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剑桥雅思13Test4Passage2阅读原文翻译 Saving the soil 拯救土壤 剑桥雅思13阅读 […]

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剑桥雅思13Test4Passage2阅读原文翻译 Saving the soil 拯救土壤

剑桥雅思13阅读第四套题目第二篇文章的主题为拯救土壤。文章一共十二段,大体可以分成三部分。前3段介绍土壤的重要性,中间2段介绍土壤破坏的影响,最后7段介绍保护土壤的各种措施和相应的问题。下面是具体每一段的原文翻译。

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剑桥雅思13Test4Passage2阅读答案解析 Saving the soil 拯救土壤

剑桥雅思13 Test4 Passage2阅读原文翻译

A部分

More than a third of the world’s soil is endangered, according to a recent UN report. If we don’t slow the decline, all farmable soil could be gone in 60 years. Since soil grows 95% of our food, and sustains human life in other more surprising ways, that is a huge problem.

根据一份近期的联合国报告,世界上有超过三分之一的土壤正在遭到破坏。如果我们不能减缓这一衰退的趋势,所有可供耕种的土壤会在60年内消失。由于土壤出产95%的食物,并以其他更让人惊讶的方式维系着人们的生活,所以这是个很大的问题。

B部分

Peter Groffman, from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York, points out that soil scientists have been warning about the degradation of the world’s soil for decades. At the same time, our understanding of its importance to humans has grown. A single gram of healthy soil might contain 100 million bacteria, as well as other microorganisms such as viruses and fungi, living amid decomposing plants and various minerals.

来自纽约卡里生态系统研究所的Peter Groffman指出,土壤科学家在过去数十年间一直在对世界土壤的退化发出警告。与此同时,我们关于土壤对人类重要性的理解也在增加。仅仅一克健康的土壤就可能包含1个亿的细菌和其他微生物,比如病毒和真菌。它们存在于腐烂的植物和各种矿物质中。

That means soils do not just grow our food, but are the source of nearly all our existing antibiotics, and could be our best hope in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Soil is also an ally against climate change: as microorganisms within soil digest dead animals and plants, they lock in their carbon content, holding three times the amount of carbon as does the entire atmosphere. Soils also store water, preventing flood damage: in the UK, damage to buildings, roads and bridges from floods caused by soil degradation costs £233 million every year.

这意味着土壤不仅仅出产我们的食物,它还是几乎所有现存抗生素的来源,并且是我们对抗耐药性细菌的最大希望。土壤也是我们对抗气候变化的盟友。由于土壤中的微生物会消化死去的动物和植物,它们可以锁住动植物体内的碳成分,储存相当于整个大气层三倍的碳含量。土壤也可以储存水分,防止洪水的破坏。在英国,由于土壤退化而引发的洪水,对建筑物、道路和桥梁每年造成2330万英镑的损失。

C部分

If the soil loses its ability to perform these functions, the human race could be in big trouble. The danger is not that the soil will disappear completely, but that the microorganisms that give it its special properties will be lost. And once this has happened, it may take the soil thousands of years to recover.

如果土壤失去发挥这些功能的能力,人们会陷入巨大的麻烦中。这种危险不在于土壤会彻底消失,而是赋予它特殊性质的微生物会消失不见。一旦这种情况发生,土壤可能需要上千年的时间才能恢复。

Agriculture is by far the biggest problem. In the wild, when plants grow they remove nutrients from the soil, but then when the plants die and decay these nutrients are returned directly to the soil. Humans tend not to return unused parts of harvested crops directly to the soil to enrich it, meaning that the soil gradually becomes less fertile. In the past we developed strategies to get around the problem, such as regularly varying the types of crops grown, or leaving fields uncultivated for a season.

到目前为止,农业是最大的问题。野外环境中,植物生长时会吸收土壤中的营养物质,但随后当植物死去腐烂,这些营养物质会直接回到土壤中。人类往往不会将收获庄稼的未使用部分直接返还给土壤来使其更加肥沃。这意味这土壤会逐渐变得贫瘠。过去,我们使用一些方法来规避这一问题,比如经常更换种植庄稼的种类,或者在一个季度中不对田地进行耕作。

D部分

But these practices became inconvenient as populations grew and agriculture had to be run on more commercial lines. A solution came in the early 20th century with the Haber-Bosch process for manufacturing ammonium nitrate. Farmers have been putting this synthetic fertiliser on their fields ever since.

但随着人口增长和农业变得更加商业化,这些操作不再可行。20世纪初期,随着制作硝铵酸的哈布二氏法的出现,人们找到了一种解决办法。自此之后,农民将这种合成化肥用于自己的田地中。

But over the past few decades, it has become clear this wasn’t such a bright idea. Chemical fertilisers can release polluting nitrous oxide into the atmosphere and excess is often washed away with the rain, releasing nitrogen into rivers. More recently, we have found that indiscriminate use of fertilisers hurts the soil itself, turning it acidic and salty, and degrading the soil they are supposed to nourish.

但在过去几十年里,人们发现这并不是一个聪明的主意。化学肥料会向大气中释放污染性的一氧化二氮。与此同时,其过量部分经常被雨水冲走,将氮元素文章来自老烤鸭雅思带入河流。最近我们发现,不加区别的使用肥料会伤害土壤自身,使其变成酸性或者含盐度过高,让那些本来应该被滋养的土壤退化。

E部分

One of the people looking for a solution to this problem is Pius Floris, who started out running a tree-care business in the Netherlands, and now advises some of the world’s top soil scientists. He came to realise that the best way to ensure his trees flourished was to take care of the soil, and has developed a cocktail of beneficial bacteria, fungi and humus [Humus: the part of the soil formed from dead plant material] to do this. Researchers at the University of Valladolid in Spain recently used this cocktail on soils destroyed by years of fertiliser overuse. When they applied Floris’s mix to the desert-like test plots, a good crop of plants emerged that were not just healthy at the surface, but had roots strong enough to pierce dirt as hard as rock. The few plants that grew in the control plots, fed with traditional fertilisers, were small and weak.

Pius Floris在荷兰经营者一家树木护理公司,他是寻求这一问题解决办法的人之一,并为一些世界顶级的土壤科学家提供建议。他意识到,确保其树木旺盛生长的最好办法是照顾好土壤。他开发了一种有益细菌、真菌和腐殖质的混合物来实现这一目的。西班牙巴利亚多利德大学的研究者们最近给一些因常年过度使用化肥而遭到破坏的土壤使用了这种混合物。当他们将Floris的混合物用在沙漠般的实验区域时,长出的植物不仅表面健康,而且还有足以穿透岩石版坚硬的泥土强壮根系。而种植在控制区域、施以传统化肥的少量植物则细小而脆弱。

F部分

However, measures like this are not enough to solve the global soil degradation problem. To assess our options on a global scale we first need an accurate picture of what types of soil are out there, and the problems they face. That’s not easy. For one thing, there is no agreed international system for classifying soil. In an attempt to unify the different approaches, the UN has created the Global Soil Map project. Researchers from nine countries are working together to create a map linked to a database that can be fed measurements from field surveys, drone surveys, satellite imagery, lab analyses and so on to provide real-time data on the state of the soil. Within the next four years, they aim to have mapped soils worldwide to a depth of 100 metres, with the results freely accessible to all.

然而,诸如此类的措施不足以解决全球性的土壤退化问题。要评估我们在全球范围内可以采取的措施,我们首先需要各种土壤类型以及它们所面临问题的准确图像。这不简单。首先,对于土壤分类而言,并没有统一的国际体系。为了整合不同的方法,联合国建立了全球土壤地图项目。来自九个国家的研究者互相合作,建立一张与数据库相连接的地图。它可以获得来自实地考察、无人机调查、卫星图像、实验室分析等方式的测量数据,以提供有关土壤状态的实时数据。在接下来的四年里,他们的目标是绘制世界范围深度在100米以内的土壤地图。所有人都可以免费使用其成果。

G部分

But this is only a first step. We need ways of presenting the problem that bring it home to governments and the wider public, says Pamela Chasek at the International Institute for Sustainable Development, in Winnipeg, Canada. ‘Most scientists don’t speak language that policy-makers can understand, and vice versa.’ Chasek and her colleagues have proposed a goal of ‘zero net land degradation’. Like the idea of carbon neutrality, it is an easily understood target that can help shape expectations and encourage action.

但这仅仅是第一步。我们需要能让政府和更广大的公众意识到这一问题的呈现方法,来自加拿大温尼伯国际可持续发展研究所的Pamela Chasek说。“大多数科学家所使用的语言并不能为政策制定者所理解,反过来也是如此”。Chasek和她的同事提出“净土地退化为零”的目标。就像碳平衡的理念一样,它是一个非常容易被理解的目标,能够帮助塑造人们的期待,并鼓励具体行动。

For soils on the brink, that may be too late. Several researchers are agitating for the immediate creation of protected zones for endangered soils. One difficulty here is defining what these areas should conserve: areas where the greatest soil diversity is present? Or areas of unspoilt soils that could act as a future benchmark of quality?

对于处在衰退边缘的土壤来说,这可能为时已晚。数名研究者呼吁立即为受损害的土壤建立保护区。其难点在于定义这些区域应该保护什么:是哪些目前呈现出最高土壤多样性的地区?还是那些尚未遭到破坏,可以作为未来质量标准的地区呢?

Whatever we do, if we want our soils to survive, we need to take action now.

无论我们做什么,如果我们想要土壤继续存活下去的话,我们需要立刻开始行动。

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