死海是地球自然生态上的奇景,它不但以低于海平面 1388 英尺,成为地球上最低点,34% 的含盐量,也让死海成为地球上最咸的地方之一,因为这样的高含盐量,让人可以轻松的浮在其水面之上,我们看过来自世界各地的旅客,拍下在死海上躺着看报纸的照片,但这有趣的漂浮画面,可能将成为历史。

The Dead Sea is a natural and ecological marvel: At 1,388 feet below sea level, it beats out Lake Assal (509), Death Valley (282 feet), and virtually every other place on Earth to claim the title of the lowest place on the planet. With 34 percent salinity, it’s also one of the saltiest places on Earth, and travelers from around the world visit the lake—shared among Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank—to float in its waters. But according to some, the attraction may not be around for much longer.

 

根据 EcoPeace Middle East 的报告,死海正以每年 3.3 英尺的速度慢慢萎缩中,而从本世纪开始开发、发展以来,死海的水体也已经减少了表面的三分之一,而罪魁祸首你也已经猜到了,就是我们人类。大量的水坝、管道建设,让进水量只剩下原本的 5%。

In a release, the environmentalist group EcoPeace Middle East reports that the Dead Sea is shrinking at a rate of some 3.3 feet a year; the body of water has already lost one-third of its surface area since development in the region started earlier this century, and sinkholes are appearing in spots where the water has receded. The main culprit? You guessed it—humans. Construction of dams, storage reservoirs, and pipelines over the years has reduced inflow water levels to just five percent of their original volume.

 

根据专家的估计,如果依这样的萎缩速度,到了 2050 年时死海将完全消失。

Given that the Dead Sea’s minerals have been heralded as therapeutic, too, extraction on the part of cosmetic companies has also proved detrimental. Add that to the fact that the Middle East’s climate makes it difficult for the lake to replenish itself, and therein lies the problem. Experts estimate that if it continues to disappear at its present rate, the Dead Sea could be completely dry by 2050.

当然,我们也不用那么绝望,2015 年,约旦和以色列也协定了一份 $900 万的合作案,协议每年将运送 3 亿立方米的水到死海中,估计要花 3 年来完成,但到底能不能成功保留住死海,还有待观察。

Still, hope may be on the horizon: In 2015, Jordan and Israel agreed on a $900 million deal that would pump 300 million cubic meters of water annually into the Dead Sea via a canal from the Red Sea. Whether or not the project, which will take an estimated three years to complete, will be successful, remains to be seen.

趁着死海消失之前,去见它一次吧!

Better grab your bathing suit and float away while you still can.