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碳循环

The carbon cycle - Nathaniel Manning

二氧化碳,又叫CO2,是气候变化中温室效应气体的主要成分
Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is the main greenhouse gas in climate change.
co2是如何进入我们大气层的?
So how does CO2 get into our atmosphere?
碳是循环的一部分,它始于太阳
Well, carbon is part of a cycle. It starts with the sun,
太阳用很大的能量照射地球表面
which heats the Earth’s surface with more energy
一个小时的能量比我们一年的使用量还要多
in one hour than the whole world uses in a year.
植物就像是一种生物厨师
Plants, which are kind of like biological chefs,
利用阳光,吸收空气中的二氧化碳
take that sunlight, and then suck in some CO2 from the air,
将它们混合,存储
mix them together, and BAM!
植物在生成碳水化合物时会生成一种可以存储的能量
They create a stored form of energy, in the form of carbohydrates
这个碳水化合物是葡萄糖,蔗糖等等
such as glucose and sucrose.
这个过程被称为光合作用
The process is called photosynthesis.
当动物,譬如我们,吃这些植物时
When animals like us eat those plants
我们的胃将食物转化为提供给我们生长所使用的能量
our stomachs convert that food back into energy for our own growth.
温室气体是这一过程的副产品
Greenhouse gases are a byproduct of this process,
会通过损耗释放
and are released through waste.
如果这些植物死亡,它们会分解,同时微生物再一次分解这些碳水化合物
If those plants die, they decompose, and tiny microorganisms break down those carbohydrates
将温室气体作为一种副产品释放
and again, release greenhouse gases as a byproduct.
正如你看到的那样,能量来源于太阳并通过食物链转移
As you see, energy originates from the sun. It is then transferred as it moves through the food chain.
但是,有时候植物和动物等生物体内的碳会被埋到地里
But sometimes, carbon based organisms like plants or animals get stuck in the earth.
当这种情况出现时,它们会被巨大的压力压缩
When this happens, they’re compressed under tons of pressure,
然后转化为含碳的化石燃料
and turned into carbon-based fossil fuels
譬如石油,木炭,天然气
like oil, coal or natural gas.
自从工业革命以来,人们已经挖掘出这些化石燃料了
Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have been pulling those fossil fuels out of the ground
使用它们,产生可存储的能量
and burning them, activating the stored energy
以此能量来发电或者为机器供能
to make electricity and power engines.
但是这也使得数百万年来存储的二氧化碳被释放,重新进去空气中
But the thing is it also releases millions of years worth of stored CO2 back into the air.
除此之外,人类也会吸入氧气呼出二氧化碳
In addition, humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out CO2.
但是植物恰恰相反
But plants do the opposite.
树木吸收大量的二氧化碳以平衡碳循环
Trees suck up huge amounts of CO2, which balances the cycle.
因此,森林开采减少了能储存二氧化碳的植物
Thus, deforestation reduces the plants that store CO2.
我们正在从两方面破坏碳循环
We’re attacking the cycle from both sides.
从计算机的角度来思考,一个计算机能够同时执行一些进程,对吧
Think of it like a computer. A computer can operate a few programs at a time, right?
一般来说,当你处理完一份文件,你会保存,然后关闭它
Normally, when you’ve finished with a document, you save, and you close it,
只要计算机不是过度工作的
so as not to overwork the computer.
接下来,想象你停止关闭文档
Then, imagine you stopped closing your documents.
它们会立即全部打开
So they were all open at once.
你的电脑将不能处理它
Your computer wouldn’t be able to process it all.
它将会开始变慢,接下来卡住,最后它将会崩溃
It would start to slow down, and then to freeze, and eventually it would crash.
如果我们保持碳循环过载的话,我们的环境也会走向同样的结果
Which might be where our environment is heading if we keep overloading the carbon cycle.
所以有什么办法重新平衡碳循环吗
So is there any way to rebalance the ecosystem?
技术呢,技术被定义为解决一个问题的技巧
What about technology? Technology is defined as a technique to solve a problem.
所以可持续的技术就是让它的投入等于产出
And so, sustainable technologies are those whose output is equal to their input.
他们不会产生负的外部效应
They do not create negative externalities,
比如二氧化碳,不管是在现在还是在未来
such as CO2, in the present or the future.
这在抵消自己的二氧化碳排量上解决了这个问题
They sort of cancel themselves out to solve the problem.
为了实现这个目标,我们需要发明可持续技术
To achieve this, we need to invent sustainable technologies.
如果我们将全部的想法和技术用来创建一个循环
If we put all the ideas and technologies ever created into one circle,
然后这个发明将推动循环边界的发展
then invention is the pushing of the boundaries of that circle.
循环外的空间是无限的
And the area outside of the circle is infinite,
这意味着发明创造的可能是有限的
meaning the potential for invention is limitless.
想想现今的洁净技术(能源),譬如风,电,太阳能,沼气
Think about some of the incredible clean technologies we have today. [Wind; Electric & Solar Cars; Biogas]
[生物燃料,光合作用,堆肥]所有这些有一点是相同的
[Biofuels; Photosynthetic Algae; Compost] All those ideas have one thing in common.
它们都来源于人类,人类创新
They all came from people. People innovate.
人类创造。有创造性的人们发明不可思议的技术
People create. It’s the limitless potential of creative people
这个可能性是有限的。这些技术指的是使得气候变化停止,生态系统平衡的技术。虽然可能性有限,但是是有希望的
to build unimagined technologies that is going to stop climate changeand rebalance the ecosystem. And that is something to be hopeful about.

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