【時事英文】消失的波波湖,氣候變遷的寫照

    

 

 

 

 

圖取自Wikipedia

圖取自Wikipedia

南美洲內陸國玻利維亞面臨二十五年來最嚴重的旱災。在這之前,種種跡象早已預言旱災的到來。從湖泊乾涸到冰川消失再再提醒我們保護脆弱的自然生態。那麼,我們該如何保護賴以為生的美麗地球呢?現在,讓我們藉此新聞練習英文閱讀,同時了解國際時事。

The second largest lake in the South American country of Bolivia has completely dried up.

Lake Poopo used to be about 1,000 square kilometres big but it's been shrinking for several years and in December it completely evaporated.

根據BBC的報導,玻利維亞僅次於喀喀湖的第二大湖波波湖消失了,波波湖於過去幾年逐漸乾涸,去年十二月波波湖蒸發殆盡。

圖:取自美聯社

圖:取自美聯社

It's bad news for wildlife, like fish and birds, who live in the area and depend on the lake for food.

波波湖的消失衝擊當地自然生態。

More than 100 families have had to leave their homes in the last three years.

過去三年來,超過一百多戶人家被迫搬離家園。

The lake has dried up before, and reappeared later on, but scientists have warned that recovery might not be possible this time.

圖:取自美聯社

圖:取自美聯社

波波湖曾一度乾涸,多年後水位再度恢復,但科學家預測這次恐無法恢復原貌。

No one knows for sure why the lake has disappeared, but repeated droughts caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon is thought to be an important factor.

湖泊蒸發的原因有多種說法,週期性聖嬰現象引發的乾旱被視為重要因素。

Another reason could be that water from the rivers that feed into the lake has been diverted for mining and farming, meaning that less water reaches the lake itself.

另一因素為湖支流的河水大量被引流,供農業或礦業使用。


國家地理指出,氣候及人為因素導致波波湖乾涸。

Misuse of the water supply and a failure on the part of the Bolivian government to act on existing management plans are partly responsible for the rapid drying of the lake over the past few years, says Lisa Borre, a senior researcher with the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies in New York, who studies lake ecosystems.

研究員Borre提到,氣候因素被視為湖泊蒸發的主因,但玻國政府對水資源系統管理不善也導致湖泊快速消失。

"The lake was very shallow, only a few feet deep, and it is in an arid climate, so its level fluctuates a lot with the weather," Borre says, adding that Poopó has shrunk significantly a number of times in the past, "but it's never been this bad."

Borre提到,湖泊水位非常淺,波波湖位於半乾旱平原,長期受到氣候變化的影響。她說道,波波湖曾一度乾涸,但這次的情況前所未有。

Some scientists have suggested that recovery may not be possible, although Borre thinks the basin is likely to fill again once rains return. Still, there are important lessons to be learned.

有些科學家認為波波湖恐無法恢復原狀,但Borre認為如果當地降雨,湖泊可能再度積水。而這次湖泊乾涸能為人們提供教訓。

"The Bolivian government is blaming El Niño and climate change, and certainly those played a role, but they are not saying that they have also failed to implement the management plan for the basin," says Borre.

她說,玻利維亞政府聲明湖泊乾涸是聖嬰現象及氣候變遷所導致,但政府未提及自身水資源系統管理不善也加速湖泊消失。

 

延伸閱讀》

1. 大旱的前兆:玻利維亞滑雪勝地荒廢

註:玻利維亞面臨二十五年來最嚴重的旱災,安第斯山脈冰川為玻國境內水庫的主要供水來源。近年,由於全球暖化,冰川逐漸消失。玻利維亞旱災的警鈴早已敲響。

參考資料》

對完整報導有興趣的朋友請參考

1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/35381791

2. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/01/160121-lake-poopo-bolivia-dried-out-el-nino-climate-change-water/