相信大家都知道前美國總統候選人高爾先生拍攝的電影「不願面對的真相」,同時也有書籍問世,下面這篇文章就是在書的背後所附錄的十個常見迷思,讓各位朋友思考一下囉!


 感謝PTT大氣研究板的板友Waitingchen熱心翻譯,最近將有關於兩極冰冠增減的中文摘要發表,有興趣者歡迎至telnet://ptt.cc -> TY_Research搜尋。

Misconception 1

" Scientists disagree about whether humans are causing the Earth's climate to change."
→ In fact, there is strong scientific consensus that human activities are changing the Earth's climates.Scientists overwhelmingly agree that the Earth is getting warmer, that this trend is caused by people, and that if we continue to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the warming will be increasingly harmful.


誤解一
「科學家對於人類是否造成地球氣候變化都還沒達成共識哩。」
→ 事實上,科學界對人類活動正在影響氣候這件事早有強烈的共識。大多數科學家也同意地球正在變暖,而且暖化是由人類造成的,如果我們持續往大氣灌溫室氣體,暖化造成的災害會越來越嚴重。


Misconception 2
" Lots of things can impact climate -- so there's no reason we should single out CO2 to worry about."
→ Climate is sensitive to many things besides carbon dioxide -- sunspots, for one, as well as water vapor.But this just proves how much we should worry about CO2 and other human-influenced green house gases. The fact that the climate system has been shown to be sensitive to many sorts of natural changes throughout history should serve as a red flag: We need to pay attention to the massive and unprecedented changes we're causing.We have become more powerful than any force of nature.


誤解二
「許多因素都可以影響氣候,幹嘛特別把二氧化碳當成罪魁禍首?」
→ 氣候對於二氧化碳以外的其他因子,像是太陽黑子、水氣等等,也都很敏感。但正因為如此我們才該特別擔心二氧化碳與其他人為排放的溫室氣體。歷史紀錄顯示了氣候系統對於各種自然因子的敏感性,這其實是一個警訊:我們必須更關注自己所造成的改變,人類的影響如此巨大且史無前例,早已超越任何自然因子的影響程度。


(註: 所謂的氣候敏感度,就是指當某個因子被改變(例如大氣的水氣增加或減少),氣候狀況的反應會有多大(例如地面溫度會升高幾度)。一般而言,「全球平均地面溫度」這個參數對水氣量、極區冰雪覆蓋量最敏感,對水氣以外的溫室氣體次之,對太陽強度、黑子數量等敏感度相對較低。但是,氣候系統的複雜性在於,所有的環節都是緊扣的,改變溫室氣體往往就會連帶改變水氣與冰層分布,所有的效應因此疊加。一個敏感的系統,代表著一點點的變動就會讓系統產生很大的反應,所以當我們越認識氣候的複雜程度,就更該謹慎處理人類可能造成的大小影響,因為它們都可能對氣候造成重大改變。)


Misconception 3
" Climate naturally varies over time, so any change we're seeing now is just part of a natural cycle."
→ Climate does naturally change.By studying tree rings, take sediments, ice cores, and other natural features that provide a record of past climates, scientists know that changes in climate, including abrupt changes, have occurred throughout history.But these changes all took place with natural variations in carbon dioxide levels that were smaller than the ones we are now causing.Cores taken from deep in the ice of Antarctica show that carbon dioxide levels are higher now than they have been at any time in the last 650,000 years, which means we are outside the realm of natural climate variation.More CO2 in the atmosphere means warming temperatures.


誤解三
「氣候本來就會自然變動,我們現在看到的不過是一種自然週期變化。」
→ 的確,氣候是會自然改變的,科學家在研究了樹木年輪、沉積物、冰芯與其它自然界對過往氣候的紀錄後,發現氣候變化,包括短時間的劇烈變化,在歷史上都發生過,但是這些變化發生的當時,二氧化碳的濃度都在自然範圍內,且低於現今人類造成的濃度。根據南極鑽探出的冰芯,目前的二氧化碳濃度比過去六十五萬年都要高,所以我們已經不處於「氣候自然變化」的範疇。而我們都知道,大氣中二氧化碳增加,溫度就會升高。


Misconception 4
" The hole in the ozone layer causes global warming."
→ There is a relationship between climate change and the ozone hole, butthis isn't it.The hole in the ozone layer -- a part of the upper atmosphere that contains high concentrations of ozone gas and shields the planet from the sun's radiation -- is due to man-made chemicals called CFCs, which were banned by an international agreement called the Montreal Protocol.The hole causes extra UV radiation to reach the Earth's surface, but it does not affect the Earth's temperature. The only connection between the ozone layer and climate change is almost the exact opposite of the myth stated above.Global warming -- while not responsible for the ozone hole -- could actually slow the natural repairing of the ozone layer.Global warming heats the lower atmosphere but actually cools the stratosphere, which can worsen stratospheric ozone loss.


誤解四
「是臭氧洞造成全球暖化的。」
→ 氣候變化和臭氧洞有關聯,但並不是在暖化這件事情上。臭氧洞的發生,是因為氟氯碳化物(一種人造化學物質,已被國際公約規定禁用)破壞了位於大氣高處、可阻隔有害太陽輻射的臭氧層。臭氧洞會讓地面暴露於過多的紫外線輻射,但不會影響地面溫度。臭氧層與氣候變化的唯一關聯正好和誤解所提的相反:儘管全球暖化不是造成臭氧洞的原因,卻會讓臭氧洞復原的速度減緩,因為全球暖化雖然使低層大氣增溫,卻會讓平流層冷卻,加快平流層臭氧的分解。


Misconception 5
" There is nothing we can do about climate change.It's already too late."
→ This is the worst misconception of all.If "denial ain't just a river in Egypt," despair ain't just a tire in the trunk.There are lots of things we can do -- but we need to start now.We can't ignore the causes and impacts of climate change any longer.We need to reduce our use of fossil fuels, through a combination of government initiatives, industry innovation, and individual action.Dozens of things you can do are outlined in this resource guide. (註:指本書)


誤解五
「沒甚麼好做的啦,早就來不及了」
→ 這個是最最最大的誤解。雖說「不見棺材不掉淚」太過鐵齒,但坐以待斃也絕不是解決問題的方法。我們有很多可以做的,重點是,「現在」就要開始做。我們不該再忽視自己對氣候的作為與影響。當務之急是透過國際公約、技術改良與個人行動各方面多管齊下、減少使用石化燃料。這本指南裡也整理了許多你可以做的事情。


Misconception 6
" Antarctica's ice sheets are growing, so it must not be true that global warming is causing glaciers and sea ice to melt."
→ Some ice on Antarctica may be growing -- though other areas of the continent are clearly melting and a new 2006 study shows that overall the ice is shrinking in Antarctica.Even if some of the ice is getting bigger, not shrinking, this doesn't change the fact that global warming is causing glaciers and sea ice to melt around the world.Globally, more than 85% of glaciers are shrinking.And in any case, localized impacts of climate change don't cancel out the global trends that scientists are observing. Some people also mistakenly claim (in Michael Crichton's novel State of Fear, for instance) that Greenland's ice is growing. In fact, recent satellite data from NASA shows that Greenland's ice cap is shrinking every year, causing sea levels to rise.The loss of that ice doubled from 1996 to 2005.Greenland lost 50 cubic kilometers of ice in 2005 alone.


誤解六
「南極的冰層在變厚耶,說不定全球暖化根本不會讓冰河和海冰融化。」
→ 在南極的一些地區,冰層確實有增厚,但是南極大陸其他地區的冰層都很明顯地在融化,2006年最新的研究顯示,南極的冰層整體而言都在縮減。就算有些冰層在成長,全球暖化造成冰河和海冰融化仍是事實,全球有超過85% 的冰河都在減退,局部地區的增加並沒有辦法抵銷科學家觀測到的全球性減少趨勢。有些人(像是小說「恐懼之邦」)錯誤地宣稱格陵蘭的冰河在成長。事實卻是,NASA近來的衛星資料都顯示格陵蘭的冰帽逐年縮小,造成海平面上升。冰層消融的體積從1996年到2005年已經加倍,光2005年一年,格陵蘭地區就損失了50立方公里的冰。


Misconception 7
" Global warming is a good thing, because it will rid us of frigid winters and make plants grow more quickly."
→ This myth just doesn't seem to die.Because local impacts will vary, it's true that some specific places may experience more pleasant winter weather.But the negative impact of climate change vastly outweighs any local benefits.Take the oceans, for example.Changes to the oceans caused by global warming are already causing massive die-offs of coral reefs, which are crucial sources of food and shelter for creatures at every stage of the ocean food chain, all the way up to us.Melting ice sheets are causing sea levels to rise, and if big ice sheets melt into the ocean, many coastal cities around the world will flood and millions of people will become refugees. There are just some of the consequences of global warming. Other predicted impacts include prolonged periods of drought, more severe flooding, more intense storms, soil erosion, mass species extinction, and human health risks from new diseases.The small number of people who experience better weather may be doing it in a landscape that is nearly unrecognizable.


誤解七
「暖化也很好呀,這樣冬天就不冷了,植物也長的比較快」
→ 這個觀點常常被人提出。沒錯,因為氣候變化會因地而異,所以有些地方在暖化之後就不會再有嚴冬。但是小區域得利並無法扭轉對整體的負面影響。舉海洋為例,因為全球暖化,許多珊瑚礁大量死亡,珊瑚礁是海洋生物的重要食物來源與棲地,透過食物鏈環環相連,最後人類也會受影響。冰層融化造成海平面上升,如果大量冰層融化進入海洋,所有臨海的城市將會變淹沒,上百萬人都會成為災民。這只是全球暖化之後的其中一兩項惡果。其他預測出現的災害包括長期乾旱、更嚴重的洪災氾濫、風暴增強、土壤侵蝕、物種滅絕、新型傳染病威脅公共衛生等等。那一小撮能享受舒適天氣的人,也要看著熟悉的景物成為滄海桑田。


Misconception 8
" The warming scientists are recording is just the effect of cities trapping heat, rather than anything to do with green house gases."
→ People who want to deny global warming because it's easier than dealing with it try to argue that what scientists are really observing is just the "urban heat island" effect, meaning that cities tends to trap heat because of all the buildings and asphalt. This is simply wrong.Temperature measurements are generally taken in parks, which are actually cool areas within the urban heat islands. And long-term temperature records showing just rural areas are nearly identical to long-term records that include both rural areas and cities.Most scientific research shows that "urban heat islands" have a negligible effect on the overall warming of the planet.


誤解八
「科學家看到的暖化不過是來自都市累積的熱能,跟溫室氣體沒有關係。」
→ 很多鴕鳥心態想否認全球暖化的人會用「都市熱島」來解釋科學家觀測到的資料,認為暖化是由於都市建築物與柏油路面散熱不佳。這個想法是錯誤的。氣溫通常是在公園綠地等都市熱島中較涼爽的地點進行量測,而且就算將「郊區」的長期溫度資料獨立出來看,變化與「郊區加都市」的資料幾乎相同。大部份的科學研究也顯示「都市熱島」對全球的暖化影響微乎其微。


Misconception 9
" Global warming is the result of a meteor that crashed in Siberia in the early 20th century."
→ This may sound absurd to some of us, but it's real hypothesis suggested by a Russian scientist. So what's wrong with it? Basically, everything. The impact of a meteor, much like a volcanic eruption, might have immediate effects on climate if it were large enough. But there is no record of warming or cooling during the period after this meteor hit.The effects that would have been produced by the meteor would have involved water vapor, which only stays in the upper atmosphere for a few years at the most.Any effects would have been short-term, and could not be felt this far in thefuture.


誤解九
「全球暖化是二十世紀初撞擊西伯利亞的隕石造成的。」
→ 這個說法相信不少人覺得很詭異。這是一位俄國科學家提出的假說。它的問題在哪裡呢?嗯,到處都是問題。隕石撞擊的效應跟火山噴發很類似,如果規模夠大的話會讓氣候產生立即的改變。但是在這顆隕石撞擊之後,並沒有紀錄到任何顯著的增溫或冷卻。隕石的影響是會增加高層大氣的水氣,但是也只會維持幾年,這些短期變化不可能殘留到現在。


Misconception 10
" Temperatures in some areas aren't increasing, so global warming is a myth."
→ It is certainly true that the temperature is not rising at every point on the planet.In Michael Crichton's novel The State of Fear, characters pass around graphs that show specific places around the world where temperatures are decreasing slightly or remaining the same. The graphs represent real data from real scientists.But while they may be fact, they don't prove the point.Global warming refers to the rise in the average temperature of the entire Earth's surface due to increased levels of greenhouse gases. Because the climate is an incredibly complex system, the impacts of climate change will not be the same everywhere.Some areas of the globe -- such as northern Europe -- might actually become colder. But this does not change the fact that overall, the surface temperature of the planet is rising, as are the temperatures of our oceans. The gains have been demonstrated by several types of measurements -- including satellite data -- that all show the same general results.


誤解十
「有很多地方氣溫並沒有增加,全球暖化是錯的。」
→ 的確,不是地球上每個地方都在變暖。在「恐懼之邦」裡就有描述角色們互相傳閱幾個地區溫度在降低或維持不變的資料圖表,而那些圖表都是真實世界裡科學家觀測到的紀錄。這些都是事實,但也無法否定什麼。「全球暖化」指的是「整個地球平均之後的地面溫度」受溫室氣體的增加而升高。因為氣候是一個難以描述的複雜系統,每個地方感受到的氣候變化都不一樣。有些地區,如歐洲北部,就很有可能會變冷。但這不會改變全球平均地面溫度,還有海面溫度都在升高這個事實。相似的結果在不同觀測方法得到的資料,包括衛星資料,都可以看到。


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