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紐時賞析/氣候變遷 將使更多災難同時發生

2018-12-05 09:30紐時賞析

How Climate Change Will Cause More Simultaneous Disasters

今年加州野火是當地歷來死傷最慘重的一次。圖為十一月的野火現場。 (美聯社)
今年加州野火是當地歷來死傷最慘重的一次。圖為十一月的野火現場。 (美聯社)
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Global warming is posing such wide-ranging risks to humanity, involving so many types of phenomena, that by the end of this century some parts of the world could face as many as six climate-related crises at the same time, researchers say.

全球暖化對人類構成相當廣泛的危險,包含非常多種現象。研究人員說,到本世紀結束之際,世上部分地區可能同時面臨多達六種與氣候有關的危機。

This chilling prospect is described in a paper published Monday in Nature Climate Change, a respected academic journal, that shows the effects of climate change across a broad spectrum of problems, including heat waves, wildfires, sea level rise, hurricanes, flooding, drought and shortages of clean water.

備受尊崇的學術期刊「自然氣候變遷」周一(19日)刊出一篇報告,描述這個令人戰慄的前景,呈示氣候變遷效應在廣泛範圍造成的問題,包括熱浪、野火、海平面上升、颶風、洪水、乾旱和乾淨用水短缺等。

Such problems are already coming in combination, said the lead author, Camilo Mora of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He noted that Florida had recently experienced extreme drought, record high temperatures and wildfires — and also Hurricane Michael, the powerful Category 4 storm that slammed into the Panhandle this summer. Similarly, California is suffering through the worst wildfires the state has ever seen, as well as drought, extreme heat waves and degraded air quality that threatens the health of residents.

報告主要作者、馬諾夏威夷大學的凱米洛.摩拉說,這些問題已經同時出現。他指出,佛州日前經歷極端乾旱、破紀錄高溫和野火,此外還有今夏橫掃西佛羅里達地區、威力強大的四級颶風麥可。同樣地,加州正遭遇該州歷來最嚴重的野火,加上乾旱、極端熱浪和威脅居民健康的劣化空氣品質。

Things will get worse, the authors wrote. The paper projects future trends and suggests that, by 2100, unless humanity takes forceful action to curb the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change, some tropical coastal areas of the planet, like the Atlantic coast of South and Central America, could be hit by as many as six such crises at a time.

作者寫道,狀況將會更糟。這篇報告預測未來趨勢並指出,到2100年時,除非人類採取強制性行動抑制造成氣候變遷的溫室氣體排放,否則地球上部分熱帶地區的沿海地帶,像是中南美洲的大西洋岸,可能同時遭受多達六種災害侵襲。

That prospect is “like a terror movie that is real,” Mora said.

摩拉說,這種前景「就像恐怖電影成真」。

The authors include a list of caveats about the research: Since it is a review of papers, it will reflect some of the potential biases of science in this area, which include the possibility that scientists might focus on negative effects more than positive ones.

報告的作者針對這項研究提出了一些但書:既然這是檢視整理既有相關報告後所獲致的結論,難免會反映這個領域中可能存在的部分科學成見,包括科學家強調負面效應甚於正面效應的可能性。

New York can expect to be hit by four climate crises at a time by 2100 if carbon emissions continue at their current pace, the study says, but if emissions are cut significantly that number could be reduced to one. The troubled regions of the coastal tropics could see their number of concurrent hazards reduced from six to three.

這份研究報告指出,如果碳排放以目前的速度持續下去,到2100年時紐約恐將同時遭遇四種氣候危機。但如果排放量顯著減少,紐約的危機種類可減至一種,而那些易受影響的熱帶沿海地區則可將同時發生的災害種類由六種減至三種。

The paper explores the ways that climate change intensifies hazards and describes the interconnected nature of such crises. Greenhouse gas emissions, by warming the atmosphere, can enhance drought in places that are normally dry, “ripening conditions for wildfires and heat waves,” the researchers say. In wetter areas, a warmer atmosphere retains more moisture and strengthens downpours, while higher sea levels increase storm surge and warmer ocean waters can contribute to the overall destructiveness of storms.

這篇報告探討氣候變遷如何使災害增強,並描述這些危機的相互連結特性。溫室氣體排放使大氣層暖化,可能從而使

平日乾燥的地方更加乾旱,研究人員說,「這也促成了野火和熱浪出現的條件」。在較潮濕的地區,溫暖的大氣層保留更多水氣,增加降雨量,而升高的海平面增加暴風雨生成,更溫暖的海水則會助長暴風雨的整體破壞力。

說文解字看新聞

氣候變遷讓世界面臨愈來愈劇烈的災害威脅,這篇文章出現許多氣候及天氣相關字詞,是值得一再閱讀的英語新聞。

simultaneous意為「同時發生」,倒數第二段的concurrent為同義詞,國際會議和記者會常見的simultaneous interpreting是「同步口譯」,指口譯人員在講者說話的同時, 將翻譯語言透過麥克風傳送到收聽者的耳機。另外consecutive interpreting是「逐步口譯」,翻譯人員在講者每講一段話停頓時翻譯內容。

大西洋的颶風hurricane,太平洋的颱風typhoon和印度洋的氣旋風暴cyclone,性質是一樣的,都是指由低氣壓發展而成的熱帶氣旋,各國對其強度則有不同的分級標準。文中第三段提到的Category 4是美國對颶風的分級,共一至五級,數字愈大威力愈強。

文中出現數次的humanity譯為人類,帶有「人性、人道」的概念。humankind也是人類,多用在相對於自然、動物的物種概念中。human作形容詞指人(類)的、人性的,作名詞時就是人,是可數名詞。

文/John Schwartz 譯/莊蕙嘉

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