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地球工程:一个不得以而为之的可怕构想

Geoengineering: A Horrible Idea We Might Have to Do

By the end of the 21st century, humanity is becoming desperate.
到21世纪末 人类将面临绝望
Decades of heatwaves and droughts have led to unusually poor harvests,
数十年的热浪和干旱导致了极度欠收
while the warming oceans yield fewer fish each year.
而升温的海洋使每年的渔获越来越少
In the tropical zones, millions suffer from famine
在热带地区 数百万人遭受饥荒
and resource wars have made millions more flee to the north.
资源之战使数百万人向北逃离
As things quickly get worse, in an act of desperation,
随着事态迅速恶化 在绝望中
the world’s governments decide to enact an emergency plan…
世界各国政府决定通过一项应急计划……
It is far from certain that a grim scenario like this will play out.
如此骇人的景象是否会发生还远未可知
But the failure of world leaders to effectively address climate change,
然而世界领导人未能有效应对气候变化
makes it far from impossible.
使其绝非不可能发生
So in the near future it might become necessary to try something radical
因此在不久的将来 为减缓气候的快速变化
to slow down rapid climate change: Geoengineering,
可能有必要尝试一些激进的方法:地球工程
Interventions so massive in scale
地球工程干预规模如此之大
that they might undo centuries of human behavior,
可能会消除数百年来人类行为方式的坏影响
or make everything much worse.
抑或让一切雪上加霜
What is geoengineering, is it really an option
什么是地球工程?这真的是一种选择吗?
and what if it goes wrong?
若出错了该如何是好?
《科学坚果》
Geoengineering methods vary from fantastic ones
地球工程的方式多种多样
like constructing giant light sails in space
如在太空建造巨大光帆
to seeding clouds with salt
到用盐在云层中播种的奇思妙想
or wilder ones like fertilizing the oceans with iron
或更狂野的方式如用铁给海洋施肥
to speed up the growth of trillions of algae cells.
以加速数万亿藻类细胞的生长
In this video we’ll focus on an intervention
本视频 我们将关注
we could see during our lifetimes:
此生中我们可能看到的一种干预方式:
Stratospheric aerosol injection,
平流层气溶胶注入
a clunky term that means spraying stuff
这个蹩脚的术语意思是在大气层
very high up in the atmosphere to keep the sun away.
极高的位置喷洒材料以遮避阳光
Keeping the Sun away.
遮避阳光
CO2 doesn’t heat up the planet on its own,
二氧化碳本身不会使地球升温
almost all of the energy on earth
地球上几乎所有的能量
comes from the sun in the form of electromagnetic radiation.
都来自太阳的电磁辐射
About 71% of this energy is absorbed by the earth’s surface and atmosphere.
约71%的能量被地表和大气层吸收
This absorbed energy is emitted again, as infrared radiation.
被吸收的能量以红外辐射的形式再次释放
And CO2 is able to trap this infrared radiation
二氧化碳能够吸收这种红外辐射
and keep it in the atmosphere for a while.
并将其在大气中保留一段时间
You can compare this effect with snuggling under a blanket in the morning.
你可以将此效果 与清晨依偎在毯子下相比
Even in a really cold room,
即使在很冷的房间里
your body emits infrared radiation
你的身体也会发出红外辐射
and the air between your body and the blanket traps it
身体和毯子间的空气会将其吸收
and creates a warm and comfy feeling.
营造出温暖舒适的感觉
So one way to cool down the planet would be
因此 冷却地球的一种方法可能是
to prevent energy from getting trapped under our planet blanket.
防止能量被困在地球的保护层下
Which is already happening naturally.
而这是早已自然发生的事
About 29% of the solar radiation hitting earth is reflected back to space by bright surfaces
约29%射向地球的太阳辐射被光洁的表面
like ice, deserts, snow or clouds.
如冰 沙漠 雪或云层反射回太空
More reflection, less energy, less warming.
反射越多 能量越少 温度上升越少
We can look at nature for inspiration:
我们可以从大自然中获取灵感:
Specifically the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption,
特别是1991年的皮纳图博火山喷发
the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century.
这是20世纪第二大火山喷发
Aside from massive devastation and almost 900 dead,
除了造成大规模的破坏和近900人遇难
scientists noted its strong impact on the global climate.
科学家们还注意到它对全球气候的巨大影响
The explosion ejected millions of tons of particles and gas
此次喷发喷出了数百万吨的微粒和气体
as high as the stratosphere which hung around there for a while.
高度直击平流层并在上面逗留了一段时间
The stuff that is interesting for geoengineering is sulfur dioxide.
地球工程感兴趣的物质是二氧化硫
A nasty smelling and invisible gas.
一种难闻且看不见的气体
High in the atmosphere,
在大气层的高处
it produced a haze of sulfuric acid droplets
它与水混合 形成了巨大的遮盖层
that mixed with water and created giant veils.
生成了一层硫酸雾
These veils reduced the sunlight reaching earth’s surface by roughly 1%.
这些遮盖层让到达地表的阳光减少了约1%
Global average temperatures dropped by 0.5°C.
全球平均气温下降了0.5℃
It took three years until this cooling effect had stopped.
三年后这种降温效应才停止
Humans could imitate this process
人类可以通过将硫粒子
by injecting sulfur particles directly into the stratosphere.
直接注入平流层来模拟这一过程
According to some scientists, this might be surprisingly easy to do
据一些科学家说 实现它也许出奇地简单
and we don’t even need a lot of new technology for it.
我们甚至不需要很多新技术
According to one study, it also might be pretty cheap
一项研究表明 与气候快速变化的成本相比
compared with the cost of rapid climate change.
这一方式也可能相当便宜
A small fleet of specialized airplanes could ascend once a year
一个小型专业飞机舰队可以每年升空一次
and distribute aerosols along the equator from where they would be spread around the world.
沿着赤道散布气溶胶 从那它们能扩散至全球
Projections assume that injecting between five and eight megatons of material per year
据预测每年注入500至800万吨材料
would reflect enough sunlight to slow down or even stop global warming,
就能反射足够的阳光以减缓甚至阻止全球变暖
giving us precious time to transition away from fossil fuels.
这给了我们从化石燃料时期转型的宝贵时间
Unfortunately, there might be a few unhappy side effects.
不幸的是 这可能会产生一些令人不快的副作用
There are a number of potential issues with aerosol injections:
气溶胶注入存在一系列潜在问题:
rainfall patterns could change
降雨模式可能会改变
which could negatively affect agriculture and cause famine.
这可能对农业产生负面影响并导致饥荒
Billions of people could be affected in the worst case.
最坏的情况下数十亿人可能受到影响
Also, after the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption,
此外 1991年皮纳图博火山喷发后
the acid/water veils not only cooled down the surface,
酸性水幕不仅冷却了地表
they also heated up the stratosphere.
也加热了平流层
As it turns out, acid is bad for the ozone layer
结果证明 酸性物质对臭氧层有害
and the ozone hole over Antarctica was the largest it ever has been.
南极上空的臭氧空洞是有史以来最大的
Injecting sulfur particles over decades could have a similar effect.
几十年间注入硫粒子可能会产生类似的效果
Scientists have already suggested
科学家已建议使用
using a combination of different minerals
可能对臭氧层有害影响小得多
that might have much less harmful effects on the ozone layer
不同矿物质的组合
but more research and experiments need to be done to make sure this could work.
但需进行更多的研究和实验以确保其可行性
But even if we don’t damage the ozone layer, there are other risks.
但即使我们不破坏臭氧层 也存在其他风险
Politicians and industry might use the cooling effect as an excuse
政治家和工业界可能会利用冷却效应作为
to delay the switch to a carbon neutral economy.
推迟向碳中和经济转变的借口
Even if geoengineering slows down global warming,
即使地球工程减缓了全球变暖的进程
humanity is still adding extra CO2 to the atmosphere.
人类仍在向大气排放额外的二氧化碳
More CO2 in the air
空气中二氧化碳越多
means that the oceans absorb more CO2,
意味着海洋会吸收更多的二氧化碳
which makes them more acidic.
这就增加了海洋的酸性
This is already beginning to be deadly
这种情况已开始对珊瑚礁等
to huge ecosystems like coral reefs.
大型生态系统造成致命伤害
And the longer this continues, the more severe the effects will be.
这种情况持续的时间越长 后果将越严重
But it gets worse:
然而更糟的是:
once we start pumping particles into the atmosphere on a massive scale,
一旦开始大规模地向大气中输送微粒
we might be forced to do so for a long time,
我们也许将长期被迫这么做
or we could risk a termination shock.
否则可能会面临末日冲击的风险
What that means is that
这意味着
if humanity continues to enrich the atmosphere with CO2,
若人类继续增加大气层中二氧化碳的含量
but at the same time prevents the planet from heating up by blocking solar radiation,
而同时通过阻挡太阳辐射防止地球升温
we are sitting on a time bomb.
我们就如同坐在定时炸弹上
Once we stop geoengineering,
一旦停止地球工程
the natural cycle will take over again, and earth would heat up.
自然循环将再次发生 地球会升温
But after a few decades of keeping the planet artificially cold
然而在人为使地球保持低温几十年后
while still releasing massive amounts of CO2,
同时仍然释放大量二氧化碳
it would heat up, much, much quicker.
地球将飞速升温
An increase in temperature that would take 50 years today,
如今需要50年才能实现的升温
could happen in just 10 years.
可能仅在10年内就能完成
Such a temperature shock in such a short time
如此短时间内发生这样的温度冲击
would disrupt every major system on earth so much
会严重破坏地球上的所有主要系统
that it would be impossible to adapt in time.
以至于人类无法及时适应
The worst case scenario could be dramatic famines
最坏的情况可能是严重的饥荒
and the rapid destruction of ecosystems.
生态系统被快速破坏
Humanity might survive.
人类也许能幸存
But the survivors would inhabit an unfamiliar and hostile world.
但幸存者将居住在一个陌生而环境恶劣的世界
The best case scenario is that
最好的情况是
once the world has finally fully understood
一旦全世界最终能充分认识到
the existential danger of rapid climate change,
气候快速变化带来的生存危机
geoengineering can buy us a crucial decade or two.
地球工程能为我们赢得关键的十年或二十年
Time to transition our economies
是时候让我们的经济转型了
and maybe even pull CO2 out of the atmosphere.
甚至可以把二氧化碳从大气中取掉
Maybe with technologies that we’ll discuss in a future video.
用到的技术也许我们将在以后的视频中讨论
Conclusion:
结论:
geoengineering is a scary concept.
地球工程是一个可怕的概念
It is not a solution to climate change
这不是气候变化的解决方案
and it might even be a welcome excuse for the fossil fuel industry
对化石燃料业而言这甚至可能成为一个好借口
to delay the end of the fossil fuel age.
用来推迟化石燃料时代的终结
Over the last few decades geoengineering has been so controversial
近几十年来 地球工程一直备受争议
that it stopped many scientists
以至于许多科学家
from doing the experiments necessary to understand it better.
无法进行必要的实验来进一步了解它
But blankly opposing geoengineering is short sighted.
然而盲目反对地球工程是目光短浅的
The sad truth is that we are already running a geoengineering experiment.
可悲的事实是 我们已经在进行一项地球工程实验
We are testing how fast the world changes
我们正在测试若每年增加
if we add about 40 billion tons of CO2 each year.
约400亿吨二氧化碳 世界将变化得多快
This experiment is about to get really exciting.
这个实验即将变得万分惊心动魄
Hopefully we never have to use Geoengineering.
希望我们永远无需采用地球工程
But if we need to in the future, we better have done the science.
但未来如果用得上 我们最好做了研究
We better be prepared.
我们最好有所准备
Or a panicking humanity might accidentally press the self destruct button.
否则恐慌的人类也许会意外按下自毁按钮
You probably won’t have to do any of that yourself, but who knows!
你可能不必亲自做任何这样的事 但谁知道呢!
Better brush up on your science knowledge, just in case.
以防万一 最好重温一下你的科学知识
Our friends from Brilliant can help you with that.
来自Brilliant的朋友可以帮助你
Brilliant is a problem-solving website and app
Brilliant是一个解决问题的网站兼应用
that makes science accessible in a practical way.
以实用的方式使科学成为可能
More than 60 interactive courses give you the tools
超过60门互动课程为你提供了独自解决
to crack problems in math, logic and engineering all by yourself.
数学 逻辑和工程难题的工具
Instead of a classic lecture format,
不同于传统的演讲形式
Brilliant uses story-telling, code-writing and hands-on problems
Brilliant采用讲故事 写代码和动手解决难题的方式
to keep you entertained and engaged.
让你保持兴趣和参与度
This way a small daily challenge
通过每天一个小挑战的方式
can build up to real long-term understanding of science
建立起对科学的真正长远理解
and achieving your STEM goals.
实现STEM目标
In a nutshell, Brilliant surprises you and keeps you on your toes,
简而言之 Brilliant能给你惊喜并让你时刻保持警惕
all while sneaking some knowledge into your head
在没有注意到的情况下
without your really noticing,
潜移默化地将知识灌输到你的脑海
right up our alley, really.
就在我们这条路上 真的
To get a fresh perspective on science,
想获得对科学的全新认识
go to Brilliant.org/Nutshell and sign up free.
请访问Brilliant.org/Nutshell 免费注册
And there’s an extra perk for kurzgesagt viewers:
《科学坚果》的观众还有一个额外福利:
the first 200 people to use the link
最先使用该链接的200人
get 20% off their annual membership,
能享受20%的年度会员折扣
which lets you view all the daily problems in the archives
成为会员你能查看档案中的所有日常问题
and unlock every course.
并解锁所有课程
Brillant helps you end your day a little smarter
Brillant帮你在一天结束时变得更睿智一点
still the best preparation for the future we can think of.
直到为我们可以想见的未来做好准备

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视频概述

保护地球刻不容缓,若全球气候持续激变,人类可能将不得不启用地球工程,而这又会带来怎样的后果呢?

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

panda

审核员

审核员SRY

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSu5sXmsur4

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