Related topics: climate change

Research sheds new light on Antarctic control of global climate

Scientists have made a new discovery that challenges previous understanding of the relationship between the polar Southern Ocean, next to Antarctica, and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Their findings show that, ...

New threat from ocean acidification emerges in the Southern Ocean

The oceans act as a carbon sink and have already absorbed more than 40% of anthropogenic carbon emissions. The majority of this CO2 has been taken up by the Southern Ocean making these waters hotspots of ocean acidification ...

Study reveals profound patterns in globally important algae

A globally important ocean algae is mysteriously scarce in one of the most productive regions of the Atlantic Ocean, according to a new paper in Deep Sea Research I. A massive dataset has revealed patterns in the regions ...

Biologist searches remote South Pacific island for slime molds

Norfolk Island is an isolated island in the South Pacific located between New Zealand and Australia. The island is quite small, with a total area of only about 14 square miles. Norfolk Island is known for two things. First, ...

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Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean, also known as the Great Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the South Polar Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean south of 60° S latitude. The International Hydrographic Organization has designated the Southern Ocean as an oceanic division encircling Antarctica. Geographers disagree on the Southern Ocean's northern boundary or even its existence (see below), sometimes considering the waters part of the South Pacific, South Atlantic, and Indian Oceans instead.

Some scientists consider the Antarctic Convergence, an ocean zone which fluctuates seasonally, as separating the Southern Ocean from other oceans, rather than 60° S. This ocean zone is where cold, northward flowing waters from the Antarctic mix with warmer sub-Antarctic waters.

The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) regards the Southern Ocean as the fourth-largest of the five principal oceanic divisions and the latest-defined one. The IHO promulgated the decision on its existence in 2000, though many mariners have long regarded the term as traditional. The Southern Ocean appeared in the IHO's Limits of Oceans and Seas second edition (1937), disappeared from the third edition (1957), and resurfaced in the fourth edition (not yet[update] formally adopted due to a number of unresolved disputes, including the lodgement of a reservation by Australia). This change reflects the importance placed by oceanographers on ocean currents.[clarification needed]

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