On Sept. 26, the Delta Electronics Foundation hosted the Delta Climate Salon, which focused on the Special Report of the Oceans and Cryosphere under Climate Change, released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Sept. 25. The report states that the frequency of global ocean heat waves has not only doubled, but they have also become more prolonged, stronger and extreme.
According to the report, by the end of the century, 80 percent of the world’s smaller glaciers will have melted and disappeared into the sea. Throughout the 21st century and beyond, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are expected to continue to be lost, but at an increasing rate. In the context of increased greenhouse gas emissions, the rate and magnitude of these permafrost changes are expected to increase further in the second half of the 21st century.
The report says that increased precipitation, wind and extreme sea level events due to anthropogenic climate change may result in typhoons of increased intensity. The report also says that the warming of the oceans since the 20th century has resulted in reduced catch potential. In many regions, the number of fish and shellfish has decreased due to the direct and indirect effects of global warming and biogeochemical changes.
Tung Ching-pin, a professor at the Department of Engineering for Sustainable Environment at National Taiwan University, said that in recent years, we have seen an increased number extreme weather events in Taiwan. In 2001, Typhoon Nari caused flooding in Taipei, and the following spring a drought occurred in Taipei, yet the probability of such extreme weather events from occurring is once in 10,000 years. In addition, in the spring of 2018, water levels at the Zengwen Reservoir were low, while in August of the same year, Kaohsiung experienced a flood. Taiwan encountered two extreme weather events in less than 20 years, which is quite unprecedented, said Tung.
Tung pointed out that climate change causes rising sea levels: in addition to impacting coastal fixed-net fishing, this also affects the global transportation network. In Taiwan, 98 percent of our energy and 70 percent of our grain supply are imported. In addition to affecting the ports, stronger storms and winds caused by climate change also have an impact on flights.
Chen Chao-lun, a research fellow at the Academia Sinica’s Biodiversity Research Center, said that if the temperature rises by 1.5 degrees Celsius, it may lead to 70 percent to 90 percent of the coral reefs dying. If it rises to 2 degrees, it will kill 99 percent of the reefs. According to the report, coral reef bleaching has now accelerated to every 5 to 6 years and may be shortened to 3 to 4 years in the future. Coral reefs are known to be home to 100,000 species of organisms. One billion people’s livelihoods depend on healthy coral reefs, which are worth more than US$100 billion to the tourism and fishing industries.
Chen said that if action is taken immediately, large-scale greenhouse gas emission reduction and sequestration could limit the temperature increase to within 1.5 degrees by 2030. Taiwan’s Taitan reef enables carbon sequestration and has the potential to be an important ecosystem for reducing carbon emissions in Taiwan, Chen added.
Tung says that both the government and the private sector have already done much to tackle climate change, but at present there is no standardization and a lack of integration between scientific research and government policy, while supervisory mechanisms are also lacking. If an industry wants to become a part of the international supply chain, it should be required to improve its ability to prevent disasters, such as flooding, which requires the effective implementation of government policy, Tung says.
(Translated by Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times)
Photo courtesy of Jialan Documentary Team
1. Melting glaciers can cause rising sea levels. In what ways could humans be affected by this phenomenon?
2. Give some examples of extreme weather events that have taken place in recent years.
3. Why is it important to protect coral reefs? Consider the impact on biodiversity and people’s livelihoods in your answer.
4. What do experts quoted in this article suggest could be done to tackle climate change?
(Lin Lee-kai, Taipei Times)
1. heat wave phr.
2. glacier n.
3. green house gas emission phr.
(wen1 shi4 qi4 ti3 pai2 fang4)
4. precipitation n.
5. catch potential phr.
(yu2 huo4 qian2 neng2)
6. flooding n.
7. drought n.
8. coral reef bleaching phr.
(shan1 hu2 jiao1 bai2 hua4)
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (4/5) 坐我的新車去兜風吧（四） A: So what do you think of my Mini? B: Well. . . apart from the fact it’s absolutely boiling inside without any air conditioning — and the wind noise is quite loud compared to a modern car — it’s actually pretty cool! It feels a bit like I’m in a go-kart. A: That’s because of the Mini’s ultra-wide wheelbase, which means it handles corners really well. Modified Mini Coopers won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. B: Wow! It feels like we’re driving in a piece of automobile history. A: 那麼，你覺得我的迷你車怎麼樣？ B: 嗯……除了車內沒有空調，感覺快被煮熟以外──而且風切聲跟現代汽車比起來有夠大聲──其實真的很酷！有一點感覺像是在卡丁車裡面。 A:
Let’s go for a spin in my new set of wheels (5/5)
坐我的新車去兜風吧（五） A: Can you hear a strange noise? B: Now you mention it, I can hear a faint whirring sound. Also, there’s a slight whiff of burnt rubber. A: Uh-oh! I’d better pull over and take a look... OK, sit tight. I’ll pop the hood and take a look at the engine. B: What’s the prognosis? A: I think the fan belt has worn out and caused the engine to overheat. I’d better call a mechanic... A: 你有聽到一種奇怪的噪音嗎？ B: 既然你說了，我確實有聽到微弱的低沉呼呼聲。另外，我還聞到一點點燒焦的橡膠味。 A: 哦哦！我最好停車檢查一下……。好，你坐穩，我要把引擎蓋打開，看看引擎有沒有問題。 B: 你推斷的病情是什麼？ A: 我想應該是風扇的皮帶破損了，導致引擎過熱。我最好打個電話給維修人員……。 （Edward Jones, Taipei Times／台北時報章厚明譯） English 英文: Chinese 中文:
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
A: Hello, I’d like to book a table for two please. For 7 o’clock, if possible. B: Certainly, sir. Let me see if I can fit you in. I’m afraid we’re fully booked at that time, but we do have a space at 8pm. A: No problem, 8pm will be fine. B: Thank you. I‘ve reserved you a table for two for 8pm. Just to let you know, we operate a “bring your own” policy for wine, and corkage is NT$50 per bottle. A: OK. See you later on. A: 你好，我想要訂位，兩個人，方便的話晚上七點。 B: 好的，先生。讓我看看能不能幫您安排座位。不好意思，我們那段時間的訂位滿了，不過晚上八點還有空位。 A: 沒問題，晚上八點可以。 B: 謝謝您。我幫您預約晚上八點，兩個人的座位。另外，提醒您本餐廳關於「自行帶酒」的規定，每瓶酒酌收新台幣五十元開瓶費。 A: 好的。我們晚點見。 （Edward Jones,