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People's Daily Online>>Science

North Pole expeditions planned

By Wang Qian (Chinadaily.com.cn)

16:48, February 23, 2012

BEIJING - China is accelerating its pace in exploring the North Pole with two Arctic expeditions planned before 2015, according to the China Arctic and Antarctic Administration.

Climate and environmental changes in the Arctic have a direct and immediate impact on China, so Chinese scientists pay high attention to Arctic research, a senior official of the administration who declined to be named told China Daily.

Take the recent cold winter in China for example. It is partially caused by the high Arctic pressure, Wang Qiyi, senior engineer of the National Climate Center, said.

With the coming construction of a new icebreaker in 2013, China can realize two polar expedition vessels sailing at the same time in the North and South poles, largely enhancing China's polar research capacities, he said.

The new icebreaker with an estimated investment of 1.25 billion yuan ($2 million) can push through sea ice of more than 1.5-meter depth with a 0.2-meter snow covering and its cruising radius reaching 20,000 nautical miles, according to previous reports.

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