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全球社会热点英语听力报道43:2012年太阳风暴(中英)

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qqjun 于2015-11-30发布 l 已有人浏览
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全球热点英语新闻报道之百姓热点篇,第43篇:2012年太阳风暴。含MP3下载,文本中英对照,阅读、听力两不误。
    小E英语欢迎您,请点击播放按钮开始播放……

It is midnight on 22 September, 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colorful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora which is short-lived and special. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.

2012年9月22日午夜时分,纽约曼哈顿上空将出现闪烁的彩色光芒,纽约市民很少会看到如此 短暂而独特的类极光现象。在短短几秒内,居民家中的灯泡开始变得昏暗并闪烁着,接着又变得不 同寻常的明亮。之后灯泡就完全熄灭了。在90秒之内,美国东部一半的地区将陷入停电危机之中。

A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation’s infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event-a violent storm, 150 million kilometers away on the surface of the sun.

1年之后,数百万的美国人将陆续死亡,国家的基础性设施将濒于瘫痪。世界银行将宣布美国 变成发展中国家,欧洲、斯堪的纳维亚半岛、中国和日本也将出现同样的灾难,这场灾难源于一 次猛烈的太阳风暴——来自距离地球1.5亿公里之遥的太阳表面。

It sounds ridiculous. Surely the sun couldn’t create so profound a disaster on Earth. Yet an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in January this year claims it could do just that.

以上内容听起来会让人感到有些荒谬,许多人都会相信太阳不 会在地球上制造出如此悲惨的灾难。但是这并非是危言耸听,今年 Manhattan i月份,由美国宇航局提供研究资金,美国国家科学院发布的一份特别报告中很严肃地提出了“未来太阳风暴危机”。

Over the last few decades, western civilizations have busily sown the seeds of their own destruction. Our modem way of life, with its reliance on technology, has unwittingly exposed us to an extraordinary danger: plasma balls spewed from the surface of the sun could wipe out our power grids, with catastrophic consequences. The projections of just how catastrophic make chilling reading. It is hard to conceive of the sun wiping out a large amount of our hard-earned progress. Nevertheless, it is possible. The surface of the sun is a roiling mass of plasma-charged high-energy particles—some of which escape the surface and travel through space as the solar wind. From time to time, that wind carries a billion-ton glob of plasma. If one should hit the Earth’s magnetic shield, the result could be truly devastating.

在过去几十年里,西方文化在迅速发展的同时也埋下了毁灭的种子。现代的生活方式以及所依赖的科学技术在悄然地把人类推向极其危险的境地——来自太阳表面喷射的等离子球将摧毁我们的电 网,并造成致命的后果。单单想想这一大灾难就令人毛骨悚然。很难 想象太阳就这么抹杀了我们含辛茹苦创造出来的大半成果。但是,这 是很有可能发生的。太阳表面释放着大量的等离子体——高能量粒 子,它们从太阳表面逃逸以太阳风的形式在太空中穿梭。有时太阳 风会携带着数10亿吨的等离子球,如果等离子球进人地球磁场,将 酿成毁灭性的灾难。

The incursion of the plasma into our atmosphere causes rapid changes in the configuration of Earth’s magnetic field which, in turn, induce currents in the long wires of the power grids. The result is runaway current in the transformer’s copper wiring, which rapidly heats up and melts. This is exactly what happened in the Canadian province of Quebec in March 1989,and six million people spent 9 hours without electricity. But things could get much, much worse than that.

等离子进人地球大气层将导致地球磁场结构的快速改变,诱导 地面上较长电线的电网产生电流。其结杲是导致变压器的铜线快速 加热并被融化,就断电了。1989年3月,加拿大魁北克省就发生了类 似的停电事件,600万居民在没有电的状况下度过了 9小时。但更糟 scaremongering散步谣言的 糕的事情还不仅于此。依据美国科学院的这份特殊报告,严重的太空天气将在美国境内诱导产生地面电流,从而在90秒内毁坏美国300个关键的变压器,切断至少1.3亿居民的电 力系统。

According to the NAS report, a severe space weather event in the US could induce ground currents that would knock out 300 key transformers within about 90 seconds, cutting off the power for more than 130 million people.

出现的第一个困难就是一些居民的饮用水问题,那些生活在高层建筑的居民,饮用水很难通 过泵吸抵达,不久便会中断饮用水来源。电力系统运输中断,没有铁路运输、地铁运输和地面运输。 对于医院而言,失去电力和饮用水,卫生保健和医疗抢救则无法进行。

First to go-immediately for some people—is drinkable water. Anyone living in a high-rise apartment, where water is hard to be pumped to reach them, would be cut off straight away. And there is simply no electrically powered transport: no trains, underground or overground. For hospitals, no modem healthcare can be performed without electricity and drinking water.

真正可怕的事情是数个月状况得不到改进,或许会持续几年时间,融化的变压器无法修复,只 能更换。即使某些系统恢复了动力,但却不能保证有电。差不多所有的天然气和燃料管道都需要电 力支持。燃煤发电站通常会存储供30天发电的煤量,但是没有其他的运输系统可以带来更多的煤, 那么在第二个月该发电站就发不了电了。

The truly shocking finding is that this whole situation would not improve for months, maybe years: melted transformer cannot be repaired, only replaced. Even when some systems are capable of receiving power again,there is no guarantee there will be any to deliver. Almost all natural gas and fuel pipelines require electricity to operate. Coal-fired power stations usually keep reserves to last 30 days, but with no transport systems running to bring more fuel, there will be no electricity in the second month.

欧洲宇航局太空天气研究小组组长迈克?哈普克德说我并不认为这份特殊报告是在散布 谣言,科学家对于自然事件现象的研究分析还是比较客观的,他们的分析是经过认真思考的。这是 一份公正的科学分析报告。”
 

“I don’t think the NAS report is scaremongering,” says Mike Hapgood, who chairs the European Space Agency’s space weather team. “Scientists are conservative by nature and this group is really thoughtful. This is a fair science analysis report.”
 

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