China has begun work on a float designed to help guard against natural disasters and guide development of oceanic resources by monitoring conditions more than 2,000 meters under the sea.
The government has allocated more than 82 million yuan ($12.7 million) for R&D of the device in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao and expects it to be completed by 2020.
Wu Lixin, head of the National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, is heading the project, and scientists from Ocean University of China, Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Tianjin University will also participate.
China is already part of the Argo global ocean observation program consisting of more than 3,000 free-drifting floats measuring the temperature and salinity of the upper 2,000 meters of the ocean.
Countries including the United States, Japan and France have launched their own programs to monitor sea water below 2,000 meters.
(Xinhua News Agency March 10, 2016)