Related topics: climate change

Future ocean warming boosts tropical rainfall extremes

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most energetic naturally occurring year-to-year variation of ocean temperature and rainfall on the planet. The irregular swings between warm and wet El Niño conditions in the ...

New factor in the carbon cycle of the Southern Ocean identified

Plankton are small organisms that drift with the currents in the seas and oceans. Despite their small size, they play an important planetary role due to their immense quantity. Photosynthesizing plankton, known as phytoplankton, ...

Nuclear war could trigger big El Nino and decrease seafood

A nuclear war could trigger an unprecedented El Niño-like warming episode in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, slashing algal populations by 40 percent and likely lowering the fish catch, according to a Rutgers-led study.

The new face of the Antarctic

In the future, the Antarctic could become a greener place and be colonized by new species. At the same time, some species will likely disappear. 25 researchers recently presented these and many other findings in a major international ...

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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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