The hottest road to the South Pole

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Road to the south pole

Guide: if you see the following advertisement: recruit a highway engineer, who is required to like the cold and be ready to go to the end of the earth, have snow shoes and be strong. You must feel very strange, but in fact, this is indeed required by one of the most extraordinary projects in the world at present. American new scientist said

if you see the following advertisement: "highway engineers are required to like the cold and be ready to go to the end of the earth, have snow shoes and be strong." You must feel very strange, but in fact, this is indeed required by one of the most extraordinary projects in the world at present. According to new scientist, the United States is trying to build a road from the Antarctic Gulf to the South Pole. Since the end of 2003, after the summer in Antarctica, bulldozers have been roaring on the ice sheet, constantly launching packaging to meet various products on the market, a road to the polar region. The road is scheduled to be completed in March 2005. It will be more than 1600 kilometers long and will pass through some of the most inhospitable areas in the world. So why build this road? And what impact will this road have on the original environment it passes through? First of all, we should make clear the following facts: this road has neither asphalt nor yellow line. It is made entirely of ice. The cracks in the ice are filled, the land is pushed flat, and the snow is removed. The starting point of this road is the McMurdo U.S. coastal base on Ross Island. Starting from the floating Ross Ice around the base, it passes through the glacier, crosses the mountains across the south pole, and then leads all the way along the flat white plateau to the Amundsen Scott workstation in the South Pole

if there is no very good reason, no one will spend more than $12 million on such a huge project in extremely cold temperatures. You know, everything you need to live and work in Antarctica needs to be transported from McMurdo, and this work is usually completed by a transport team consisting of 13 planes. Sridhar Ananda Krishnan, an ice expert at Penn State University, one of the members of the flight team, said: "in fact, there is already a road leading to the polar region, which is just walking from the sky." When large equipment needs to be transported, the aircraft is often insufficient

however, if you can use a snow tractor - or "train" to transport large items to the Amundsen Scott workstation, the aircraft can be vacated to transport researchers near the South Pole. Karl Erb of the National Science Foundation said that the construction of the icy road is an attempt to test whether such a way of transportation to the polar regions is feasible. No one has ever thought of building such a long road on the ice, and there is a bigger challenge: cracks. There are quite a few ice cracks on the selected route. Ice crevices are the deadliest danger for Antarctic explorers. Because most of them are covered with a layer of snow, it is difficult for explorers to find them. Some crevices are too deep to see the bottom. Many crevices can swallow cars. People who fall are often unlucky. But the construction of roads to the South Pole cannot avoid those ice cracks. From McMurdo to the polar region, you must pass through the "scissor belt" - the ice crevice area formed by the floating ice around Ross Island and the fast-moving ice of Ross Ice

anandakrishnan said, "you can't cross the Ross ice layer without passing through these areas. The ice is fragmented in natural motion, and there are ice cracks everywhere." In the summer of 2003, the above problems were solved in the first phase of the plan. Practice has shown that the plan is very time-consuming. A snow tractor equipped with ground survey radar opens in front. Once it finds an ice crack, a mountain climber will enter the ice crack to see that it implements the "leader" plan of energy efficiency and water efficiency in key industries, which is far greater than the maximum elongation at 100% operating load; How deep is it. Then remove the snow cover on the surface of the ice crack with explosives, and then the bulldozer fills the ice crack with snow. It is said that the largest ice crevasse can only be filled with 9000 cubic meters of snow. As a result, a 3-meter-wide solid ice passage appeared in the no man's land. The rest of the plan is much easier. In this summer, the pioneers have advanced on the Ross Ice, but the unusual snowfall delayed the whole plan. Now the highway may not be completed until March, 2006. But does this road violate the Antarctic Convention (the Treaty on the prevention of Antarctic pollution and exploitation)? The National Science Foundation of the United States has provided more than 10000 kilograms of explosives and 500000 liters of diesel fuel to complete the plan. Despite the pollution and damage caused by explosives to the ice, diesel fuel may pose a threat to the vast Antarctic region. Missing 20 gallons of oil in a region as large as Antarctica doesn't sound like much, "but this will be the first time that 20 gallons of oil will be missed there, and there will be more in the future." Josh Stevens, a member of the environment group of the Antarctic and oceanic Union (ASoC) in Washington, said he was worried. At present, the focus of debate is that the construction party did not conduct a comprehensive environmental impact assessment before the commencement of the plan. Stevens said, "the Antarctica Convention does not allow construction to begin without evaluation." It is said that the environmental assessment of the National Science Foundation is about to be completed, but the project is nearly half completed. Of course, ASoC did not completely deny the above plan. Stevens said, "if tractor train transportation can be carried out once a year, which can reduce 10 flights, this highway should be a good idea." After all, the route of the snow tractor transport team is completely closed, and it will not have a great impact on the environment when it drives past. However, two things are still uncertain. First, can the highway be maintained? Snowstorms in winter may block roads, so the snow layer should be cleared before use; Secondly, ice is mobile in some places. Anandakri shnan said, "ice cracks will form again after a period of time." But no one knows how long this period of time is. Another worry must be from the surface to the heart. Once the road is repaired, more tourists will go to the south pole, which will be terrible. But anyway, the road continues. After all, the road to the polar region has been people's dream for more than a hundred years

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