Eleven Chinese researchers and 19 Russians participated in the second joint Sino-Russia Arctic expedition, which started in Russia’s eastern port of Vladivostok on Sept 6. After overcoming extreme weather and traveling 12,000 kilometers, they returned to the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on Oct 21. The 46-day expedition was jointly organized by the Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, based in Qingdao, Shandong province, and the Russian Academy of Sciences Pacific Oceanological Institute. Scientists from both countries carried out multidisciplinary surveys during the expedition, including ocean geology, hydrometeorology, chemistry and biodiversity as well as obtained a host of specimens and data from the atmosphere, seawater and sediment. An optical profiler developed by the Qingdao lab played a big role in the observation of the Northeast Passage and obtained firsthand data about fog, snow and low clouds during rapid weather changes. The Polar Silk Road via the Arctic is widely seen as the third arc of the Belt and Road Initiative, adding another sea route beyond the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, Africa-Mediterranean and South Pacific-Oceania.
CAS news release, October 31, 2018