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2019年10月23日 23:39:25 | 作者:预约解答 | 来源:新华社
If July felt horrendously hot, that’s because it was.若是七月感觉到热得吓人,那是因为真的热成那样。NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ― two leading global authorities on climate ― both say July 2016 was not only the hottest July on record, but the most sizzling month in the history of record-keeping.美国国家航空航天局和美国海洋暨大气总署这两大全球气象权威称,2016年7月不单单是有史以来最热的七月,还是最热月份的记录保持者。NOAA on Wednesday said July’s global average temperature was 62.01 degrees, 1.57 degrees above the 20th-century average. NASA, which uses a slightly different methodology, said the average global temperature in July was 1.51 degrees above average. Both agencies pegged July as the hottest month since monitoring began in 1880.美国海洋暨大气总署称七月全球平均气温为62.01华氏度,比20世纪平均要高出1.57度。美国国家航空航天局用的方法稍有不同,称七月比平均高1.51度。两大机构都认定此次7月为自1880年监控气象数据以来最热的月份。The record continues a global hot streak that scientists have linked to global warming, with average temperatures continuing to climb as extreme weather events occur more frequently.记录持续显示全球热度条带已经和全球变暖相关,平均气温持续攀升,极度天气情况发生更为频繁。El Ni#241;o, a phenomenon highlighted by warmer-than-usual sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, is capable of changing weather around the globe.厄尔尼洛现象主要特征即赤道太平洋一带海洋表面温度要比一般高。July’s high topples the previous record set in July 2015. The month of July, when the seasonal temperature cycle peaks in the Northern Hemisphere, usually sees the highest global temperatures, according to NASA.今年七月气温新高打破了之前2015年7月的纪录。据美国国家航空航天局称,这个七月,北半球季节性的温度循环达到顶峰,常可以见全球最高气温。NASA, which analyzes weather data from from 6,300 locations around the world, considers July 2016 to be the 10th consecutive record-setting month.美国国家航空航天局分析了全球6300个地点的天气数据,认为2016年7月是第十个连续创高温纪录的月份。Whitehouse has long urged the U.S. to take stronger action on climate change.The changes we’re living through right now are ones geologists will someday look back on in awe.白宫一直以来就敦促美国采取更有力的措施对抗气候变化。地质学家以后回首我们现在经历的变化,会大为震惊。 /201608/461862

Villain or victim? If policymakers get it wrong, the answer could be both. 是元凶还是受害者?如果政策制定者应对不当,可能两者皆是。Cities in the 21st century are the engines of economic growth and provide employment and homes to the growing global middle classes. 21世纪的城市是经济增长的引擎,并为全球日益壮大的中产阶级提供了就业机会和住房。As the world gets hotter, however, urban areas will need to put themselves at the heart of the international effort to mitigate the effects of climate change.但随着全球气候变暖,城市地区必须把自己放在减轻气候变化影响的全球性努力的中心位置。Along with the prosperity and innovation, global cities are the principal source of the carbon dioxide emissions warming the earth’s atmosphere. 伴随着城市的繁荣与创新,国际化大都市成为了二氧化碳排放的主要来源,正是这种气体导致了地球大气层变暖。If the process is not halted, these great conurbations will be the worst affected by rising temperatures.如果这个过程得不到遏制,这些中心城市将成为受气温上升影响最严重的地区。A few figures tell the story. 举出一些数据即可说明问题。The London School of Economics Cities programme projects that by 2050 cities will have swelled by another 2.5bn people, taking the overall total to about two-thirds of the global population. 伦敦政治经济学院(London School of Economics)的城市研究项目预计,到2050年,在城市居住的人口将再增加25亿,这将使城市总人口占全球人口的比重达到约三分之二。On present trends these cities would be producing about four-fifths or more of the greenhouse gas being pumped into the atmosphere. 若目前的趋势延续下去,排入大气层的温室气体将有五分之四甚至更多是由城市制造的。As the planet heats up, cities will fare the worst.随着地球日益变暖,城市地区的状况将变得最为糟糕。The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that temperatures in urban areas aly tend to be 3.5-4.5C higher than in the countryside. 据总部位于巴黎的经济合作与发展组织(OECD)估测,目前城市地区的气温通常已较乡村地区高出3.5至4.5摄氏度。This difference could well increase by another 1C per decade. 未来这一温差很可能每十年扩大1摄氏度。This would mean that, by the second half of the present century, some big cities could be as much as 10C hotter than their surrounding hinterlands. 这将意味着到21世纪下半叶,某些大城市的气温可能比周围内陆地区高出10摄氏度。That begins to sound like unliveable.大城市将因此逐渐变得不适宜居住。Many large cities are situated in low-lying coastal areas, leaving them badly exposed to the dangers of flooding that come with rising sea levels and storm surges. 很多大城市位于地势偏低的沿海地区,存在因海平面上升和风暴潮而引发洪灾的隐患。The sea does not differentiate between the rich and the poor. 大海对贫富一视同仁。Among the cities judged most at risk by the OECD are Kolkata, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Miami, New York and Osaka. 被OECD评判为风险最大的城市包括加尔各答、上海、广州、迈阿密、纽约以及大阪。Many of the same cities are vulnerable to the urban heat island effects that maximise ambient temperatures. 这些城市当中还有很多存在城市热岛效应,该效应能使城市环境下的温度显著上升。The most affected by these trends are the urban poor — slum dwellers in emerging cities and those lacking cool shelter or air conditioning in long-established conurbations.城市贫民将成为受这些趋势影响最大的群体——例如新兴城市中的贫民窟居民以及那些历史悠久的大城市中缺少凉爽栖身之所或者空调设施的人。The story, however, is not one of unremitting gloom. 但前景并非一片黯淡。As the OECD puts it: It is not cities per se that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, but rather the way people move around the city, sprawling urban development, the amount of energy people use at home and to heat buildings. 正如OECD所言:城市本身并不是导致温室气体排放的来源,罪魁祸首在于人们在城市里的交通方式,城市的无序扩张,以及人们在家中使用的和用于楼内取暖的能源。In each of those areas there is scope for the innovation and design that would greatly reduce both energy consumption and carbon production.在上述这些方面,创新和设计都能显著降低能源消耗和碳排放。Planning is crucial. 规划是重中之重。Halting urban and suburban sprawl should be at the heart of mitigation strategies. 控制城区和郊区的不断扩张应成为减弱气候变化影响战略的核心。The gulf between the emissions generated by different cities is, in significant part, a reflection of differing levels of urban density. 不同城市碳排放量的巨大鸿沟在很大程度上反映了城市密度的差异。The city of Los Angeles generates a lot more CO2 than New York City, even though the latter has a much bigger population. 洛杉矶市产生的二氧化碳比纽约市要多得多,尽管纽约市拥有更加庞大的人口规模。The need is to make new developments more compact and to concentrate building on brownfield sites in inner cities.因此有必要使新的开发项目集约化,并集中建设内城的棕色地带(brownfield site,受到污染,被废弃或闲置的前工业和商业用地)。For good reasons of public health, the internal combustion engine has a limited future in the world’s biggest cities. 出于公众健康原因,内燃机引擎在全球主要大城市应用前景有限。Ask politicians in Beijing where they see the most acute sources of popular discontent and they are most likely to point to the smog-filled skies. 如果你询问北京的政府官员,在他们看来导致公众不满的最紧要因素是什么,他们很有可能会指向雾霾密布的天空。Talk to the global plutocrats who have made their home in London and fast-deteriorating air quality is one of their biggest gripes. 和那些已经在伦敦安家的全球富豪们谈谈,你会发现迅速恶化的空气质量是他们最为不满的问题之一。The future of urban transport lies in rapid transit systems and electric cars: battery technology, and thus journey range, is advancing by the year.城市交通的未来在于快速运输系统以及电动汽车:电池技术以及相应的可行驶里程正在逐年提升。Above all, what is required is co-ordination: between urban planners, developers, energy and transport specialists and the business community. 最重要的是,必须建立协调机制,让城市规划者、开发商、能源和交通运输专家以及商界展开协作。The goal? To minimise demand for carbon-intensive energy and maximise the supply possibilities for renewables.这一机制旨在尽可能降低对碳密集型能源的需求,同时尽可能地提高可再生能源的供给能力。A report from the think-tank the Chicago Council On Global Affairs points to a strategy developed by the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities as a possible model. 芝加哥全球事务委员会(Chicago Council on Global Affairs)在其发表的一份报告中,将智能城市和社区欧洲创新伙伴行动(Smart Cities and Communities European Innovation Partnership)提出的一项方案列为了一种可能模式。This focuses on speeding up the transformation of European cities into smart cities, with an emphasis on:其中的重点是加速欧洲城市向智慧城市的转型,并且尤为强调以下方面:#8226; Sustainable urban mobility: alternative energies, public transport, efficient logistics and planning.#8226; 可持续的城市机动性:新型能源,公共交通,高效物流和城市规划。#8226; Sustainable districts and built environment: improving the energy efficiency of buildings and districts, increasing the share of renewable energy sources used and improving the living conditions of communities.#8226; 可持续发展的街区及人造环境:提高建筑物和街区的能源利用效率,增加可再生能源的使用占比,改善社区的居住条件。#8226; Integrated infrastructures and processes across energy, information and communication technologies, and transport: connecting infrastructure assets to improve the efficiency and sustainability of cities.#8226; 交叉整合能源、信息与通信技术、交通等领域的基础设施和流程:将基础设施资产联网,以提升城市的资源利用效率和可持续发展能力。If all this sounds expensive, the costs of doing nothing are likely to be higher. 以上这些听起来或许耗费不菲,但什么都不做的成本很可能比这更高。They will include bills for flood and storm defences, the disruption of complex urban economies threatened by extreme weather, the loss of high-value industries to less-polluted locations and increased personal and public health costs. 这些成本将包括防洪以及防风暴的费用,极端天气给复杂的城市经济体带来的干扰,高价值产业搬迁至污染较少地区所带来的损失,以及个人与公共健康费用的增长。On the other side of the balance sheet are the opportunities: rapid urbanisation creates a chance to develop cities that are at once more dynamic and sustainable; innovation promises to be a source of economic growth; and better urban environments will promote human welfare.我们应看到资产负债表另一边所体现的机遇:快速城市化进程创造了一个机会,以打造更有活力、可持续发展能力更强的城市;创新有望成为经济增长的一大来源;更好的城市环境则将有助于提升民众福祉。The task cannot be left to cities alone. 这些任务不能仅靠城市自己完成。Though mayors and city halls can learn from each other, it will fall to national governments to provide the regulatory regimes and fiscal incentives to accelerate development of climate mitigation and resilience. 虽然各个城市的市长和市政府能够互相学习,也还是要靠中央政府来提供监管机制以及财政刺激,以加快研究减轻气候变化影响及适应气候变化的方法。The ideal answer would be a globally agreed carbon tax, but in the absence of such an agreement, national authorities must set the frameworks. 最理想的解决办法是在全球范围内就征收某种碳排放税达成协议,但在缺乏此类协议的情况下,各国政府必须制定相应政策框架。National treasuries should also encourage the expansion of private financing through green bonds and other innovative instruments.各国的财政部门同样应当通过运用绿色债券以及其他创新工具,鼓励私人部门融资。There is an additional role for international financial institutions. 国际金融组织还应承担起额外的职责。In the wake of last year’s COP21 agreement in Paris, mayors of leading cities have also called for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to produce a special report focusing on the impact of, and response to, global warming in cities. 在《联合国气候变化框架公约》第21次缔约方会议(COP21)于去年在巴黎举行之后,世界主要大都市的市长也向联合国政府间气候变化专门委员会(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,IPCC)发出了呼吁,希望该机构撰写一份特别报告,重点讨论全球城市变暖造成的影响以及对此的应对办法。This should provide a platform for multilateral organisations to play their part in promoting sustainable urban development, in providing finance and in sping best practice and technological innovation.这将为多边国际组织提供一个平台,以履行他们在促进城市可持续发展、提供资金持以及推广最佳实践和技术创新方面的使命。The future belongs to cities. 未来属于城市。What sort of future will depend on how successful those cities are in nurturing more sustainable environments for citizens and workers. 我们会有什么样的未来,取决于城市在为公民和劳动者营造更可持续的环境方面做得有多成功。Mitigating and adapting to climate change comes at the top of the list. 减弱以及适应气候变化的影响将成为城市的首要任务。The good news is the more effective they are in meeting the challenge, the more prosperous and hospitable they will be.好消息是,能够更加有效地应对挑战的城市,将变得更加繁荣、更加宜居。 /201609/466828

What does the future hold for the world’s ageing populations? When experts try to answer this question, they often look at Japan, a country whose demographic profile turned sharply older in the early 1990s. Growth fell, deflation set in and capital investment flatlined. Nominal interest rates stayed incredibly low for a long time.日益老龄化的世界人口的未来会如何?当专家们尝试回答这个问题时,他们经常会看看日本——在上世纪90年代初,日本的人口结构大大老龄化了。接下来发生的事情是:日本经济增长率下降,通缩来临,资本投资停滞。名义利率在长时期内保持在极低水平。That outcome, however, owed much to events outside Japan. At the precise moment that large numbers of Japanese people began retiring from the workforce, the rest of the world was awash with labour. People born in the 1970s were just entering the workforce. Hundreds of millions of workers in China and eastern Europe were integrated into the global economy. All of this allowed real wages to fall.然而,这一结局在很大程度上要归因于发生在日本之外的事情。恰恰在大量日本人开始退出劳动力队伍之际,世界其他地区的劳动力非常充足。上世纪70年代出生的人刚刚加入劳动力大军。中国和东欧的数亿名劳动者融入到全球经济之中。所有这一切,导致实际工资下跌。Meanwhile, China’s investment boom meant that less investment was needed in the advanced economies, calling real interest rates to fall and asset prices to rise. Taken together, lower wages and higher asset prices could mean only one thing: rising inequality.另一方面,中国的投资热潮意味着,发达经济体需要的投资更少,导致实际利率下降、资产价格上升。工资降低加上资产价格上升的共同作用,只可能意味着一件事:不平等程度加剧。In the coming three decades, the populations of many advanced economies will age sharply, just as Japan’s did in the 1990s. So will the populations of north Asia. But the story that unfolded in Japan will not be repeated.未来三十年,许多发达经济体的人口将大大老龄化,正如上世纪90年代的日本那样。亚洲北部国家也将如此。但日本的故事不会重演。This time round, demographic change is far more widesp. In Japan, inflation fell when the ageing population dropped out of the global labour force and was replaced by workers elsewhere. But when most of the world grows old at once, there are few places left to turn.这一次,人口结构变化的覆盖面要广得多。当年日本的老龄人口退出全球劳动力队伍并被其他地区的劳动者取代之际,通胀下降了。但当世界大部分地区同时发生人口老龄化时,没有几个地区可以填补劳动力空缺。Healthcare is a telling case. People who live longer will require more of it. Meeting that demand will take workers — increasing the demand for labour and lifting real wages, precisely the opposite of what happened in Japan.医疗是一个颇能说明问题的例子。人的年龄越大,需要的医疗务将越多。我们需要劳动力来满足这一需求,这会增加劳动力需求并提高实际工资——跟日本当年发生的事情恰恰相反。Real interest rates, which fell in Japan as the population grew older, are likely to rise in an ageing world. This is because of the balance between savings and investment. Demographics will lower both, but savings will fall by more.在日本,实际利率随着人口变老而降低。在世界人口老龄化的情况下,实际利率却可能升高,原因就在于储蓄与投资之间的平衡。人口结构将同时降低储蓄和投资,但储蓄的降幅将更大。Why? For one thing, higher wages will transfer money from the rich to the less well-off, who spend a higher proportion of their income and save correspondingly less. For another, the scarcity of workers will force companies to substitute capital for labour, increasing their investment rate. A third factor is housing. The elderly will resist moving out of their homes; a huge wave of construction will be needed to house the young and the millennials.为什么?首先,提高工资将把资金从富人手中转移到不太富有的人手中,在后者的收入中,消费所占比例更高,储蓄所占比例相应更低。其次,劳动力短缺将迫使企业以资本取代劳动力,提升企业的投资率。第三个因素是住房。老年人将不愿搬出自己的房子;我们需要启动一波巨大的建设浪潮,为年轻人和千禧一代提供住所。Since Japan reached its demographic tipping point, the country has endured an unending stream of bad economic news. But the future is not all toil and trouble. Productivity will rise — allowing real wages to rise, too, along with living standards. Even if the rate of growth itself falls, the quality of that growth will thus be quite decent. Per capita income, which is ultimately what matters, will find more support than the headline of falling growth suggests. And lower inequality will create far less social strife than we have seen over the past three decades.自从达到人口结构拐点以来,日本在经济方面承受了无休无止的坏消息。但未来并非完全是辛劳与麻烦。生产率将会提升——也让实际工资与生活水平一同提高。即便增长率本身降了下来,但增长的质量因此将相当优良。归根到底重要的是人均收入,它将获得比增长率下降的消息所透露出的更大的撑。不平等程度的减轻也将让社会冲突较过去30年大为缓和。Most investors equate rising productivity with solid business investment: companies pay for new equipment, which enable employees to produce more output for each hour they work. In the past, substantial investment has usually been forthcoming only at times of widesp optimism about economic prospects. But that need not be the case. As labour becomes scarce and wages rise, profit maximising companies will look to add some physical capital to offset some of those costs. The result will be rising productivity.大多数投资者把生产率提高视同为实实在在的经营投资:企业花钱买新设备,使得员工在每个工时内生产出更多产品。过去,通常只有在人们普遍看好经济前景时,企业才会进行大举投资。但如今不需要这样。随着劳动力变得稀缺、工资上涨,企业在利润最大化的驱动下将寻求增加一些实物资本以部分抵消前述增加的成本。结果将是生产率提高。An older world will in many ways be an unrecognisable place. The future of the world economy will be very different from its past. But it will also be quite unlike Japan’s present.从很多方面来看,一个人口结构更加老龄化的世界将面目全非。世界经济的未来将迥异于它的过去,但也将跟现在的日本大不相同。 /201510/405843

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