Southern Ocean is the fifth world ocean to be named. It is the fourth
biggest ocean in the world. It is located from 60 degrees south latitude
all the way to the coast of Antarctica. The ocean itself is about
20,000,000 square kilometers in area. The sea temperature of the Southern
Ocean is from 10 degrees celcius to -2 degrees celcius. Some coastal
locations have winds that blow most of the time that act as a sort
of heater that keeps the coastlines warm enough to prevent sea ice
from forming in those areas in the winter time. The Southern Ocean
is one of the deepest oceans, and in some places the ocean bottom
might be as much as 5,000 meters deep. Antarctica's continental shelf
is narrow with deep edges that drop off to depths of 400 - 800 meters
straight down from the coastline.
Scientists decided to name a fifth ocean because they found that the
plant and animal life, and the ocean floor features were too different
from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans to stay a part of them.