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2014中石油职称英语选读文章:Ocean Plant Life in Decline

2014-01-09 19:18:00 来源:新东方在线论坛发表评论


  Ocean Plant Life in Decline海洋植物数量锐减

  1. Scientists have discovered plant life covering the surface of the world's oceans is disappearing at a dangerous rate. This plant life called phytoplankton is a vital resource that helps absorb the worst of the “greenhouse gases” involved in global warming. Satellites and ships at sea have confirmed the diminishing productivity of the microscopic plants, which oceanographers say is most striking in the waters of the North Pacific-ranging as far up as the high Arctic. “Whether the lost productivity of the phytoplankton is directly due to increased ocean temperatures that have been recorded for at least the past 20 years remains part of an extremely complex puzzle”, says Watson W. Gregg, a NASA biologist at the Goddard Space Flight Center in the USA, but it surely offers a fresh clue to the controversy over climate change. According to Gregg, the greatest loss of phytoplankton has occurred where ocean temperatures have risen most significantly between the early 1980s and the late 1990s. In the North Atlantic summertime, sea surface temperatures rose about l. 3 degrees Fahrenheit during that period, while in the North Pacific the ocean's surface temperatures rose about 0.07 0fa degree.

  1.科学家们发现覆盖海洋表面的植物数量正在快速消失。这种被称为”浮游植物”的生物能够吸收导致全球变暖的危害最大的”温室气体”。卫星和海上船舶确认了这种细微生物正在减少。海洋研究者认为这种生物在北太平洋里的消亡速度最快,甚至扩展到了北极圈。”浮游植物的减少是否是过去的20年间海洋温度的升高直接导致的,这依然是一个未解之迷。”在美国的Goddard空间飞行中心的NASA生物学家Watson W. Gregg如是说。但他表示,这确实提供了一个解决气候变化争议的全新线索。Gregg认为,从80年代初到90年代末,海洋温度明显升高的地方往往是浮游植物大量减少的地方。在北大西洋的夏季,海洋的表面温度在那段时间里升高了1.3华氏度,在北太平洋海洋表面,温度升高了0.07度。

  2. While the link between ocean temperatures and the productivity of plankton is striking, other factors can also affect the health of the plants. They need iron as nourishment, for example, and much of it reaches them in powerful winds that sweep iron-containing dust across the oceans from continental deserts. When those winds diminish or fail, plankton can suffer. According to Gregg and his colleagues, there have been small but measurable decreases in the amount of iron deposited over the oceans in recent years.


  3. The significant decline in plankton productivity has a direct effect on the world's carbon cycle. Normally, the ocean plants take up about half of all the Carbon dioxide in the world's environment because they use the carbon, along with sunlight, for growth, and release oxygen into the atmosphere in a process known as photosynthesis. Primary production of plankton in the North Pacific has decreased by more than 9 percent during the past 20 years, and by nearly 7 percent in the North Atlantic, Gregg and his colleagues determined from their satellite observations and shipboard surveys. Studies combining all the major ocean basins of the world have revealed the decline in plankton productivity to be more than 6 percent.


  4. The ocean plankton is a major way in which the extra carbon dioxide emitted in the combustion of fossil fuels is eliminated. Whether caused by currently rising global temperatures or not, the loss of natural plankton productivity in the oceans also means the loss of an important factor in removing much of the principal greenhouse gas that has caused the world's climate to warm for the past century or more. “Our combined research shows that ocean primary productivity is declining, and it may be the result of climate changes such as increased temperatures and decreased iron deposits into parts of the oceans. This has major implications for the global carbon cycle” said Gregg.


  5. At the same time, Stanford University scientists using two other NASA satellites and one flown by the Defense Department have observed dramatic new changes in the vast ice sheets along the west coast of Antarctica. These changes, in turn, are having a major impact on phytoplankton there. They report that a monster chunk of the Ross Ice Shelf-an iceberg almost 20 miles wide and 124 miles long-has broken off the west face of the shelf and is burying a vast ocean area of phytoplankton that is the base of the food web in an area exceptionally rich in plant and animal marine life.


  6. Although sea surface temperatures around Western Antarctica are remaining stable, the loss of plankton is proving catastrophic to all the higher life forms that depend on the plant masses, say Stanford biological oceanographers Arrigo and Van Dijken. Icebergs in Antarctica are designated by letters and numbers for aerial surveys across millions of square miles of the southern ocean, and this berg is known as C-19. “We estimate from satellite observations that C-19 in the Ross Sea has covered 90 percent of all the phytoplankton there” said Arrigo.

  6.斯坦福大学的生物学家Arrigo和Van Dijken认为,尽管南极洲西部海洋表面的温度保持了稳定,但是浮游植物的减少对所有依赖这些植物的高等生物群会产生毁灭性影响。整个南极洲的海洋面积达几百万平方英里,为了便于开展空中测量,科学家们按照字母和数字的顺序分类排列南极洲的冰山,因此上述的这块大冰山被命名为C-19。Arrigo说:”根据卫星观测数据,我们估计在罗斯海中的C-19已经覆盖了那里90%的浮游植物。”

  7. Huge as it is, the C-19 iceberg is only the second-largest recorded in the Ross Sea region. An even larger one, dubbed B-15, broke off, or “calved” in 2001. Although it also blotted out a large area of floating phytoplankton on the sea surface, it only wiped out about 40 percent of the microscopic plants. Approximately 25 percent of the world's populations of emperor penguins and 30 percent of the Adelie penguins nest in colonies in this area. This amounts to hundreds of thousands of Adelie and emperor penguins all endangered by the huge iceberg, which has been stuck against the coast ever since it broke off from the Ross Ice Shelf last year. Whales, seals and the millions of shrimplike sea creatures called krill are also threatened by the loss of many square miles of phytoplankton


本文关键字: 2014 中石油 职称英语






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