Severe tropical storms are among the most destructive natural forces on the planet. Each year, thousands of lives are lost worldwide from typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes. Due to the effects of climate change and rising sea temperatures, these storms have been steadily growing in size and intensity over the past five decades.
__1__ Dubbed Morakot, the storm led to the deaths of around 700 people and caused over US$3 billion in damage. Over the following decade, however, Taiwan was less affected by typhoons. Since 2020, not a single one has made landfall on the island.
Taiwan’s lack of typhoons in recent years has resulted from a combination of factors. According to climatologists, a persistent zone of high pressure over Taiwan, along with other atmospheric conditions, has been creating a “protective wall” around the island. __2__ So, while typhoons are still developing out in the oceans nearby, they are simply no longer making landfall in Taiwan.
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照片： Shutterstock 提供
This development has been both a blessing and a curse. While some people are happy to be spared the destructive effects of these storms, the absence of typhoons is having a negative environmental impact on Taiwan in some ways. __3__ Since Taiwan has relatively few sources of natural fresh water, it relies heavily on rainfall to replenish the reservoirs that provide water for domestic, industrial, commercial and agricultural use.
While typhoons may be a nuisance, they are very effective in quickly refilling major reservoirs. __4__ This has caused the government to enforce water rationing, which is not only inconvenient for residents and businesses but also has a profoundly negative effect on the economy.
What Did You Learn?
(A) The most serious consequence is drought.
(B) The wall redirects typhoons northward, away from Taiwan towards Japan and Korea.
(C) In fact, the typhoon with the highest recorded rainfall in the North Pacific made landfall in Taiwan in 2009.
(D) Due to the lack of typhoons and the heavy rainfall that they bring with them, these reservoirs have regularly fallen to critically low levels in recent years.
Word in Use
1. blessing n. 祝福；幸事
Tony obtained his girlfriend’s parents’ blessings before he proposed to her.
2. curse n. 詛咒，咒語
The wicked witch put a curse on the prince and turned him into a frog.
3. severe a. 猛烈的；嚴重的
A severe flood followed by a landslide buried the whole village last year.
4. destructive a. 破壞性的，毀滅性的
The very destructive typhoon left hundreds of people homeless.
5. intensity n. 強度
Richard couldn’t stand the intensity of the sound.
1. have an impact on... 對……有影響
Lack of sleep can have an impact on your performance at school.
2. rely on... 仰賴∕依賴……
Jasmine relies on a cup of black coffee every morning to get her through the day.
3. be effective in V-ing 在……上是有效的
This spray is effective in repelling mosquitoes.
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對話 Dialogue 清清：明天就是中秋節了，你要不要回家跟家人一起過節？ Qīngqing:Míngtiān jiùshì Zhōngqiū jiéle, nǐ yào búyào huíjiā gēn jiārén yìqǐ guòjié? 華華：要啊！我很早就買好高鐵票了。中秋節是華人最重要的三大節之一，可以的話，一定要回家跟家人團聚的。 Huáhua:Yào a! Wǒ hěn zǎo jiù mǎi hào gāotiěpiàole. Zhōngqiū jié shì Huárén zuì zhòngyào de sān dà jié zhī yī, kěyǐ dehuà, yídìng yào huíjiā gēn jiārén tuánjù de. 清清：我們家今年還是會烤肉，你們家呢？ Qīngqing: Wǒmen jiā jīnnián háishì huì kǎoròu, nǐmen jiā ne? 華華：我家從來不烤肉，只全家一起一邊賞月，一邊吃月餅和柚子，開開心心地聊一晚上的天。 Huáhua: Wǒjiā cónglái bù kǎoròu, zhǐ quánjiā yìqǐ yìbiān shǎng yuè, yìbiān chī yuèbǐng hàn yòuzi, kāikāixīnxīn de liáo yì wǎnshàng de tiān. 清清：蛤？中秋節烤肉是台灣特有的節慶文化，不烤好可惜。 Qīngqing: Há? Zhōngqiū jié kǎoròu shì Táiwān tèyǒu de jiéqìng wénhuà, bùkǎo hǎo kěxí. 華華：話雖如此，但大家都烤肉，引起的空氣污染，確實也是一大問題。 Huáhua:Huà suī rúcǐ, dàn dàjiā dōu kǎoròu, yǐnqǐ de kōngqì wūrǎn, quèshí yěshì yí dà wèntí. 清清：你真環保！那我今年少烤一點肉好了，留點肚子吃月餅跟柚子吧！中秋節快樂！ Qīngqing: