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美国国家公共电台 NPR How A Shorter Sea Ice Season Is Changing Life In The Arctic

时间:2018-12-17 07:40来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]



People who grew up in the Arctic1 have seen dramatic2 effects - the dramatic effects of climate change during their lifetimes. One example - the northernmost town in the United States used to have a coastline that was edged with sea ice for nearly the whole year. But that period is getting shorter and shorter. From Alaska's Energy Desk, Ravenna Koenig has the story.

RAVENNA KOENIG, BYLINE3: The town of Utqiagvik sits right on the edge of the Arctic Ocean at the very top of Alaska. It's home to about 4,400 people, including Billy Adams, an Inupiaq hunter who's lived there his whole life.

BILLY ADAMS: We've seen big changes.

KOENIG: Adams is in his 50s. And he says that when he was growing up, by now, he'd probably be a mile or two out on the ice that had attached to the coastline, hunting ringed seals. Inupiaq hunters eat ringed seal meat, use the skin for clothing and the oil to build handmade boats. In order to hunt the ringed seals out on the ice, it has to be thick and stable enough to support a hunter's weight.

When you were growing up, when did you usually have that ice by?

ADAMS: We would have it by, you know, October - mid-October.

KOENIG: This year in October, instead of ice, there were waves crashing onshore. Now it's December. And for the past month or so, ice has been forming in fits and starts. Rick Thoman is a climatologist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He says Utqiagvik is warming, along with the rest of the Arctic, about twice as fast as the rest of the globe. And if you want to see some of the most dramatic change on the ground, the Utqiagvik coastline in the fall is a good place to look.

RICK THOMAN: If you get in your time machine and you go back to 1965 or 1940 or 1900 and you're on the beach at Utqiagvik, in the autumn, you're looking out at a white sea.

KOENIG: Back then, pieces from the big mass of ice that was able to remain frozen4 all summer on the Arctic Ocean would start getting blown to shore in the fall. That would cool things down and help to form even more ice along the coastline.

THOMAN: That's all changed now.

KOENIG: That massive5 ice has shrunk6 so that now it's hundreds of miles offshore7 in the fall, too far to be blown in.

THOMAN: And so we've moved into a situation now where we have to make our own ice, so to speak.

KOENIG: In other words, the ice has to form in place along the coast without the help of that other ice. And that takes more time. One big problem that Utqiagvik is facing as a result is increased coastal8 erosion9. Declining10 sea ice allows for higher waves during storms and leaves the shoreline unprotected for more of the year. Local officials are concerned about future storm damage to roads, the town's drinking water and a decommissioned military landfill site near the beach.

Billy Adams says that, for him, the ice is also personal. It serves as a place to pray, gather his thoughts and heal11.

Do you ever worry that future generations won't get that?

ADAMS: You know, I'm not going to worry about it right now. You know, that's not in my thoughts right now. I'm not going to worry, you know? They're going to do fine, you know? We have to be positive.

KOENIG: Adams says that hunters are adapting to the change, like waiting for ringed seals to come close to shore and hunting them from the beach. Researchers expect the Arctic to keep warming and the ice season here to get shorter and shorter in the years to come. For NPR News, I'm Ravenna Koenig in Utqiagvik, Alaska.



1 Arctic czLzw     
  • They flew over the unlimited reaches of the Arctic.他们飞过了茫茫无边的北极上空。
  • The sort of animal lived in the Arctic Circle.这种动物生活在北极圈里。
2 dramatic 1sexY     
  • She plays a very dramatic woman with flashing eyes.她饰演一位双眼闪光的引人注目的妇人。
  • His speech was dramatic.他的演说激动人心。
3 byline sSXyQ     
  • His byline was absent as well.他的署名也不见了。
  • We wish to thank the author of this article which carries no byline.我们要感谢这篇文章的那位没有署名的作者。
4 frozen 2sVz6q     
  • He was frozen to death on a snowing night.在一个风雪的晚上,他被冻死了。
  • The weather is cold and the ground is frozen.天寒地冻。
5 massive QBRx2     
  • A massive sea search has failed to find any survivors.经过大规模的海上搜救仍未找到幸存者。
  • He drank a massive amount of alcohol.他喝了大量的烈酒。
6 shrunk shrunk     
  • I confess it with shame--shrunk icily into myself, like a snail. 我羞愧地忏悔了——冷冰冰地退缩,像个蜗牛。
  • The peasantry has shrunk from 74.6 millions to 65.5. 农民人数已从7460万减至6550万。
7 offshore FIux8     
  • A big program of oil exploration has begun offshore.一个大规模的石油勘探计划正在近海展开。
  • A gentle current carried them slowly offshore.和缓的潮流慢慢地把他们带离了海岸。
8 coastal WWiyh     
  • The ocean waves are slowly eating away the coastal rocks.大海的波浪慢慢地侵蚀着岸边的岩石。
  • This country will fortify the coastal areas.该国将加强沿海地区的防御。
9 erosion NoGxQ     
  • The erosion of beach here is serious.这里海岸的腐蚀很严重。
  • Drought and soil erosion had long been a major problem.干旱和水土流失一直是个老大难问题。
10 declining nubzzD     
  • The nub of the matter is that business is declining. 事情的实质是工商业在萎缩。
  • It is encouraging to read that illiteracy is declining. 从读报中了解文盲情况正在好转,这是令人鼓舞的。
11 heal Fd9xt     
  • Time helped heal the old wounds.时间有助于治愈旧创伤。
  • This wound will soon heal if yon keep it clean.如果你保持伤口清洁,它很快就会痊愈。
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