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China Makes Breakthroughs in Arctic

China's North Pole Scientific Expedition Team has conducted large-scale field studies on the northern-most point they've ever reached. From their position on an ice floe they were able to make breakthroughs in studying the North Pole under extremely dangerous situations.


As the expedition team's ship sailed northward, its speed was sharply reduced by floating ice. Alert for danger, the team arrived at 75 degrees 33 minutes north latitude, the northern-most point they've ever reached.


The floe was flat and thick, so the team thought it safe to proceed with field studies. But things soon turned out otherwise. A snow-mobile carrying two members was trapped in thin ice, in danger of sinking into the sea water. Fortunately, They managed to get out in time.


As the scientists started analyzing ice formations, weather changes, and living organisms, it suddenly began snowing. Low visibility made the field study work increasingly difficult. Some workers kept getting trapped in thin ice formations.


But they went on with their work for 10 hours. For the first time, they set up an automatic meteorological observatory at such a high latitude. Biology experts have also recovered residue materials which can be used to track climatic changes in the past tens of thousands of years.


The team will sail further northward to conquer new unknowns.


(CCTV.com August 18, 2003)


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