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撒哈拉飘雪:黄沙中的银白世界

更新时间:2018-1-10 23:14:29 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Snow in the Sahara Creates White-Capped Dunes of Eerie Beauty
撒哈拉飘雪:黄沙中的银白世界

The orange dunes frosted with snow look at first as though they could be images from a frozen moon circling some distant planet.

橘黄色沙丘上盖了一层雪,一眼望去仿佛绕着某个遥远星球旋转的卫星上的冰冻世界。

In fact, the rolling hills with the alien-looking white peaks were formed by a more earthly — if unusual — phenomenon: snow in the Sahara.

事实上,绵延起伏的山丘上那些看起来有些陌生的白色山顶,更多是地球上会有——只是有些不寻常——的现象塑造的:撒哈拉沙漠的雪。

According to news reports in Algeria, about 15 inches of snow fell on Sunday in the region of Aïn Séfra, in the northwest of the country.

根据阿尔及利亚的新闻报道,周日时,该国西北部的艾因塞夫拉地区有大约15英寸(约合38厘米)的降雪。

Unforgivingly hot in the day, but freezing during the night, the Sahara is renowned for its extreme temperatures. Experts said snowfall was rare — though nobody knows quite how rare, because the desert is so vast and there are comparatively few monitoring facilities.

白天热得难以忍受,晚上却是冷得彻骨,撒哈拉沙漠以其极端气温著称。专家表示,降雪十分罕见——但是因为沙漠太过广阔且监控设备相对较少,没人知道究竟有多么罕见。

“In the Sahara, the problem is humidity, not the temperatures,” Stefan Kröpelin, a geologist at the University of Cologne in Germany who has been researching the Saharan climate for years, said in a telephone interview.

“在撒哈拉沙漠,问题不在温度,而是湿度,”对撒哈拉气候有多年研究的德国科隆大学(University of Cologne)地质学家斯特凡·克勒佩林(Stefan Kröpelin)在电话采访中说道。

“The Sahara is as large as the United States, and there are very few weather stations,” he added. “So it’s ridiculous to say that this is the first, second, third time it snowed, as nobody would know how many times it has snowed in the past unless they were there.”

“撒哈拉沙漠和美国一样大,而气象站非常少,”他补充说。“所以,要说这是撒哈拉第一次、第二次或第三次下雪都是很荒唐的,因为没人知道过去曾经下了几场雪,除非他们在场。”

Rein Haarsma, a climate researcher at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, cautioned against ascribing the white-capped dunes to changing temperatures because of pollution.

荷兰皇家气象研究所(Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute)的气候研究员赖因·哈斯马(Rein Haarsma)警告,不要把沙丘的白色丘顶归咎于污染引起的气温变化。

“It’s rare, but it’s not that rare,” said Mr. Haarsma said in an interview. “There is exceptional weather at all places, and this did not happen because of climate change.”

“这很罕见,但没那么罕见,”哈斯马在采访中说。“哪里都有异常气象,而这并不是气候变化引起的。”

The snow fell in the Sahara at altitudes of more than 3,000 feet, where temperatures are low anyway. But Mr. Haarsma said cold air blowing in from the North Atlantic was responsible.

撒哈拉的降雪地区海拔在3000英尺以上,那里的气温本来就很低。但哈斯马表示这是由从北大西洋吹来的冷空气造成的。

Those icy blasts usually sweep into Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, Mr. Haarsma explained, but in this case, high-pressure systems over the Continent had diverted the weather much farther south.

哈斯马解释说,这些冰冷的强风通常会吹往斯堪的纳维亚和欧洲其他地区,但这一次,欧洲大陆的高压系统使气象往更加遥远的南方转移。

Kamel Sekkouri, who grew up in the Aïn Séfra area, said he had seen snow there five times in the past 40 years.

在艾因塞夫拉地区长大的卡迈勒·塞科里(Kamel Sekkouri)说,在过去的40年里他在这个地方见过五次雪。

He described the scene as “incredible, unbelievable, magical, sensational.”

他称这场景“美妙、惊人、神奇、震撼”。

“When you walk in the snowy dunes, you feel like you are in Mars or Uranus,” he added.

“当你走在白雪皑皑的山丘上,感觉就像自己身处火星或天王星,”他还说。

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