China's third Arctic expedition Saturday morning reached the Bering Sea where it will conduct various exploration tasks.
Zhang Haisheng, chief scientist of the expedition, said the team will conduct 35 observations during this first stage of the voyage to explore physical, chemical, geological and biological conditions in the Sea.
The observation posts will be placed on the middle and stern decks of the icebreaker Xuelong, or the Snow Dragon, which is carrying 122 Chinese scientists and logistics staff.
Through working stations on the middle deck, scientists will carry out research on the seawater's temperature and salinity, as well the sea's depth, while on the stern deck, scientists will collect deposits on the sea floor.
The Bering Sea is a body of water in the north Pacific Ocean that comprises a deep water basin, namely the Aleutian Basin.
Zhang said the water flowing into the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Sea accounts for 10 percent of all water in the Ocean, therefore environmental changes in the Sea directly affect the Ocean.
The first-stage exploration will last until July 29, and then the ship will travel to the Arctic Ocean after a short break.
China launched its third scientific expedition to the Arctic on July 11.
The team will study the polar region's distinctive maritime resources and air quality, and conduct comprehensive research on geological and meteorological conditions during the 75-day expedition.
(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2008)