Researchers conclude 39th expedition to Antarctica, states a China Daily news article.
China’s latest scientific expedition to Antarctica
China’s latest scientific expedition to Antarctica concluded on Thursday as mission members returned to their home base in Shanghai.
The 39th Antarctic expedition started in late October and lasted 163 days. A total of 255 researchers traveled more than 110,000 kilometers on board two icebreakers — Xuelong and Xuelong 2 — according to the Ministry of Natural Resources, which administers the nation’s oceanic and polar research activities.
Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, returned to its port in Shanghai on Monday, while Xuelong 2, China’s first domestically built research icebreaker, arrived in the eastern economic powerhouse on Thursday, ending the expedition.
During the polar mission, researchers surveyed and studied the impact of global climate change in certain ocean areas. The venture included research on the polar region’s air composition, water environment, depositional environment and ecosystem.
They monitored the icy, snowy environment and conducted astronomical observations around China’s stations on the continent.
Researchers also investigated the subglacial topography in areas including Princess Elizabeth Land.
Important achievements in Antarctic research
The expedition enabled scientists to produce a number of important achievements in Antarctic research, the ministry said in a news release.
The replenishing of supplies and staff rotation at China’s Zhongshan and Changcheng stations were also completed during the expedition, it noted.
It was the third time China sent two icebreakers to take part in an Antarctic expedition.
Before the commissioning of Xuelong 2 in July 2019, China only operated Xuelong, which was designed for cargo transportation rather than scientific research operations when it was built in Ukraine in 1993.
China has four research stations in Antarctica: Changcheng, Zhongshan, Taishan and Kunlun. A fifth is currently being constructed.
The 38th Antarctic expedition, which lasted 174 days, concluded in April 2022.
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Source: China Daily