Chinese and Norwegian scientists have agreed to build a closer academic collaboration in the study of the Arctic, following the arrival Thursday of a Chinese team of scientists in this northern city of Norway.
The team left the Chinese capital Tuesday morning for the North Pole to build the nation's first research station in Norway's Svalbad Islands, located within the Arctic Circle.
After their arrival in Tromoso, Chinese experts met their Norwegian counterparts and heard their suggestions on the building of the Chinese North Pole Research Station.
Professor Olav Orheim, director of the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI), told Xinhua that Norway's study on the North Pole started as early as 1908, because of geological reasons.
NPI moved from Oslo, the capital of Norway, to Tromoso in 1993. It later merged with other institutes and government organs to become an international academic platform for Arctic studies.
Orheim said China is one of the most influential countries in the world and boasts solid research capability. He welcomed Chinese scientists to join the Arctic research.
He said as a large country in the northern hemisphere, China could benefit from improving its involvement in the Arctic research. NPI would be willing to assist China's research in the North Pole, he said.
Gao Dengyi, the expedition team leader and a scientist on atmospheric physics from the Chinese Academy of Science, said climate changes in the Arctic region affect global weather. China would like to conduct scientific exchanges with Norway in the Arctic research, he noted.
NPI leads the world in the research of Arctic icebergs and biology, said Gao, adding that Chinese scientists will work with experts in NPI to strengthen the research of the Arctic areas, which are the sensitive areas affecting the global and China's climate and environmental changes.
He disclosed that in the next two years, agreements with NPI on specific cooperative projects will be signed.
Gao has been involved in studies in the North Pole, South Pole, and the highest pole on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
"International exchanges have become the most prominent feature in the polar studies," said Gao.
The expedition team will leave for the terminal station, the Svalbad Islands, Friday to start the construction of Chinese research station. The team will conduct a three-year comprehensive investigation in the station, which will be China's longest research activity in the North Pole.
(Xinhua News Agency October 19,2001)