Cooperating with China on research project AMORA

The Chinese-Norwegian research project “Advancing Modeling and Observing Solar Radiation of Arctic Sea Ice” (AMORA) aims to develop measuring devices which will contribute to a better understanding of the Sun’s impact on global warming. As part of this cooperation, the nations are also exchanging scientists.

Liqiong Shi

Liqiong Shi is a Chinese PhD student who has been working at the Norwegian Polar Institute the last three months. Photo: Elin Vinje Jenssen / Norwegian Polar Institute

Cooperating for the first time

The AMORA project deals with simulations and observations of the Sun’s radiation on the sea ice in the Arctic, and focuses on climate studies of snow and ice in the Arctic. The international cooperation allows for an exchange of knowledge between China and Norway while at the same time educating young scientists. This is the first time Chinese and Norwegian scientists have combined their efforts in a study of sea ice and snow in the Arctic.

This summer, Chinese student Liqiong Shi (age 27) came to Norway to work at the Norwegian Polar Institute for three months, as a participant in the AMORA project. She is soon returning to China and the campus at Dalian University of Technology, where she is currently studying for a PhD.

Research cruise in the Arctic Ocean

“The best part was definitively the research cruise with RV Lance this autumn. Going to the Arctic and seeing the conditions there with my own eyes was a great experience”, she says.

The autumn’s research cruise in the Arctic Ocean with the RV Lance was a first for Shi. In China, most of her days are spent at the office. While at the Polar Institute in Tromsø, in addition to office hours, she’s also gotten to experience both a research cruise and lab work.

“I particularly enjoy doing experimental work, and I have had plenty of that during my stay in Norway”, she says.

Learns from each other

Shi likes the idea of international cooperation within the global research community.

“When we meet this way, we learn a lot from each other. We’re given the opportunity to exchange our ideas and thoughts, and I think this has a positive effect on our research.”

Transmitting data via satellites

The main goal of the project is the development of the Spectral Radiation Buoy (RSB), a floating platform which automatically and continuously measures sunlight over and under the sea ice. The buoy is complimented by another IMB-buoy (Ice Mass Balance Buoy), which measures the most important properties of snow and ice. What makes the RSB unique is its ability to instantly transmit all the collected data to the participating research institutions, via satellite.


“Advancing Modeling and Observing Solar Radiation of Arctic Sea Ice” (AMORA) is an international and interdisciplinary research project, where scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute are cooperating with scientists from Dalian University of Technology (Dalian, China), Polar Research Institute of China (Shanghai, China), Finnish Meteorological Institute (Helsinki, Finland), Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (Hanover, USA) and the Alfred Wegener Institute (Bremerhaven, Germany).

Research scientist Sebastian Gerland, Norwegian Polar Institute, is the project leader.

The project is run by the Norwegian Polar Institute Centre for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems (ICE) and the Research Council of Norway.