Chinese icebreaker returns to home port
Updated: 2014-09-23 12:11
SHANGHAI - China's sixth Arctic expedition team aboard icebreaker Xuelong, or "Snow Dragon", has returned to its home port in eastern China's Shanghai after a two-and-a-half-month mission.
Xuelong set out from Shanghai on July 11 and has since traveled some 22,000 km to explore key areas such as the Bering Sea, the Chukchi Sea and the Canada Basin.
It traveled as far as 81.11 degrees north latitude and 156.30 degrees east longitude, the team said.
Scientists studied geomagnetic data and the receding of sea ice in the Arctic waters, and researched how the Arctic's atmosphere, currents and ice interact, among other tasks, said Pan Zengdi, chief scientist of the expedition.
Head of the expedition Qu Tanzhou said the mission has reinforced Chinese scientists' understanding of the Arctic region, adding that it is of "strategic importance" to elevate the country's participation in Arctic affairs.
Put into use in 1994, the Ukraine-built Xuelong can break ice that is 1.2 meters thick. It finished China's 30th scientific expedition to Antarctica in mid-April.