Friday, January 04, 2013

China begins journey to South Pole

A Chinese research group has arrived at the Antarctic to start the 29th scientific expedition, with the goal of establishing China’s fourth base in the region.
Thinking about the South Pole, images of furry little animals, big chunks of iceberg and imposing auroras may spring to mind.
The reality on the ground, however, is quite different.

Yan Han, member of 29th Antarctic expedition team, said, "The South Pole stands at the southernmost point of the Earth, which means solar radiation is very low here. With surfaces covered in snow and ice, it’s no surprise that the average annual temperature is below 25 degrees Celsius. The extreme weather makes our work here very demanding, both physically and mentally."
In 2009, China’s 26th scientific expedition chose a more difficult route, suffering the westerlies when at sea.
Yuan Shaohong, captain of Chinese research vessel Xuelong, said, "The westerlies refers to a belt of westerly winds between the 30 and 60 degrees latitude. During our travel, we encountered a huge storm which brought 13-meter-high waves, which threatened to overturn our vessel."
For nearly two months, the expedition team was pinned down under these winds, which made the simple act of sleeping a challenge.
A long journey to a faraway land. A journey well worth it, But they all think it is worthwhile when the South Pole shows her beautiful side...and it is also quite impressive to take pictures like this.

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