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时间:2018-07-06 23:50来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

Animals at Risk from Increased Arctic1 Shipping2

The polar bear may be the animal most often identified with climate change, but it is far from the only creature at risk from rising temperatures.

The northernmost part of Earth is warming two to three times faster than the rest of the planet. This means the melting sea ice is opening new routes for shipping.

The melting ice has cleared space through the historically dangerous Northwest Passage, and the Northern Sea Route, along Russia's northern coast. This has sharply3 increased shipping in what was once a largely untouched ocean.

Donna Hauser is a marine4 biologist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Hauser says she and other people expect more ships to sail in Arctic waters.

“Part of what motivated the study is to understand where we're at and where we need to go."

Hauser says she was interested in studying the possible threat to Arctic marine mammals from shipping. Hauser says her hope was to protect both these animals and the people who depend on them.

"All of these species5 are really important traditional resources for indigenous6 communities throughout the Arctic as well as in Alaska and in the Alaskan Arctic, in particular."

Hauser and other researchers looked at seven Arctic species: beluga whales, narwhals, bowhead whales, ringed seals, bearded seals, walruses7, and polar bears. They created a risk measure that combined the general sensitivity8 of these animals and their contact with shipping.

The researchers limited their study to the month of September. This is when sea ice is at its lowest point and most ships pass through Arctic waters.

The study found that narwhals and other whales were most at risk to ship traffic during the late summer. Polar bears were the least at risk, with walruses and seals in between.

These findings did not surprise Randall Reeves, head of the Marine Mammal Commission9 Committee of Scientific Advisors10.

"They [narwhals and belugas] are used to living in an extremely quiet world," he told VOA.

The noise of ice-breaking boats and other ships is extremely unsettling to marine mammals, notes Kristin Laidre of the Polar Ice Center.

"That underwater noise is a disturbance11 for marine mammals, especially different whale species that rely on sound to pretty much do everything."

Laidre helped to prepare a report on the study.

Narwhals are at risk because they have more contact with ships in the Northwest Passage, which receives more shipping than the Northern Sea Route. This means they are the most at risk of all the Arctic marine mammals.

Polar bears, however, seem to be the most ready to deal with shipping during September.

"At that time of year," said Laidre, "polar bears tend to be either on land or they followed the pack ice north."

This means they did not have contact with the same level of noise as the marine mammals like whales and seals. They also, Hauser notes, are not as sensitive to noise from ships.

"They don't use sound in the same way as the other marine mammals do,” she said.

This is the first study to compare effects of increased ship traffic on major Arctic marine mammal species, and identify which animals might be most in need of protection.

"We're no longer in an Arctic state that was experienced by [1845 British Captain Sir John] Franklin or some of those early Western explorers," noted12 Hauser.

In order to help protect marine animals, the researchers suggest requiring ships to move at slower speeds to reduce the chance of striking13. They also proposed a limit on the amount of noise ships can make.

The Marine Mammal Commission’s Randall Reeves says that it is unrealistic to try and stop people from using Arctic passageways. However, by understanding which animals are at risk, researchers can help plan for the future.

I’m Phil Dierking.

Words in This Story

disturbance- n. something that stops you from working, sleeping, etc.?

indigenous - adj. produced, living, or existing naturally in a particular region or environment?

marine - adj. of or relating to the sea or the plants and animals that live in the sea?

motivate - v. to give (someone) a reason for doing something?

pack ice - n. large pieces of floating ice that have come together

route - n. a way to get from one place to another place?

tend - v. used to describe what often happens or what someone often does or is likely to do


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 shipping WESyg     
  • We struck a bargain with an American shipping firm.我们和一家美国船运公司谈成了一笔生意。
  • There's a shipping charge of £5 added to the price.价格之外另加五英镑运输费。
3 sharply UiRziL     
  • The plane dived sharply and rose again.飞机猛然俯冲而后又拉了起来。
  • Demand for personal computers has risen sharply.对个人电脑的需求急剧增长。
4 marine 77Izo     
  • Marine creatures are those which live in the sea. 海洋生物是生存在海里的生物。
  • When the war broke out,he volunteered for the Marine Corps.战争爆发时,他自愿参加了海军陆战队。
5 species FTizN     
  • Are we the only thinking species in the whole of creation?我们是万物中惟一有思想的物种吗?
  • This species of bird now exists only in Africa.这种鸟现在只存在于非洲。
6 indigenous YbBzt     
  • Each country has its own indigenous cultural tradition.每个国家都有自己本土的文化传统。
  • Indians were the indigenous inhabitants of America.印第安人是美洲的土著居民。
7 walruses 617292179d7a1988bfff06ba7b4f606b     
n.海象( walrus的名词复数 )
  • Walruses have enormous appetites and hunt for food almost constantly. 海象食欲极大,几乎一直在猎取食物。 来自互联网
  • Two Atlantic walruses snuggle on an ice floe near Igloolik, Nunavut, Canada. 加拿大努勒维特伊格卢利克附近,两头大西洋海象在浮冰上相互偎依。 来自互联网
8 sensitivity 4DtzQ     
  • Hearing sensitivity declines with age.听觉因年老而衰退。
  • Such is the sensitivity of the information that only two people are allowed to know it.这信息极为敏感,只允许两个人知道。
9 commission 1bkyS     
  • The salesman can get commission on everything he sells.这个售货员能得到所售每件货物的佣金。
  • The commission is made up of five people,including two women.委员会由五人组成,其中包括两名妇女。
10 advisors 9c02a9c1778f1533c47ade215559070d     
n.顾问,劝告者( advisor的名词复数 );(指导大学新生学科问题等的)指导教授
  • The governors felt that they were being strung along by their advisors. 地方长官感到他们一直在受顾问们的愚弄。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • We will consult together with advisors about her education. 我们将一起和专家商议她的教育事宜。 来自互联网
11 disturbance BsNxk     
  • He is suffering an emotional disturbance.他的情绪受到了困扰。
  • You can work in here without any disturbance.在这儿你可不受任何干扰地工作。
12 noted 5n4zXc     
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
13 striking PhbzAL     
  • There is a striking difference between Jane and Mary.简和玛丽之间有显著的差异。
  • What is immediately striking is how resourceful the children are.最令人注目的是孩子们的机智聪明。
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