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剑桥雅思11Test1Passage3阅读原文翻译 Reducing the Effects of Clima […]

剑桥雅思11Test1Passage3阅读原文翻译 Reducing the Effects of Climate Change 改善全球变暖



雅思真题阅读词汇 剑桥雅思11 test 1 passage 3 减缓全球变暖climate change

剑桥雅思11Test1Passage3阅读答案解析 Reducing the Effects of Climate Change

剑桥雅思11 Test1 Passage3阅读原文翻译


Such is our dependence on fossil fuels, and such is the volume of carbon dioxide already released into the atmosphere, that many experts agree that significant global warming is now inevitable. They believe that the best we can do is keep it at a reasonable level, and at present the only serious option for doing this is cutting back on our carbon emissions. But while a few countries are making major strides in this regard, the majority are having great difficulty even stemming the rate of increase, let alone reversing it. Consequently, an increasing number of scientists are beginning to explore the alternative of geo-engineering – a term which generally refers to the intentional large-scale manipulation of the environment. According to its proponents, geo-engineering is the equivalent of a backup generator: if Plan A – reducing our dependency on fossil fuels – fails, we require a Plan B, employing grand schemes to slow down or reverse the process of global warming.



Geo-engineering has been shown to work, at least on a small localised scale. For decades, May Day parades in Moscow have taken place under clear blue skies, aircraft having deposited dry ice, silver iodide and cement powder to disperse clouds. Many of the schemes now suggested look to do the opposite, and reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the planet. The most eye-catching idea of all is suggested by Professor Roger Angel of the University of Arizona. His scheme would employ up to 16 trillion minute spacecraft, each weighing about one gram, to form a transparent, sunlight-refracting sunshade in an orbit 1.5 million km above the Earth. This could, argues Angel, reduce the amount of light reaching the Earth by two per cent.

至少在较小的地方范围,地球工程已经被证明有效。几十年来,莫斯科的五一游行都在湛蓝的天空下举行。飞机播撒干冰,碘化银和水泥粉末来驱散云层。许多方案如今希望用相反的方式,来减少到达地球的太阳光。最引人注目的观点是由亚利桑那大学的Roger Angel教授提出来的。他的方案会利用多达16兆的微型飞行器,每个重量大约一克,在地球上方150万公里处的轨道上组成一个透明的,折射太阳光的遮光板。Angel认为,这将会减少2%的到达地球的阳光。


The majority of geo-engineering projects so far carried out – which include planting forests in deserts and depositing iron in the ocean to stimulate the growth of algae – have focused on achieving a general cooling of the Earth. But some look specifically at reversing the melting at the poles, particularly the Arctic. The reasoning is that if you replenish the ice sheets and frozen waters of the high latitudes, more light will be reflected back into space, so reducing the warming of the oceans and atmosphere.



The concept of releasing aerosol sprays into the stratosphere above the Arctic has been proposed by several scientists. This would involve using sulphur or hydrogen sulphide aerosols so that sulphur dioxide would form clouds, which would, in turn, lead to a global dimming. The idea is modelled on historic volcanic explosions, such as that of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991, which led to a short-term cooling of global temperatures by 0.5℃. Scientists have also scrutinised whether it’s possible to preserve the ice sheets of Greenland with reinforced high-tension cables, preventing icebergs from moving into the sea. Meanwhile in the Russian Arctic, geo-engineering plans include the planting of millions of birch trees. Whereas the region’s native evergreen pines shade the snow and absorb radiation, birches would shed their leaves in winter, thus enabling radiation to be reflected by the snow. Re-routing Russian rivers to increase cold water flow to ice-forming areas could also be used to slow down warming, say some climate scientists.

一些科学家提出向北极上方的平流层释放喷雾剂。这包括使用硫或者氢化硫喷雾,从而使二氧化硫形成云层,进而造成全球变暗(多云)。这一想法仿照历史悠久的火山爆发。比如1991年菲律宾Pinatubo Mount的爆发造成全球气温在短期内降低了0.5度。科学家同样细致探讨了是否有可能利用强化线缆来保存格陵兰的冰盖,阻止冰山进入大海。与此同时,在俄罗斯北极地区,地球工程的计划包括种植数百万棵桦树。该地区土生土长的常青松树会遮挡雪地并吸收辐射,而桦树在冬天落叶,从而使得辐射能够被雪地反射回去。一些气候科学家认为,改变俄罗斯的河流方向以增加流向结冰区域的冷水同样可以减缓全球变暖。


But will such schemes ever be implemented? Generally speaking, those who are most cautious about geo-engineering are the scientists involved in the research. Angel says that his plan is ‘no substitute for developing renewable energy: the only permanent solution’. And Dr Phil Rasch of the US-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is equally guarded about the role of geo-engineering: ‘I think all of us agree that if we were to end geo-engineering on a given day, then the planet would return to its pre-engineered condition very rapidly, and probably within ten to twenty years. That’s certainly something to worry about.’

但这样的计划会被实施吗?大体来说,对地球工程持最谨慎态度的人正是那些参与研究的科学家。Angel说:“他的计划并不是发展可再生能源-唯一永久解决方案-的替代品”。美国太平洋西北国家实验室的Phil Rasch博士对地球工程的作用同样十分谨慎,“我认为,我们所有人都同意,如果我们在某一天结束地球工程,那么地球会迅速(可能在10到20年之内)回到实施工程前的状态。这必然让人担心。”


The US National Center for Atmospheric Research has already suggested that the proposal to inject sulphur into the atmosphere might affect rainfall patterns across the tropics and the Southern Ocean. ‘Geo-engineering plans to inject stratospheric aerosols or to seed clouds would act to cool the planet, and act to increase the extent of sea ice,’ says Rasch. ‘But all the models suggest some impact on the distribution of precipitation.’



‘A further risk with geo-engineering projects is that you can “overshoot”,’ says Dr Dan Lunt, from the University of Bristol’s School of Geophysical Sciences, who has studied the likely impacts of the sunshade and aerosol schemes on the climate. ‘You may bring global temperatures back to pre-industrial levels, but the risk is that the poles will still be warmer than they should be and the tropics will be cooler than before industrialisation.’ To avoid such a scenario, Lunt says Angel’s project would have to operate at half strength; all of which reinforces his view that the best option is to avoid the need for geo-engineering altogether.

布里斯托大学地球物理科学院的Dan Lunt博士在研究了遮挡阳光和气雾剂方案之后说:“地球工程还存在过度实施的深层风险”。“你可能将全球气温带回到工业革命之前的水平,但风险在于,极地气温仍然比应有的要高,而热带地区则会比工业化开始之前要低”。为了避免这种情况,Lunt说Angel的方案必须以一半的强度来实施;所有这些都加强了他自身的观点,即最好的选择是完全避免地球工程。


The main reason why geo-engineering is supported by many in the scientific community is that most researchers have little faith in the ability of politicians to agree – and then bring in – the necessary carbon cuts. Even leading conservation organisations see the value of investigating the potential of geo-engineering. According to Dr Martin Sommerkorn, climate change advisor for the World Wildlife Fund’s International Arctic Programme, ‘Human-induced climate change has brought humanity to a position where we shouldn’t exclude thinking thoroughly about this topic and its possibilities.’

地球工程得到科学界许多人支持的主要原因是,大多数研究人员并不认为政客会认可必要的碳排放削减。即便是一流的环保组织也看到了研究地球工程潜力的价值。根据世界野生动物基金会国际北极项目的气候变化顾问Martin Sommerkorn博士的说法,“人类引发的气候变化已经将人类置于如此处境,我们不应该抛弃对这一方案及其可能性的彻底思考”。

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