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[翻译]Technology Report - Supercomputers To Help Predict The Weather

来源:慢速英语   时间:2013-09-24 12:26:18

From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语科技报道。

Many Americans start to closely follow weather reports in the early fall. During the Atlantic hurricane season, predicting the strength and movement of these huge storm systems is of crucial importance. Thanks to new supercomputers, meteorologists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are getting better at predicting the weather as far as six days out.

许多美国人开始密切关注初秋的天气预报。在大西洋飓风季节期间,预测这些巨大风暴系统的强度和移动是至关重要的。多亏了新的超级计算机,美国国家海洋和大气管理局(简称NOAA)的气象学家们在预测近六天的天气上做得越来越好。

Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast last October, and caused deaths and widespread damage. It was one of the costliest storm in U.S. history. At the time, some people blamed meteorologists for not correctly predicting the path of the storm.

去年十月桑迪飓风袭击了美国东海岸,造成民众遇难和大面积破坏。该飓风是美国历史上损失最惨重的风暴之一。当时一些人指责气象学家们没有正确预测风暴的路径。

But weather forecasting is extremely difficult, says Ben Kyger.  He is the Director of Central Operations at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction in College Park, Maryland.

但本·古格(Ben Kyger)表示,天气预报是非常困难的。他是美国国家海洋和大气管理局(NOAA)旗下国家环境预报中心(NCEP)业务运行中心的主任。

"You’ve got major patterns in the atmosphere, like the jet stream, but you’ve also got little eddies, little currents, little things happening all over the place. All these little changes are interacting with each other, continuously, all day long. So if you look at it from above, from a satellite, you see the atmosphere moving and churning in big ways and little ways."

他说,“我们了解了大气的主要模式,像高速气流。但我们也知道大气中到处会产生小涡流、小气流等等。这些细微变化整天不断地互相作用。所以从卫星上看,就能看到大气在大范围和小范围内移动和翻腾。”

Ben Kyger says oceans are another issue because they closely interact with the atmosphere and have a huge effect on storms. NOAA has spent about $20 million on two new supercomputers, in an effort to improve the dependability of the forecasts.

古格表示,海洋是另一个因素,因为它和大气密切地相互作用,对风暴有巨大影响。美国国家海洋和大气管理局已经在两台新超级计算机上投入约2千万美元,就是为了提高预报的可靠性。

"These computers generate the initial model guidance that the whole forecast process depends on, for all the weather information that you see, with snowstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, how hot it’s going to be today — all of your weather forecasts start with what comes off of these supercomputers."

古格说,“这些计算机会生成整个预报过程要依赖的初始指导模型。你看到的所有气象信息,暴风雪、龙卷风、飓风,以及当天的气温,所有这些天气预报都源于这些超级计算机。”

It takes a huge amount of computational power to examine data from weather satellites, ground stations and other sources. It then take a lot of power to predict temperature, air pressure, humidity and wind speed.

分析来自气象卫星、地面站和其它渠道的数据需要耗费巨大的计算能力,随后还需要耗费巨大的计算能力来预测温度、气压、湿度和风速。

But human brains and experience are still very important to the process. Meteorologists at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction scan the same data that the supercomputers get before issuing a weather report.

但人类的大脑和经验对这一过程仍然非常重要。国家环境预测中心的气象学家在发布天气预报前,会察看超级计算机获得的同样的数据。

"They are looking at lots of different models run of different computers, and then they are creating that five-day forecast. They use lots of scientific and subjective knowledge from doing it year after year. They know where the models are strong, where they’re weak and they give us significantly better forecasts than the models would do by themselves."

古格说,“他们会查看很多由不同计算机运行的不同气象模型,然后做出5天的天气预报。他们会运用大量年复一年积累的科学和主观知识,也知道气象模型的优点和缺点,所以他们会给我们做出明显比计算机本身能做出的更好的预测。”

NOAA issues worldwide forecasts every six hours every day of the year. The reports are free and are helpful for many countries that cannot afford their own weather service. NOAA continues working to improve its weather-forecasting abilities, another upgrade of its weather-predicting supercomputers is planed for as earlier as 2015.

美国国家海洋和大气管理局每天每6个小时发布全球天气预报。这些预报是免费的,这对很多自身无法负担气象服务的国家来说很有帮助。美国国家海洋和大气管理局将继续提高其天气预测能力,其天气预测超级计算机预定将于2015年再次升级。

And that's the Technology Report from VOA Learning English. I'm June Simms.

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