A team of 12 Chinese scientists will head for the North Pole
next week to carry out research in the Arctic region and inaugurate
the country's first scientific research station there.
The team will leave Beijing for Svalbard Island, Norway on
Monday. Another two teams of government officials and journalists
will follow in a week, said Wei Wenliang, an official for polar
expedition affairs with the National Bureau of Oceanography.
Wei did not disclose the name of China's Arctic station, which
had already been decided but was still subject to approval.
Yang Huigen, deputy head of China Polar Research Center based in
Shanghai, has been appointed first chief of the station, according
The station is designed to be a two-story building with a total
area of 500 square meters on Svalbard Island. It has laboratories,
offices, reading rooms, storerooms and dorms that can accommodate
20 to 25 staff. At the top of the building is an observatory.
Experts said the establishment of a station on the North Pole is
an integral step for China to improve its understanding about the
impact of climate changes in the Arctic to other continents, Asia
The first group of scientists will stay in the station for two
months to carry out research on atmospheric physics, maritime life
In 1999 and 2003, China launched two Arctic expeditions.
(China Daily July 17, 2004)