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Chinese research vessel ends fruitful ocean expedition in Myanmar

Chinese research vessel Xiang Yang Hong 03 ended a four-day ocean expedition in Myanmar’s waters on Jan 20 with fruitful outcomes that may help in the fields of weather forecasting and prevention of natural disasters.

The expedition marks the first visit of Chinese research vessels to Myanmar’s waters, which is a major source of the summer precipitation in South China.

“During the investigation, we found a lot of interesting phenomena in regards to physical oceanography and marine creatures,” said Qiu Yun, the principal researcher of the vessel.

“For example, we observed temperature inversion, which means the temperature at the interior of the ocean is even higher than that of the ocean surface. The ocean temperature inversion plays a significant role in monsoons and the air-sea interaction.”

Apart from collecting data and samples of the ocean temperature and salinity, scientists also observed a large cluster of pyrosomes, a type of rarely-seen creature living in the upper layers of the open ocean in warm seas.

“This is the first time for Chinese scientists to find those pyrosomes at such a large scale in the Indian Ocean. Finding such large scale pyrosomes is very rare in the history of global ocean research,” said Qiu.

Meanwhile, the expedition is also the first to be jointly conducted by Chinese and Myanmar scientists, who are both satisfied with the outcomes. Ocean expeditions carried out by the two countries will become regular activities in the future.