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  • This is the Great Barrier Reef, and it's dying.


  • Less than 20 years ago, the world's largest living structure looked like this, and this.

    不到 20 年前,全世界最大的活體看起來是像這樣,和這樣。

  • But today, ongoing pressures from climate change put it at serious risk for being wiped out entirely.


  • In fact, in August, an official report by the Australian government downgraded the reef's future outlook from "poor" to "very poor."


  • So, how exactly did we get here?


  • And can it be reversed?


  • The Great Barrier Reef is big.


  • So big, in fact, that you can see it from space.


  • It's important for people to remember that the Great Barrier Reef is much more than just one coral reef, which is what I think a lot of people think.


  • So, it's actually 3,000 separate, individual coral reefs, and every one of them is in a different condition.

    它其實是 3,000 個各自獨立的珊瑚礁,而它們每一個的狀況都不相同。

  • It's also the world's largest living structure, as well as a home to thousands of plant and animal species.


  • Like with trees in a forest, the corals are really the foundation of the habitat.


  • They provide the structure for other organisms to live there.


  • A normal, healthy coral reef is very colorful.


  • There's tons of fish swimming around.


  • It's often quite loud underwater when you're diving on a coral reef that's healthy.


  • So, you know, it's just amazing and beautiful.


  • But this vast ecosystem has been declining for a while.


  • The culprit? Mass coral bleaching.


  • As the name suggests, coral bleaching strips reefs of their color, leaving them completely white.


  • It happens when unnaturally warm ocean water causes coral to expel the symbiotic, colorful algae it needs to survive.


  • Without this algae, the coral can't get the nutrients it needs and will starve to death if water temperatures don't return to normal.


  • Even small increases in temperature, when they're sustained for a long period, can be very stressful for them.


  • It's just like a person, right?


  • Like, you can go out into 114-degree weather for a short time and you'll be fine, but if you were to stay out there all day, you would suffer badly.

    你可以在 (華氏) 114 度 (約攝氏 45 度) 的室外待一陣子,也不會怎麼樣,但如果你要在室外待一整天,你就會非常難受。

  • In 2016 and 2017, the Great Barrier Reef was hit with a massive marine heat wave, leading to the longest coral-bleaching events ever recorded.

    2016 和 2017 年,大堡礁遭受到一股巨大的海洋熱浪侵襲,導致有史以來影響距離最長的珊瑚白化。

  • It devastated the reef, killing off nearly 50% of the coral.

    這股熱浪徹底摧毀了大堡礁,扼殺了近百分之 50 的珊瑚。

  • Many corals can live for hundreds of years, so if those corals die, to get back a coral that was 400 years old and died is gonna take 400 years.

    許多珊瑚可以活上數百年,因此若這些珊瑚死亡了,要復育一個死掉的 400 歲珊瑚,就需要花上 400 年。

  • But here's the thing.


  • This rate of bleaching is not only abnormal but completely unprecedented in the Great Barrier Reef's history.


  • We have to remember that the Great Barrier Reef is now essentially a changed ecosystem.


  • We've never had events as severe as those of 2016 and '17 before.

    我們從未遇過如同 2016、17 年這般慘烈的狀況。

  • The cumulative consequence of all of that is that we don't know how well the Great Barrier Reef is going to recover from those events.


  • Before the 1980s, bleaching events would occur periodically, but never on a mass scale.

    在 1980 年代之前,白化事件會週期性地發生,但從未有如此大的規模。

  • But global warming has rapidly accelerated this process.


  • From those coral skeletal records, we know conclusively that coral bleaching is a new phenomenon.


  • The first mass-bleaching event that occurred on the Great Barrier Reef was in 1982.

    大堡礁第一次發生大規模的白化事件是在 1982 年。

  • As bleaching events are becoming more severe and more frequent, it stymies the recovery, right?


  • It's almost as if you have a hurricane, you start to rebuild, and then you get hit by another one.


  • In fact, a 2019 report by the United Nations warned that if global temperatures increased by just 0.9 degrees Celsius, which is expected to happen, coral reefs could decline by 70% to 90%.

    事實上,2019 年聯合國的一份報告已經警告,只要全球的氣溫再上升攝氏 0.9 度,這已經預期會發生,珊瑚礁就會減少百分之 70 到 90。

  • And if it warms by 1.8 degrees, 99% of the world's coral could be at risk.

    而如果溫度上升 1.8 度,百分之 99 的珊瑚都將面臨威脅。

  • As we approach 2 degrees of warming and go beyond 2 degrees of warming, we are probably not going to be able to protect the Great Barrier Reef anymore.

    當我們逐漸接近暖化 2 度並超越暖化 2 度,我們大概再也沒有能力保護大堡礁了。

  • And we're actually going to lose it as the valuable ecosystem that we have.


  • As if that wasn't enough, the reef is also endangered by local pollution, overfishing, and coastal development.


  • Local management of impacts, such as pollution in runoff, sedimentation in our reefs, overfishing, these things are critically important, and they need to happen in concert with combating climate change.


  • It's also important to note that the Great Barrier Reef is one of the best-managed reefs in the world.


  • But even with the best countermeasures, the Great Barrier Reef simply can't withstand the effects of climate change.


  • Unless drastic international action is taken to reverse or halt greenhouse gas emissions, we might be facing a world without reefs as early as 2050.

    除非採取非常猛烈的國際行動來翻轉或停止溫室氣體排放,否則最快在 2050 年我們將可能面臨一個沒有珊瑚礁的世界。

  • My ballpark is that if we don't do something dramatic in the next 10 years, that we will have passed the time after which there will be no return.

    我的估計是,若我們不在接下來的 10 年內採取大規模的行動,我們將錯過最後的機會,再也無法回頭。

  • So, this all sounds pretty bad, but why should we care?


  • What makes coral reefs so important?


  • First of all, coral reefs are an incredible source of biodiversity.


  • In fact, they provide a home for 25% of all marine life even, though they take up just 1% of the ocean floor.

    事實上它們提供棲地給百分之 25 的海洋生命,儘管它們只占據了海床的百分之 1。

  • So, we have six of the world's seven species of turtles, dugongs, whales, dolphins, seabirds, one-and-a-half thousand species of fish.


  • They're also worth billions of dollars in economic value.


  • The Great Barrier Reef alone brings in over $6 billion in tourism each year, and reefs provide a natural buffer from violent storm waves, preventing property damage and loss of life.

    光是大堡礁本身每年就可以帶來超過 60 億美金的觀光收入,而且珊瑚礁可以為猛烈的風浪提供天然的緩衝,防止財產和生命的損失。

  • Reefs are an increasingly important resource for breakthrough medical treatments, too.


  • Right now, plants and animals found in coral reefs are being used to develop treatments for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's.


  • So, if we lose corals, we potentially lose, you know, the key to solving diseases that we care about.


  • Not to mention, about half a billion people depend on reefs for food and work.

    更不用提,有大約 5 億人的食物來源及工作都仰賴著珊瑚礁。

  • Even though some of the damage is irreversible, not all hope is lost for the world's coral reefs.


  • We as a coral reef science community are becoming increasingly focused on human intervention and, you know, basically preventing the extinction of corals and restoring reefs.


  • The most important thing that we need to do is to stop and reverse climate change and global warming.


This is the Great Barrier Reef, and it's dying.


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B2 中高級 中文 英國腔 珊瑚礁 大堡礁 白化 暖化 變遷 氣候

【環境教育】擁有數百年壽命的大堡礁將在 30 年後消失?!兇手就是暖化! (Why The Great Barrier Reef Could Disappear By 2050)

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    Nina 發佈於 2019 年 12 月 13 日