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每日跟讀#670: Arctic wildfires spew soot and smoke cloud bigger than EU

北極圈野火蔓延 範圍已超過歐盟大小

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#670: Arctic wildfires spew soot and smoke cloud bigger than EU

A cloud of smoke and soot bigger than the EU is billowing across Siberia as wildfires in the Arctic Circle rage into an unprecedented third month. The normally frozen region, which is a crucial part of the planet’s cooling system, is spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and worsening the manmade climate disruption that created the tinderbox conditions.

隨著北極圈內多起野火持續肆虐,史無前例地延燒了三個月,煙霧和煤灰形成的烏雲範圍已超過整個歐盟面積,並且如波濤般席捲西伯利亞。這片平常結凍的地區,是地球冷卻系統中至關緊要的一部分,現在卻不斷將二氧化碳噴入大氣層。人為的氣候擾亂原本就已造成一觸即發的危險情勢,卻又因此更加惡化。

A spate of huge fires in northern Russia, Alaska, Greenland and Canada discharged 50 megatonnes of CO2 in June and 79 megatonnes in July, far exceeding the previous record for the Arctic. The intensity of the blazes continues with 25 megatonnes in the first 11 days of August — extending the duration beyond even the most persistent fires in the 17-year dataset of Europe’s satellite monitoring system.

在俄國北部、阿拉斯加、格陵蘭以及加拿大陸續爆發的大火,在六月釋放出五千萬噸的二氧化碳,七月更增加到七千九百萬噸,遠超過北極圈先前的紀錄。在八月一號開始的十一天內,熊熊火焰的強度持續釋放出兩千五百萬噸的二氧化碳──延燒時間甚至已超過歐洲衛星監測系統十七年來的資料組中最頑劣的大火紀錄。

Mark Parrington, a scientist in the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, said the previous record was just a few weeks. “We haven’t seen this before,” he said. “The fire intensity is still well above average.” He said the affected regions previously registered unusually high temperatures and a low level of soil moisture, which created the perfect conditions for ignition. Globally, June and July were the hottest months ever measured.

哥白尼大氣監控機構的科學家馬克‧派靈頓表示,先前的紀錄僅有數週之久,「我們從未看過這般景象。」他更指出:「野火的劇烈程度仍然遠高於平均。」派靈頓表示,遭到肆虐的地區先前都記錄到不尋常的高溫和低土壤濕度,這些都是引燃大火的最佳條件。在全球方面,今年六月和七月已成為測量溫度最高的兩個月份。

The Earth observation scientist Josef Aschbacher said that in Siberia alone, the two-month inferno had destroyed 4.3 million hectares of taiga forest. The smoke has spread further still. Antti Lipponen, of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, estimates the affected area at 5 million square kilometers. “For comparison, the area of EU is about 4.5 million square kilometers and the area of contiguous US about 8.1 million square kilometers,” he tweeted.

地球觀測科學家約瑟夫‧亞許巴赫表示,光是在西伯利亞當地,持續兩個月的火焰煉獄已摧毀四百三十萬公頃的北方針葉林。煙霧則向外擴散得更遠。芬蘭氣象研究所的專家安堤‧利波寧哥估計,受影響的區域可達到五百萬平方公里。他在推特上表示:「作為對照,歐盟的佔地面積約為四百五十萬平方公里,而美國本土地區約為八百一十萬平方公里。」

The cloud is billowing northeast and is forecast to reach Alaska, where this year’s fires have already scorched an area bigger than all the wildfires that devastated California last year. Carly Phillips, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said Alaskan fires had burned 7.32 million hectares of forest since 2000, more than double the amount over the previous 20 years.

這片煙霧正在向東北方洶湧翻騰,預計將抵達阿拉斯加,當地今年遭到祝融肆虐燒焦的區域大小早已超過去年摧殘加州的全部野火總合。「憂思科學家聯盟」的成員卡莉‧菲力普斯指出,自從二○○○年以來,阿拉斯加發生的火災已焚毀七百三十二萬公頃的森林,超過千禧年前二十年的兩倍。

“Carbon emissions from these wildfires could exacerbate climate warming for decades to come,” she wrote in a blogpost. “Alaska’s ecosystems store huge quantities of carbon both as permafrost and soil that has accumulated over millennia. Wildfires destabilize these stores of carbon by combusting soil and accelerating permafrost thaw, both of which release heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere.”

卡莉‧菲力普斯在部落格文章中寫道:「來自這些野火的碳排放量恐怕會加劇未來幾十年的氣候暖化」她進一步解釋:「阿拉斯加的生態系在數千年來累積的永凍層和土壤中,儲存了大量的碳。野火會因為燃燒土壤,並且加速永凍層解凍,使得這些碳儲存變得不穩定,這兩個過程都會將吸熱氣體釋放到大氣層中。

The black soot also settles on what is left of the Arctic ice, weakening its ability to reflect the heat of the sun. In Greenland, satellite images this month revealed fires stretching across an area 380km wide, adding to the pressures of an Arctic heatwave that caused a record melt-off of the world’s second biggest ice sheet.

黑色的煤灰也會附著在北極圈殘留的冰上,讓冰塊反射太陽高溫的能力減弱。這個月的衛星照片顯示,格陵蘭多起火災的範圍橫跨三百八十公里寬。北極圈近日一場熱浪,造成世界第二大的冰層發生破紀錄的大量融冰,這些火災無疑是對此壓力火上加油。

Since the start of the year, more than 13.1 million hectares have burned, according to Greenpeace, which says this has released as much carbon dioxide as a year’s worth of exhaust fumes from 36 million cars. The Arctic is not the only afflicted region. So far this year, the EU has had 1,600 fires bigger than 30 hectares, which is four times the annual average over the previous decade, according to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.

綠色和平組織表示,今年初以來已有超過一千三百點一萬公頃的林地遭到焚毀,這些火災釋放出的二氧化碳相當於三千六百萬台車輛一整年的廢氣排放量總和。根據哥白尼大氣監控機構的資料顯示,今年至今,歐盟國家已發生一千六百多起燃燒範圍超過三十公頃的火災,比上一個十年的年平均值超出四倍。

Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/08/25/2003721057/2

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