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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - Scientists Study to Remove Carbon from the Atmosphere

更新时间:2017/4/24 9:52:04 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Scientists have traveled to the mountains of Oman to find a way to remove carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere.

科学家们去到了阿曼的山区寻找从大气中去除二氧化碳气体的办法。

The geologists hope to find an effective and low-cost way to capture the gas which is blamed for worldwide climate change.

这些地质学家希望找到一种有效和低成本的办法来捕获二氧化碳这种导致全球气候变化的气体。

The Middle Eastern country of Oman is one of the few places in the world where the Earth's mantle is easy to reach. This part of the Arabian Peninsula is where an unusual rock formation pulls carbon out of the air.

中东国家阿曼是全球少有的容易抵达地幔的地方之一。阿拉伯半岛这个地区的一种不寻常岩层能够把碳从空气中提取出来。

Geologists are taking rock samples from the al-Hajjar Mountains. They want to discover how a natural process changed carbon dioxide into minerals such as limestone and marble millions of years ago.

地质学家正在采集al-Hajjar山区的岩石样本。他们想要找出数百万年前自然过程如何将二氧化碳变为石灰石和大理石这类矿物质。

Peter Kelemen is a geochemist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He has been exploring Oman's hills for almost 30 years.

彼得·克莱门(Peter Kelemen)是哥伦比亚大学拉蒙-多哈堤地球观测站的一位地球化学家。他近30年来一直在探索阿曼的山丘。

"You can walk down these beautiful canyons and basically descend 20 kilometers into the earth's interior," he said.

他说,“从这些美丽的峡谷往下,再有20公里就进入了地球内部。”

This area in Oman has the largest exposed parts of the Earth's mantle, a part of the Earth that is usually far below the surface. It was brought to the surface by the forces of plate tectonics millions of years ago.

阿曼的这个地区是地幔暴露最多的地方。地幔是指地表以下很深的部分。数百万年前,它被板块构造的力量带到了地表。

The mantle contains rocks called peridotite. The rocks react with carbon in the air and water to form marble and limestone.

地幔含有一种被称之为橄榄岩的岩石。这种岩石与空气中的二氧化碳气体以及水反应生成大理石和石灰石。

Kelemen explained that magnesium atoms combined with carbon dioxide to form limestone, quartz and magnesium carbonate. He said one of the mountains nearby holds “about a billion tons of CO2,” or carbon dioxide.

克莱门解释说,镁原子和二氧化碳结合生成石灰石、石英以及碳酸镁。他说,附近的一处山脉保存了大约10亿吨二氧化碳。

In Oman’s mountain caves, rain and ground water form pools. The rain and water pull carbon from the exposed mantle to make mineral formations called stalactites and stalagmites. The surface of these natural pools of water develops a layer of white carbonate—a kind of mineral that contains carbon.

在阿曼的山洞里,雨水和地下水形成了水坑。这些雨水和地下水从暴露的地幔中吸收二氧化碳气体,形成被称之为钟乳石和石笋的矿物形态。这些天然水坑的水面上形成了一层白色的碳酸盐,这是一种含有碳的矿物质。

Keleman said if you take off this thin white film, it will grow back in a day. He says that is very fast for a geological process.

克莱门表示,如果你除掉这层薄薄的白膜,一天之后它会再次形成。他说,这对地质作用来说是非常快的。

Kelemen and a team of 40 scientists have formed the Oman Drilling Project to study how the process works. They want to find out how the rocks managed to capture so much carbon over time. They want to know if the process could be used to clean carbon from the earth's atmosphere.

克莱门和一个由40名科学家组成的团队组建了阿曼钻探项目来研究这一过程是如何运作的。他们想知道这些岩石是如何随着时间的推移捕获了这么多的二氧化碳气体。他们想知道这个过程是否可被用于清洁地球大气层中的二氧化碳气体。

Keleman's team recently spent four months in Oman collecting many rock samples. They hope to use these samples to develop a geological history of the process that turns carbon dioxide into carbonate.

克莱门的团队最近花费了4个月在阿曼采集多种岩石样本。他们希望利用这些样本总结出将二氧化碳转化为碳酸盐这一过程的地质历史。

The team plans to send 13 tons of samples from four different areas to a research ship off the coast of Japan. Kelemen and other geologists will study the rocks there.

该团队计划将来自4个不同地区的13吨样本送到日本沿海地区的一艘研究船上。克莱门等地质学家将在那里研究这些岩石。

They want to find out how the rocks captured so much carbon over 90 million years. And they want to know if there is a way to make that process happen faster.

他们想要找出这些岩石在超过9千万年里如何捕获了这么多的二氧化碳气体。他们还想知道是否有办法让这个过程发生得更快。

Kelemen thinks a drilling operation be used to move carbon-rich water into the new seabed on underwater mountains. The submerged rock would chemically take in carbon from the water. The water could then move back to the surface to absorb more carbon from the atmosphere. Then the process would repeat itself.

克莱门认为可以利用钻探作业将富含二氧化碳气体的水运到海底山脉的新海床。这些淹没的岩石将会以化学方法吸收水中的二氧化碳气体。然后这些水可以返回地表从大气中吸收更多的二氧化碳气体。然后这个过程将会自行重复。

Fighting carbon dioxide

对抗二氧化碳

The scientists hope their research will provide a way of dealing with carbon dioxide and other carbon-based greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

这些科学家希望他们的研究可以提供一种处理跟气候变化有关的二氧化碳等碳基温室气体的办法。

Climate change is a global change in weather patterns. Scientists say it is caused by an increase in levels of carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. The use of fossil fuels is considered a major source of carbon dioxide.

气候变化是指气候模式的全球性变化。科学家们表示,它是由捕获大气中热量的二氧化碳等气体的含量不断上升引起的。化石燃料的使用被认为是二氧化碳的主要来源。

Until now, most efforts to combat climate change have centered on reducing emissions from cars and power plants. But researchers are testing ways to remove or recycle carbon already in the seas and sky.

到目前为止,应对气候变化的大部分措施都集中于减少汽车和发电厂的排放。但是研究人员正在测试去除或回收海洋和天空中已经存在的二氧化碳气体的办法。

In Iceland, they inject carbon into volcanic rock at the Hellisheidi geothermal plant. In China, carbon is filtered and reused at the Sinopec fertilizer plant.

在冰岛,他们将二氧化碳气体注入冰岛赫利舍迪地热发电站的火山岩层中。在中国,中国石化集团化肥厂对二氧化碳气体进行过滤和再利用。

"Any one technique is not guaranteed to succeed," said Stuart Haszeldine. He is a geology professor at the University of Edinburgh. He also serves on a U.N. climate group that studies how to reduce atmospheric carbon.

斯图尔特·哈斯扎林(Stuart Haszeldine)表示,“任何一种技术都不能保证成功。”哈斯扎林是爱丁堡大学的地质学教授,他还在研究如何减少大气二氧化碳含量的联合国气候组织工作。

Keleman said the Oman Drilling Project would need more years of testing. He hopes the energy industry will take an interest and help the project. So far, it has only received support from science organizations including the U.S. space agency NASA.

克莱门表示,阿曼钻探项目将需要更多年的测试。他希望能源行业能够对这个项目感兴趣并帮助这个项目。到目前为止,它只得到了包括美国太空总署在内的科学组织的支持。

I'm Jonathan Evans.

Words in This Story

geologist –n. a science that studies rocks, layers of soil, etc., in order to learn about the history of the Earth and its life​

mantle –n. the middle layer of the Earth that is between the top crust and the inner core​

plate tectonics –n. a theory explaining the structure of the earth's crust and many associated phenomena as resulting from the interaction of rigid plates that move slowly over the underlying mantle.​

layer – n. an amount of something that is spread over an area​

fossil fuel –n. a fuel (such as coal, oil, or natural gas) that is formed in the earth from dead plants or animals​

greenhouse gas –n. a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation, e.g., carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons.

patterns - n. a repeated form or design especially that is used to decorate something​

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