23 Facts About Southern Ocean


However, according to Commodore John Leech of the International Hydrographic Organization, recent oceanographic research has discovered the importance of Southern Circulation, and the term Southern Ocean has been used to define the body of water which lies south of the northern limit of that circulation.

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Maximum depth of the Southern Ocean, using the definition that it lies south of 60th parallel, was surveyed by the Five Deeps Expedition in early February 2019.

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Since the first edition, the limits of the Southern Ocean have moved progressively southwards; since 1953, it has been omitted from the official publication and left to local hydrographic offices to determine their own limits.

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Northern limits of the Southern Ocean were moved southwards in the IHO's 1937 second edition of the Limits of Oceans and Seas.

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Southern Ocean did not appear in the 1953 third edition of Limits of Oceans and Seas, a note in the publication read:.

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Antarctic or Southern Ocean has been omitted from this publication as the majority of opinions received since the issue of the 2nd Edition in 1937 are to the effect that there exists no real justification for applying the term Ocean to this body of water, the northern limits of which are difficult to lay down owing to their seasonal change.

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The proposal for the name Southern Ocean won 18 votes, beating the alternative Antarctic Ocean.

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Notably the Southern Ocean Observing System collates data from latitudes higher than 40 degrees south.

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Effectively, the third edition—which did not delineate the Southern Ocean leaving delineation to local hydrographic offices—has yet to be superseded.

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For example, Encyclopædia Britannica describes the Southern Ocean as extending as far north as South America, and confers great significance on the Antarctic Convergence, yet its description of the Indian Ocean contradicts this, describing the Indian Ocean as extending south to Antarctica.

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Exploration of the Southern Ocean was inspired by a belief in the existence of a Terra Australis – a vast continent in the far south of the globe to "balance" the northern lands of Eurasia and North Africa – which had existed since the times of Ptolemy.

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Southern Ocean was sent out again to complete the exploration of the new land, and found it to be only an inhospitable island which he renamed the Isle of Desolation, but which was ultimately named after him.

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Southern Ocean thereby laid open the way for future Antarctic exploration by exploding the myth of a habitable southern continent.

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New Map of Asia, from the Latest Authorities, by John Cary, Engraver, 1806, shows the Southern Ocean lying to the south of both the Indian Ocean and Australia.

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Southern Ocean sailed along a huge wall of ice that was later named the Ross Ice Shelf.

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Southern Ocean was born further south than anyone in history.

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Southern Ocean probably contains large, and possibly giant, oil and gas fields on the continental margin.

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Icebergs that form each year around in the Southern Ocean hold enough fresh water to meet the needs of every person on Earth for several months.

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In many numerical models and observational syntheses, the Southern Ocean upwelling represents the primary means by which deep dense water is brought to the surface.

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Southern Ocean is one of the regions in which rapid climate change is the most visibly taking place.

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The effects of climate change in the Southern Ocean are expected to manifest themselves in a regional and diverse manner.

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Antarctic krill, which congregates in large schools, is the keystone species of the ecosystem of the Southern Ocean, and is an important food organism for whales, seals, leopard seals, fur seals, squid, icefish, penguins, albatrosses and many other birds.

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Southern Ocean snailfish are generally found in deep waters, while the icefish occur in shallower waters.

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