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如果我们重新冻结北极会怎样?

What If We Could Refreeze the Arctic?

The Arctic might soon become completely ice-free
北极可能很快就会完全解冻
And when all of this ice is gone
当北极所有的冰都融化掉
The world won’t be the same
世界将会变得不一样
But what if I told you
但如果我告诉你
there was a way to prevent this real happening
有个方法可以避免它真正发生
And that we can do it
那就是
By geoengineering some artificial icebergs
通过地球工程来建造人造冰山
This is What If
这里是《自然无常》
and here is what happen
本期我们要探索的是:
if we could refreeze the Arctic?
如果我们重新冰冻北极会怎样?
Over the last thirty years
在过去的30年里
the Arctic has lost almost all of its oldest, thickest ice.
最古老厚实的北极冰几乎都融化了
Now, 70% of the Arctic
现在 70%的北极地区
is covered with thin seasonal ice caps
都被较薄的季节性冰盖所覆盖
that shrink in the summer and grow back in the winter.
它们在夏季回缩 冬季扩张
By some estimates, if the Earth Continue to grow hotter
据估计 如果地球继续升温
the Arctic could lose all its summer ice by the year 2030.
北极的夏季冰将在2030全部融化
And this would affect more than just the Arctic
而这不仅会影响到北极地区
The Arctic works like a global freezer,
北极就像全球的冰库
keeping the planet cool.
保持着地球的凉爽
Take all of that ice away,
如果北极冰全都消融了
and the weather patterns around the globe
全球的天气形态
would change in a very unpredictable way.
将会发生难以预测的变化
But it doesn’t have to end like this.
但并不一定非要发展成这样
We could step in
我们可以行动起来
and regrow some of the Arctic ice.
让一些北极冰川再次生长
but how exactly would we go about it?
但我们究竟要怎样做呢?
The answer lies in geoengineering.
答案是地球工程
We could bring the ice back to the Arctic
我们可以借助巨大的风力泵
with the help of huge wind-powered pumps.
把冰送回北极
10 million of them to be precise.
精确地说我们需要一千万个泵
The pumps would spread seawater onto the glaciers
这个泵可以把海水喷洒在冰川上
where it would freeze and form a new layer of ice.
海水冻结后就会形成一个新的冰层
Over one Arctic winter,
历时一个北极的寒冬后
the pumps would add another meter of thickness to the ice caps.
泵会使冰盖加厚一米
But this would come with a price tag of 500 billion dollars
但这将会花费5000亿美元
And even though that’s less than 1% of the world’s gross domestic product
尽管这还不到全球生产总值的1%
some governments might consider the price too high.
但一些政府还是可能觉得这个费用十分昂贵
But there are other ways.
不过也有其他办法
The polar ice keeps the planet cool
极地的冰川将太阳的能量反射回太空
by reflecting the Sun’s energy back into space
而没有吸收它们
rather than absorbing it.
从而维持地球的凉爽
This is known as the albedo effect.
这就是著名的反照效应
We could help the young Arctic ice to reflect more sunlight
我们可以用微小而闪亮的二氧化硅微球
by covering it with small, shiny silica microspheres.
覆盖在新生的冰上 以反射更多太阳光
These powder like microbeads aren’t toxic,
这些像微珠一样的粉末是无毒的
and their chemical and physical properties are similar to sand.
它们的化学和物理属性类似于沙子
It would cost us just $300 million
只需3亿美元
to sprinkle 25,000 square kilometer of the Arctic.
就可以覆盖住北极25000平方公里的土地
But that would only cover less than 1% of all the ice there.
但这还不到极地冰川1%的面积
And we’re talking about
而我们正在讨论
dumping millions of tons of silica over the Arctic
向北极投放上百万吨二氧化硅
that would sink to the bottom of the ocean when the ice melted.
当冰层融化时 它们会下沉到海底
We don’t know yet what ecological impact
我们不知道它是否会随时间推移
it might cause over time.
而对生态造成影响
Would you want to risk losing the Arctic
你想在进行更多的实验之前
before performing more tests?
就冒上失去北极的风险吗?
I didn’t think so.
我可不这么认为
We could leave the ice alone
我们可以不从冰川下手
and try cutting off the Sun’s rays by using the clouds.
而尝试用云层阻挡阳光
But they would have to be very thick
但它们必须非常厚
to reflect the sunlight efficiently enough.
才能有效地反射阳光
This could be solved by seeding the clouds above the Arctic
这个问题可以通过在北极上空撒盐水
with droplets of saltwater.
帮助成云的方法来解决
All we’d have to do is figure out
我们只需要知道
how to deliver an ultra-fine seawater mist into the lower atmosphere.
怎么才能向低层大气中输送超细海水雾
Or, we could go further
又或许 我们可以更进一步
and start growing icebergs.
开始使冰山生长
First, we’d dip submarines below the surface of the ocean
第一步 我们将潜艇沉到海面以下
and fill a tank with seawater.
将海水灌满容器
An onboard desalination system
然后用舰载海水淡化系统
would remove the salt from the water,
把盐从水中分离出来
and then a giant freezing machine would form icebergs
然后用一个巨大的冷冻机将其变成
5 meters thick and 25 meters wide.
一座5米厚 25米宽的冰山
But despite how cool it sounds,
虽然这听起来很不错
the amount of energy required to power the operation,
但运行机器所消耗的能量
and the heat it would release,
和它所释放的热量
might negate any benefits of restoring the Arctic ice.
可能会抵消掉恢复北极冰川所带来的好处
So should we even bother trying?
那我们还应该试试吗?
We could just quietly watch the Arctic
我们也可以静观北极冰川
lose its ice to climate change,
因气候变化而消融
until eventually there wouldn’t be any ice left at all.
直到最后化为乌有
As temperatures rose,
随着气温的逐渐上升
the Arctic permafrost would melt
北极的永冻层也将会融化
and release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
并向大气中释放出更多二氧化碳
That would increase the global temperatures even further.
进一步加剧全球变暖
The weather patterns across the planet would be sent off course,
全球的天气形态将偏离其固定模式
resulting in more floods, more droughts, and more heatwaves.
导致更多的洪灾 干旱和热浪
Some scientists even believe that
一些科学家甚至认为
the ice-free Arctic would bring harsher winters to Europe and North America.
无冰的北极会使欧洲和北美的冬天更加严寒
And who knows what else could happen?
谁知道还会发生些什么呢?
Without ice to rest on,
没有冰层以供停留
polar bears would be forced to swim around
北极熊将被迫只能在水中游来游去
instead of conserving their energy during times when food can be hard to find.
无法在食物紧缺期保存能量
That would result in their population dropping
这将导致它们的数量在2050年前
to less than 10,000 by 2050.
就降至不到一万只
It would be fantastic if we could refreeze the Arctic.
如果我们能重新冰冻北极就好了
We should at least try to refreeze a small portion of it.
至少应该试着重新冻结一小部分
But that would be only a temporary bandage
但如果我们对那些最初导致冰川融化的行为
if we continue doing the things
不加以制止
that caused the ice to melt in the first place.
这也不过是杯水车薪
It really comes down to us making a collective effort
这需要我们共同努力
to switch to renewable energy sources and energy-efficient appliances,
使用可再生能源和节能电器
to cut back on the amount of meat we eat,
减少荤菜食用量
to stop throwing food away, to reduce water waste,
不再浪费食物 浪费水
and to buy electric, or at least fuel-efficient cars.
购买电动或低油耗汽车
It’s up to us to help our planet
保护地球依赖于我们每个人的努力
And if that’s not enough,
如果这还不够
remember that you have a right to demand policies that reflect climate science.
记住 你有权要求制定反映气候科学的政策
Together, we could undo climate change globally
只要我们共同努力 就可以解决全球气候变化问题
before it’s too late.
趁现在还来得及
And if we don’t start acting now,
如果我们现在还不行动
we might have to leave the Earth
可能将被迫离开地球
and search for another planet to call home.
另外寻找一颗能够生存的星球
But that’s a story for another WHAT IF.
但那就是《自然无常》的另一个故事了

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视频概述

近几年,全球气温升高,这给北极海冰带来了灾难。为应对北极海冰的灾难性损失,研究人员提出了一些解决方案……

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28QUkxheyCc

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