[ti:Huge Iceberg Floats toward South Georgia, Putting Wildlife at Risk] [by:www.houshang36.top] [00:00.00]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM [00:00.04]The world's largest iceberg is floating toward the island [00:05.76]of South Georgia in the southern Atlantic Ocean. [00:11.48]Scientists fear the iceberg could crash into the island [00:16.96]and block major feeding areas [00:20.48]for a large population of penguins and seals. [00:26.72]The huge iceberg is named A68a. [00:32.12]It broke away from Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf in 2017. [00:40.56]It has since has floated toward South Georgia, [00:44.84]a British overseas territory. [00:49.36]Satellite images show the iceberg has remained in one piece. [00:56.44]It is estimated to be about 150 kilometers long and 48 kilometers wide. [01:06.00]It is traveling at one kilometer an hour [01:09.92]and is on a path to hit South Georgia in around 30 days. [01:17.48]The British Antarctic Survey says it is concerned [01:22.40]that if the iceberg hits the island, it could prevent the penguins [01:27.68]and seals from reaching food supplies. [01:32.88]Professor Geraint Tarling is an ecologist with the Antarctic Survey. [01:40.36]He says right now is the time of year when seals and penguins [01:46.36]spend a lot of time caring for their young. [01:51.12]This means the distance that parents have to travel to find food is important. [01:58.24]"That means they have to go a lot further, [02:01.96]they have to go around the iceberg, [02:05.32]or to actually go further to find sources of food," Tarling told VOA. [02:13.76]"And that time is quite critical at this particular period of their life cycle." [02:22.12]Ecologists say an iceberg crash [02:25.88]would also disturb materials settled on the seabed, [02:31.36]possibly polluting the surrounding seas. [02:36.56]As the iceberg melts, it would also release [02:40.32]large amounts of fresh water into the ocean. [02:44.80]This could affect krill populations [02:48.28]that are a major source of food for the island's wildlife. [02:54.60]Tarling says the iceberg could remain for 10 years [02:59.72]and change the area's whole ecosystem. [03:05.20]"These are globally significant populations of these species. [03:10.80]If these species fail in this particular area, [03:15.68]then the numbers globally are going to go down quite dramatically," he said. [03:23.56]The breaking off of icebergs from Antarctica is a natural process. [03:30.28]But the process is changing with climate change. [03:36.32]"What we're seeing with models and some observations now [03:41.36]is the rate at which this is happening is increasing. [03:46.16]And so, this might become more of a usual thing into the future," Tarling said. [03:55.00]The iceberg also could damage South Georgia's valuable fishing industry. [04:01.56]Fishers pay for the rights to catch Patagonian toothfish, [04:07.48]icefish and krill in waters off the island. [04:13.44]Officials are hoping that changing weather patterns [04:17.56]could direct the iceberg out into the open ocean, [04:22.48]where it would, in time, break up and melt. [04:28.16]I'm Bryan Lynn. 更多听力请访问51VOA.COM www9778con