Earth now officially has five oceans! Children’s news article

The freezing waters around Antarctica are home to a large number of marine animals. (Michelle Raponi/CC0/Pixabay)

The icy waters surrounding Antarctica have long been called the Southern Ocean by scientists, the media, and even the US Board on Geographical Names. However, he never received the official acknowledgement he deserved – until now. On June 8, 2021, the National Geographic Society, which has been making maps since 1915, announced that there would now be five oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian, the Arctic and the Southern Ocean. Rightly, the decision was revealed on World Oceans Day!

National Geographic Cartographic Policy Committee maintains they had been considering making the switch for many years. However, it was only recently that geographers decided that the Southern Ocean was not just a extension of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. He had the unique characteristics required to earn its own name.

“Our charts are updated. The Southern Ocean is treated the same as the traditional four, and the next quiz question on the number of oceans has an updated official answer from National Geographic – five!” Society officials said. Twitter.

The boundaries of the Southern Ocean are defined by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (Credit: Matthew W. Chwastyk and Soren Walljasper,
NGM staff. Eric Knight/Sources: NASA/JPL; green marble)

Alex Tait, a geographer with the National Geographic Society, said the change reflects the Society’s desire to draw public attention to protecting the uniqueness and uniqueness of the Southern Ocean. brittle Marine ecosystem. “We’ve always labeled it, but we’ve labeled it slightly differently [than other oceans]says Tait. “This change was taking the final step and saying we wanted to recognize it because of its ecological separation.”

The new ocean will include most of the waters around Antarctica up to 60 degrees south latitude, excluding the Drake Passage and the Scotia Sea. Unlike other oceans, whose borders are defined by the surrounding continents, Degree of the Eastern Southern Ocean determined by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) – the longest and strongest ocean current on Earth.

The ACC was established 34 million years ago, when Antarctica broke away from South America, allowing water to flow freely around the southernmost tip of the Earth. Its water is colder and less salty than the ocean waters to the north and provides a unique habitat for thousands of species, including whales, penguins and seals. Extending from the surface to the bottom of the ocean, the ACC also has significantly affects the Earth’s climate. The powerful current, which draws water from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, acts like a treadmill distribute heat around the planet.

Tait believes that the official acknowledgement of the Southern Ocean will influence the way children see the world. “I think one of the biggest impacts is education,” he says. “Students learn information about the ocean world through the oceans you study. If you don’t include the Southern Ocean, you don’t learn the details and how important it is.

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