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北极海冰大幅消融,40年来最少

更新时间:2017-3-24 10:30:16 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Arctic’s Winter Sea Ice Drops to Its Lowest Recorded Level
北极海冰大幅消融,40年来最少

After a season that saw temperatures soar at the North Pole, the Arctic has less sea ice at winter’s end than ever before in nearly four decades of satellite measurements.

在北极气温骤升的冬季结束时,北极的海冰是进行卫星测量的近40年里最少的。

The extent of ice cover — a record low for the third straight year — is another indicator of the effects of global warming on the Arctic, a region that is among the hardest hit by climate change, scientists said.

冰层的覆盖范围——连续第三年创历史最低——是全球变暖对北极影响的另一个指标。科学家称,北极是受气候变化影响最大的地区之一。

“This is just another exclamation point on the overall loss of Arctic sea ice coverage that we’ve been seeing,” said Mark Serreze, the director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, a government-backed research agency in Boulder, Colo. “We’re heading for summers with no sea ice coverage at all.”

“这只是我们看到的北极海冰覆盖范围总体缩减再次发出的警告,”美国科罗拉多州博尔德由政府支持的研究机构国家冰雪数据中心(National Snow and Ice Data Center)主任马克·塞雷泽(Mark Serreze)说。“我们即将迎来完全没有海冰覆盖的夏季。”

Dr. Serreze said that such a situation, which would leave nothing but open ocean in summer until fall freeze-up begins, could occur by 2030, although many scientists say it may not happen for a decade or two after that.

塞雷泽称,海面上畅通无阻,直到秋天开始结冰这种情况可能会在2030年之前出现,不过很多科学家认为,这种情况也许要再晚10年或20年才会出现。

The melting of sea ice does not raise sea levels, but loss of ice coverage can disrupt ecosystems. For example, it can affect the timing of blooms of phytoplankton, the microscopic organisms at the bottom of the ocean food chain.

海冰融化不会导致海平面上升,但冰层覆盖范围的缩减可能会扰乱生态系统。比如,它可能会影响浮游植物盛放的时间。这种微生物位于海洋食物链的最底层。

Less ice coverage also means that there is more dark ocean to absorb more of the sun’s energy, which leads to more warming and melting in a feedback loop called Arctic amplification.

冰层覆盖面积减小也意味着吸收的太阳能量更多的海域增加。这会进一步导致变暖和海冰融化,形成一个叫作“北极放大效应”(Arctic amplification)的反馈循环。

The data center said on Wednesday that sea ice in the Arctic had reached maximum extent, of about 5.5 million square miles, on March 7. That is an area nearly twice the size of Australia, but about 470,000 square miles less than the average maximum from 1981 to 2010.

国家冰雪数据中心周三称,北极的海冰覆盖范围在3月7日达到了最大,约为550万平方英里(约合1400万平方公里)。这个面积几乎相当于澳大利亚的两倍,但和1981年到2010年的平均最大面积相比,减少了大约47万平方英里。

Much of the ice also appears to be thinner than normal, Dr. Serreze said, another result of the unusually warm temperatures in the Arctic this winter.

塞雷泽说,很多冰层似乎也比正常水平薄。这是北极这个冬天异常温暖的另一个结果。

Late last fall, parts of the Arctic were more than 35 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than observed averages, and at the pole itself, mean temperatures for November were 23 degrees above normal. There were similar temperature spikes in December and this year.

去年晚秋,北极部分地区的气温比观察到的平均温度高出了逾35华氏度(约合1.7摄氏度),在极点,11月的平均温度比平常高出了23度。12月和今年也出现了类似的气温飙升。

“The Arctic Ocean was extremely warm over the winter, and there was a very impressive series of heat waves,” Dr. Serreze said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

“这个冬天,北冰洋非常温暖,还出现了一系列强有力的热浪,”塞雷泽博士说,“我以前从没见过这样的情况。”

Less coverage and thinner ice mean that this summer’s minimum, which is expected to occur in September, is likely to be low. But there is no direct link between the maximum in March and the minimum after the melting season, said Walt Meier, a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory.

面积越来越小的海冰和越来越薄的冰层,意味着将于今年夏天9月出现的最小覆盖面积很可能会极低。但瓦尔特·迈耶(Walt Meier)表示,目前3月的最大覆盖面积和冰雪融化季节过后的最小覆盖面积之间没有直接关系。迈耶是NASA戈达德太空飞行中心冰冻圈科学实验室(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory)研究员。

“Just because it’s a record low maximum, there’s no prediction it will be a record low minimum in September,” Dr. Meier said. “But while a lot can happen in the summer, when you start out at such a low level, you’re not going to get a very high minimum.”

“最大覆盖面积创历史新低,并不代表9月的最小覆盖面积也会出现历史新低,”迈耶博士说。“虽然夏天会出现很多变化,由于一开始的水平很低,后来也就不会出现数值较高的最小覆盖面积。”

Dr. Meier said that in addition to the low overall ice extent, some parts of the Arctic were almost completely devoid of ice this winter, including the Barents Sea off Norway and Russia.

迈耶博士说除了总体冰覆盖面积较小之外,这个冬季,北极圈的一些地方几乎完全没有海冰覆盖,包括挪威和俄罗斯的巴伦支海。

“We haven’t seen much there at all,” he said, “and what there is will melt very quickly.”

“我们在那里基本上没看到什么海冰,”他说,“就算那里有,也会很快融化。”

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