Chinese Scientists Embark on Big Field Trip to Antarctica

Nov 12, 2007 by Mary Anne Simpson weblog
Chinese Scientists Embark on Big Field Trip to Antarctica
The Snow Dragon Exploration Vessel. Image credit: Xinhua

The largest ever Chinese expedition to the Antarctic left today from Shanghai's Waigaoqiao Dock. The explorer ship Snow Dragon with 188 scientist aboard and more being air lifted to Antarctic will explore the Arctic shelf and other research.

China, a member of the Commission of the Limits of the Continental Shelf along with 20 other countries has embarked on its annual scientific expedition in the Antarctica. This 24th expedition to the remote regions of Antarctic left on November 12 from Waigaoqiao Dock aboard the Snow Dragon with a 188 scientific member team and 40 crew members. Other scientists will arrive by air. According to Xinhua news services this is the largest expedition in China's history that will lay the foundation for an in depth exploration of the Antarctica.

The exploration will last more than five months and will enable the scientific team to erect a third scientific research station located in the South Pole. In addition the Chinese scientific team expects to erect an observatory with seven telescopes and one acoustic radar at the highest point on the continent. China sent 189 engineering workers from the China Railway Construction Engineering Group to aid in the construction project.

The entire project is expected to be completed by 2010. The research team stated purpose is to explore bio diversity, the ice shelf, climate change, Antarctic algae, krill and environmental monitoring. According to official government sources the project will utilize advanced sewage system construction and waste management that will include garbage burning facilities. Waste that is not biodegradable and solid waste will be shipped back to China.

China along with Russia, Norway, Korea, Australia, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil are actively ensuring their claim to the oil rich region by being signatories to the Treaty of the Law of the Sea under the auspices of the United Nations. The Commission of the Limits of the Continental Shelf is part of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea. This Commission will provide procedure and rule making for member states in determining the outer reaches of their continental shelf.

The United States is presently considering The Law of the Sea Treaty. Heretofore, going back to the era of President Ronald there has been strong opposition to becoming signatories to the Treaty. A great deal of controversy exists within the United States, but current sentiments in light of present geo-political conditions are encouraging open discussions.

Explore further: Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA Skunkworks team set to deliver newfangled 6U Cubesat

Nov 19, 2014

(Phys.org) —A NASA "skunkworks" team gave itself just one year to develop, test and integrate a newfangled CubeSat that could reliably and easily accommodate agency-class science investigations and technology ...

Robotic ocean gliders aid study of melting polar ice

Nov 10, 2014

The rapidly melting ice sheets on the coast of West Antarctica are a potential major contributor to rising ocean levels worldwide. Although warm water near the coast is thought to be the main factor causing ...

Recommended for you

Better forecasts for sea ice under climate change

34 minutes ago

University of Adelaide-led research will help pinpoint the impact of waves on sea ice, which is vulnerable to climate change, particularly in the Arctic where it is rapidly retreating.

"Ferrari of space' yields best map of ocean currents

8 hours ago

A satellite dubbed the "Ferrari of space" has yielded the most accurate model of ocean circulation yet, boosting understanding of the seas and a key impact of global warming, scientists said Tuesday.

Researcher studies deformation of tectonic plates

11 hours ago

Sean Bemis put his hands together side by side to demonstrate two plates of the earth's crust with a smooth boundary running between them. But that boundary is not always smooth and those plates do not always ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.