Climate change: Arctic reindeer numbers crash by half 氣候變化:北極馴鹿數量跌半

The population of Arctic reindeer has crashed more than half. Find out more about it in Media English.
What might have affected the decrease of wild reindeer in the Arctic?

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在過去的二十年間,北極地區的北美馴鹿(或野生馴鹿)的總數已驟減多半。一份關於北極地區氣候變化影響的新報告顯示,這類馴鹿的總數從近五百萬只下降到約二百一十萬隻。這項報告在美國地球物理聯盟(American Geophysical Union)會議上發表。

文字稿

A warmer Arctic and greener tundra might sound like good news for grazing animals. But the changes in the far north are actually making life much more challenging for wild reindeer.

更暖的北極和更鬱鬱蔥蔥的苔原帶對於草食動物來說似乎是個好消息。但在遙遠的北方,這些變化實際上使野生馴鹿的生存變得更加艱難。

The animals rely on low-growing lichens, which are being swamped by taller plants. And more rain, rather than snow, when it falls onto freezing ground, forms a hard layer of ice that the animals simply can’t push their noses through to feed.

這些動物靠矮生地衣為生,但地衣正被長得更高的植物沒過。同時,更多的降雨而非降雪使得雨滴落在凍土上時形成堅固的冰層,這樣一來馴鹿完全沒辦法把鼻子伸進去進食。

It’s also said that a good summer day for a human in the Arctic, still and warm, is a horrible day for the reindeer because they’re mobbed by the increasing number of insects. During warmer summers, the animals have to use so much energy to keep the flies away that they can’t sustain themselves. The same report revealed that sea ice continues to shrink, and that changes are fuelling extreme weather patterns further south.

也有人說,北極地區的一個寧靜而溫暖的夏日對於人類來說雖然是很舒適的,但對馴鹿來說卻很可怕,因為它們被日益增多的蟲子圍攻。在更溫暖的夏日裡,這些動物為驅趕蠅蟲,不得不消耗很多能量,以至於無法維持自身的生存需要。報告還顯示,海冰仍持續縮小,而且這些變化正在加劇更南邊地區的極端天氣模式。

1. 詞彙

tundra 苔原、凍原
grazing 草食的
reindeer 馴鹿(單複數形式相同)
low-growing 矮生的、低矮的
lichens 地衣
swamped 被沒過,被覆蓋
still 寧靜的
mobbed 被包圍、被圍攻
sustain 維持(生命)
fuelling 加劇、加強

2. 閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題。

1. What do wild reindeer in the Arctic feed on?

2. Why is a good summer day for a human in the Arctic horrible for the reindeer?

3. True or false? A warmer Arctic and greener tundra are making life much more difficult for wild reindeer.

4. Which word in the text means ‘very severe in degree’?

3. 答案

1. What do wild reindeer in the Arctic feed on?
They feed on low-growing lichens.

2. Why is a good summer day for a human in the Arctic horrible for the reindeer?
Because they’re mobbed by the increasing number of insects due to the weather. During warmer summers, the animals have to use so much energy to keep the flies away that they can’t sustain themselves.

3. True or false? A warmer Arctic and greener tundra are making life much more difficult for wild reindeer.
True. The changes in the far north are making life much more challenging for wild reindeer.

4. Which word in the text means ‘very severe in degree’?
Extreme.

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