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美联英语怎么样:泰坦尼克号沉没原因新解 气候异常

2014-11-05 14:06   类别:语法   来源:   责编:Dong


The reason the Titanic hit an iceberg and sunk has been hotly debated for the past century.


While some say it was due to human error, others say the unusual appearance of a large iceberg in a region of the Atlantic Ocean was the main factor.


But now a paper claims it was not one or the other, but rather adverse weather conditions that drove icebergs south farther than usual.


The paper 'The iceberg risk in the Titanic year of 1912' was published in the journal Significance.


It describes how the distance the iceberg that sunk the Titanic had drifted south was much farther than would have been expected at the time.


While they admit stresses on the crew might have been a factor, they say the surprising appearance of such a large iceberg meant the ship’s fate was down to poor luck.


‘It is most likely that a combination of human errors associated with the captain not reducing speed - despite a number of ice reports reaching the vessel in the days before the collision - and possible variable rivet quality in the hull manufacture led to the tragedy,’ the authors write.


‘However, the question has often been raised: was the Titanic unlucky in sailing in a year with exceptional iceberg numbers?’


While today there is an extensive ice harzard warning service in the northwest Atlantic, provided by the International Ice Patrol (IIP), in 1912 ships relied on largely on information from others at sea.


In early April 1912 a number of icebergs had been reported in the northwest Atlantic, which suggests it may have been an exceptional year for icebergs - although not a record.


The IIP monitors icebergs by the number that drift south below the 48°N line called the I48N, which runs from Newfoundland to 40°W.


This includes any iceberg greater than 16 feet (5m) in above-surface length.


In 1912 1,038 icebergs are thought to have crossed the line - a large number, but not the most on record.


In 2009, for example, over 1,200 icebergs were seen to cross the I48N.


‘The iceberg risk in 1912, in terms of number entering the northwest Atlantic shipping lanes, was therefore large, but not unprecedented,’ the authors write.


Icebergs, however, generally lose most of their size while drifting south.


It is thought that the Titanic iceberg was up to 605ft (185m) deep and about 410ft (125m) long, quite large for one so far south.


The reason for this, the authors say, was because high pressure dominated the mid-latitude, central Atlantic atmosphere for several days in 1912.


This led to winds carrying freezing air from northeastern Canada over the western Atlantic south of Newfoundland and, in turn, led to icebergs being transferred further south than normal for that time of year.


Indeed, the distance south this particular iceberg travelled while maintaining the bulk of its size was largely unusual, despite being in a year with not a record number of icebergs.


‘Thus, two unfavourable factors had combined: there were a greater (though not exceptionally greater) number of icebergs than normal that year; and weather conditions had driven them further south, and earlier in the year, than was usual,’ the authors write. They add, however: ‘We may add a third: the stresses on the crew of the Titanic’s maiden voyage.’




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