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TSS特别报道:新冠疫情影响了地球的生态,但这种影响会长久吗?

TSS EXCLUSIVE: Coronavirus Is Changing The Face Of Our Planet, But Will There Be Lasting Impact?

by Rhodilee Jean Dolor

As of April 12, 2020, COVID-19 has already infected over 1.6 million and killed over 100,000 people worldwide. More than just a public health crisis, COVID-19 has hammered the world’s economies, cancelled trips and celebrations and left busy streets deserted. The coronavirus is changing life as we know it, but its impact goes beyond that. The pandemic is changing the very face of planet Earth itself. 

截至2020年4月12日,COVID-19已经在全世界感染了160多万人,造成10多万人死亡。新冠疫情不仅是一场公共卫生危机,还重创了世界经济,阻止了了旅行和庆祝活动,让繁忙的街道变得荒芜。冠状病毒正在改变我们所知的生命,但它的影响远不止于此。大流行正在改变地球本身的面貌。

Air Pollution 

空气污染

As the hustle-and-bustle of life comes to a sudden half because of the pandemic, data reveals that the coronavirus is indirectly healing the damaged planet.

大流行使i生命的喧嚣骤然减半,数据显示,冠状病毒正在间接治愈这个受损的星球。

Air pollution levels, for instance, decreased in metropolitan areas as US cities shut down to curb the spread of infection. Data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite, which helps researchers track the atmospheric levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), revealed massive decline in air pollution over urban areas in Northeast United States.

例如,由于美国城市因遏制感染蔓延而采取的封闭措施,都市地区的空气污染水平下降。美国宇航局Aura卫星上的臭氧监测仪器(OMI)帮助研究人员跟踪大气中二氧化氮(NO2)的含量,该仪器的数据显示,美国东北部城市地区的空气污染大幅度下降。 

Nitrogen dioxide is released into the air when fuel is burned by vehicles and power plants. Researchers think that the reduction of the toxic gas in the atmosphere is caused by decreased transportation activities.

释放到空气中的二氧化氮多属汽车和发电厂燃烧燃料产生的废气。研究人员认为,大气中有毒气体的减少是由于运输活动减少所致。

NO2 levels in China also significantly dropped as the pandemic stopped the operations of manufacturing plants. Wuhan saw 10 to 30 percent reduction in NO2 when majority of its 11 million inhabitants were confined in their homes. 

中国的二氧化氮水平也显著下降,因为大流行阻止了了制造工厂的运营。武汉市1千1百万居民中的大部分也被被限制在家中,二氧化氮排放因此减少了10%到30%。

The drop was observed during the Lunar New Year celebrations, when businesses and factories close to celebrate. Air pollution normally drops during the period, but researchers said the reduction this year is different.

这一降幅是在春节期间中观察到的,当时企业和工厂大都关门歇业。空气污染通常会在这段时间内下降,但研究人员表示,今年的下降幅度有所不同。

“This year, the reduction rate is more significant than in past years and it has lasted longer,” said Fei Liu, an air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “I am not surprised because many cities nationwide have taken measures to minimize spread of the virus.”

美国航天局戈达德航天飞行中心空气质量研究员刘飞说:“今年的降幅比往年更大,持续时间更长…我并不感到惊讶,因为全国许多城市已经采取措施,尽量减少病毒的传播。”

Climate Change

气候变化

The amount of carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere also declined. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and is one of the primary drivers of anthropogenic climate change. 

导致气候变化的主要气体之一 —— 二氧化碳的排放也减少了。

From early February to mid-March, carbon emissions in China, a major producer of the planet-warming gas, dropped by 18 percent due to reduced coal consumption and industrial output. The reduction in carbon emission is equivalent to about 250 million metric tons of carbon pollution, or more than half of the United Kingdom’s annual carbon output.

Drop in power demands and the slow down of industrial operations in regions comprising the European Union are also expected to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 400 million metric tons this year. The reduction is equivalent to about 9 percent of the region’s cumulative 2020 emissions target.

温室气体主要排放国之一的中国,由于煤炭消费和工业产出的减少,2月初到3月中旬的碳排放量下降了18%。减排量约2.5亿吨,相当于英国年碳排放量的一半以上。

Earth’s Movement

地球运动

Vibrations produced by industrial machineries and cars cause the planet’s crust to move. As people around the world are constrained to stay at home to avoid infection, the standstill is also impacting the Earth’s movement.  

工业机器和汽车产生的振动导致地球的地壳运动。由于全世界的人们都被迫呆在家里以避免感染,这种停滞也影响了地球的运动。

Researchers from the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels reported observing a drop in seismic noise, the hum of vibrations in the Earth’s crust due to the world’s transportation networks slowing and shutting down. 

布鲁塞尔比利时皇家天文台的研究人员报告说,由于世界交通网络减速或关闭,他们观察到地震噪音有所下降,

Seismologist Thomas Lecocq said that the measures taken by the world’s nations to contain the spread of the pandemic such as closing schools and other public venues as well as banning non-essential travels resulted in human-induced seismic noise to drop by about one-third.Seismologists consider the reduced seismic noise a good thing in that it allows them to better detect small quakes and monitor volcanic activity. 

地震学家托马斯莱科克说,世界各国为遏制这一流行病的蔓延而采取的措施,如关闭学校和其他公共场所以及禁止非必要的旅行,导致人类引起的地震噪音下降了大约三分之一,地震学家认为降低地震噪音是件好事,这使他们能够更好地探测小地震和监测火山活动。

“You’ll get a signal with less noise on top, allowing you to squeeze a little more information out of those events,” said Andy Frassetto, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology.

联合地震学研究机构的地震学家安迪·弗雷塞托(Andy Frassetto)说:“你将从一开始就得到一个噪音较小的信号,从而可以从中分析出更多的信息。”。

Wildlife

野生动物

Less noise pollution can benefit wildlife. Studies have shown that noise from ships and maritime traffic raises the stress-hormone levels of whales and other marine creatures. This, in turn, can hamper with the animals’ ability to reproduce. Researchers hope that a quieter ocean due to suspended sea travels during the pathogenic-induced global shutdown is a boon for marine life.

减少噪音污染可以使野生动物受益。研究表明,来自船只和海上交通的噪音会提高鲸鱼和其他海洋生物的应激激素水平。这会妨碍动物的繁殖能力。研究人员希望,在致病性全球关闭期间,由于悬浮的海洋运动而导致的更安静的海洋对海洋生物是一个福音。

“Just pulling those cruise ships out of the water is going to reduce the amount of global ocean noise almost instantaneously,” said Michelle Fournet, a marine ecologist at Cornell University who studies acoustic ecology. “We’re experiencing an unprecedented pause in ocean noise that probably hasn’t been experienced in decades.”

康奈尔大学(Cornell University)研究声学生态学的海洋生态学家米歇尔·福奈特(Michelle Fournet)说:“只要这些邮轮离开海绵,就能几乎瞬间减少全球的海洋噪音…我们正经历着前所未有的海洋噪音停顿,这可能是几十年来从未经历过的。”

Hope

希望

Measures meant to curb the spread of the pandemic result in changes that are deemed beneficial for the planet. Unfortunately, many experts are skeptical of lasting impacts because once the pandemic is over, mankind’s planet-harming activities are also likely to resume.

旨在遏制大流行蔓延的措施导致了被视为有益于地球的变化。不幸的是,许多专家对影响的持久性持怀疑态度,因为一旦大流行结束,人类危害地球的活动也有可能恢复。

In China, for instance, the energy usage, air pollution levels, and carbon emissions are now rebounding as the country recovers and resumes its industrial operations. 

例如,在中国,能源使用、空气污染水平和碳排放正在反弹,因为中国正在恢复其工业运营。

“We expect the impact will be fairly short-lived,” said Peter Riishojgaard, from the United Nations’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva. “The pandemic will be over at some point and the world will start going back to work and with that, the CO2 emissions will pick up again, maybe or maybe not to quite the same level.”

联合国世界气象组织(WMO)驻日内瓦的Peter Riishojgaard说:“我们预计这次影响将相当短暂…大流行将在某个时候结束,世界将开始恢复工作,二氧化碳排放量将随之再次回升,有可能达到完全相同的水平。”

The world’s governments, however, can still take advantage of a post-pandemic era to make lasting changes that can benefit the planet and its inhabitants. Experts recommend that bailouts should come with requirements that can steer sustainable business practices that will benefit the planet. 

然而,世界各国政府仍然可以利用后流感大流行的时代,做出有利于地球及其居民的持久变革。专家建议,救助计划应该附带一些要求,这些要求能够引导可持续的商业行为,使地球受益。

“Governments now have to be really cautious on how they re-stimulate their economies, mindful of not locking in fossil fuels again,” said Corinne Le Quéré, from the University of East Anglia.

“They should focus on those things that are ready to go that would lower emissions, like renovating buildings, putting in heat pumps and electric chargers. These are not complicated and can be done straight away, they are just waiting for financial incentives.”

东安格利亚大学(University of East Anglia)的科琳·勒奎雷(Corinne Le Quéré)说:“各国政府现在必须对如何刺激本国经济非常谨慎,要注意不要再次锁定化石燃料。”。

翻译:SGCS翻译组

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