世界之巅的消融

波茨坦——1845年,英国皇家海军上尉约翰·富兰克林爵士率领128人,乘两艘蒸汽铁皮船厄瑞波斯号和恐怖号驶入北极,最后不知去向。这次航行到现在仍是史上极地考察最震撼的悲剧之一,也将长达四个世纪西北通道(跨越北冰洋实现欧亚直航)失败的探索努力推向了高潮。

今天,一场更加惨痛的北极悲剧正在上演:北极地区的海洋冰盖正在融化。上个月,几十年的逐渐消融造成了史无前例的冰盖存量新低。其实1980年代后海洋冰盖区已经缩减了一半,那时的夏季海冰还可以覆盖约7百万平方公里的面积,而现在却只剩下4百万。冰盖面积萎缩至少已经持续1500年了

2007年,人类自有记忆以来西北航道第一次摆脱了海冰的困扰。包括游轮在内的大小船只从那时起可以在夏天畅通无阻。

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