The China-Iceland Arctic Science Observatory was inaugurated and officially began operation on Thursday in northern Iceland.
The observatory, which is located at Karholl, some 66 km east of Akureyri in northern Iceland, is a joint project by Chinese and Icelandic research institutions to further the scientific understanding on Arctic phenomena.
Currently, the observatory can accommodate 15 people in a work/live facility for research on various scientific studies, such as aurora, atmosphere, glacier and remote sensing.
With some modifications, parts of the observatory can also be used for research in other scientific fields, such as oceanography, geophysics and biology.
In 2013, the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC) and the Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS) decided to jointly build an aurora observatory.
The Chinese institute proposed in 2017 to upgrade the aurora observatory to the China-Iceland Arctic Science Observatory that will enable not just aurora observations, but also research on atmosphere, oceanography, glacier, geophysics, remote sensing and biology. The Icelandic side has voiced its full support for the proposal.
The Arctic observatory will help China in its polar research as the country has already set up four research stations in Antarctica and one Arctic research station on Svalbard, Norway.