Icebreaker research vessel sails from Shanghai to Arctic on new mission

2021-07-13 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's 12th Arctic expedition set sail from Shanghai on Monday, and is expected to last more than two months, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The ministry said in a brief statement that the Xuelong 2, or Snow Dragon 2, carrying scientists and other crewmembers, left its home port in the coastal economic powerhouse on Monday morning.

The mission is tasked with monitoring oceanic and atmospheric phenomena and obtaining information about marine hydrology, weather and biological cycles. Its findings will help improve understanding of the Arctic, and will be used to respond to climate change and protect the Arctic ecosystem, the ministry noted.

This is the second time that the vessel – China's second icebreaker and the first domestically built – undertakes an Arctic expedition. Xuelong 2's first trip to the region was between mid-July and late September last year, when it took part in the 11th Arctic expedition.

China now has a research station named Huanghe, or Yellow River, in the Arctic. It also collaborates with Iceland on operating a science observatory in the Arctic.

China has more experience with exploring Antarctica and has four research stations on the southernmost continent – Changcheng, Zhongshan, Taishan and Kunlun – and has conducted 37 expeditions there so far.

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