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Hello, everyone, I am Cai, Minghong. I came from the Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai. Now I am traveling by the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy in the remote and frigid Arctic Ocean and helping measure the biodiversity of life in the Arctic Ocean.

First of all, I wish the Zheng He Ocean Voyages Exhibition & International Marine Expo be a complete success. The year 2005 will mark the 600th anniversary of the first ocean voyage embarked by the great Chinese navigator Zheng He. In the 28-years from 1405 to 1433, for 7 times, Zheng He headed a big fleet sailing across the ocean and visited more than 30 countries and regions in Asia and Africa. Zheng He's pioneering voyages were remarkable not only in Chinese history but also in the history of world navigation.

I greatly appreciate the opportunity given by committee to let me present the Arctic Ocean expedition. I will be giving a series of four daily messages at sea in the Arctic Ocean from July 9 to July 12.

I will be giving an introduction on the Arctic Ocean expedition. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am Cai, Minghong. I received my Masters Degree in Chemical Oceanography from Xiamen University, China, and joined Polar Research Institute of China since 1999. My present research interests focus on the polar ecological system. I have participated in the Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition twice (the 18th and 19th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition) and the Chinese Arctic National Arctic Research Expedition once (the second Chinese Arctic National Arctic Research Expedition).

This time I am invited by NOAA as a Chinese representative to participate in the Arctic Ocean Expedition funded by NOAA. Operating from the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy, an international team of 47 scientists from the United States, Canada, China and Russia will examine the biodiversity of life in the Arctic Ocean in the NOAA-sponsored expedition to the Arctic Ocean. This expedition is named “The Hidden Ocean” because this part of the Arctic Ocean is covered with sea ice for most of the year and thus difficult to reach. Therefore very little information is currently available about the biodiversity of life in this region of the world.

The month-long NOAA-sponsored summer expedition to the Arctic Ocean from June 26 to July 27 will explore the frigid depths of the Canada Basin, located in the deepest part of the Arctic Ocean.

The two major objectives of "The Hidden Ocean" expedition are:

  • Examine the biodiversity of life in the Arctic Ocean and the impacts of changing environmental conditions on the biodiversity of life in the Arctic Ocean.

  • Evaluate the impacts of changing environmental conditions on the Arctic over the last four decades.

The 47 scientists will conduct the following major activities:

  • Use ROV technology to observe different sea areas. Remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) is an unoccupied, highly maneuverable underwater robot

  • Use underwater photographic system to observe the underwater biota

  • Diving operation to take pictures and shooting video used to characterize habitats and ice bottom structure, etc.

  • Comprehensive underwater operations including researches on marine biology, marine geology, chemical oceanography, physical oceanography, etc.

  • Use helicopters to deliver equipment to build ice stations.

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