Oceans are sufficing over 70 per cent of the earth’s surface with the Pacific Ocean being the largest.
Humans are stretching to all the places on earth with research and discovery. The latest one adding to the list of achievements is a New Ocean – Southern Ocean.
For hundreds of years, we have known Earth has five oceans – Indian, Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic but recently, with Innovation and Science, we have found the fifth ocean. It has been added to the World Map by National Geographic.
The Southern Ocean encircles Antarctica below 60° S with an average depth of 3,270 metres and a coastline of 17,869 km.
What’s so unique about the Southern Ocean:
While all the oceans are defined and limited to the continents, the Southern Ocean is defined by a Current named ACC (Antarctic Circumpolar Current).
It was formed 34 million years ago when Antarctica divided from South America, which allowed the blocked flow of water around the bottom of the Earth.
ACC is also known as West Wind Drift, flows clockwise from west to east around Antarctica. It connects the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian ocean with the Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean or Austral Ocean. ACC acts as a principal pathway of exchange between the oceans.
Is Southern Ocean Dangerous?
Icebergs may be found in the Southern Ocean at any time of year, but between May and October, high winds make traversing the ocean much more perilous. Large iceberg fragments (giant ice junks) float in the ocean. They can grow to be several 100m tall.
The water temperature is frequently below freezing — freshwater freezes around 0°C, whereas saltwater freezes at around -2°C. Although scuba diving is possible, remote sampling is used for much of the study on life in the Southern Ocean.