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China to deploy first mooring system in the Arctic
Updated: 2008-07-27 16:12

ABOARD XUELONG  -- China will install its first annual deep-sea subsurface mooring system in the Arctic Ocean to monitor the long-term marine changes in the Arctic ocean, members of China's third Arctic expedition said Sunday.

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The system will collect data on the temperature, salinity and speed of currents at various depth in the coming year in the Arctic Ocean, thus facilitating studies of the impacts of environmental changes in Arctic Ocean on global climate, especially on China's climate, they said.

A trap, as part of the system, will catch marine lives regularly for scientific research, said the members of the expedition team aboard the Xuelong ice-breaker.

China deployed a 40-day mooring system in the Bering Sea in 2003.

The system will be installed around latitude 75 degrees north in the Chukchi Sea waters. As several currents from the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean converge here, the area is of great importance to scientific research on water variation, said Dr. Chen Hong Xia, a member of the expedition team.

It will be installed by the third expedition in due course and be retrieved by Chinese researchers scheduled to enter the Arctic region in 2009.

The Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, left China's Shanghai on July 11 with 122 scientists and logistic staff aboard.

During its 75-day expedition, the team will study the polar region's distinctive maritime resources and air quality, and conduct comprehensive research on geological and meteorological conditions.