National Geographic announced on Tuesday that certified water sources around Antarctica is officially the world’s 5th ocean: the Southern Ocean.
This change marks the first time in more than a century that the organization has redrawn its map of the world’s oceans. Historically, there were only four maps: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic.
“The Southern Ocean has long been recognized by scientists. But since there has never been an international agreement So we never officially accepted it,” Alex Tait, a geographer at the National Geographic Society, told the magazine.
“It̵7;s geographic stupidity in some ways,” Tait said. But we label it slightly differently. [than other oceans]… This change is in its final stages and says we want to be recognized because of the ecological isolation.”
The Southern Ocean stretches from Antarctica’s coastline to 60 degrees south latitude, excluding the Drake Passage and the Scotia Sea, according to National Geographic. The newest body of water makes it the second smallest after the Arctic.
The waters surrounding the southern continent have distinct ecological characteristics. It includes a unique tide pattern known as the Antarctic Circulating Current, or ACC, according to the magazine.
ACC makes the surrounding waters Antarctica is cooler and slightly less salinity than the north. which helps transport heat around the world and store carbon in the deep oceans. All of which have a major impact on the world, National Geographic reports.
This change deviates from the guidelines set forth by the International Hydrographic Organization. which sets the standard for sea mapping and its official name
The organization also disagrees with a proposal submitted in 2000 to add the Southern Ocean to the world map according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. including the United States They clearly accept the water source.
Tait told National Geographic he hopes the organization’s new policies will have a big impact on education.
“Students will learn information about the world of the ocean through what you are studying in the oceans,” he said. You will not learn the specifics of that ocean and its importance.”