rampartbingo|Feature: Chinese scientists tackle Arctic grit for global answers

super2024-07-01 07:05:0411News

NY-ALESUND, Norway, June 30 (Xinhua) -- In 1963, French geologist Jean Corbel established a small hut near Ny-Alesund, sparking modern research in Svalbardrampartbingo. Since then, the former mining town has evolved into a global center for science, attracting countries like China to its Arctic research efforts.

"It was a very fine event," recalled Kim Holmen, special advisor at the Norwegian Polar Institute, reflecting on the founding ceremony of China's inaugural Arctic research station.

rampartbingo|Feature: Chinese scientists tackle Arctic grit for global answers

What struck Holmen most deeply, however, were the discussions centered on "the science that we would be able to pursue."

China's Arctic Yellow River Station is located on the far east side of the town.

According to Hu Zhengyi, the current manager of the station, the institute mainly serves as a support for China's scientific monitoring and research work in various specialties, including glaciology, terrestrial ecology, marine ecology, space physics, and atmospheric studies.

Hu had been focusing on the study of glaciers since his postgraduate period. The second year after graduation in 2015, he was dispatched to the Station for his first term, spending dozens of days almost every year there.

Hu's research centers on meticulously tracking glacial dynamics, including area and thickness fluctuations, as well as the recession of glacial termini from the coastline, which are all crucial metrics in understanding the impacts of climate change.

Glaciology is a young and relatively niche major in China, Hu said, adding that choosing this major normally means that one would be working far from home, sometimes even a quite backbreaking job.

What he meant was the field research work on glaciers, trudging across the frigid ice while carrying equipment weighing dozens of kilograms.

"This job is not for everyone," he joked about the workload.

The Chinese station has been carrying out field research on glaciers for over 10 years, including monitoring and research on glacier material balance, movement, temperature, end position, and meteorology.

Such studies help reveal the response of Arctic glaciers to global warming and provide an important basis for predicting future sea level rise, Hu said.

Basically, most of the research done here is related to climate change, Hu said.

Apart from glacier studies, other research on the changes in terrestrial ecosystems, as well as studies on marine life, also contribute to a better understanding of the common challenges faced by humanity.

By gathering critical data on the health of Arctic ecosystems, the research efforts could contribute to developing better conservation measures.

"The problems we have in front of us are so big that none of us, regardless of how clever we are, could do it alone," Holmen said, stressing the significance of more scientific cooperation between different countries.

Currently, scientists from over 10 countries are based in the town to carry out research in the Arctic.

Holmen said this is a research town where scientists from all over the world could meet, make friends, and build trust, which is essential for dealing with global issues.

"I believe it can make a difference in the world," he said.

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