Representational Image

Earth has five designated oceans -- the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic -- till now. Those maps are now being redrawn as National Geographic, which has been making maps since 1915, will now recognize the Southern Ocean as the world’s fifth ocean. This was announced by the magazine on June 8, which is the World Oceans Day.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an American scientific agency (NOAA) has already officially recognized the Southern Ocean as distinct, in February this year.

Essentially, Southern Ocean is the water body encircling Antarctica. Southern Ocean has long been recognized by scientists as an Ocean however National Geographic never officially recognized it as Ocean because there was never agreement internationally.

Matthew W. Chwastyk, and Soren Walljasper, NGM Staff. Eric Knight
[Sources: NASA/JPL; Green Marble]

The waters around Antarctica (the Earth's seventh continent) have also been known as the Antarctic Ocean or the Austral Ocean, though the use of Southern Ocean is the most popular in the media and scientific community, and is used by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names and the International Hydrographic Organization and NOAA.

Matthew W. Chwastyk and Greg Ugiansky, NG Staff Sources: NASA/JPL; International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)

Seth Sykora-Bodie, a marine scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and a National Geographic Explorer, describes Southern Ocean i hos words --
The glaciers are bluer, the air colder, the mountains more intimidating, and the landscapes more captivating than anywhere else you can go
By drawing attention to the Southern Ocean, the National Geographic Society aims to promote its conservation on World Oceans Day.

Notably, as the Southern Ocean is one of the least-altered marine ecosystems on Earth -- encompassing 10% of the world’s ocean -- a number of organizations are working to set aside Marine Protected Area (MPA) to protect the Southern Ocean’s most critical feeding grounds. Moreover, climate change and industrial fishing are fundamentally altering this unique region.

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