20 July 2005

Arctic and Chinese ocean expeditions: 600 Years apart but connected

Two ocean expeditions, one in 1405 and another in 2005, are 600 years and oceans apart but are now connected by the voice of a Chinese scientist on the Internet.

NOAA image of ice diver studying the density of creatures living on the underside of ice floesA series of four daily messages, which began July 10, were recorded in Chinese by Cai Minghong at sea on a NOAA-funded mission in the Arctic Ocean, and posted on the NOAA Ocean Explorer Web site with English text.

Cai's messages were played on a daily basis for visitors at NOAA's exhibit space in Shanghai at the Zheng He Ocean Voyages Exhibition & International Marine Expo. (Click NOAA image for larger view of ice diver studying the density of creatures living on the underside of ice floes. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit "NOAA.")

In late June, scientist Cai traveled from his job as a chemical oceanographer at the Polar Research Institute of China in Shanghai to sail with an international team of 46 scientists on "The Hidden Ocean, Arctic 2005," a month-long NOAA-sponsored expedition to the frigid depths of the Canada Basin—located in the deepest part of the Arctic Ocean in an area that is hidden by sea ice for most of the year and difficult to reach.

A week later, NOAA employees headed to the Shanghai exhibition to participate in a series of ocean policy meetings and to exhibit materials around the theme of "Building a Global Observing System." The exhibition in Shanghai is named for famed Chinese navigator Zheng He, and comes on the 600th anniversary of the first of his seven epic ocean voyages from China to the South Pacific, Indian Ocean, Taiwan, Persian Gulf and Africa.

NOAA's exhibit was seen by senior Chinese political leaders, representatives from all national government marine resource organizations and ocean science institutions, and large numbers of the general public estimated to be up to 30,000 visitors a day.

Cai joined the "Hidden Ocean" team to help measure the diversity of life so as to build a baseline of data against which change may be measured in an area of warming and ice melt over the last four decades.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Ocean Explorer

The Hidden Ocean, Arctic 2005

Audio Updates from Cai Minghong

Media Contact:
Fred Gorell, NOAA Oceans and Coasts Service, (301) 713-9444 ext. 181

Source: www.noaanews.noaa.gov


Post a Comment

<< Home