Wed, Jun 20, 2012 - Page 10 News List

Global warming ‘could make us shorter
全球暖化「可能使我們變矮」

A boy holds a globe, that depicts the effects of global warming, as he returns from a rally organized to mark World Environment Day in Kathmandu June 5.
一位男孩六月五日在尼泊爾加德滿都舉行的一場世界環境日的遊行散會後,手拿著一個代表全球暖化的地球模型離去。

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透

Global warming could make humans shorter, warn scientists who claim to have found evidence that it caused the world’s first horses to shrink nearly 50 million years ago.

In fact, a team from the universities of Florida and Nebraska says it has found a link between the Earth heating up and the size of mammals — horses, in this case, the last time the world heated up.

The scientists used fossils to follow the evolution of horses from their earliest appearance 56 million years ago.

As temperatures went up their size went down, and vice versa; at one point they were as small as a house cat, Dr. Jonathan Bloch, curator of the Florida Museum of Natural History, was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.

The scientists say that the current warming could have the same effect on mammals — and could even make humans smaller.

“Horses started out small, about the size of a small dog, like a miniature schnauzer. What’s surprising is that after they first appeared, they then became even smaller and then dramatically increased in size, and that exactly corresponds to the global warming event, followed by cooling,” Bloch said in the journal Science.

(Liberty Times)

科學家警告,全球暖化可能使人類變矮。科學家宣稱已找到證據,顯示近五千萬年前全球暖化曾讓世界上最早的馬體型變小。

事實上,來自佛羅里達州和內布拉斯加州大學的一個研究團隊稱,他們找到了地球變暖和哺乳動物體型之間的關係。在此一案例中,馬變矮的現象是上一次全球變暖時發生的。

科學家用化石來追溯馬從五千六百萬年前最早出現至今的進化歷程。

隨著氣溫上升,馬體型變小,反之馬的個頭就變大。《每日郵報》援引佛羅里達自然歷史博物館館長強納森.布洛赫博士的話說,牠們曾一度像家貓那麼小。

科學家稱,當前的全球暖化可能也會對哺乳動物產生同樣的效應,甚至可能讓人類的個子也變小。

布洛赫博士在《科學》雜誌中寫道:「馬最初個頭很小,約和一隻像迷你型雪納瑞犬那種小狗一樣體型。令人驚訝的是,在馬誕生後過了一段時間,牠們的個子變得更小,之後個頭又顯著變大,而這些變化與全球暖化和之後的變冷正好是相對應的。」

(自由時報/翻譯:陳成良)

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. vice versa adv. phr.

反之亦然 (fan3 zi1 yi4 ran2)

例: I don’t like him, and vice versa.

(我不喜歡他,他也不喜歡我。)

2. curator n.

館長 (guan2 zhang3)

例: A museum curator is generally trained at university level as an art historian.

(博物館館長通常受過大學程度的藝術史學者訓練 。)

3. correspond v.

相對應的;一致 (xiang1 dui4 ying4 de5; yi2 zhi4)

例: I assure you my actions will correspond with my words.

(我向你保證,我將言行一致。)


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