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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - Rising Seas, Development Predicted to Cause More Flood Disasters

更新时间:2017/9/2 8:58:50 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

The Tropical Storm Harvey in the Unites States and the monsoon in South Asia have again shown how dangerous and destructive floodwaters can be.

美国的哈维热带风暴和南亚的雨季再次展示了洪水了危险性和破坏性。

More than 1,200 people have died across India, Bangladesh and Nepal as a result of flooding. In the American state of Texas, more than 40 people have died and at least 30,000 have been displaced.

印度、孟加拉国和尼泊尔已经有1200多人因为洪水遇难。在美国的德克萨斯州,有40多人遇难,还有至少三万人流离失所。

These are the latest examples of powerful storms striking heavily populated areas, followed by extreme flooding. But storms alone are not the only cause of flooding.

这些都是强风暴袭击人口稠密地区,紧接着发生洪灾的最新例子。但风暴本身不是发生洪水的唯一原因。

Increasing development has been blamed for taking away natural drainage areas that used to limit flooding in cities.

城市的不断发展占据了原本用来限制洪水的天然排洪区。

The latest U.S. flooding following Hurricane Harvey was in Houston, Texas, America’s fourth largest city. Areas around Houston have been hit with serious storm-caused flooding in the past, the last time in April 2016.

美国最近一次洪水紧随在哈维飓风之后,发生在美国第四大城市休斯顿。休斯顿周边地区遭受了过去最严重的强风暴导致了洪水的袭击,上一次发生在2016年4月。

At the time, scientists and experts blamed the flooding on continued growth across the city, according to the Texas Tribune. They called on officials to pass laws limiting developers from paving land that used to take in large amounts of rainwater.

据《德克萨斯论坛报》报道,这一次,科学家和专家将洪水归咎该市的不断发展。他们呼吁有关官员通过法律,限制开发商铺平过去用于吸收大量雨水的土地。

G.K. Bhat is head of the think tank Taru Leading Edge. On the flooding in India, he said “In a normal ground outside the city, nearly 80 percent of the rain would have got absorbed… with concrete and tarmac all around, we are creating almost a near-total impervious area. Thus, the flood gets amplified in urban areas.”

G.K. Bhat是Taru Leading Edge智囊团的负责人。他说,“在印度的洪水中,城外的普通土地吸收了近80%的雨水。而我们用无处不在的混泥土和柏油路创造了一个几乎完全不透水的城市。因此,洪水在城市中不断扩大。”

Rising sea levels

海平面上升

Another big concern is rising sea levels that are predicted to put major areas of the world under water in coming decades.

另一项巨大隐患是预计未来几十年海平面会不断上升,然后会将全球大部分地区淹到水下。

Numerous scientific studies have confirmed that global sea levels began rising in the 19th century. The levels increased 14-17 centimeters during the 20th century and just keep rising.

许多科学研究都已经证实,全球海平面从19世纪开始上升。在20世纪期间,海平面上升了14到17厘米,并且仍在不断上升。

In July, hundreds of scientists from around the world gathered in New York City for a major conference to examine sea-level rise. The conference was organized by the not-for-profit World Climate Research Programme, with support from the United Nations, the U.S. Space Agency NASA and other organizations.

今年7月,来自世界各地的数百名科学家齐聚纽约市参加一次大型会议来调查海平面的上升。这次会议是由非营利性的世界气候研究项目来组织的,并且得到了联合国、美国太空总署以及其它组织的支持。

In its closing statement, the group said global sea levels are currently rising at a rate of about 30 centimeters per century. The group predicted that if climate conditions stay the same, world sea levels could rise one meter or more throughout the 21st century, possibly reaching several meters by 2300.

该组织在闭幕词中表示,全球海平面目前正以每个世纪30厘米左右的速度上升。该组织预计如果气候条件保持不变,全球海平面在整个21世纪期间可能会上升一米甚至更多,可能到2300年会上升数米。

A recent report by a group that analyzes climate changes in the Arctic said the area is currently warming faster than anywhere else on earth. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme said melting ice in the Arctic currently causes about 35 percent of global sea-level rise. Over a period of decades, experts say rising sea levels worldwide could cause disastrous flooding conditions.

一家分析北极气候变化的组织最近发表报告称,目前该地区变暖的速度比全球其它地区都要更快。北极监测和评估项目称,北极地区的融冰目前在导致全球海平面上升中占到了35%左右的作用。专家指出,在今后数十年时间里,全球海平面上升可能会导致灾难性的洪水。

Numerous U.S. communities face this same threat. Many coastal areas already experience regular flooding problems, according to the Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists.

许多美国社区面临着同样的威胁。总部位于华盛顿的忧思科学家联盟表示,许多沿海地区已经经历了定期的洪水问题。

Erika Spanger-Siegfried is a senior analyst with the organization’s Climate and Energy Program. She oversaw two reports that identified areas across the U.S. experiencing what the group calls chronic inundation. It defines this as flooding that prevents people or businesses from carrying out normal daily activities.

Erika Spanger-Siegfried是气候和能源项目的高级分析师。她监督了两份确定美国各地正在经历该组织所谓慢性洪灾的地区的报告。它将慢性洪灾定义为干扰人们或企业进行正常日常活动的洪水。

“What we see just in the next couple of decades is the expansion of areas that are chronically inundated to other currently unaffected parts of the coast. And really, mid-century and beyond is when we start to see major metropolitan areas affected by this chronic inundation as well.”

她说:“接下来几十年里我们会看到遭受慢性洪灾的地区扩大到其它目前不受影响的沿海地区。而到了本世纪中期和之后,我们就会开始看到主要大都市地区受到慢性洪灾的影响。”

What are the solutions?

有什么解决方案?

Spanger-Siegfried suggested three main possible solutions to fight rising sea levels. The first is to build seawalls or levees. The second is to build homes elevated or create waterways to carry floodwaters. The third would be for people to relocate to areas not threatened by flooding. She says communities will likely use a combination of these methods in the short term.

Spanger-Siegfried提出了三种应对不断上升海平面的潜在解决方案。第一是建造海堤或堤坝,第二是建造高出地面的住宅,或是建造承载洪水的水道。第三是让人们搬迁到不受洪水威胁的地区。她说,社区在短期内可能会结合采用这三种办法。

“It is human nature to reach for defensive measures and to try and simply keep the water out and keep, maintain things as they are within communities, which is fully understandable.”

她说:“寻找预防措施、将洪水拒之门外以及维护社区完整是人之本性,这些都是完全可以理解的。”

Michael Bogin is a New York environmental lawyer. He told VOA that the US government under President Barack Obama had taken steps to give local officials more power to regulate development as a way to prevent flooding.

Michael Bogin是纽约的一名环保律师。他对美国之音表示,奥巴马治下的美国政府已经采取了措施,赋予地方官员更大权力来规范发展,从而防止洪水。

Bogin said one idea to deal with the problem is for governments to buy land from homeowners in areas with a high flood risk.

Bogin表示,政府应对该问题的办法之一就是从洪水风险很大的地区的业主手中购买土地。

Such a program was used in Staten Island, New York, after Hurricane Sandy caused widespread damage in the area. Owners of destroyed or damaged homes were made offers to sell the property to the state. Buyers of the property were then required to follow post-Sandy flood rules when building new homes.

在飓风桑迪对纽约市的史坦顿岛造成大面积破坏之后,这样一种方案在该地区被采用。被毁坏或受损房屋的业主被要求将该物业出售给该州。然后,该物业的买家在建造新房时被要求遵守桑迪洪水之后的规定。

But Bogin says clearly that's not going to be a complete solution for cities with populations of four, six or eight million people, like New York or Houston.

但是Bogin明确表示,对于像纽约和休斯顿这种人口有四百万、六百万或者八百万的城市来说,这不是一项完整的解决方案。

He added that in New York City, officials have explored the building of more environment-friendly infrastructure. The idea is to take areas that have been paved over and turn them back into natural land areas that can take in extra water during floods.

他补充说,纽约市官员已经探讨了更环保基础设施的建设。该想法是把已经铺平的地区变回能够吸收额外的水的自然地面。

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Words in This Story

drainage – n. process of removing water or liquid from a place

glacier – n. very large area of ice that moves slowly down a slope or valley or over a wide area of land

greenhouse gases – n. carbon dioxide and other gases that scientists have linked to rising global temperatures

metropolitan – adj. relating to a large city

levee – n. wall made of earth or other material built to keep water from flooding an area

elevate – v. lift up

pave – n. cover earth with a material to form a hard surface

impervious – adj. not allowing liquid to pass through

regulate – v. make rules or laws to control something

infrastructure – n. the basic equipment and structures (such as roads and bridges) needed for a country or organization to function properly

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