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Large area of China could soon be virtually uninhabitable as deadly heatwaves become more intense, scientists warn

科学家警告中国大片地区将因为致命性热浪变得更猛烈而导致很快无法居住



Vast swathes of China could be left uninhabitable towards the end of the century due to heatwaves scorching the region, according to new research.

据一项新的研究,由于热浪席卷了这个地区,中国大片地区可能在本世纪末变的无法居住。

As carbon emissions soar and farmland expands across the fertile North China Plain, this area could soon see the biggest climate change-induced loss of human life on Earth, says the study by the team at America’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

美国麻省理工学院(MIT)的研究小组称,随着碳排放的飙升与整个华北平原上农田的扩张,在这一地区可能很快就会看到地球上最大的气候变化导致的人类生命损失。



The scientists behind the study warned that unless China – the world largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions – curbs its pollution there could be serious consequences for its own population.

最后这项研究的科学家警告说,除非中国——世界上最大的温室气体排放国——限制其污染,否则对本国人口可能会造成严重后果。

“This spot is going to be the hottest for deadly heatwaves in the future, especially under climate change,” said one of the study’s authors, Professor Elfatih Eltahir at MIT.

该研究报告的作者之一、麻省理工学院的埃尔法蒂埃尔塔希尔教授说:“这一地点未来将因为致命性热浪而变成最热的地方,尤其是在气候变化的情况下。”

In their study published in the journal Nature Communications, Professor Eltahir and his colleague Dr Suchul Kang used climate models to predict how rising global temperatures would affect the well-irrigated farmland of the North China Plain.

他们发表在自然通讯杂志上的研究上,埃尔塔希尔教授和他的同事Suchul Kang博士利用气候模型预测全球气温上升将如何影响华北平原上的农田。

Low rainfall across the region make irrigation networks necessary to effectively utilise the highly fertile soil. However, as heat increases these systems will result in high levels of water evaporation, making the air incredibly humid.

整个地区的低降雨量,使得灌溉网络必须有效地利用肥沃的土壤。然而,随着热量的增加,这一系统将导致水高度蒸发,使空气变得异常潮湿。

Humidity exacerbates the effects of heatwaves for people as it stops them being able to shed excess heat from their bodies by sweating.

同时,湿度加剧了热浪对人们的影响,因为它阻止了人们通过出汗来散发身体的多余热量。

In their paper, the researchers predict that in the latter half of the century temperatures and humidity will regularly combine across the North China Plain to reach levels at which a healthy person may not be able to survive outdoors for more than six hours. Farming under such conditions would be next to impossible.

在他们的论文中,研究人员预测,在本世纪下半叶,气温和湿度会变化成为一个健康的人可能无法在户外生存超过6小时的状态。在这种情况下,农业生产几乎是不可能的。

Overall, the modelling suggested that irrigation added an extra 0.5C to overall warming in the region.

总的来说,这一模型表明,农田的灌溉使得这一地区增加了0.5摄氏度。

“Irrigation exacerbates the impact of climate change,” said Professor Eltahir.

灌溉加剧了气候变化的影响,”埃尔塔希尔教授说。

The research is the latest in a series conducted by the MIT team, with their other studies focusing on deadly heatwaves striking the Persian Gulf and South Asia.

这项研究是麻省理工学院团队进行的一系列研究中的最新一项,他们的其他研究主要是关于热浪对波斯湾和南亚地区的影响。



“The good news is that if we mitigate greenhouse gas emissions under scenarios that comply with the Paris agreement, then the projected impact will be much reduced,” said Professor Antonio Gasparrini from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, one of the PLOS authors.

好消息是,如果我们在符合巴黎协定的条件减少温室气体排放,那么预计产生的影响将会大大减少,”来自伦敦卫生和热带医学学院的安东尼奥加斯帕里尼教授说。他是公共科学图书馆的作者之一。