Post: “We think it’s really important to identify the Southern Ocean as the fifth ocean from the standpoint of education and map annotation.”

"So when students learn about parts of the ocean world, they learn it’s an interconnected ocean, and they learn there’s these regions called oceans that are really important, and there’s a distinct one in the icy waters around Antarctica.”

"In this way, when students study the various parts of the ocean world, they will understand that this is an interconnected ocean, and they will learn about all the very important oceans, including this unique icy water surrounding Antarctica."



English source: Guardian

Translation & Editing: Googlefate
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