Southern Ocean

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Southern Ocean


Antarctic Ocean,

name sometimes given to those parts of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans that surround Antarctica S of roughly 60°S. These waters are marked by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, or West Wind Drift Current, a surface current that flows E around Antarctica and transports more water than any other current in world. North of the current, along a fluctuating, zigzagging line between 48°S and 61°S, lies the Antarctic Convergence, an oceanic boundary, 20–30 mi (30–50 km) wide, where the warm, subtropical waters of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic the cold, polar waters off Antarctica. The Antarctic Convergence and the Antarctic Divergence, a region of major oceanic upwelling lying to the S of the former, have a profound effect on climate, marine life, and the ice, and create a unique ecological region rich in marine life. This region was recognized as a fifth ocean by the International Hydrographic Organization in 2000. The ocean includes the Ross, Amundsen, Bellingshausen, and Weddell seas and small gulfs and bays off Antarctica. Its deepest point, 27,119 ft (8,266 m), is in the South Sandwich Trench, E of the South Sandwich Islands.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Southern Ocean


(also Antarctic Ocean), a conventional designation for the southern parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans that adjoin Antarctica.

The ocean was first identified by the Dutch geographer B. Varenius (Varen) in 1650, and the term “Southern Ocean” was used in maps and atlases until the first quarter of the 20th century. During this period, geographers in many countries extended the designation to include Antarctica, inasmuch as the ice-covered continent was considered part of the ocean and the antarctic circle was regarded as the ocean’s boundary. Since the second quarter of the 20th century various lines have been proposed for the boundary of the Southern Ocean; they lie between 35° S lat.—a limit based on the circulation of the water and atmosphere—and 60° S lat.—a limit based on the relief of the ocean floor. The Soviet Atlas of the Antarctic (vol. 2, 1969) places the boundary of the Southern Ocean at the northern limit of the Antarctic Convergence, which lies near 55° S lat.

The designation “Southern Ocean” is not used in navigation, because such navigational aids as sailing directions, running lights, signals, and charts do not make use of the concept.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The proposed route from there will be around the Cape of Good Hope to the Middle East (a very long leg and probably with part of it in the Southern Ocean).
The researchers noted that areas in the Southern Ocean that were abundant with green phytoplankton were adjacent to atmospheric locations with many water droplets.
New Zealand supported Australia in June 2013 to challenge the legality of Japan's whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the International ( Court of Justice.
"It is particularly offensive that Japan's whaling will take place in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary established by the International Whaling Commission.
The notorious Southern Ocean crossing has been a mainstay in the 39-year-old race's reputation as one of the planet's toughest endurance competitions.
But when the vastly different ancient Southern Ocean currents and temperatures of that period were factored in, it quickly became apparent that Antarctica's big freeze followed a fall in CO2 levels.
The Southern Ocean plays a critical role in how this carbon dioxide is taken out of the atmosphere and knowing how it functions helps scientists understand dramatic climate transitions in the past, such as the ice ages, and better predict future climate change.
The researchers found that extreme winds in the Southern Ocean have increased by 1.5 metres per second, or 8 per cent, over the past 30 years.
Goodall lost her mast in the Southern Ocean around 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn near the southern tip of South America on Wednesday.
Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center have reached tentative labor agreements with Health Professionals and Allied Employees locals 5058 and 5138, respectively, after nearly six months of bargaining.Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center have reached tentative labor agreements with Health Professionals and Allied Employees locals 5058 and 5138, respectively, after nearly six months of bargaining.
Member states of the organization tasked with overseeing the sustainable exploitation of the Southern Ocean failed at an annual meeting Friday to agree over the a 1.8 million square kilometer (1.1 million square miles) maritime protection zone.

Full browser ?