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[翻译]新闻传真 - 气温上升可能带来更多大火灾

来源:慢速英语   时间:2013-09-16 10:18:20

From VOA Learning English, welcome to As It Is! I’m Mario Ritter.

On our show today, we hear from two weather experts. We hear from one scientist who gets close to tornadoes to learn more about the destructive storms.

在我们今天的节目里,我们将听到两位气象专家的讲述。我们会听到一位走近龙卷风去了解这种破坏性风暴的科学家。

“I invented the Doppler on Wheels back in the 1990s because I was frustrated that we couldn’t see enough detail inside tornados and hurricanes.

“我在 20 世纪 90 年代发明了‘有轮子的多普勒’,因为我对无法看到龙卷风和飓风内部的细节而感到受挫。”

But first we hear how climate change may affect wildfires. One, soon-to-be-released report says huge fires may become more common in the future.

不过首先,我们听听气候变化如何影响大型火灾。一篇即将发布的报告称,大规模火灾可能会在将来变得更加常见。

Could Warming Temperatures Mean Fiercer Wildfires?

气温变暖是否意味着更猛烈的大火灾?

Powerful, intense fires have been burning out of control in parts of the western United States.

在美国西部的部分地区,强劲、猛烈的火灾时有发生,难以控制。

In a new report, scientists are predicting more and bigger wildfires over bigger areas and for longer periods in the western United States. But, some people say rising temperatures on our planet could be partly to blame for the severity of wildfires.

在一篇新的报告中,科学家预测在美国西部会有更多、更大火灾,范围更广、时间更长。但是,一些人认为地球上持续升高的温度可能是这些严重火灾的部分原因。

Steve Ember has more from a report by VOA’s Rosanne Skirble.

Fires in the United States have gotten worse since the 1970s. Scientists at Harvard University in Massachusetts looked at past weather conditions and wildfires to find out why. Atmospheric chemist Loretta Mickley is a researcher and helped to organize a new study. She says high temperatures and rainfall in other years can create the conditions for large fires.

美国的火灾从 20 世纪 70 年代以来不断加剧。马萨诸塞州哈佛大学的科学家考察了过去的天气条件和火灾,来寻找答案。大气化学学家 Loretta Mickley 是一位研究人员,她帮助组织了一项新的研究。她说,其它年份的高气温和降雨能够为大规模火灾创造条件。

“In some regions, like the Rocky Mountains, really, temperature is the driving force, but elsewhere variables like relative humidity can play a role. If one year is particularly moist, for example, in the Great Basin, Nevada, Utah area, then that will foster a lot of vegetation growth and then the following year all that vegetation can feed wildfires and their spread.”

“在一些地区,比如落基山脉,气温的确是驱动力。但在其他地方,相对湿度等变量会起到一定作用。如果某一年特别潮湿,比如在大盆地、内华达州和犹他地区,那这就会帮助很多植被生长,接下来的一年,所有这些植被都会成为大火及其扩散的来源。”

She and other researchers examined 15 climate models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel is the leading international organization that measures climate change. The models predicted average temperature increases of between two and 2.5 degrees Celsius by 2050.

她和其他研究人员检视了跨政府气候变化委员会的 15 个气象模型。该委员会是测量气候变化的主要国际组织。这些模型预测到 2050 年气温将上升 2~2.5 摄氏度。

Loretta Mickley says her team’s research suggests that rising temperatures are linked to fire activity.

Loretta Mickley 说,她的团队的研究表明,不断上升的气温和火灾存在联系。

“So we found, as in the past, temperature is really driving the changes that we predict for the future.”

“我们发现,和过去一样,气温确实会引发我们针对未来所预测的变化。”

She says the measurements suggest that the chance of large wildfires will increase by two or three times. Currently, the fire season, the period when most fires take place, is a little over four months. Loretta Mickley says that, by 2050, it will be three weeks longer. She says in the Rocky Mountains, the area burned by fires could increase by as much as four times.

她说,监测数据显示发生大型火灾的概率会增加 2 或 3 倍。目前,火灾季节——多数火灾发生的时段——是 4 个月多一点。Loretta Mickley 说,这到 2050 年将会增加 3 个星期。她说,在落基山脉,发生火灾的面积将增加多达 4 倍。

Fires do more than burn forests. Air quality is also harmed by the huge amounts of smoke produced. In the past 20 years, air quality in many parts of the United States has improved greatly because of federal laws and better technologies. But, Loretta Mickley says, air pollution is an unexpected result of longer lasting, widespread wildfires.

火灾不仅仅焚烧森林,空气质量也因大量产生的烟雾而受到破坏。在过去 20 年,美国很多地方的空气质量因联邦法案和更好的技术而大幅改善。但是,Loretta Mickley 说,空气污染是持续时间更长、传播更广的火灾带来的难以预期的结果。

“But these increases in wildfires could totally disrupt our efforts to clean the air. Last weekend there was an area the size of some states in the eastern U.S. blanketed with unhealthy air over California and Nevada. And, we call this increase in smoke an important climate penalty on air quality.”

“而这些大型火灾的增长会使我们清洁空气的努力毁于一旦。上周末,加利福尼亚州和内华达州上空被一块受污染的空气笼罩,面积相当于美国东部的一些州。而我们将这种烟雾的增长称作气候对空气质量作出的一种重要的惩罚。”

That penalty would be air that is two times as smoky as it is today. Ms. Mickley says these estimates suggest the need for better forest management. And, she adds, they send a warning sign to lawmakers and the public to reduce fossil fuel emissions that many scientists believe are warming the planet.

这种惩罚将会是比现在严重两倍的烟雾空气。Mickley 女士说,这些数字显示改善森林管理的需求。而且,她补充道,它们向立法者和公众传递了一个减少矿石燃料排放的预警信号,很多科学家认为这正使得地球变暖。

A report on the study will appear next month in the journal Atmospheric Environment. I’m Steve Ember.

一篇有关这项研究的报告将会出现在下个月的《大气环境》杂志上。

A Scientist Who Gets Very, Very Close to a Tornado

一位非常、非常接近龙卷风的科学家

Weather experts are able to predict bad weather better than ever before thanks to satellites, high-altitude balloons and radar stations. But for many years these experts have incorrectly predicted tornado formation giving false warnings about 75 percent of the time.

借助卫星、高空气球和雷达站,气象专家可以比过去更好地预测天气。但很多年来,这些专家无法准确预测龙卷风的形成,75%的时间都会给出错误的预警。

So, scientists are working to improve their tornado predictions.

因此,科学家正在努力改进龙卷风预测。

June Simms reports.

Doppler is a type of radar that identifies weather conditions based on the flow and speed of objects through the air.

多普勒雷达是一种根据气流和空气中物质速率来判断天气状况的雷达。

Scientist Joshua Wurman was the first to put Doppler radar equipment on a vehicle and drive it into the path of a tornado.

科学家 Joshua Wurman 是第一位将多普勒雷达设备装在运载工具上送进龙卷风行进路线的人。

“I invented the Doppler on Wheels back in the 1990s because I was frustrated that we couldn’t see enough detail inside tornados and hurricanes. We had blurry images of all these things and in order to really understand the physics -- the math of what is going on inside a tornado, how exactly are they forming, how strong are the winds right at the surface are -- we need to get up very, very, close.”

“我在 20 世纪 90 年代发明了‘有轮子的多普勒’,因为我对无法看到龙卷风和飓风内部的细节而感到受挫。我们有关这些东西的图像都很模糊,而为了真正理解其物理特性——龙卷风内部过程的数学表达、它们准确的形成方式、表面风力的大小——我们需要非常、非常接近。”

Mr. Wurman heads the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, a city in the western state of Colorado. He has put his Doppler radar equipment on large trucks. The high-powered antennas continuously turn in circles. They send out radio waves that hit objects in the air -- like raindrops, and birds. Mr. Wurman and his colleagues sit inside the truck and study the computer images formed by the signals that return.

Wurman 先生负责科罗拉多州西部城市博尔德的恶劣天气研究中心。他把他的多普勒雷达设备装在一个大型卡车上。这些高性能天线会持续地转圈。它们发送无线电波来碰触空气中的物体——比如雨滴和小鸟。Wurman 先生和他的同事坐在卡车内,研究返回信号合成的计算机图片。

“I’m seeing it through the computers and through the radar screens, which are making three-dimensional images of the wind and the debris and the rain and hail, flowing around the storm.”

“我通过计算机和雷达屏幕看着它,它们能合成风暴周围的风、碎石、雨和冰雹的三维图片。”

Using information from satellites, stationary radar networks, and computer models, the team finds a storm that could become a tornado and drives the truck right into that area. Doppler on Wheels has been close to over 200 tornados so far.

利用卫星、固定雷达网和计算机模型带来的信息,这个团队发现了一个会发展成龙卷风的风暴,然后把卡车开到了那个区域。“有轮子的多普勒”现在已经近距离观察过 200 多起龙卷风了。

“When we get up close to a storm while it’s in the process of making a tornado we can look at the evolution of the winds near the surface, how that relates to the winds aloft, how the precipitation, the rain and the hail influences whether the air is going up or down, whether it’s cold or warm and how that is causing or not causing a tornado to form.”

“当我们在风暴发展成龙卷风的过程中接近它,我们能看到其表面附近的风的形成,它如何与高空的风相关,雨和冰雹的降落如何影响空气是上升或下降、是冷或暖,以及它是否会引起龙卷风的形成。”

The examination combines the Doppler-created images, 3-D maps and information gathered by measuring instruments on the ground in the path of a storm.

这些测试结合了多普勒产生的图像、三维地图和风暴轨迹上的地面监测设备所记录的信息。

Information gathered by the instruments could help builders design stronger homes in areas where such dangerous storms are common.

这些设备收集到的信息可以帮助建设者在这类灾难性风暴的常见地区设计更坚固的房屋。

Scientists are learning more about which storms develop into tornados by studying them from start to end. Mr. Wurman says that radar information has taught them that a “wind surge” could be what causes a storm to turn into a tornado.

科学家正在通过研究风暴的始末来了解它们中的哪些会发展成龙卷风。Wurman 先生说,雷达信息告诉他们,“风波”可能是引起风暴变成龙卷风的原因。

I’m June Simms.

Finally, September 11th is Patriot Day in the United States. It is the day when Americans remember the over 3,000 people killed and the thousands injured during the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.

最后,9 月 11 日是美国的爱国者日。在这一天,美国人纪念 2001 年 9 月 11 日针对美国的恐怖主义袭击所带来的 3000 多死者和数千名伤者。

And that’s our show for today. Join us tomorrow for another As It Is program from VOA Learning English.