Fifth Antarctic Station Planned for Groundbreaking this November
During a groundbreaking ceremony of the fifth Antarctic station is expected to happen during the next South Pole expedition that is planned for November. Based on studies building the fifth Antarctic research station will take three years due to a short annual construction period and a limited transportation capacity in Antarctica.
Summer in the South Pole is from November to February with temperature only rising above -20 degrees Celsius. And with these tough weather conditions, the new station will be a permanent one and needs to have the approval of other Antarctic consultative states before construction is even to begin. As of the moment China has already finished and submitted its environmental assessment report that will be discussed during an international meeting later this year in Brazil.
The new station is less than 5 square kilometers and is located in Terra Nova Bay by the Ross Sea region that can help scientist study the Southern Ocean in Antarctica. The station will be constructed to house up to 80 people in the summer and 30 people in the winter. The main station is around 6,000 square meters and a wind farm will be constructed as well to help power the station.
The Ross Sea region is one of the most important areas in Antarctica and has very unique biological and geological features which include active volcanoes, various sea specimens and the largest ice shelf seen on Earth. China will also purchase its first fixed wing aircraft that will be used for polar expedition and will also build a new icebreaker in 2016 that will be used for field research as the country’s polar exploration is entering a period of fast development.