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萬物簡史(MP3+中英字幕) 第614期:冰河時代(11)

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The cause of ice ages, Koppen decided, is to be found in cool summers, not brutal winters. If summers are too cool to melt all the snow that falls on a given area, more incoming sunlight is bounced back by the reflective surface, exacerbating the cooling effect and encouraging yet more snow to fall. The consequence would tend to be self-perpetuating. As snow accumulated into an ice sheet, the region would grow cooler, prompting more ice to accumulate. As the glaciologist Gwen Schultz has noted: "It is not necessarily the amount of snow that causes ice sheets but the fact that snow, however little, lasts." It is thought that an ice age could start from a single unseasonal summer. The leftover snow reflects heat and exacerbates the chilling effect. "The process is self-enlarging, unstoppable, and once the ice is really growing it moves," says McPhee. You have advancing glaciers and an ice age.

柯本認為,產生冰川期的原因是因為涼快的夏季,而不是嚴寒的冬季。如果在某一地區夏季非常涼快,射來的陽光就會被地表反射,這樣就加劇了寒冷的程度,使得更多的雪降下來,結果往往是地表的冰雪永久化。隨著積雪成冰蓋,整個地區就會更加寒冷,以致冰雪越積越多了。正如冰川學家格文·舒爾茨所說的那樣:“冰蓋的產生并不取決于下了多少的雪,而是取決于有多少未融化的雪——不管多么少?!北ㄆ诒徽J為開始于某個季節反常的夏天,未融化的雪反射了熱量,加劇了寒冷的效果,麥克菲說:“這是一個不斷自我擴大的過程,而冰蓋一旦形成,它就開始移動?!边@樣,就有了移動的冰川,也就進入到了一個冰川時代。

In the 1950s, because of imperfect dating technology, scientists were unable to correlate Milankovitch's carefully worked-out cycles with the supposed dates of ice ages as then perceived, and so Milankovitch and his calculations increasingly fell out of favor. He died in 1958, unable to prove that his cycles were correct. By this time, write John and Mary Gribbin, "you would have been hard pressed to find a geologist or meteorologist who regarded the model as being anything more than an historical curiosity." Not until the 1970s and the refinement of a potassium-argon method for dating ancient seafloor sediments were his theories finally vindicated.
20世紀50年代,由于檢測年代技術的不完善,科學家們并沒有能把當時所掌握的有關冰川期的數據與米蘭柯維契精確計算出來的周期進行對比,因此,米蘭柯維契及其計算結果越來越不吃香。直到1958年去世時,米蘭柯維契知未能證明其周期的正確性。到了這個時候,用一部記述該時期的史書里的話來說:“你會迫切需要找到一位認為那個計算結果不僅僅是一個古董地質學家或氣象學家?!敝钡?0世紀70年代,隨著用于確定古代海底沉淀物的年代的鉀氬測年方法的改善,米蘭柯維契的理論才最終得以確證。
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refinement [ri'fainmənt]

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n. 精致,高尚,精巧,精煉,提煉

 
tend [tend]

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v. 趨向,易于,照料,護理

 
fell [fel]

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動詞fall的過去式
n. 獸皮
v

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reflective [ri'flektiv]

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adj. 反射的,反映的;沉思的 adj. 【語】反身的

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consequence ['kɔnsikwəns]

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n. 結果,后果

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correlate ['kɔ:rə.leit]

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n. 有相互關系的東西,相關物
v. 使有相互

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prompting ['prɔmptiŋ]

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n. 刺激,激勵,暗示 動詞prompt的現在分詞

 
curiosity [.kjuəri'ɔsiti]

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n. 好奇,好奇心

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brutal ['bru:tl]

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adj. 野蠻的,殘暴的

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accumulate [ə'kju:mjuleit]

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vt. 積聚,累加,堆積
vi. 累積

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