China's third Arctic expedition will set sail from Shanghai in July, with plans to study the polar region's distinctive maritime resources and air quality, Zhang Haisheng, chief scientist for the project, said on Friday.
Scientists will also do comprehensive research on geological and meteorological conditions with the help of a helicopter, a yacht and an underwater robot, Zhang said.
"An important task is to observe the effects of the polar ice surface changes upon the climate of our country," said Zhang, who is also director of the Hangzhou-based No. 2 research institute under the State Oceanic Administration.
The ice-breaker "Xuelong" (Snow Dragon) will leave Shanghai on July 11 and return on Sept. 25. The craft will carry 60 scientists, including 11 from the United States, the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
China's first North Pole expedition ran from July 1 to Sept. 9,1999. It collected information on the Arctic maritime ecology and atmospheric, geologic and fishing conditions.
During the second exhibition, in 2003, Chinese scientists probed the inter-reactions of the Arctic region and global climate and analyzed Arctic influences on Chinese weather.
They also set up China's northernmost observation station.