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紐約時報賞析:人類可以用更少的土地 生產更多糧食嗎?
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Can We Grow More Food on Less Land?
人類可以用更少的土地 更多糧食嗎?
By Brad Plumer

If the world hopes to make meaningful progress on climate change, it won’t be enough for cars and factories to get cleaner. Our cows and wheat fields will have to become radically more efficient, too.
如果這個世界希望在氣候變遷上取得有意義的進展,只靠汽車與工廠變得更乾淨是不的。我們的牛隻與小麥田也必須從根本上提高效率。

That’s the basic conclusion of a sweeping new study issued by the World Resources Institute, an environmental group. The report warns that the world’s agricultural system will need drastic changes in the next few decades in order to feed billions more people without triggering a climate catastrophe.
環境組織「世界資源研究所」發表了一份包容廣泛的新研究報告,獲致以上基本結論,該報告提醒世人,未來幾十年世界農業系統需要徹底改變,方足以在不引起氣候災難的情況下養活多出了數十億的人口。

The challenge is daunting: Agriculture already occupies roughly 40 percent of the world’s vegetated land and is responsible for about a quarter of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions. But with the global population expected to grow from 7.2 billion people today to nearly 10 billion by 2050, and with many millions of people eating more meat as incomes rise, that environmental impact is on pace to expand dramatically.
這是嚴酷的挑戰:農業已占用世界約40%有植被的土地,溫室氣體排放量也約達人類總排放量的四分之一,但隨著全球人口料將自目前的72億人成長至2050年的近100億人,並伴隨數以百萬計的人因收入增加而食用更多的肉,環境承受的這種衝擊正在急劇擴大。

Based on current trends, the authors calculated, the world would need to produce 56 percent more calories in 2050 than it did in 2010. If farmers and ranchers met that demand by clearing away more forests and other ecosystems for cropland and pasture, as they have often done in the past, they would end up transforming an area twice the size of India.
報告的作者們預測,依照目前趨勢,世界2050年時須較2010年時多生56%的卡路里。若農牧從業人員一仍舊例,透過清除更多森林與其他生態系統來滿足農田和牧場的需求,他們最終改造的面積將是印度的兩倍大。

That, in turn, could make it nearly impossible to stay below 2 degrees Celsius of global warming, the agreed-upon international goal, even if the world’s fossil-fuel emissions were rapidly phased down. When forests are converted into farmland, the large stores of carbon locked away in those trees is released into the atmosphere.
果若如此,即便全球化石燃料的溫室氣體排放量迅速遞減,國際上一致同意的目標,亦即讓全球升溫低於攝氏兩度,也幾乎不可能達成。當森林被改造成農田時,鎖在那些樹木中的大量碳會釋放到大氣中。

“Food is the mother of all sustainability challenges,” said Janet Ranganathan, vice president for science and research at the World Resources Institute. “We can’t get below 2 degrees without major changes to this system.”
世界資源研究所負責科學和研究的副所長珍妮·藍佳納森:「糧食是所有永續問題挑戰之母。這個系統不做重大變革,我們無法壓到兩度以下。」

The new study, the result of six years’ worth of modeling work conducted in partnership with French agricultural researchers, is hardly the first to warn that feeding the world sustainably will be a formidable task. But the authors take a different view of the most plausible solutions.
這份新研究報告是跟法國農業研究人員合作,進行為期六年模擬工作的結果,稱不上是警告永續養活世人十分艱難的第一份報告,但作者們對最合理的解決方法持不同的看法。

In the past, researchers who have looked at the food problem have suggested that the key to a sustainable agriculture system is to persuade consumers to eat far less meat and waste far less of the food that’s already grown.
糧食問題的研究人員過去認為,農業系統得以永續的關鍵,在於服消費者大幅減少肉食量,以及對已經種植出來的糧食的浪費。

The new report, however, cautions that this could prove difficult in practice. The authors do recommend that the biggest consumers of beef and lamb, such as those in Europe and the United States, could cut back their consumption by about 40 percent by 2050, or down to about 1.5 servings a week on average.
不過,這份新報告警告,這可能很難落實。報告的作者們的確提出了他們的建議,牛肉與羊肉的最大消費者,像是歐洲和美國人,到2050年時可將消耗量減少約40%,或減至每個禮拜平均約1.5份。

原文參照:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/05/climate/agriculture-food-global-warming.html

2019-02-10聯合報.D4.紐約時報賞析 陳韋廷

文解字看新聞 陳韋廷

農業為文化之母,許多文化發源地都是農業發生最早地區,而agriculture恰好就是由意指「農田、土地」字根agriculture組成,而culture(文化)則是源自代表「種植、栽培」意思的動詞cultivate

此外,文中多次出現單字feed意指「餵食、養活」,餵嬰兒或動物喝奶也用此字,偶爾也能用來展現幽默表示「人吃飯」,當名詞用時則為「動物飼料」,而若要將人或是動物養壯養肥,這時要用動詞片語feed up,如feed up the pigs(將豬養肥)。

最後,sustainable是全文最關鍵字彙,文中譯為「永續的」,由代表「在下面的」字首sus跟具有「拿、握」意思字根tain以及形容詞字尾able所組成,動詞型式則為sustain得注意的是,sustainablesustained的區別為,前者意指「可持續的、能維持的」,後者則是「持續的、持久的」意思。

The Whale Album: Why Do Humpbacks Sing?
座頭鯨為什麼歌唱?
By Karen Weintraub

Sometimes a whale just wants to change its tune.
有時,鯨魚就是想換個腔調。

That’s one of the things researchers have learned recently by eavesdropping on whales in several parts of the world and listening for changes in their pattern and pitch.
這是研究人員最近在世上某些海域監聽鯨魚發出聲音的模式和音高的變化後,新的發現之一。

Together, the new studies suggest that whales are not just whistling in the water, but constantly evolving a form of communication that we are only beginning to understand.
整合後的這些研究指出,鯨魚不是只在海裡隨興哼出口哨般的聲音,而是不斷在發展一種我們才剛開始理解的溝通形式。

Most whales and dolphins vocalize, but dolphins and toothed whales mostly make clicking and whistling sounds. Humpbacks, and possibly bowheads, sing complex songs with repeated patterns, said Michael Noad, an associate professor in the Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratory at the University of Queensland in Australia.
澳洲昆士蘭大學鯨豚生態及聲響學實驗室的副教授諾德,多數鯨豚會發出聲音,但海豚和齒鯨大多只會發出卡嗒、哨鳴聲。然而座頭鯨(又稱大翅鯨),可能還有弓頭鯨,卻會吟唱有重覆節奏模式的繁複歌曲。

Birds may broadcast their social hierarchy among song-sharing populations by allowing the dominant bird to pick the playlist and patterns. But how and why whales pass song fragments across hundreds of miles, and to thousands of animals, is far more mysterious.
在共享歌曲的鳥群裡,鳥兒們會透過歌曲宣唱社會地位,讓居支配地位的那隻鳥挑選唱什麼和怎麼唱。然而座頭鯨如何把段段歌聲遠傳數百哩,傳給數以千計的鯨魚,又為何要這麼做?卻更要費解得多。

The biggest question is why whales sing at all.
最大的問題是,鯨魚到底為什麼要唱?

“The thing that always gets me out of bed in the morning is the function of the song,” Noad said. “I find humpback song fascinating from the point of view of how it’s evolved.”
諾德:「鯨魚歌唱功用何在這問題總能讓我早上從床上跳起來。座頭鯨歌曲的演化過程讓我著迷。」

The leading hypothesis is that male humpbacks – only the males sing – are trying to attract females. But they may also switch tunes when another male is nearby, apparently to assess a rival’s size and fitness, said Noad, who was the senior author of one of four new papers on whale songs.
四篇鯨歌相關論文之一的主要作者諾德,最為人接受的假設是,雄性座頭鯨之所以唱-只有雄性座頭鯨會唱歌-是為了吸引雌性。但若附近另有一頭雄鯨時,牠們也會轉換曲調,顯然是為了評估對方的體型和健康狀態。

Why the humpbacks’ musical patterns tend to be more complex than those of other whales is also a bit murky. Noad suggested that the development may be the result of “runaway selection.”
為什麼和其他鯨魚相比,座頭鯨的歌曲更為繁複呢?這還不很清楚。但諾德認為這一趨向可能是「費雪性擇」的結果。

Early humpbacks with complex songs were so much more successful at mating that they gained a substantial evolutionary advantage over their brethren with simpler vocalizations. This led to some very large, sometimes very noisy animals.
在早期,唱複雜歌曲的座頭鯨遠比歌曲較單調的容易尋得伴侶,這給了他們不小的演化優勢。一些體型龐大,有時候還十分聒噪的鯨魚也從而出現。

In one of the new studies, led by scientists at the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, researchers tracked humpbacks singing along the east and west coasts of Africa, comparing songs sung by those off the coast of Gabon to those near Madagascar.
在一個前述研究裡,研究人員由總部位於紐約的國際野生生物保護學會的科學家帶隊,追蹤在非洲東西岸吟唱的座頭鯨,把加彭外海鯨角唱的歌拿來與馬達加斯加岸外鯨魚唱的做比較。

The study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, confirmed that the two populations interact, noting overlap in their vocalizations. The researchers recorded songs annually from 2001 to 2005 using hand-held hydrophones aboard boats.
這份刊登在皇家社會開放期刊上的研究證實,這兩群鯨魚會互動,並在兩群的歌曲裡找到相似之處。從20012005年,研究人員每年搭船出海以手持水下麥克風錄音。

“Male humpback whales within a population tend to sing the same song type, but it’s continuously changing and evolving over time,” said Melinda Rekdahl, the study’s first author and a marine conservation scientist with the wildlife society.
國際野生生物保護學會的海洋動物保護科學家、研究報告主要作者梅琳達·雷克達爾:「同一鯨群裡的雄性座頭鯨往往唱著同一模式的歌,但也不斷改變演化。」

原文參照:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/07/science/whales-songs-acoustics.html

2019-02-10聯合報.D4.紐約時報賞析 張江寧


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