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Hello, everyone. I am Cai, Minghong. I am from the Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai. Now I am on the Artic research expedition sponsored by NOAA.

Today I want to take this opportunity to talk about the Arctic research in China and the scientific cooperation between China and U.S in this area.

China launched two Arctic expeditions in 1999 and 2003 respectively.

China's first North Pole scientific expedition was carried out from July 1 to Sept. 9, 1999, aiming to study the impacts of Arctic change on global climatic change and its influence on weather in the Chinese territory, the impacts of the ecosystem and the biology resources of the Arctic Ocean neighbor sea area on China fishery development, etc. The first China Arctic expedition completed a set of comprehensive scientific investigations in part of the Chukchi Sea, the complete international waters of the Bering Sea and has obtained a number of scientific research achievements. This Arctic expedition raised China’s prestige and influence in the international Arctic research.

Another expedition, made up of 109 scientists from seven countries, including China, the United States, Finland, Canada, and Japan, sailed to the North Pole on July 15, 2003, where they sailed 13,985 nautical miles and conducted oceanic and meteorological research. The expedition was a breakthrough for China as they successfully navigated into the zone within 80 degrees 15 minutes northern latitude.

The objective of this trip is to probe reactions of the Arctic region to global climatic changes and its impact in return on those changes, and to analyze Arctic influences on weather in the Chinese territory.

During the expedition, the team operated the ship “Snow Dragon” as support platform, employed various means, such as yachts and helicopters and used advanced technologies such as sea floating buoys, satellite-aided remote sensing imaging, etc., to carry out multi-site simultaneous observations of the integrated effect of the ice, atmosphere, sea, biology, geology, etc. in the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea and the Canadian Basin to complete a comprehensive large-scale field study of the physical, chemical, biological, and geological features of the ocean, as well as research of the atmosphere and weather. We have obtained a lot of precious data and materials during the expedition.

In Arctic Ocean the team also conducted seven short-term comprehensive investigations on ice stations. The team also conducted a long-term investigation on the ice station at 149 degrees 6 minutes west and 78 degrees 23 minutes north. The 2 week long observation studied the integrated effect of the ice, atmosphere and the sea.

This expedition has laid a new milestone for China’s polar expeditions.  It navigated 80 degrees north, the northernmost point they’ve ever reached. The success of the second expedition also marks China's more advanced technology in Arctic exploration.

The arctic research is global and cannot be achieved without close international cooperation. China and the U.S both are large regional countries and they should make their contribution to Arctic study.

China and the U.S have a wide-range of cooperation in Arctic research. Two Chinese scientists participated in the 2002 summer Arctic expedition sponsored by NOAA. Four scientists came from Yale University, University of Washington and the University of Alaska to participate in China’s second Arctic expedition in 2003. And this Arctic expedition is the third cooperation of Arctic study between China and the United States.

At the time of Zheng He Ocean Voyages Exhibition & International Marine Expo, I do wish China and the U.S. will enhance further cooperation in various fields.

Thank you!

The Web team gratefully acknowledges Fay Tang, NOAA Special Projects, for translating this audio clip into English.


Related Links

The Hidden Ocean, Arctic 2005

The Hidden Ocean, Arctic 2005: Zheng He Ocean Voyages

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery