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气候变化让飓风日益猖獗 – 译学馆
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气候变化让飓风日益猖獗

How climate change makes hurricanes worse

每当我们看到像飓风哈维一样的灾难性风暴
Whenever we see a catastrophic storm like hurricane Harvey.
30英寸的降雨量
“Thirty inches of rain ahead.”
我们就不得不思索这是否和人为导致气候变化有关
We have to ask if it has anything to do with man-made climate change.
气候变化是否会加剧创记录暴风雨的出现?
“Could climate change be fueling the history-making nature of this storm?”
我们清楚人类的“碳足迹”
We know that humanity’s carbon footprint
早已改变气候的基础状况
has shifted the baseline conditions of the climate,
和每个天气事件发生的背景环境
the context in which every weather event takes place.
我们很难从各种原因中
But trying to isolate the human influence
将人为因素摘除出来
from everything else that is going on can be really hard,
尤其对于飓风 或者是科学家
especially for hurricanes, or what scientists
所说的“热带气旋”这类事件来说
call “tropical cyclones.”
虽然飓风的成因非常复杂 且人类掌握的
They’re super complex and the quality of
关于飓风的历史性数据质量不高
the historical data we have for them isn’t great.
但我们仍然可以用物理原理进行分析
We do have physics, though.
飓风是由海水蒸发 海面热量上升而导致的
Hurricanes are driven by the transfer of heat from the sea to the air through evaporation.
风暴的最大风速
The storm’s maximum possible wind speed,
或它的潜在强度
or its potential intensity,
一部分由海洋的温度决定的
depends in part on how warm the ocean is
而人类活动也确实使海洋温度上升了
And of course, we’re warming the ocean.
所以研究者预测 如果我们持续让全球变暖
So researchers expect intense tropical cyclones
强热带气旋的活动就会愈加频繁
to become frequent if we continue to warm the planet.
关于这一点 你会发现
“That’s one place I think you’d find a very
研究飓风和气候的关系的科学家
strong consensus among scientists who
都有一个强烈的共识:
study the connection between hurricanes and climate,
大规模气象事件的发生频率
that the frequency of the high-end events
很有可能升高
will probably go up.”
气象模拟也印证了这一推论
And that shows up in climate models.
这份表格来源于政府间气候变化专门委员会
This is from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
它通过电脑模拟结果
It summarizes the computer model results
显示了与现在相比 到本世纪末
for tropical cyclones near the end of this century,
热带气旋的数据变化
compared to today.
第一条杠代表了
The first bar represents
全球热带气旋的总数
the total number of tropical cyclones globally.
这个数字预计会下降一些
That’s projected to go down a bit.
但第二条杠代表了
But the second bar represents the
最强风暴
frequency of the most intense storms,
即四级和五级风暴的发生频率
categories four and five,
模拟显示这个数据将会增长
and the models show those increasing
那并非好消息 因为这些都是
And that’s bad news because those are
破坏力最大
the storms that cause the most damage
造成伤亡最多的风暴等级
and the biggest loss of life.
当他们试图研究某些特定区域时
Now when they try to look at specific regions,
模拟数据就变得很不确定
it gets really messy.
比如 在北大西洋地区
In the North Atlantic, for example,
模拟数据显示四级和五级风暴
the models show category four and five storms
可能会增加200%
maybe increasing by 200%
或者是降低100%
or maybe decreasing by 100%.
所以 嗯 即使它预测了全球范围内
So, yeah, the resolution of their simulations
巨型风暴将增多
just isn’t fine enough yet to give us good regional projections,
但却无法针对具体地区做出准确预测
even if they expect more intense storms globally.
还有一个清晰明确 各地区情况都相对统一的一个数据
But there’s another really clear consistent result here
那就是第四条杠 它代表了
– this fourth bar, it represents the amount of rain
飓风将带来的降雨量 其数值正在上涨
that hurricanes will bring and that’s going up.
不仅仅只是西太平洋海岸
Not just for our Atlantic coast,
数据同时涵盖北美太平洋海岸
but for the Pacific coast of North America,
西太平洋 南太平洋
the western Pacific, the south Pacific,
和印度洋等所有区域
and the Indian Ocean, everywhere.
未来的飓风雨势将更大
The hurricanes of the future will be wetter.
因此沿岸城市将面临
So coastal cities will face
天际浩雨
freshwater flooding from the sky
海面风暴愈加汹涌
paired with storm surge from the sea,
骇浪惊涛愈加高壮
which is higher now
因为那时人类活动又使海平面上升了
because we are also causing sea levels to rise.
降水不仅仅来自飓风
And that trend of wetter storms isn’t just for hurricanes.
在美国其他类型的风暴
Heavy precipitation events from other types of storms
所伴随的强降水事件也将增多
have been increasing in The US
且在全国范围内仍将持续增加
and should continue to increase across the country.
即使是那些看起来
Even in places that might see
全年少雨的地方
less rain over the whole year,
也将迎来更多的狂风暴雨
they’ll get more days with really heavy precipitation.
基础物理知识可以解释这一现象
This comes down to basic physics too:
空气越热 蒸发的水就会越多
warmer air can take up more water
这些水量后面又会变成降雨
before it dumps it back down on us.
这一切意味着 全球变暖使得洪水更为猖獗
All of this means global warming worsens floods
就如同休斯敦这次所面临的灾难
like the kind that hit Houston,
但人类并非生来就要如此伤害自己
but it’s not our destiny to hurt ourselves like this.
这取决于我们现在的抉择
It depends on what we choose to do now.
虽然人类能通过改善基础建设和管理条例将气象灾害的破坏力降到最小
We could rethink our infrastructure and regulations to minimize the damage,
但除非我们着手减少碳排放
but unless we also start cutting our carbon emissions
同时在全球范围内改用清洁能源
and shifting the world to clean energy,
否则情况只会更糟
it’s just going to get worse.
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