QINGDAO, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- China's research vessel KEXUE, or Science, departed for the western Pacific Ocean Thursday from a pier of east China's coastal city of Qingdao on a research mission of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).
During the expected 80-day voyage, 44 scientists from 12 research institutes and universities aboard the vessel will conduct 40 research projects in various fields such as marine physics and marine geomatics.
This will be the first time for the NSFC research mission to expand to the central Pacific. The mission will research the turbulence of the western Pacific Ocean, the multi-scale variations of the Western Pacific Warm Pool and its influence on the environment.
The western Pacific, a gateway to vast oceans, is an ideal region to carry out earth system science and related research into the environment due to its complicated and changeable ocean current and immense warm pool, according to Wang Fan, director of the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The voyage is an international cooperative mission of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean Circulation and Climate Experiment (NPOCE). Initiated by Chinese scientists in 2010, the NPOCE will observe, simulate and understand the structure, variability and dynamics of the ocean and its role in modulating climate systems.