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学术论文预测本世纪末洪水滔天

更新时间:2016-3-23 18:18:58 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries
学术论文预测本世纪末洪水滔天

The nations of the world agreed years ago to try to limit global warming to a level they hoped would prove somewhat tolerable. But leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of that magnitude would actually be quite dangerous.

几年前,世界各国一致同意,把全球变暖趋势限制在一个他们希望多少可以容忍的水平。但一些知名气候科学家本周二警告说,容许这种幅度的升温实际上非常危险。

The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world’s coastal cities before the end of this century, the scientists declared.

科学家宣布,这种升温幅度可能造成的后果包括,在本世纪末出现近代未曾有过的强烈风暴,很大一部分极地冰盖崩解,海平面上升到足以淹没所有沿海城市的高度。

“We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control,” said James E. Hansen, the retired NASA climate scientist who led the new research. The findings were released Tuesday morning by a European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

“我们交给年轻人的,可能会是一种他们无法控制的局面,”这项新研究的领导者詹姆斯·E·汉森(James E. Hansen)说。他是美国航空航天局(NASA)退休的气候学科家。这项研究结果是欧洲科学杂志《大气化学与物理》周二早上发表的。

A draft version of the paper was released last year, and it provoked a roiling debate among climate scientists. The main conclusions have not changed, and that debate seems likely to be replayed in the coming weeks.

这篇论文的草稿在去年发布时,在气候科学家中引发了激烈辩论。正式论文的主要结论并没有改动,它很可能在未来的几周内重新掀起辩论。

The basic claim of the paper is that by burning fossil fuels at a prodigious pace and pouring heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, humanity is about to provoke an abrupt climate shift.

这篇论文的基本论点是,人类以惊人的速度燃烧化石燃料,把温室气体排放到大气中,这即将引发剧烈的气候变化。

Specifically, the authors believe that fresh water pouring into the oceans from melting land ice will set off a feedback loop that will cause parts of the great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica to disintegrate rapidly.

具体来说,作者认为,正在融化的陆地冰将把淡水注入海洋,引发恶性循环,导致格陵兰岛和南极的部分巨大冰盖迅速崩解。

That claim has intrigued some experts who say the paper may help explain puzzling episodes in Earth’s past when geological evidence suggests the climate underwent drastic shifts. Yet many other scientists are unconvinced by some of the specific assertions the authors are making.

一些专家对这种说法很感兴趣。他们表示,地质证据表明地球历史上发生过剧烈的气候变化,这篇论文可能有助于解释其中的一些谜团。然而,其他很多科学家并不同意该论文作者的一些具体说法。

“Some of the claims in this paper are indeed extraordinary,” said Michael E. Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University. “They conflict with the mainstream understanding of climate change to the point where the standard of proof is quite high.”

“论文中的有些说法确实很不同寻常,”宾夕法尼亚州立大学(Pennsylvania State University)气候科学家迈克尔·E·曼恩(Michael E. Mann)说。“它们与气候变化的主流看法存在冲突,要想证明的话举证标准很高。”

Despite any reservations they might have about the new paper, virtually all climate scientists agree with Dr. Hansen’s group that society is not moving fast enough to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, posing grave risks. An agreement reached late last year in Paris seeks to cut emissions, but it is not remotely ambitious enough to limit global warming to the degree Dr. Hansen regards as necessary.

无论他们对这篇新的论文有怎样的保留意见,几乎所有的气候科学家都同意汉森研究小组的一个结论:社会减少温室气体排放的动作还不够快,这是一个很重大的风险。去年年底在巴黎达成了一个温室气体排放削减协议,但它的力度远远不够把全球变暖趋势,限制在汉森认为必要的水平。

Among Dr. Hansen’s colleagues, some of the discomfiture about the new paper stems from his dual roles as a publishing climate scientist and, in recent years, as a political activist. He has been arrested at rallies, and he has joined with a group of young people who sued the federal government over what they said was its failure to limit global warming.

在汉森博士的一些同行看来,他的双重角色导致这篇新论文有些尴尬。因为汉森不仅是著书立学的气候科学家,近年来也成为了一名政治活动者。他在参加集会时被逮捕过,他还和一群年轻人共同起诉联邦政府未能限制全球变暖。

Dr. Hansen argues that society is in such grave peril that he feels morally compelled to go beyond the normal role played by a scientist and to sound a clear warning.

汉森博士认为,我们的社会处在如此重大的危险之中,从道义上说,他不得不超越科学家的通常角色,清晰明确地发出警示。

That stance has made him a hero to college students fighting climate change, but some fellow scientists fear he has opened himself to the charge that he is skewing his scientific research for political purposes.

由于这个立场,那些与气候变化作斗争的大学生将他视为英雄,但一些科学家同行担心,他会出于政治目的歪曲科学研究。

In 2009, nations agreed to try to limit the planetary warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius, above the preindustrial level. The Earth has already warmed by about half that amount. The climate appears to be destabilizing, virtually all land ice on the planet has started to melt, and the oceans are rising at an accelerating pace.

2009年,各国同意一道努力,把全球变暖的幅度限制在超过工业化前水平的3.6华氏度(2摄氏度)之内。现在,地球升温幅度已经达到了这个幅度的一半。气候似乎不太稳定,地球上几乎所有的陆地冰都已经开始融化,海平面上升的速度也在日益加快。

The paper, written by Dr. Hansen and 18 other authors, dwells on the last time Earth warmed naturally, about 120,000 years ago, when the temperature reached a level estimated to have been only slightly higher than today. Large chunks of the polar ice disintegrated then, and scientists have established that the sea level rose 20 to 30 feet.

这篇论文由汉森博士等19个作者撰写,讲述了约12万年前的上一次地球自然升温。当时温度上升到只比今天略高的水平,然后出现了极地冰大解体,科学家发现当时海平面上升了20到30英尺。

Climate scientists agree that humanity is about to cause an equal or greater rise in sea level, but they have tended to assume that such a large increase would take centuries, at least. The new paper argues that it could happen far more rapidly, with the worst case being several feet of sea-level rise over the next 50 years, followed by increases so precipitous that they would force humanity to beat a hasty retreat from the coasts.

气候科学家一致认为,人类即将引发同等或更大幅度的海平面上升,但他们倾向于认为,如此大幅的上升需要至少几百年的时间。这篇新论文认为,事情会来得更快,在最糟的情况下,海平面将在未来50年里上升几英尺,然后速度开始急剧加快,人类不得不匆忙逃离海岸。

“That would mean loss of all coastal cities, most of the world’s large cities and all their history,” Dr. Hansen said in a video statement that accompanied the new paper.

“这意味着所有的沿海城市都被淹没,全球大部分大城市及其历史都会消失,”汉森博士在与论文同时发布的一个视频声明中说。

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