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第425期
(2021/02/25出刊)
史上最凍
冰風暴襲美 數百萬戶斷電

 An Arctic air mass descended over much of America, pushing temperatures to historic lows on February 16th. In Nebraska, a temperature of minus 35 degrees Celsius broke a record set in 1978 of minus 27°C.
 The record-breaking cold weather has claimed more than 20 lives. The winter storm overwhelmed power grids and left millions without power. The worst US power outages were in Texas, affecting more than 4 million homes and businesses. Nearly half of Texas’installed wind power generation capacity has been offline because of frozen wind turbines in West Texas. Utilities from Minnesota to Texas began rolling blackouts to ease the burden on power grids.
 The deep freeze halted operations in the nation’s largest oil field the Permian in West Texas. Oil production was forced to shut down, dealing a heavy blow to the energy industry.
 The weather also threatened to affect the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination effort. President Joe Biden’s administration said delays in vaccine shipments and deliveries were likely.

 北極冷氣團壟罩美國許多地區,使二月十六日出現史上最低溫。內布拉斯加州攝氏零下三十五度的低溫,打破了一九七八年零下二十七度的紀錄。
 這波史上最凍的冰風暴已造成至少二十人死亡,且使輸電網不堪負荷,導致數百萬人受停電之苦。德州停電的狀況最嚴重,影響了四百多萬家戶與企業。西德州的風力渦輪機因極凍而停止運轉,導致德州近半風力發電設施無法正常運作。從明尼蘇達州到德州之間的電力供應商已開始實施輪流斷電,以減輕電網的負擔。
 天寒地凍導致全美最大油田——西德州二疊紀油田的作業停擺。石油生產被迫停工,對能源產業造成沉重打擊。
 極凍氣候還波及全美的新冠疫苗注射。拜登政府表示,疫苗配送可能因而被延誤。