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经济学人:南极洲 核心价值

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Antarctica

南极洲
Core values
核心价值
The southern continent hots up
南方大陆热闹起来了
ANTARCTICA is 2,700km away. Yet as the brief austral summer fades, for Hobart, the capital of the Australian state of Tasmania, it is big business. The town is home to the Australian government's Antarctic Division and France's Antarctic programme. The two countries' ageing icebreakers are busy supplying their research stations. Australia is trying out a new research and supply vessel, which dwarfs its part of the harbour.
远在2700公里的南极洲。随着南半球夏天的离去,澳大利亚塔斯马尼亚岛霍巴特迎来了大生意。澳大利亚政府南极洲研究部与法国南极洲考察项目驻扎在此。两国积极为其研究站提供技术成熟的破冰船。澳大利亚开展一项新的研究,研发供给船,这使其港口相形见绌。

In early January the Falkor, a research vessel funded by Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google (and a member of The Economist's board), steamed into Hobart. Its research budget would quicken the pulse of any ocean scientist, and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania threw a party for the crew. Among other topics, the institute's researchers are studying why the Earth is warming more slowly than models predict. One reason could be the cold Southern Ocean, a powerful climate regulator.

早前一月初,谷歌执行总裁埃里克·施密特资(同时也是该杂志董事会一员)助了一艘名为Falkor的研究船驶向霍巴特。该船研究预算让海洋科学者心跳加快,而且塔斯马尼亚大学海洋与南极洲研究中心为船员们开了派对。该中心的研究课题还有为什么地球变暖速度低于先前模型的预测。其中原因之一可能是寒冷的南大洋能有力的调控天气变化。
Though there are (disputed) territorial claims, the 1959 Antarctic Treaty sets Antarctica aside as a scientific reserve. States assert themselves by building bases and planting flagpoles. The dozen original signatories have swelled to 50, including India and South Korea. China, which signed up in 1983, has the fastest-growing presence. Some 350 features now have Chinese place-names (there is even a Great Wall).
虽然领土争端仍然存在,1959年签订的南极条约使其成为了科学保留地。各国通过建立考察站升起国旗展示国家能力。原始缔约国大约十几个,现在升至50个,其中印度,韩国,中国在1983年签署加入,并成为了发展速度最快的国家。350个左右的地点是以中国地名命名的(其中包括长城站)。
China's annual Antarctic spending has grown from $20m to $55m in a decade, and it has five bases. Its Ukrainian-built icebreaker, the Xue Long (Snow Dragon), shuttles between the Arctic and Antarctic summers, and will be joined in 2016 by a new vessel. Yet co-operation remains essential in this remote and hostile environment, and it relies on Russia and Australia for help with logistics and supplies.
中国每年在南极洲花费从10年前的2千万美元到5千5百万美元,中国现在有五个科学考察站。乌克兰建造的雪龙号破冰船,在夏天,往返于北极和南极。2016年会配备一艘新船。然而,在如此遥远与恶劣的环境中,合作是极其重要的。雪龙号的后勤和供给都要依靠俄罗斯和澳大利亚。'
China's long-term interest may be in resources. But mining has been banned in the Antarctic since 1998, and that would be hard to change if most countries active there resisted it. For now, scientists in Hobart say the Chinese are doing impressive research. Most ambitious is an attempt to drill 2.5km into Antarctica's highest ice dome. Trapped air may reveal the secrets of 1.3m years of climate change. But extracting samples without contaminating them is only one of many challenges. And, whisper Australian scientists gleefully—for co-operation has its limits—the Chinese may not be drilling in the best place.
资源是中国长期利益出发点。但是1998年起,南极洲就禁止采矿,如果那里活跃的大多数国家反对开采的话,这个现状很难改变。目前,霍巴特的科学家中国的研究让人吃惊。其中在南极洲最高的冰穹钻入2500米的尝试非常有野心的。收集的空气可能揭示130万年前的气候变化的秘密。但是采集的样本如何不受到污染也是众多挑战之一。其中一位澳大利亚的科学家幸灾乐祸的小声说,合作也意味着限制。中国就无法在最佳的地方钻探。翻译:刘苗苗 校对:于玉涵

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