Latest North Pole region research underway
China's 13th scientific expedition to the Arctic Ocean has reached the North Pole region and begun conducting research, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Since arriving in the region onboard the icebreaker Xuelong 2 on Tuesday, researchers have carried out comprehensive surveys on the atmosphere, hydrology, biology and sea ice, the ministry said in a news release on Thursday. The vessel is the country's first domestically built polar icebreaker.
The research will help fill the gap in the country's database about the North Pole region, enable scientists to further understand the process of changes in sea ice and ocean currents, and expand knowledge about the rapid environmental changes in the Arctic Ocean and its ecological response. It will also provide data support for effectively coping with the impact of global climate change on China, the ministry noted.
The expedition team set sail from Shanghai on July 12 and is expected to travel nearly 15,500 nautical miles (28,700 kilometers) before returning to Shanghai in late September.
The project will focus on the central section of the Pacific Arctic Region and the Gakkel Ridge.
The Chinese researchers will also work with their peers from countries including Russia and Thailand.