The birth of a FIFTH OCEAN

Following the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian and the Arctic Oceans, the 'Fifth Ocean' has been officially recognized.

Credits: Oceano Antartico

The date is June 8, 2021.

On this day, the fifth ocean was officially born. Following the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian and the Arctic seas, we can finally refer to the sea surrounding the south pole as “the fifth ocean”.

The birth of a FIFTH OCEAN

# An essential sea, keeping the world in balance

Credits: Oceano Antartico

We are talking about a unique kind of sea, due to its specific features and ecosystem.

Just like the rest of the seas, and due to its key role in maintaining global climate balance, this is a sea that must be taken care of.

Thanks to the Arctic Circumpolar current – a movement generated thirty-four million years ago after the land’s split off from today’s South America – the new ocean plays a primary role in the transport of heat. By flowing clockwise, the current enables this brackish sea to maintain its inherently low temperature.

# An ocean that has already existed for a while

Credits: Antartide

Alex Tait, a representative of the National Geographic Society Geographer, commented on the news by praising the result granting this fifth ocean its current status. Scholars believe that this sea has already existed for some time, without ever being officially recognized. Thanks to an international agreement, signed on World Oceans Day (June 8 2021), the birth of the Fifth Ocean was officially declared.

# The Antarctic ocean was born!

Credits: Oceano Antartico

In 1953, the subdivision of the seas only aknowledged four Oceans, while the portion around the South Pole was recognized as the Arctic Ocean dependent on the Pacific Ocean. Its colder, denser water helps remove part of the carbon dioxide (one of the main culprits of the greenhouse effect) from the atmosphere by flowing towards the seabed off the coast of Antarctica. For this reason, the Antarctic ocean plays an essential role in regulating terrestrial climate. Thanks to its features and unique ecosystem, this year the Fifth Ocean finally earned recognition as a real ocean.


(Original article by Roberto Binaghi)