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每日英語跟讀 Ep.877: Study Sees ‘Cliff Edge’ Of Die-Offs Over Climate 氣候變遷 將使野生動物驟然消亡

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.878: Study Sees ‘Cliff Edge’ Of Die-Offs Over Climate

Climate change could result in a more abrupt collapse of many animal species than previously thought, starting in the next decade if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, according to a study published last month in Nature.

根據發表在四月號「自然」期刊的一項研究結果,如果溫室氣體排放沒有減少,從下一個十年開始,氣候變遷可能使許多動物物種比先前以為的更驟然消亡。

The study predicted that large swaths of ecosystems would falter in waves, creating sudden die-offs that would be catastrophic not only for wildlife but also for the humans who depend on it.

這項研究預測,大面積的生態系統可能在這波浪潮中衰敗,造成驟然出現的接連死亡,不只對野生動物而言是個大災難,對賴以生存的人類亦復如此。

“For a long time things can seem OK, and then suddenly they're not,” said Alex L. Pigot, a scientist at University College London and one of the study's authors. “Then, it's too late to do anything about it because you've already fallen over this cliff edge.”

「在很長的時間一切看來都好,接著突然就不行了。」倫敦大學學院科學家,這項研究報告作者之一的艾力克斯.皮卓說。「然後,做任何事都太遲了,因為你已經從懸崖邊緣跌落。」

The latest research adds to an already bleak picture for the world's wildlife unless urgent action is taken to preserve habitats and limit climate change. More than 1 million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction because of the myriad ways humans are changing the Earth by farming, fishing, logging, mining, poaching and burning fossil fuels.

人們原已明瞭,除非採取緊急行動以保留其棲息地並限制氣候變遷,世上野生動物前景淒涼,這項最新研究為這景象又添上了一筆。超過100萬種植物和動物有滅絕的風險,因為人類正以各種方式改變地球,像是農墾、魚撈、伐木、採礦、盜獵及焚燒化石燃料。

The study looked at more than 30,000 species on land and in water to predict how soon climate change would affect population levels and whether those levels would change gradually or suddenly. To answer these questions, the authors determined the hottest temperature that a species is known to have withstood and then predicted when that temperature would be surpassed around the world under different emissions scenarios.

這項研究檢視超過三萬種陸地和水中生物,以預測氣候變遷多快會影響種群數層級,以及這些層級會逐漸改變或是突然改變。為回答這些問題,作者們找出了一個物種已知可承受的最高溫度,接著預測在不同排放情況下,世界各地何時會超過這個溫度上限。

When they examined the projections, the researchers were surprised that sudden collapses appeared across almost all species — fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals — and across almost all regions.

研究人員檢視這些預測時,驚訝地發現,幾乎所有物種和所有地區都出現突然的族群崩解,包括魚類、爬蟲類、兩棲類、鳥類及哺乳動物。

If greenhouse gas emissions remain on current trajectories, the research showed that abrupt collapses in tropical oceans could begin in the next decade. Coral bleaching events over the last several years suggest that these losses have already started, the scientists said. Collapse in tropical forests, home to some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, could follow by the 2040s.

如果溫室氣體排放維持目前的曲線,研究顯示,熱帶海洋裡的動物突然消亡將在下一個十年開始。科學家說,近幾年來的珊瑚白化現象顯示,這些減損已經開始。地球一些最具多樣性的生態系統所在的熱帶森林,可能在2040年代之前繼之崩解。

But if global warming was held to below 2 degrees Celsius, the number of species exposed to dangerous climate change would drop by 60%. That, in turn, would limit the number of ecosystems exposed to catastrophic collapse to about 2%.

但是,若全球暖化能控制在攝氏兩度以下,暴露於危險氣候變遷的物種數量將減少60%。如此一來,暴露於災難性崩解的生態系數量可限制至2%左右。

The study does not take into account other factors that could help or hurt a species' survival. For example, some species may tolerate or adapt to higher temperatures; on the other hand, if their food sources could not, they would die off just the same.

這項研究並未考慮其他可幫助或傷害族群生存的因素,例如,有些物種或許可忍耐或適應更高的溫度。然而,如果牠們的食物來源無法生存,牠們也一樣會相繼死亡。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/353154/web/

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