Geographers debated whether the waters around Antarctica had enough unique characteristics to deserve their own name, or whether they were simply cold, southern extensions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.
“It’s sort of geographic nerdiness in some ways,” [National Geographic Society Geographer Alex] Tait says. He and the National Geographic Society’s map policy committee had been considering the change for years, watching as scientists and the press increasingly used the term Southern Ocean.
Welcome, Southern Ocean. It’s nice to have you.
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