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  • From thin and wispy to big and puffy,

    從薄薄的、綿綿的到大大的、蓬蓬的。

  • clouds cover about 70% of the planet at any given moment.

    雲層在任何時候都覆蓋了地球的70%左右。

  • But what if, in the next minute,

    但如果,在下一分鐘。

  • poof, they all disappeared?

    噗,他們都消失了?

  • That instant might shock onlooking astronauts

    那一瞬間,可能會驚動旁觀的太空人們

  • on the space station.

    在空間站上。

  • But someone who is, say, hiking in the desert

    但是有人,比如說,在沙漠中徒步旅行的人

  • wouldn't know right away that things on Earth

    不知天高地厚

  • were about to get really bad.

    變得非常糟糕。

  • Within a few days, though,

    不過幾天之內,。

  • the first warning sign would show up: humidity.

    第一個警告信號會出現:溼度。

  • It'll be even worse if you live by the coast.

    如果你住在海邊,情況會更糟糕。

  • Normally, the sun's heat evaporates water,

    正常情況下,太陽的熱量會蒸發掉水。

  • mostly from the ocean,

    主要來自海洋。

  • and that water vapor is condensed into clouds.

    而水蒸氣是凝結成雲的。

  • But if clouds are cut out of the Earth's water cycle,

    但如果將雲從地球的水循環中剔除。

  • that water just hangs around in the air,

    水只是掛在空氣中。

  • creating close to 100% humidity.

    創造接近100%的溼度。

  • If you were to get on a flight,

    如果你要上飛機。

  • you might experience more turbulence than usual.

    你可能會經歷比平時更多的湍流。

  • Without the protective cover of clouds

    沒有云的保護罩

  • to bounce sunlight into space,

    將陽光反射到太空中。

  • the sun will heat the Earth more,

    太陽會使地球更熱。

  • creating more rising, uneven hot air.

    造成更多的上升,不均勻的熱空氣。

  • But a bad flight may be the least of our worries,

    但飛行不順可能是我們最不擔心的。

  • because there'll be no more rain

    因為不會再有雨了

  • or snow or even a light mist,

    或雪,甚至是輕霧。

  • and that means there won't be any way

    這意味著沒有任何辦法。

  • to replenish the water sources we drink from,

    以補充我們飲用的水源。

  • like lakes, streams, rivers, springs, and aquifers.

    如湖泊、溪流、河流、泉水和含水層。

  • So once last winter's snow melts,

    所以,去年冬天的雪一旦融化。

  • we're stuck with whatever water we have on hand.

    我們只能用我們手頭的任何水。

  • And the clock is ticking.

    而時間在流逝。

  • If the world were to keep up

    如果全世界都能跟上

  • its current water-consumption rate,

    其目前的耗水率;

  • we would drain all of the freshwater lakes and rivers

    我們會把所有的淡水湖泊和河流的水抽乾

  • in about 23 years.

    23年左右的時間。

  • So to conserve our freshwater supply,

    所以為了節約我們的淡水供應。

  • humanity will have to be strategic.

    人類將不得不採取戰略。

  • Today, the average American uses

    今天,美國人平均使用

  • about 80 to 100 gallons of water every day.

    每天約80至100加侖的水。

  • But saving ourselves is going to take more

    但拯救我們自己需要更多

  • than just skipping long showers and laundry.

    不僅僅是跳過長時間的淋浴和洗衣服。

  • The water we use in our home and public places

    我們在家庭和公共場所使用的水。

  • accounts for only 21% of our water usage.

    只佔我們用水量的21%。

  • The two biggest demands are actually

    其實最大的兩個要求是

  • thermoelectric power to generate electricity

    熱力發電

  • and irrigation for farms.

    和農場的灌溉。

  • Not only do power plants use tons of water,

    電廠不僅要用大量的水。

  • ones that run on nuclear fuel could spell disaster

    以核燃料為動力的,可能會帶來災難。

  • if their water-cooling towers run dry.

    如果他們的水冷塔乾涸。

  • The 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, for example,

    比如2011年的福島核災難。

  • was set off when an earthquake knocked out power

    因地震斷電而被引爆。

  • to its water-cooling pumps.

    到其水冷泵。

  • And farms are going to need even more water

    而農場將需要更多的水。

  • without the help of a good rain.

    沒有好雨的幫助。

  • This permanent drought would kill

    這種永久性的乾旱會使人死亡

  • tons of wild vegetation and animals as the land dries up.

    噸野生植被和動物,因為土地乾涸。

  • Within a few years,

    幾年內。

  • eroding soil may kick up giant dust storms

    侵蝕土壤可能引發巨大的沙塵暴。

  • like the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.

    就像上世紀30年代的 "塵暴 "一樣。

  • Meanwhile, Earth's climate will be going haywire

    同時,地球的氣候也會變得混亂不堪

  • without clouds.

    無雲。

  • It's hard to say when this will all happen

    很難說什麼時候會發生這一切。

  • without some very expensive climate modeling,

    沒有一些非常昂貴的氣候模型。

  • but cloud expert Chris Fairall

    但云計算專家Chris Fairall

  • did offer some quick back-of-the-envelope calculations.

    確實提供了一些快速的包絡計算。

  • Without clouds, average surface temperatures

    如果沒有云,平均地表溫度

  • would rise by as much as 22 degrees Celsius.

    會上升22攝氏度之多。

  • This extreme temperature spike

    這種極端的溫度高峰

  • would not only destroy the habitats of most flora and fauna,

    不僅會破壞大多數動植物的棲息地。

  • killing off whatever survived the drought,

    殺死任何倖存的乾旱。

  • it would also melt the polar ice caps

    也會使極地冰蓋融化。

  • and cause massive flooding of coastal cities.

    並造成沿海城市大面積洪澇災害。

  • You might end up being part of the 40% of the world

    你可能會成為世界上40%的人中的一員。

  • that would be forced inland,

    會被逼到內陸的。

  • and your new home might soon be in an endless desert

    而你的新家可能很快就會在一望無際的沙漠中了

  • as seawater starts seeping into

    由於海水開始滲入

  • our fresh and precious groundwater.

    我們的新鮮和寶貴的地下水。

  • Sounds alarming, but there are some silver linings

    聽起來很嚇人,但也有一線生機。

  • to a world without clouds.

    到一個沒有云的世界。

  • No more devastating hurricanes and tornadoes,

    不再有毀滅性的颶風和龍捲風。

  • or delayed flights because of stormy weather,

    或因暴風雨天氣導致班機延誤。

  • or cloudy skies to ruin your stargazing.

    或陰天毀了你的觀星之旅。

  • As the water supply dwindles,

    隨著供水量的減少。

  • we'll have to make some hard choices,

    我們將不得不做出一些艱難的選擇。

  • but, hey, humans are creative.

    但是,嘿,人類是有創造力的。

  • We could invent ways to desalinate ocean water

    我們可以發明海水淡化的方法。

  • or collect all that water vapor from the air.

    或將空氣中的水蒸氣全部收集起來。

  • And the sooner we do it, the better,

    而且我們越早做越好。

  • because in reality, we're already losing clouds.

    因為在現實中,我們已經失去了雲。

  • Unprecedented levels of CO2

    前所未有的二氧化碳水準

  • and the warming oceans and atmosphere

    以及海洋和大氣變暖

  • are all causing clouds to thin out.

    都是導致雲層變薄。

  • So despite the silver linings,

    所以,儘管銀裝素裹。

  • it might be best to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions

    最好是減少我們的溫室氣體排放。

  • and try to avoid this scary new world entirely.

    並儘量完全避開這個可怕的新世界。

From thin and wispy to big and puffy,

從薄薄的、綿綿的到大大的、蓬蓬的。

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B1 中級 中文 地球 雲層 淡水 乾旱 海水 湖泊

如果所有的雲都永遠消失了呢? (What If All The Clouds Disappeared Forever?)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 03 月 01 日
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