Wed, May 15, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Scientists warn a million species at risk of extinction
聯合國生物多樣性報告:百萬物種可能滅絕

France’s Minister of Ecology Francois de Rugy delivers a speech at the opening of an international conference on biodiversity in Paris on April 29.
法國生態部長戴扈傑,四月二十九日在巴黎舉行的生物多樣性國際會議「跨政府生物多樣性與生態系服務平台」(IPBES)開幕式上致辭。

Photo: AFP
照片:法新社

One million animal and plant species are at imminent risk of extinction due to humankind’s relentless pursuit of economic growth, scientists said last Monday in a landmark report on the devastating impact of modern civilization on the natural world, the Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

The bombshell executive summary of a 1,800-page tome crafted by more than 400 experts — the first UN global assessment of the natural world in 15 years.

Scientists made an impassioned appeal to governments and businesses worldwide to confront “vested interests” they said were blocking reforms in farming, energy and mining needed to save the Earth’s ecosystems.

The report found that up to one million of Earth’s estimated eight million plant, insect and animal species are at risk of extinction, many within decades.

It identified industrial farming and fishing as major drivers of the crisis, with the current rate of species extinction tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the last 10 million years.

Climate change caused by burning the coal, oil and gas produced by the fossil fuel industry is exacerbating the losses, the report found.

The report is the largest, most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the conjoined fates of human wellbeing and the natural world. It was compiled over three years and based on 15,000 scientific papers, and identified a range of risks, from the disappearance of insects vital for pollinating food crops, to the destruction of coral reefs that support fish populations and the loss of medicinal plants.

The threatened list includes more than 40 percent of amphibian species, almost 33 percent of reef-forming corals, sharks and shark relatives, and more than a third of all marine mammals. The picture was less clear for insect species, but a tentative estimate suggests 10 percent could become extinct.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. imminent risk phr.

迫切的危機 (po4 qie4 de5 wei2 ji1)

2. extinction n.

滅絕 (mie4 jue2)

3. reform n.

改革 (gai3 ge2)

4. ecosystem n.

生態系統 (sheng1 tai4 xi4 tong3)

5. conjoined fate phr.

共同命運 (gong4 tong2 ming4 yun4)


The report’s blunt language echoed the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said in October that profound economic and social changes would be needed to curb greenhouse gases quickly enough to avert the most devastating consequences of a warming world.

(Reuters)

上週一公布的「全球生物多樣性與生態系服務評估報告」,是研究現代文明對自然界之破壞的里程碑式報告。科學家表示,由於人類對經濟成長的無饜追求,一百萬種動植物面臨迫切的滅絕危機。

這份由四百多位專家合作、厚達一千八百頁、內容具爆炸性的決策摘要,是聯合國十五年來首次對自然界進行的全球評估。

科學家懇切呼籲全世界的政府和企業要勇於面對其「既得利益」,因為這些利益阻礙了拯救地球生態系統所需的農業、能源及礦業改革。

該報告發現,地球上總共約八百萬種植物、昆蟲和動物中,有多達一百萬個物種面臨滅絕的危險,有許多更是在數十年內就會瀕臨滅絕。

工業化的農業和漁業是造成物種滅絕的主因,目前物種滅絕的速度比過去一千萬年的平均數高出數十至數百倍。

報告還發現,化石燃料業所生產的煤、石油和天然氣等燃燒所導致的氣候變化,更加劇了危機。

這份報告是對人類福祉和自然界共同命運所進行的最大、最全面的研究,耗時三年多、根據一萬五千份科學論文所編纂,鑑定出一連串風險,包括對糧食作物授粉至關重要之昆蟲的消失、維繫魚群生存之珊瑚礁的破壞、藥用植物的消失等。

受威脅的物種包括超過百分之四十的兩棲類、近百分之三十三的造礁珊瑚、鯊魚及其相關物種,以及超過三分之一的海洋哺乳類動物。昆蟲物種的情況較不明確,但初步估計有百分之十可能會滅絕。

這份報告的直言不諱,呼應了聯合國聯政府間氣候變遷小組去年十月公布的報告──該報告闡明,必須進行深遠的經濟和社會變革,才能夠來得及抑制溫室氣體排放,以避免全球暖化所造成的毀滅性的後果。

(台北時報林俐凱編譯)

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