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每日跟讀#673: Things to know about Greenland

冰天雪地格陵蘭 川普眼中的黃金地產

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#673: Things to know about Greenland

US President Donald Trump earlier confirmed he was keen to buy Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory rich in natural resources and of increasing geopolitical relevance as the Arctic ice sheet melts.

美國總統唐納.川普明白表示他亟欲買下格陵蘭。該島為丹麥的自治區,自然資源豐富;隨著北極冰蓋逐漸融化,格陵蘭在地緣政治上也愈顯重要。

Trump’s bid for Greenland was not a first for the US. In 1867, the State Department expressed interest in the island, and in 1946 former US president Harry Truman offered US$100 million in gold, or parts of Alaska, in exchange for Greenland.

川普此次開口,並非美國第一次想買下格陵蘭。一八六七年,美國國務院便表達了對該島的興趣;一九四六年,美國前總統哈利.杜魯門為取得格陵蘭島,出價等值一億美元的黃金,也提出以阿拉斯加的部分地區為交換。

But last week Denmark, a NATO ally, swiftly retorted that the island, located between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, is not for sale, prompting Trump to cancel a planned state visit.

但在上週,美國在北大西洋公約組織的盟國丹麥旋即反駁川普說,格陵蘭這座位於北大西洋和北極海之間的島嶼是非賣品,這讓川普憤而取消原訂訪問丹麥的計畫。

The name “Greenland” is misleading as the 2 million square km island, the world’s largest island that is not a continent, has three quarters bordering the Arctic Ocean and is 85 percent covered in ice. Greenland was a Danish colony until 1953, when it became part of the Danish realm. In 1979, it gained “autonomous territory” status. Today, the island’s economy depends heavily on subsidies from Copenhagen.

「Greenland」(「格陵蘭」,字面意義為「綠色的土地」)這個名稱很容易讓人誤解,因為它是個面積有兩百萬平方公里的島嶼,也是世界上最大的非大陸島嶼,有四分之三的海岸線臨北極海、百分之八十五的面積覆蓋著冰。格陵蘭在一九五三年之前是丹麥的殖民地,之後才成為丹麥領土。一九七九年,格陵蘭取得「自治區」的地位。現今,該島的經濟極度仰賴哥本哈根的補助。

Greenland has been essential to US defense since World War II, when it was a base for monitoring Nazi ships and submarines passing through the Arctic on their way to the north Atlantic. In 1943, the US Air Force built its farthest-north air base at Thule, crucial during the Cold War as a first line of monitoring against a potential Russian attack.

自第二次世界大戰以來,格陵蘭一直是美國國防不可或缺的一環。它是二戰時期美國在北極的基地,以監視納粹借道北極、駛向北大西洋的船隻和潛艇。一九四三年,美國在格陵蘭的圖勒建立了美國空軍最北的基地,在第一線監測俄羅斯可能發動的攻擊,這在冷戰時期至關重要。

As the polar ice sheet melts, opening up potentially major shipping routes, other global powers have moved in. Russia has become more active, and, while it has no geographical claim to the region, China has also begun to show interest in the region. China’s massive commercial shipping industry would benefit from the new polar routes.

隨著極地冰蓋融化,有潛力成為主要航運路線的水路也開闢出來,全球其他強權紛紛湧入。

俄羅斯變得更加積極,新崛起的中國也開始對北極地區表示興趣,雖然中國對該地區並無主張領土。新的北極航線將會讓中國龐大的航運業受益。

This massive territory is also on the front line of melting Arctic ice in a region that is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

北極的暖化速度是地球其他地方的兩倍,冰凍的北極正逐漸融化。而格陵蘭這片巨大的土地,正位於北極的最前線。

According to the World Meteorological Organization, Greenland’s ocean levels are rising by about 3.3mm per year.

If Greenland’s ice sheet were to disappear completely, it would raise the ocean level by 7m.

世界氣象組織的報告指出,格陵蘭的海平面每年持續上升約三點三公釐。

如果格陵蘭的冰蓋完全融化,將會使海平面升高七公尺。

Nonetheless, Greenland’s melting ice has a silver lining. Greenland’s subsoil is rich in gold, rubies and uranium, as well as iron, aluminium, nickel, platinum, tungsten, titanium, and copper, which could attract foreign investment.

Although Trump failed to buy Greenland, the US government is opening a consulate in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, next year; the last time the US had a consulate in Greenland was from 1940 to 1953.

儘管如此,格陵蘭冰層的融化還是有那麼一點好處。格陵蘭的底土富含金、紅寶石和鈾,以及鐵、鋁、鎳、鉑、鎢、鈦和銅,這些都可以吸引外國投資。雖然川普購買格陵蘭未果,但美國政府計畫明年在格陵蘭首府努克設立領事館;上次美國在格陵蘭設有領事館,是在一九四○年至一九五三年之間。

Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2019/08/27/2003721166/2

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