All of Earth is experiencing a heatwave this summer. In the small European country of Belgium, the heatwave is especially bad for the potato crop. The problem is not only fewer potatoes, but also smaller potatoes with tougher skin. Frites, or French fries, are the national dish of Belgium. Since the cost of potatoes has already gone up, the price of frites continues to rise.
今年夏天，熱浪侵襲整個地球。在歐洲小國比利時， 熱浪尤其影響馬鈴薯的收成。除了產量減少，結出的果實較小，薯皮也較硬。炸馬鈴薯條在比利時被尊為國菜，比利時人稱其為Frites。馬鈴薯減產、價格上揚， 使得薯條售價持續走高。
Heat is not only bad for our food crops, but also danger¬ous for people. Nations all over the world have been expe¬riencing record heat and people have died because of it. Japan saw a record high of 41.1 degrees Celsius and over 30 people have died due to heat-related illness. Even relatively cool places like Quebec, Canada have seen more than 70 deaths from extreme heat thus far.
高溫不只對農作物不好，對人類也有害。全球多國今夏創高溫紀錄，奪走多條人命。日本寫下攝氏41.1 度高溫紀錄，超過30 人死於熱相關疾病。即使是理應相對較涼爽的地方如加拿大魁北克，極端高溫至今也奪走超過70 條人命。
While heatwaves are not a new phenom¬enon, scientists agree that climate change is making heatwaves much more common and more intense. In fact, by the 2040s scientists predict that heatwaves will strike every other year. To figure this out, scientists have used his¬torical weather measurements and computer models of global climate. By using these meth¬ods, scientists say they can “see the fingerprints of climate change”.
熱浪不是新的氣象現象，不過，科學家一致認為，因為氣候變遷，熱浪變得更常見、更強烈。事實上，科學家預測到了2040 年代， 熱浪每隔1 年就會來襲。這項研究運用歷史氣象測量資料及全球氣候的電腦模型。透過這些新的研究方法，科學家表示，可以從中「看到氣候變遷的痕跡」。
It has been difficult in the past to make accurate predictions about the coming effects of climate change. Often, predictions were made about the cli¬mate many years in the future. Now, scientists have methods to make more accurate, short-term predic¬tions. Unfortunately, these predictions point to more increased global temperatures sooner than many had believed. The next four years, 2018-2022, are expected to be even hotter than we had previously thought.
科學家過去很難對氣候變遷的近期效果做出預測。就算能夠預測「未來」，通常也指很多年後。但現在科學家已有新的研究方法，可以更準確做出短期的預測。不幸的是，這些預測都指向全球增溫，而且增溫的速度，比人們過去認知的還快。科學家指出，未來4 年，亦即2018-2022 年，天氣會比之前預期的還熱。
Hot air travels across the surface of Earth similarly to how waves travel through the ocean. A heatwave is defined as a period of unusually hot temperatures lasting for at least two back-to-back days, commonly paired with high humidity. While heatwaves are common during the summer in most places, we have seen more of them this summer. They have been more extreme in temperature and have lasted longer than usual.
To understand a heatwave, we need to understand pres¬sure systems. We can thank high pressure for giving us dry, sunny weather. High pressure pushes clouds away, increasing the amount of sunlight that we get. It also makes it more dif¬ficult for low pressure systems, those that bring clouds and rain, to move in. Think of a high pressure system as the oppo¬site of a typhoon—it brings heat and sunlight.