The Southern Ocean: Where the Lands End

Walsh, Don
March 2006
U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings;Mar2006, Vol. 132 Issue 3, p88
Conference Proceeding
The article reports that the Southern Ocean encircles the Antarctic continent, forming a virtual moat that helps to isolate and keep frozen the sixth largest continent that is only 2% ice free. While all other oceans are bounded by continental masses, a subtle band of sea surface temperature change called the Antarctic Convergence defines this one. From the tip of South America across the Drake Strait to the Antarctic is a short 640 miles. The Convergence is found about half way across, so this ocean is well clear of ship traffic rounding the tip of the continent. The most abundant animal found here is the Antarctic Krill, a macro-plankton that is about 2 inches long.


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