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新一代兒童週報/全球各地野火不斷

2018-09-06 15:04聯合新聞網 新一代兒童週報

氣候變遷也是全球野火發生頻率增加的主要原因。 (美聯社)
氣候變遷也是全球野火發生頻率增加的主要原因。 (美聯社)
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希臘馬提,天火焚村

On July 23rd, wildfires spread across a small town near Athens, the capital of Greece. The fires, the worst in more than a decade, began and spread so quickly that many in the small town of Mati did not have a chance to escape. More than 80 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. Wildfires are not unique to Greece. They occur all around the world.

7月23日這天,一場野火席捲了希臘首都雅典附近的小城馬提村。這場近十幾年來最嚴重的火災發生快、散布也快,很多村民來不及逃難,造成逾80人死亡、數百人受傷。然而,野火並非希臘獨有,世界各角落都可能發生。

加州野火、優勝美地關閉

At nearly the same time as the Greek wildfires, visitors to the Yosemite National Park in California, USA were forced to abandon their summer holiday plans when a huge wildfire spread close to the park. Park officials announced that Yosemite was not under immediate danger but still evacuated campers and visitors for their own safety. The last time the park was closed due to wildfire was in 1990.

差不多就在希臘野火發生的同時,造訪美國加州優勝美地國家公園的遊客也被迫放棄夏日度假計畫,因為一場大型的野火已經延燒到附近。管理當局發出公告,認為優勝美地國家公園未有立即危險,但基於安全考量,仍將露營者和遊客撤離。優勝美地上一次因野火而關閉,要上溯至1990年。

天乾物燥、助燃溫床

Wildfires, also known as forest fires, grass fires and brush fires, are uncontrolled fires that happen outdoors across large areas of land. They are most common in warm and dry climates, such as in Australia and the US, where fire can spread most easily. Once a wildfire begins, it can last for many days or even weeks. Wildfires are so destructive that entire forests can be lost to the burn.

野火又名森林火災、草原火災或叢林火災,這種火災不受控制,發生在戶外,燃燒範圍擴及大範圍土地。野火常見於澳洲、美國等氣候溫暖、乾燥地區。這類天候有助於火勢擴散。野火一旦發生,火勢可延續數日甚至數週。野火具毀滅性,整座森林經常因此遭到火噬。

天災人禍、肇因多元

Fires can start in many ways. Often they begin naturally from lightning. When lightning strikes dry vegetation in a forest, even a small spark can lead to fire. People also cause wildfires without realizing it. Campfires that are not put out properly, fireworks or lit cigarettes dropped onto the ground can all cause wildfires to start. Sadly, some people intentionally start fires because they want to cause damage.

野火有許多起因。閃電通常導致野火自然發生。閃電擊中森林裡的乾燥植被,即使只是發出小火花,也能引發火災。人們在不知情下,也能釀災。留有餘燼的營火、煙火或地上未熄的菸蒂,都能釀發野火。人為縱火、故意破壞,則讓人感到遺憾。

氣候變遷、火勢加劇

Wildfires are not a new issue. Many countries have wildfire seasons when fires are most likely to occur. However, as climate change continues to accelerate, the wildfire seasons in these countries are becoming longer and more dangerous. In the US, wildfires burn twice the area they did 50 years ago. Research shows that raising the temperature by one degree Celsius can increase the area burned by up to 600 percent.

野火事故已是老議題了。在許多國家,特定季節本來就特別容易發生野火。但在氣候變遷持續加劇下,有些國家的野火季節拖得更長,因此也更危險。在美國,同樣是發生野火,現今遭焚燬的土地面積是50年前的2倍。科學研究結果顯示,氣溫升高攝氏1度,遭大火焚蝕的土地面積會增加到6倍

殘火悶燒、來年復燃

Sometimes wildfires appear to die, but in reality they are still burning underground. These ground fires or peat fires can continue to burn through the winter and come back to life above ground the next summer. Wildfires sound horrible, but you might be surprised to learn that they have some benefits. Fires can help to control insect numbers, provide nutrients for the soil and even help some trees reproduce.

有時野火看似已撲滅,但其實仍在地下燃燒。這類地表火或泥炭火可以持續燃燒一整個冬季,待來年夏天竄出地表復燃。野火聽起來很可怕,但你會訝於知道它也有一些好處。烈火有助於控制害蟲數量、為土壤帶來養分,並幫助某些樹種繁殖。

火災氣候變遷國家公園新一代兒童週報

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