Professor Charlie Li at NTNU participated in an expedition to Svalbard on 7-16 August 2019. The expedition was organized by the Chinese Society for Rock Mechanics & Engineering (CSRME), aiming to the study of polar glaciers, geology and geotechnical engineering in the Arctic. The scientific delegates were from Norway, Japan, Hong Kong and the Mainland China, as well as personnel from a media company, Ershi Exploration (Beijing) Cultural Development Co., Ltd., who will make a popular film on global warming and melting of polar glaciers. The delegation took field trips for glaciers and the metamorphic rocks along the western coastline of Spitsbergen and for the sedimentary rocks, foundations constructions in permafrost ground, underground construction (the Global Seed Vault) and the snow avalanche protection project in the Longyearbyen area. Professor Arne Aalberg arranged a seminar on 14 August at UNIS.
Global warming and the melting of polar glaciers have been the unanimous concerns of the scientific community and the whole society. The melting of polar glaciers is posing critical impact on the ecosystem and climate of the earth. However, the reasons for the polar ice melting still remain uncertain. The Arctic issue is of global significance and great scientific value as it is vital to the survival and future development of the human beings. It is no doubt that CO2 contributes to the global warming, but geological evolution may play also an important role. Some scientists in the delegation are exploring the role of the earth in the global warming. In addition, glacial geology and geotechnical engineering in arctic regions are also topics of the expedition.