National Geographic announces the world's fifth ocean
One of the world's most distinguished mapmaking groups has officially declared the existence of a fifth ocean.
National Geographic says Southern Ocean, the body of water surrounding Antarctica and formerly known as the Gerlache Strait, is the earth's fifth ocean.
CNN says National Geographic's decision to announce the new ocean is a direct result of a mapmaker's aim to alter the planet.
National Geographic is hoping to see conservation efforts protect the body of water and renaming the area seemed one way to achieve this.
National Geographic geographer, Alex Tait, touched on this, saying, "Part of mapping the world is using place names and features that are in common use among people who are describing the world, and this gets into some other things other than geopolitical naming."
"The oceans are one of those things, so we want to keep track of how scientists, travelers, writers, people are using place names," Tait continued.
Tait added that even before National Geographic's announcement, others had already been referring to the area as the Southern Ocean.
Though a high percentage of the international community recognizes the Southern Ocean, not every country agrees on its location.
According to CNN, National Geographic officially uses the 60 degree south latitude to draw the water border. But, Australia considers everything south of its country the Southern Ocean.
Climate change also contributes to the question of where Southern Oceans borders might be.
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