Guzzo’s Grip on the Weather: The Southern Ocean

Weather Wisdom

Hello everyone! I am meteorologist Nick Guzzo, and this is Guzzo’s Grip on the Weather. This is where we talk weather and climate news, do experiments, and have some fun! This week we are talking about oceans, and guess what, there’s a new one!

This is the first time in over a century a new ocean has been named. National Geographic identified the current that moves around Antarctica as the Southern Ocean. Now, you may have already heard this name because it was already recognized by scientists but there was never an international agreement, so it was not recognized until now. The Southern Ocean extends from Antarctica’s coastline and goes out until 60 degrees south latitude. This area is twice the size of the U.S. Although the ocean is now being recognized as the fifth ocean, there is still some drama around the topic. The International Hydrographic Organization is usually in charge of naming the oceans and recognized the Southern Ocean in 1937 but repealed it in 1953 and has yet to reinstate it. However, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names has used the Southern Ocean name since 1999, and NOAA started recognizing it in February.  

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