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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 尼罗河周边地区水资源争议

2017年12月27日09:44 来源:互联网
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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 尼罗河周边地区水资源争议图1

Climate Change and the Nile——Flood and Famine

气候变化与尼罗河:洪水和饥荒

The country in the Nile basin will suffer if they do not learn to cooperate.

如果尼罗河流域各国不互相协作,那么他们将遭受苦难。

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To the untrained eye, the satellite photos of north-west Ethiopia on July 10th may have seemed benign.

对于普通人来说,从7月10日拍摄的阿塞俄比亚西北部的照片上看一切还是正常的。

They showed a relatively small pool of water next to an enormous building site on the Blue Nile, the main tributary of the Nile river.

这些照片显示的是靠近尼罗河主要的支流,青尼罗河上正在修筑的巨大建筑的附近,有着一片相对较小的水域。

But the project under construction is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which is more than halfway complete.

但是这项正在修筑的工程是大埃塞俄比亚文艺复兴大坝,项目进度已过半。

And the water is why it is so controversial.

这片水域正是这大坝位置饱受争议的原因。

Since Ethiopia announced its plan to build the dam, it has inspired threats of sabotage from Egypt, which sits downstream and relies on the Nile for electricity, farming and drinking water.

自从埃塞俄比亚宣布修建大坝的计划以来,它就激发了来自下游地区埃及的破坏威胁,因为埃及的电力、农业和饮用水都依赖于尼罗河。

Egypt claims that it is entitled to a certain proportion of the Nile's water based on colonial-era treaties.

埃及声称根据殖民时期的条约,它有权获得尼罗河的一定的水资源。

Ethiopia dismisses those aGREements.

埃塞俄比亚驳回了这些协议。

The pool of water in the photos suggested that it was beginning to fill the reservoir behind the dam, reducing the river's flow.

照片中的水池表明水坝后面的水库将被填满,从而减少了河水的流量。

That turns out not to have been the case.

事实证明并非如此。

The pool was deemed by Egypt to be a result of construction and seasonal Nile flooding.

埃及认为的大坝其实是由于建筑物和尼罗河季节性洪水造成的。

But the alarms it raised are indicative of how sensitive negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have become.

但它造成的紧张局势提醒着人们,埃及、埃塞俄比亚和苏丹之间的谈判变得多么敏感。

Talks over such things as how fast to fill the reservoir and how to operate the dam have stumbled.

关于水库要填满的速度和如何操作大坝等问题的讨论都以失败而告终。

And a potentially huge complication looms over any discussion of the Nile's future: climate change.

在关于尼罗河未来的讨论中,潜在的巨大问题是:气候变化。

By 2050 around a billion people will live in the countries through which the Nile and its tributaries flow.

到2050年底,约有十亿人将生活在尼罗河及其支流流过的国家。

That alone will put enormous stress on the water supply.

仅这一点就将给供水带来巨大压力。

But according to a study by Mohamed Siam and Elfatih Eltahir of MIT, potential changes to the river's flow, resulting from climate change, may add to the strain.

但是,根据麻省理工学院的Mohamed Siam和elfatih Eltahir对气候变化造成的河流的流量变化的研究,情况可能会更加严峻。

Messrs Siam and Eltahir conclude that on current trends the annual flow could increase, on average, by up to 15%.

Siam和Eltahir认为,按照当前的趋势,尼罗河及其支流每年的流量可能会增加,平均达15%。

That may seem like a good thing, but it could also grow more variable, by 50%.

这似乎是一件好事,但有50%的可能性,它也可能会带来更多的变数。

In other words, there would be more (and worse) floods and droughts.

换句话说,会有更多的(同时更严重的)的洪水和干旱。

【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 尼罗河周边地区水资源争议图2

There is, of course, uncertainty in the projections, not least because differing global climate models give different numbers.

当然,预测中存在着不确定性,尤其是因为不同的全球气候模型给出了不同的数据。

But the idea that the flow of the Nile is likely to become more variable is lent credibility, the authors argue, by the fact that trends over decades seem to agree with them, and by consideration of the effects of El Ninos.

但是,尼罗河的流量可能会变得更为多变的说法是具有可信度的,作者认为,事实上,考虑到厄尔尼诺的影响,在过去几十年显示的趋势印证了他们的观点。

These colossal climatic oscillations, driven by changes in the temperature of the Pacific, are correlated with the Nile's flow, and climate-change studies suggesting more extreme El Ni?os in years to come thus bolster the idea of a more variable Nile.

在太平洋的温度变化驱动下,这些巨大的气候变化与尼罗河的流量相关,并且气候变化的研究表明近年来将出现更加极端的厄尔尼诺现象,从而印证了更可变的尼罗河流量的说法。

More storage capacity will be needed to smooth out the Nile's flow.

因此需要存储更多的水量来缓解尼罗河的流量变化。

But unlike Egypt's large Aswan Dam, which was built with storage in mind, the new Ethiopian one is designed for electricity production.

但与埃及的大阿斯旺水坝不同,它是以存储的方式建造的,新埃塞俄比亚的是为电力生产而设计的。

Once water starts gushing through its turbines, it is expected to produce over 6,000 megawatts of power.

一旦水开始从涡轮机中喷涌出来,预计发电量将超过6000兆瓦。

It is unclear, though, if the structure has the necessary flexibility to meet downstream demands in periods of prolonged drought.

但是,目前尚不清楚是否该结构具备在长期干旱期间满足下游需求的必要的灵活性。

The talks between the three countries seem to be glossing over the potential effects of climate change.

三国之间的会谈似乎想要掩饰这种气候变化带来的潜在影响。

The filling of the reservoir is being negotiated in terms of years, but nature may not co-operate with their timeline.

水库的填筑是以年为单位进行谈判的,但自然可能不配合他们的时间表。

The countries would be better off focusing on how much water is needed downstream, which will vary in wet and dry years, say experts.

专家们说,这些国家不应继续将重点放在下游需要多少水上,因为随着干湿年份而有所不同。

Similar considerations will need be taken into account when running the dam.

他们应该考虑的是水坝的运作。

“Nowhere in the world are two such large dams on the same river operated without close co-ordination,” says another study from MIT.

麻省理工学院的另一项研究表明:“世界上没有两个在同一条河流上的大坝是没有密切协调的运作的”。

But so far co-operation is in short supply.

但到目前为止,合作仍是难以达成。

The latest round of talks has been postponed.

最新一轮谈判已被推迟。

Even the methodology of impact studies is cause for wrangling.

甚至研究大坝造成的影响的方法也引起了各方的争论。

Once the dam is up and running, the Nile's variability will be controllable for some 60 years, say Messrs Siam and Eltahir.

Messrs Siam和Eltahir说,一旦大坝建成并运行,尼罗河的流量变化将在大约60年内可以控制。

That assumes the dam is flexible enough and that the countries work together.

但这要基于大坝具有足够的灵活性并且要在各国的共同努力的基础上才得以完成。

Even then, storage would have to be increased by about 45% to keep things steady for the next 60 years.

即便如此,在接下来的60年里,储存量必须增加45%左右才能够保持尼罗河水量的稳定。

So the countries have time to build new dams; but that will need even greater co-operation.

如果这样的话,各国就有时间去建造新的水坝了,但这仍然需要进一步的合作。

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