Climate change could reawaken Indian Ocean El Nino

Global warming is approaching a tipping point that during this century could reawaken an ancient climate pattern similar to El Niño in the Indian Ocean, new research led by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin ...

Researchers unlock genomic secrets of scaly-foot snail

Despite an extreme environment characterized by high pressure, high temperature, strong acidity and low oxygen levels resembling living conditions in prehistoric times, hydrothermal vents harbor a diverse population of creatures, ...

Image: Victoria Falls

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Victoria Falls—one of the world's greatest natural wonders.

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Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering about 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by Asia (including the Indian subcontinent, after which it is named); on the west by Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and Australia; and on the south by the Southern Ocean (or, traditionally, by Antarctica). One component of the all-encompassing World Ocean, the Indian Ocean is delineated from the Atlantic Ocean by the 20° east meridian running south from Cape Agulhas, and from the Pacific by the 147° east meridian. The northernmost extent of the Indian Ocean is approximately 30° north in the Persian Gulf. The Indian Ocean has asymmetric ocean circulation[citation needed]. This ocean is nearly 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) wide at the southern tips of Africa and Australia; its area is 73,556,000 square kilometres (28,400,000 mi²), including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

The ocean's volume is estimated to be 292,131,000 cubic kilometers (70,086,000 mi³). Small islands dot the continental rims. Island nations within the ocean are Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island; Comoros; Seychelles; Maldives; Mauritius; and Sri Lanka. The archipelago of Indonesia borders the ocean on the east. The ocean's importance as a transit route between Asia and Africa has made it a scene of conflict. Because of its size, however, no nation successfully dominated most of it until the early 1800s when the United Kingdom controlled much of the surrounding land.

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