您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 科学 >> 正文

沉睡的白头山:朝鲜与世界合作的纽带

更新时间:2016-12-26 19:00:39 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Only a Rumbling Volcano Could Make North Korea and the West Play Nice
沉睡的白头山:朝鲜与世界合作的纽带

Today the volcano that straddles the border between China and North Korea is tranquil. Hot springs simmer on the surrounding peaks, wild blueberries grow on its green slopes and a crystal-clear pool called Heaven Lake fills its crater.

今天,跨越中国和朝鲜边境的那座火山是宁静的。四周的山峰上有沸腾的温泉,野生蓝莓在绿色的山坡上生长,火山口中是一个名为天池的清澈湖泊。

But Mount Paektu, as the North Koreans call it, is only asleep. When it last awoke about a thousand years ago, the so-called Millennium Eruption unleashed one of the most violent volcanic events in recorded human history. And when North Korean scientists recorded a swarm of tiny earthquakes rumbling beneath the volcano from 2002 to 2005, they were so concerned that the reclusive country eventually contacted the West for help.

但是这座被朝鲜人称为白头山(Mount Paektu)的火山只是睡着了。它上一次醒来是在一千多年前,造成了所谓的“千年大喷发”(Millennium Eruption),是人类历史记载中最剧烈的火山爆发之一。从2002年到2005年,朝鲜科学家记录了火山附近发生的一系列小地震后感到非常担心,于是这个与外界隔绝的国家最终联系西方寻求帮助。

The result was a rare collaboration of scientists from North Korea and researchers from countries with which it has hostile relations.

其结果促成了朝鲜科学家与外国研究人员的罕见合作,这些研究人员都来自与朝鲜有敌对关系的国家。

Officials in Pyongyang first reached out in 2011, and after two years of planning the project was set. In 2013, volcanologists from the United States and Britain met researchers in North Korea to investigate Mount Paektu and its magma plumbing.

2011年,平壤官员首先开始寻求帮助,经过两年的规划,这个项目确定下来。2013年,来自美国和英国的火山学家在朝鲜会见了研究人员,开始调查白头山及其岩浆管道。

The effort has since yielded tantalizing insights into the slumbering giant that once blanketed the Korean Peninsula in an avalanche of ash.

从那以后,人们通过这个项目对这个曾令火山灰遍及整个朝鲜半岛的沉睡巨人有了更多了解,其成果非常诱人。

Mount Paektu is sacred to the North Korean people. They valorize it as the site where Kim Il Sung, the founding father of modern North Korea, used guerrilla tactics to fight the Japanese during World War II, and as the supposed birthplace of his son, Kim Jong-il, who succeeded him as the country’s leader.

白头山是朝鲜人民的圣山。此外,在他们心目中,它还是现代朝鲜建国元勋金日成在二战期间以游击战术抗击日本人的地方,并被视为他的儿子金正日的出生地,金正日在他死后继承了朝鲜领导人的位置。

North Koreans make pilgrimages to the mountain, and students march up its summit singing songs. It is an important fixture in their everyday lives, visible in their paintings and propaganda. Even kindergartners sing the song “Let’s Go to Mount Paektu.”

朝鲜人来到这座山上朝觐,学生们爬上山顶歌唱。它在朝鲜人的日常生活中起着至关重要的作品,在他们的图画和宣传中随处可见。就连幼儿园的孩子们都会唱《走向白头山》(Let’s Go to Mount Paektu)这首歌。

“That cultural significance explains part of the motivation for the scientists there to understand the volcano,” said Clive Oppenheimer, a volcanologist at the University of Cambridge who was part of the team. “They are concerned about the cultural impact that a future large eruption would have.”

“文化上的重要性部分解释了为什么那里的科学家渴望理解这座火山,”剑桥大学火山学家克莱夫·奥本海默(Clive Oppenheimer)说,“他们担心未来的火山大爆发可能带来的文化影响。”

One of the questions that the team set out to answer was how much gas the Millennium Eruption sent into the sky, and whether the event affected the climate in the Northern Hemisphere.

这个研究小组开始回答的问题之一是“千年大喷发”排放到天空中的气体量,以及这一事件是否影响了北半球的气候。

Large eruptions can release huge clouds of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. There, the sulfur gas transforms into a sulfate aerosol that reflects sunlight and cools the planet. The famous modern example was the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which ejected so much volcanic dust and rock into the stratosphere it caused what is known as “the year without summer.”

火山爆发可以向大气中的平流层释放大量二氧化硫。在那里,气态硫转化为可以反射阳光并令地球冷却的硫酸盐悬浮微粒。1851年印度尼西亚的坦博拉火山爆发是一次著名的现代事例,那次爆发将大量的火山灰和火山岩喷入平流层,造成了所谓“没有夏天的一年”。

Blizzards hit New York in June, and frost wreaked havoc on crops in New England in July. That eruption released an estimated 28 megatons of sulfur.

那年6月,暴风雪袭击了纽约;7月,新英格兰的农作物受到霜冻的严重破坏。那次爆发释放了大约28兆吨的硫。

When the sulfur falls back to the ground, it can get trapped and preserved in polar ice. Previous studies of ice cores from Greenland dated to A.D. 946, when the Millennium Eruption occurred, had low levels of sulfur, suggesting that the eruption emitted a small amount of gas and did not have strong effects on the climate.

回到地面的硫会被封存在极地的冰层之中。此前的研究曾发现,公元946年,也就是“千年大喷发”那一年,在格陵兰的冰层中硫含量很低,表明那场火山爆发只喷发出少量气体,对气候没有产生强烈影响。

But the team thought the ice core estimates might have been low and wanted to test for sulfur traces within the white pumice that came from the actual eruption and was now scattered across the volcano.

但是如今这个研究团队认为,该项冰层估计数值可能偏低,并且希望测试来自实际喷发的白色浮石中的硫痕迹,这些浮石现在散布在白头山上。

By analyzing the white pumice for geochemical clues, the team found that the Millennium Eruption actually emitted a large amount of sulfur into the atmosphere: an estimated 45 megatons. That is about 20 times what previous estimates had suggested, and about 1.5 times what was emitted by Mount Tambora.

通过分析白色浮石的地球化学线索,研究小组发现,“千年大喷发”实际上向大气中排放了大量的硫:大约45兆吨。这是以前估计值的20倍,大约是坦博拉火山排放的1.5倍。

“This eruption had much more gas than we thought it did in the past,” said Kayla Iacovino, a volcanologist at Arizona State University and lead author on the team’s most recent paper. “It had enough gas to place it as one of the largest gas-emitting volcanoes in human history.”

“这次火山爆发所喷发的气体比我们过去料想的要多得多,”亚利桑那州立大学火山学家兼团队最近一篇论文的主要作者凯拉·亚科维诺(Kayla Iacovino)说。“它的气体足以使它成为人类历史上排放气体最多的火山之一。”

Dr. Iacovino said that the next step to forecasting any future eruptions would be continued monitoring.

亚科维诺说,为了预测未来的爆发,下一步将是继续监测。

“We were able to make this collaboration supersuccessful in no small part thanks to the North Korean government,” she said. She hopes the results from their work with the North Koreans will lead to further research.

“这项合作能取得巨大成功,朝鲜政府发挥了不小的作用,”她说。她希望他们与朝鲜人共同获得的研究成果能带来进一步的研究。

“If we can understand the volcano’s history, what the volcano is capable of, only then can we start to make predictions of what it might do in the future.”

“只有了解了这座火山的历史与它的能力,我们才能开始就未来它会发生的事做出预测。”

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表