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把撒哈拉沙漠变成雨林

What If We Terraformed the Sahara Desert?

要是撒哈拉沙漠被改造会怎样?
为了应对气候变化
In an effort to fight climate change,
毫不夸张地说 撒哈拉沙漠可以变绿洲
the Sahara Desert couldbe going green… literally.
为了改造整个撒哈拉沙漠 我们制定了一些计划
Plans are being made to terraformthe entire Sahara desert;
将这一片干燥贫瘠的土地改造成葱郁茂盛的绿地
changing it from a dry, barren landscape to a lush green space.
这种变化可以每年吸收
If successful, thetransformation could remove
76亿吨大气中的碳 如果成功的话
7.6 billion tons of atmospheric carbon yearly.
我们怎样才能改造这片宽广封闭的大地呢
How could we change the nature of such a vast, isolated landscape?
我们能负担得起它将会带来的巨大代价吗?
Could we afford the giant price tag that would come along with it?
我们以前做过这样类似的事情吗?
And have we ever done anything like this before?
这就是《自然无常》
This is WHAT IF,
而这就是我们改造撒哈拉沙漠的可能后果
and here’s what would happen if we terraformed the Sahara Desert.
撒哈拉沙漠面积达860万平方千米(332万平方米)
The Sahara desert is 8.6 million km²(3.32 million mi²) in size.
大致与美国面积相当
It’s roughly the size of America —
这意味着如果你把美国的树木都挪走 然后灌满沙子
if you filled America with sand and took away all of the trees.
改造如此巨大的土地不是一件简单的事情
Terraforming an area thismassive wouldn’t be easy,
实际上 改造费用一年要花去2万亿美元
In fact, it would cost about $2 trillion a year,
而不幸的是 巨大的价格标签只是第一个阻碍
and unfortunately, the price tag would just be the beginning of our obstacles.
这又会对环境产生什么样的多米诺效应
What kind of environmentaldomino effect would this create?
植物与树木是地球之肺
Plants and trees arethe lungs of the Earth,
而我们可以利用的远不止现在这样
and right now we could use a lot more of them.
一公顷的树木可以完全吸收
A single hectare of trees can absorb the same amount
一个人开车10万公里(6.2万英里)
of carbon dioxide you would produce
产生的二氧化碳量
by driving a car for 100,000 kilometers(62,000 miles).
如果我们可以成功的改造撒哈拉
If we could successfully terraform the Sahara,
这里就可以种植百万公顷的树木
it would result in millions of hectares of trees
是应对气候变化的战争是一大助力
being added to the battleagainst climate change.
听上去不错
That all sounds great,
但是我们有多少胜算来实现这种改造呢?
but what are the odds we could pull this kind of transformation off?
相不相信 我们已经成功了 只是在很小的范围内
Believe it or not, we already have, just on a smaller scale.
中国库布其生态恢复工程成功地绿化了
China’s Kubuqi Ecological RestorationProject saw the successful greening
三分之一库布其沙漠
of one-third of the Kubuqi Desert
在长达30年的时间里 种了70种不同的植物
with 70 different plant speciesover a 30-year timespan.
在地球上最大最炎热的沙漠中 这种胜算又能扩大几分呢?
How could we scale that up for the largest hot desert on Earth?
一种想法是种植庄稼和树木
One idea is to plantcrops and trees, and then
然后从撒哈拉海岸抽取淡化水灌溉它们
pump desalinated water from the coast of the Sahara to irrigate them.
为了防止水分蒸发
To prevent evaporation,
可以用地下管道运水直接输送到植物根部周围再浇灌
the water would be carried by underground pipes to reach the roots directly.
最理想的种植物
The ideal things to plant would
是桉属植物 因为他们很耐旱
be eucalyptus trees since they’re hardy,
也能在更炎热的气候发挥出色 此外
and they do well in hotter climates. Plus,
他们生长迅速 能给该地区带来经济效益
they grow quickly and could be economically beneficial for the region.
随着这些树木生根稳定下来
As the trees began to root and stabilize,
土地将会重新恢复营养
the soil would be replenishedwith needed nutrients,
雨量也会增加
rainfall amounts would increase,
整个撒哈拉的温度可以下降8摄氏度(14.5华氏度) 好吧
and the overall temperature of theSahara would cool by 8°C (14.5°F). Ok,
我们应对气候变化的
so with time running out
时间将尽
in our fight against climate change,
我们为何不更快地施行这个重要可行的解决方法呢?
why aren’t we moving faster onsuch a significant potential solution?
首先
Well first off,
我们是否提过这种改造一年要花2万亿美元?
did we mention that it would cost $ 2 trillion a year?
让各国政府乐意花巨资投资其中
Have fun getting internationalgovernments to pitch in on that,
特别是如果真的只是为了人类更大的利益
especially if it’s just for thegreater good of humanity.
但是即使我们能负担得起
But even if we could afford it,
改造撒哈拉沙漠会带来公平分担的问题
terraforming the Sahara Desert would come with its fair share of issues.
当种植数百万植物
As the region becomes wetter
使这个地方变得湿润时
as a result millions of new trees being planted
蝗灾的风险会上升
the risk of locust plagues increases
是的 就是蝗虫
Yeah that’s right, locusts:
这成群结队的害虫因圣经里的记载而出名 等一下
the swarming pests best knownfor their biblical associations. Wait,
蝗虫没那么可怕 不是吗?恩
locusts can’t be that bad, can they? Well,
一小群蝗虫一天吃的
a small swarm eats more
比2500人能吃的还要多
than what 2,500 people can eat in a day,
所以 他们就是这么有害 但是
so yeah, they can be that bad. However,
改造撒哈拉最大的问题将是
the biggest problemwith terraforming the Sahara
改造产生的环境多米诺效应
would be the environmentaldomino effect it would create.
撒哈拉沙子通过风力在空中移动
The Sahara’s sand gets carriedin the air by wind power
穿越过大西洋后降落在南美洲
and is deposited in South Americaafter crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
在空中这些沙子会吸收水分
The dust picks up moisture during its journey,
当它从空中落下
and when it falls from the sky –
雨 随之而落
rain comes along with it.
沙子跟雨水的混合物降落在亚马逊雨林
This dust and rain combofalls on the Amazon rainforest,
可帮土地施肥 也为其生态系统提供所需水
helping to fertilize it and providing the ecosystem the water that it needs.
没有撒哈拉可能就没有亚马逊雨林
No Sahara could potentially meanno more Amazon rainforest
除非有人介入 想出一个避免该危机的方案
unless someone else steps in with a plan to avert that crisis.
那么 即使绿化的撒哈拉可以降低碳排放
So even though a green Saharawould lower our carbon emissions,
它也有可能摧毁另一片土地 这值得吗
would it be worth potentiallydestroying another part of the planet?
也许相较于改造一大片区域
Maybe instead of terraformingone giant location,
我们应该把绿化蔓延到整个世界上
we should spread ourgreening out around the world,
而那是另一个《自然无常》的话题
but that’s a topic for another WHAT IF.

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视频概述

绿化撒哈拉沙漠似乎可行但多米诺效应不得不考虑。

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH_OK6OGr80

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