The Southern Ocean was "created" in 2000 by the International Hydrographic Organization. The ocean has always been unique because it is rimmed by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The current keeps warm waters away from Antarctica and allows the southern continent to remain frozen.
To be honest the official existence of a fifth ocean surprised me a little. To be a better instructor it is necessary for me to actually know about what I am helping to teach. So I decided to go through the various literature available to instructors. I was surprised to find that some materials recognize the Southern Ocean while others do not. A short list of each side.
Recognizes the Southern Ocean
- Harm de Blij's Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts by Wiley Press
- Rand McNally's Goode's World Atlas and anything else by Rand McNally
- Oxford Atlas of the World
- The Time's Comprehensive Atlas of the World
- Collins Mini Atlas of the World
- Reader's Digest Illustrated World Atlas
Does Not Recognize the Southern Ocean
- National Geographic and ESRI's MapMachine along with maps by National Geographic
- Perthes World Atlas (the new competitor of Rand McNally's Goode's atlas shows promise but is littered with cartographic errors)
- World Regional Geography: Global Patterns, Local Lives
- World Regions in Global Context: Peoples, Places, and Environments and other works published by Pearson Prentice Hall
A problem with human geography is that the map is always changing so one must be updated all the time of change. Well, politics and name games also affect physical geography.