Southern Ocean Facts

Southern Ocean Facts
The Southern Ocean is comprised of the most southern ocean water of the world and is also referred to as the Antarctic Ocean, South Polar Ocean, and the Great Southern Ocean. This ocean surrounds Antarctica and is the fourth largest of the five oceans of the world. The Southern Ocean's boundaries are not specifically designated due to much disagreement on whether it even exists. Some geographers believe that the waters of the Southern Ocean are really just extensions of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. The Southern Ocean encompasses an area of approximately 35 million square kilometers.
Interesting Southern Ocean Facts:
The Southern Ocean was originally explored because of a belief in a continent that balanced the northern continents, called a Terra Australis.
The Southern Ocean encompasses the South Pole.
During winter half of the Southern Ocean is covered in icebergs and ice. Some of the ice and icebergs break off of the Antarctic ice sheet and float in the waters of the Southern Ocean.
The world's largest penguin species the emperor penguin lives on the ice of the Southern Ocean and on the Antarctica continent.
Wandering albatrosses also make the Southern Ocean their home.
Antarctica is home to 90% of the world's ice. This continent contained within the Southern Ocean's boundaries is the windiest, driest and coldest continent in the world.
Antarctica is considered to be a desert due to the fact that very little moisture falls on its surface. The Sahara desert gets more rain than Antarctica. Most of its moisture falls in the form of snow.
The summer season in the Southern Ocean runs from October to February while the winter season runs from March to September.
The sea water under the surface of the ice if Antarctica only reaches -2 degrees Celsius.
Krill are tiny shrimp-like creatures that live in the freezing water under the Antarctic's ice.
Military activity in the Southern Ocean is restricted, by treaty, to scientific research.
The first baby born on the continent Antarctica was Emilio Marcos de Palma, on January 7th, 1978. He was also the first in history to be born as far south as he was.
In 1953 the Southern Ocean was removed from the Limits of Oceans and Seas, a publication that designated the boundaries of the world's major waters. Debate still continues as to its existence as its own ocean, and to its boundaries if it does exist.
In 2000 the International Hydrographic Organization again included the Southern Ocean as its own ocean.
The deepest part of the Southern Ocean is the southern end of the South Sandwich Trench that is 23,737 feet deep.
The average depth of the Southern Ocean is 13,100 to 16,400 feet.
The South Pole was not reached by man until 1911. Temperatures there can drop even lower than -100 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest temperature recorded on earth was recorded in Antarctica. It was -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is believed that if the ice sheets in the Southern Ocean were to melt the oceans around the world would rise by as much as 65 meters.


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