Talk:Borders of the oceans

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Neutrality and Contradictions[edit]

User:Hike796 has added templates to this article saying that it is not neutral ("as tbe [sic] captions of images which contradict the text of the wikiarticle claim the United States' Central Intelligence Agency is a geographic authority regarding international oceans") and that it is self-contradictory ("about "excluding the seas it contains", as both the North Atlantic and the Labrador Sea are south of the defined Atlantic Ocean limit "On the North" (the 60th parallel north)").
I disagree with both of these templates for the following reasons:

  • The text gives the IHO definition, whereas the images are from the CIA, which has a slightly different definition. These sources are made clear in the article. The IHO source does not include images, and the CIA source does not include detailed definitions - so it seems sensible to use mixed sources in this way.
  • The article is not saying that one source is better than the other, and it does not state that either the IHO or CIA are definitive geographic authorities. Therefore the article is neutral and does not favour one POV.
  • The IHO and CIA differ, but this does mean that the article contradicts itself. Nowhere does it say that the IHO definition is definitive and the CIA definition is definitive (which would be a contradiction). It simply shows what their different definitions are.
  • The IHO source defines marginal waterbodies separately from their oceans. It states: "Oceans exclude the seas lying within each of them, the limits of which are elsewhere described in this publication". It is silent, however, on which oceans the seas belong to (if any). So IHO implies that marginal seas are within oceans, but just aren't within the given definitions. Seems odd, but that's the way it is.
  • The IHO defines the northern limits of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Labrador Sea as being the southern limit of the Davis Strait. Therefore we can imply that IHO views the Labrador Sea as being part of the Atlantic. I agree that this is a bit of a contradiction, BUT it is a contradiction in the IHO source, not in the article. The article simply quotes the IHO definition of the North Atlantic, warts and all. And since the article does not anywhere quote the IHO's Labrador Sea definition, it is wrong to say that it is self-contradictory.

Bazonka (talk) 20:06, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Agree on all these points. I think the IHO did define which seas belonged to which oceans, but the info does not seem to be available online. However, the European Marine Gazetteer appears to describe the IHO's hierarchy, for what it's worth (although I've discovered they don't mention Hudson Bay at all, leaving its status, Arctic or Atlantic, undefined). Of course, neither the CIA or the IHO is the final authority. There is no final authority. And there are seas commonly referred to in oceanography that neither the IHO or CIA mentions at all, like the Iceland Sea and the Nordic Seas. I think our pages on topics like this should make it clear that there is no single authoritative system of definitions and delineations. This page is better about it now, though it could perhaps be made even clearer. Pfly (talk) 20:20, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Also, on your last point, Bazonka, the European Marine Gazetteer browser defines the Labrador Sea as part of the North Atlantic, and Davis Strait and Baffin Bay as part of the Arctic. I think the gazetteer tells us the IHO's sea-ocean hierarchy, not mentioned in the online IHO document. This page about the gazetteer says The higher classification of the oceans and seas is based on the chart 'Limits of Oceans and Seas' 3rd edition (1953), published by the International Hydrogeographic Organisation (IHO). My guess is that the online IHO document is only part of the work published in 1953. But, again, neither the IHO or the CIA represent the final authority. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (still an authority in Russia, I believe) apparently defines the Bering and Labrador Seas as part of the Arctic. I think this is the Russian entry for the Greenland Sea. I'm not sure how to find other entries. Then there are numerous non-governmental reliable sources with differing definitions. For example, this book, Descriptive Physical Oceanography (p. 8) defines Baffin Bay as part of the Atlantic (and presumably Davis Strait, being the connection to the main Atlantic), as well as Hudson Bay, Barents Sea, and the Greenland Sea. And this National Geographic Society book, Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas (p. 112), defines Hudson Bay as part of the Atlantic. Pfly (talk) 22:05, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Boundary between the Pacific and Indian Oceans[edit]

The defined boundaries of the oceans, described in detail here and drawn on the maps, exclude the peripheral seas. Looking at the light blue and darker blue shaded areas on the map, it appears that the Timor Sea is part of the Indian Ocean ( as a marginal sea of the Indian Ocean ), but the Arafura Sea is part of the Pacific Ocean. Is there a factual basis for this approach ?Eregli bob (talk) 05:19, 24 November 2012 (UTC)