Southern Ocean



Official Country Name
Southern Ocean

Southern Ocean Overview
A large body of recent oceanographic research has shown that the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), an ocean current that flows from west to east around Antarctica, plays a crucial role in global ocean circulation. The region where the cold waters of the ACC meet and mingle with the warmer waters of the north defines a distinct border - the Antarctic Convergence - which fluctuates with the seasons, but which encompasses a discrete body of water and a unique ecologic region. The Convergence concentrates nutrients, which promotes marine plant life, and which in turn allows for a greater abundance of animal life. In the spring of 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization decided to delimit the waters within the Convergence as a fifth world ocean - the Southern Ocean - by combining the southern portions of the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean. The Southern Ocean extends from the coast of Antarctica north to 60 degrees south latitude, which coincides with the Antarctic Treaty Limit and which approximates the extent of the Antarctic Convergence. As such, the Southern Ocean is now the fourth largest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Indian Ocean, but larger than the Arctic Ocean). It should be noted that inclusion of the Southern Ocean does not imply recognition of this feature as one of the world's primary oceans by the US Government.

Southern Ocean Economy
Fisheries in 2003-04 landed 136,262 metric tons, of which 87% (118,166 tons) was krill and 8% (11,182 tons) Patagonian toothfish, compared to 142,555 tons in 2002-03 of which 83% (117,728 tons) was krill and 12% (16,479 tons) Patagonian toothfish (estimated fishing from the area covered by the Convention of the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which extends slightly beyond the Southern Ocean area). International agreements were adopted in late 1999 to reduce illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, which in the 2000-01 season landed, by one estimate, 8,376 metric tons of Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish. In the 2004-05 Antarctic summer 28,202 tourists, most of them seaborne (approximately 97%), visited the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, compared to 14,762 in 1999-2000.

Southern Ocean Location
Southern Ocean is located in body of water between 60 degrees south latitude and Antarctica

Region
Southern Ocean is located in Antarctica

Southern Ocean Population
Southern Ocean has population of

Southern Ocean Climate
Southern Ocean has sea temperatures vary from about 10 degrees Celsius to -2 degrees Celsius; cyclonic storms travel eastward around the continent and frequently are intense because of the temperature contrast between ice and open ocean; the ocean area from about latitude 40 south to the Antarctic Circle has the strongest average winds found anywhere on Earth; in winter the ocean freezes outward to 65 degrees south latitude in the Pacific sector and 55 degrees south latitude in the Atlantic sector, lowering surface temperatures well below 0 degrees Celsius; at some coastal points intense persistent drainage winds from the interior keep the shoreline ice-free throughout the winter

Southern Ocean Terrain
the Southern Ocean is deep, 4,000 to 5,000 meters over most of its extent with only limited areas of shallow water; the Antarctic continental shelf is generally narrow and unusually deep, its edge lying at depths of 400 to 800 meters (the global mean is 133 meters); the Antarctic icepack grows from an average minimum of 2.6 million square kilometers in March to about 18.8 million square kilometers in September, better than a sixfold increase in area; the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (21,000 km in length) moves perpetually eastward; it is the world's largest ocean current, transporting 130 million cubic meters of water per second - 100 times the flow of all the world's rivers

Southern Ocean Natural Resources
probable large and possible giant oil and gas fields on the continental margin, manganese nodules, possible placer deposits, sand and gravel, fresh water as icebergs; squid, whales, and seals - none exploited; krill, fishes

Ethnic Groups in Southern Ocean
Southern Ocean has the following ethnic groups - N/A

Southern Ocean Religions
N/A

Southern Ocean Languages
N/A

Southern Ocean Capital
Southern Ocean capital is

Southern Ocean Currency
Southern Ocean currency is

Map of Southern Ocean