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Chinese researchers wrap up Antarctic expedition | Updated: 2024-01-24 09:09
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This aerial photo taken on Jan 6, 2024, shows China's research icebreaker Xuelong 2 conducting a scientific expedition in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese researchers completed their research programs during the country's 40th Antarctic expedition on Tuesday when they finished the last operation of measuring temperature and salinity in the Amundsen Sea.

Wang Jinhui, deputy leader of the expedition team on China's research icebreaker Xuelong 2, said that researchers started a comprehensive research covering the areas of hydrological environment, atmospheric environment, sea ice environment, marine biology and ecology and marine chemistry in the Amundsen Sea and its adjacent waters on Dec 28 last year.

In addition, the team also carried out terrestrial research, focusing on the habitats of penguins, he said.

"The comprehensive research has further deepened our understanding of the ecological system in the Amundsen Sea and polynyas, and its response to global climate change," Wang added.

According to Wang, the expedition team for the first time carried out research on the food web in the Amundsen Sea, obtaining diverse biological samples, which will be conducive to finding the key species in the web.

During the expedition work, the team deployed an ecological subsurface mooring buoy, China's first in the polar region, at a depth of approximately 3,000 meters, to collect long-term series data on Antarctic krill and relevant ecological environmental parameters.

Going forward, Xuelong 2 will head to the port of Lyttelton near Christchurch, New Zealand, marking its third visit during this voyage, to resupply and pick up more Chinese researchers. At the same time, it will hold open-day activities.

China's 40th scientific expedition to the Antarctic, organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources, conducts comprehensive surveys and scientific research on its icebreakers Xuelong, Xuelong 2 and other stations. Construction of a new station at the Ross Sea has entered the home stretch, with its main part to be completed in early Feb.

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