Climate change has brought a difficult new reality for the U.S. Arctic. Open water -- rather than sea ice – has become normal for the Chukchi Sea in the month of November.
Researchers are studying how this "new normal" may affect coastal communities in northern Alaska.
The researchers are from the University of Washington. The group is taking its 80-meter-long ship several places and will record observations. One of those places is Utqia;vik, the northernmost community in America.
Jim Thomson is an ocean scientist with the team. He told The Associated Press that the researchers are trying to understand changes to the fall season in the Arctic.
研究人员来自华盛顿大学。 该小组正在将其80米长的船带到几个地方，并将记录观察结果。 这些地方之一是美国最北端的社区乌齐维克（Utqivik）。
吉姆·汤姆森（Jim Thomson）是该团队的海洋科学家。 他告诉美联社，研究人员正试图了解北极秋季的变化。
Each day since mid-October, sea ice in the Chukchi Sea has been the lowest on record, said Rick Thoman. He is a climate expert at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' International Arctic Research Center.
For example, on November 7, the National Snow and Ice Data Center recorded sea ice at about one-sixth of the usual amount for that date from 1981 to 2010, Thoman said.
里克·托曼（Rick Thoman）说，自10月中旬以来，楚科奇海的海冰量一直是有记录以来的最低水平。 他是阿拉斯加费尔班克斯大学国际北极研究中心的气候专家。
Less ice is a problem for people living on the coast. Communities north and south of the Bering Strait depend on coastal ice to act as a natural sea wall. The ice protects land from erosion caused by winter storms.
Sea ice also provides a place from which to catch seafood in Nome, a transportation center between villages in Kotzebue Sound. It also serves as a work area on which to kill walrus near the town of Gambell.
对于生活在海岸上的人们来说，减少冰块是一个问题。 白令海峡北部和南部的社区依靠沿海冰层作为天然的海堤。 冰层可以保护土地免受冬季风暴造成的侵蚀。
海冰还提供了一个在Nome捕获海鲜的地方，Nome是Kotzebue Sound村庄之间的运输中心。 它也是在甘贝镇附近杀死海象的工作区。
Sea ice is one of the most important physical elements of the Chukchi and Bering seas. The cold, salty water underneath ice creates columns that separate Arctic animals from valuable fish catches such as Pacific cod and walleye pollock. When sea ice melts, it creates conditions important for the growth of small organisms at the bottom of the food chain.
海冰是楚科奇海和白令海最重要的物理元素之一。 冰层下方的冷咸水会形成圆柱，将北极动物与珍贵的渔获物（例如太平洋鳕鱼和角膜鳕）分开。 当海冰融化时，它将为食物链底部的小型生物的生长创造重要条件。
Sea ice also provides the main living space for polar bears.Female bears use ice as a place to give birth. And walrus mothers use sea ice as a resting place. They follow the ice edge south as it moves into the Bering Sea.
海冰还为北极熊提供了主要的生存空间，雌性熊利用冰作为产卵的场所。 海象母亲将海冰用作休息地。 他们沿着冰边向南移动，进入白令海。
The formation of sea ice requires the ocean temperature to be about -1.8 Celsius, the freezing point of saltwater. Historically, ice has formed in the northernmost waters. It gets moved by currents and wind into the southern Chukchi and Bering seas, where it cools the water. This helps even more ice to form, explained Andy Mahoney. He is a sea ice physicist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute.
海冰的形成要求海洋温度约为-1.8摄氏度，即盐水的冰点。 历史上，冰在最北端的水域形成。 它被洋流和风吹到楚科奇州南部和白令海中，使水冷却。 Andy Mahoney解释说，这有助于形成更多的冰。 他是阿拉斯加费尔班克斯大学地球物理研究所的海冰物理学家。
Mahoney said, "Even at the end of summer you couldn't get enough heat into the ocean to raise the water temperature" much above freezing. "So it didn't take much cooling to cool the ocean down to the freezing point."
But high summer temperatures have warmed the water column in the Bering and Chukchi seas. Water temperatures from the surface to the ocean bottom remain above normal. This leads to a delay in ice formation.
但是夏季高温使白令海和楚科奇海的水柱变暖。 从地表到海底的水温保持在正常水平以上。 这导致结冰的延迟。
"We've got a cold atmosphere. We've got a strong wind. You'd think we'd be forming ice, but there's just too much heat left in the ocean," Mahoney said.
The water may be warm enough to melt ice moving south from northern areas.
"I haven't seen any direct observations where ice has been transported into the Chukchi Sea and then melted," Mahoney said. But he says water temperature maps that he has seen are still much above zero degrees Celsius. And even if you bring ice from somewhere else, it will soon begin melting because of the water temperature, he adds.
马奥尼说：“我还没有直接观察到冰被运到楚科奇海然后融化的情况。” 但他说，他所见过的水温图仍远高于零摄氏度。 他补充说，即使您从别处带来冰，由于水温，冰也将很快开始融化。
Thomson and other scientists will look at how the changes could affect coastlines, which are already eroding. Less ice and more open water mean a big threat. Ice keeps down the size of waves. Open water increases the distance over which wave-causing winds can blow.
"We know from other projects and other work that the waves are definitely on the increase in the Arctic," Thomson said.
汤姆森和其他科学家将研究这些变化如何影响已经侵蚀的海岸线。 更少的冰块和更多的开阔水域意味着巨大的威胁。 冰可以减小海浪的大小。 开放水域增加了引起波浪的风吹过的距离。
That means even more erosion and greater chances of winter flooding in villages. It also means increased danger to hunters in small boats, who will have to travel longer distances to find seals and walruses.
Words in This Story：
Arctic- n. of or relating to the North Pole or the region around it
erosion- n. the gradual destruction of something by natural forces
walrus- n. a large animal that lives on land and in the sea in northern regions and that has flippers and long tusks
column - n. something resembling a column in form, position, or function
polar bear- n. a large white bear that lives near the North Pole