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美文选刊|天啊,巧克力可能再也吃不到了……

2018.08.04

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World Could Run Out of Chocolate by 2050

巧克力或于2050年消失殆尽

文/索菲·柯蒂斯

译/肖颖

By Sophie Curtis


A temperature rise of just 2.1 degrees centigrade could spell[1] an end for the chocolate industry worldwide.

对全球的巧克力行业而言,气温仅上升2.1摄氏度就可能意味着一场灭顶之灾。

[1] spell 招致,意味着(通常指坏事)。


Chocolate could soon be a thing of the past, after scientists warned that the cacao plant, from which chocolate is made, could be extinct[2] within 32 years.

科学家发出了警告,制作巧克力所用的可可植物或将在32年内灭绝,真是这样的话,巧克力很快就会成为历史了。

[2] extinct 不再存在的,绝迹的。

 

Over half of the world’s chocolate comes from just two countries in West Africa—Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana—where the temperature, rain, and humidity provide the perfect conditions for cacao to thrive.

仅科特迪瓦和加纳两个西非国家,就提供了世界上超过半数的巧克力,因为两地的温度、降水及湿度为可可树创造了绝佳的生长环境。

 

But the threat of rising temperatures over the next three decades caused by climate change, is expected to result in a loss of moisture from the ground, which scientists say could upset this delicate balance.

但由于气候变化,气温在未来30年将持续升高,这会导致土壤水分流失——科学家认为,环境中微妙的平衡关系将因此被打破。


 

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a temperature rise of just 2.1 degrees centigrade could spell an end for the chocolate industry worldwide by 2050.

美国国家海洋与大气管理局的研究表明,对全球的巧克力行业而言,气温仅上升2.1摄氏度就可能意味着2050年的灭顶之灾。

 

Farmers in the region are already looking at moving cacao production areas thousands of feet uphill into mountainous terrain—much of which is currently preserved for wildlife.

当地农民已开始考虑将可可产区上迁数千英尺,那里的山区现今多为野生动植物保护区。

 

But a move of this scale could destroy ecosystems that are already under threat from illegal farming and deforestation[3].

但如此大举搬迁可能会破坏本已受到非法耕作与乱砍滥伐威胁的生态系统。

[3] deforestation 毁林,滥伐森林。


 

Part of the problem, according to Doug Hawkins from London-based research firm Hardman Agribusiness, is that cacao farming methods have not changed for hundreds of years.

在道格·霍金斯看来,这个问题在某种程度上要归因于数百年来一成不变的可可种植方式。道格·霍金斯供职于伦敦一家名为“哈德曼农商企业”的调查公司。

 

“Unlike other tree crops that have benefited from the development of modern, high yielding cultivars[4] and crop management techniques to realise their genetic potential, more than 90% of the global cocoa crop is produced by mallholders on subsistence farms with unimproved planting material,” he told Mail Online.

他对英国《每日邮报》说:“其他木本作物得益于现代高产栽培和作物管理技术的发展,作物基因潜能得到充分发挥。与它们不同,全球超过90%的可可作物是由自足型农场的小农户用未经改良的种子种植生产的。”

[4] cultivar 栽培品种。

 

“All the indicators are that we could be looking at a chocolate deficit[5] of 100,000 tonnes a year in the next few years.”

“所有迹象都表明,今后若干年,我们可能面临每年10 万吨的巧克力缺口。”

[5] deficit 不足。

 


Now scientists at the University of California at Berkeley have teamed up with American confectionery[6] company Mars, in an attempt to keep chocolate on the menu.

目前,加利福尼亚大学伯克利分校的科学家已与美国玛氏糖果公司组成科研团队,旨在让巧克力继续留在美食单上。

[6] confectionery 甜食(糖果、巧克力等)

 

Using the controversial gene-editing technology[7] known as CRISPR they are trying to develop a version of the cacao plant capable of surviving—and thriving—in dryer, warmer climates.

他们利用备受争议的基因编辑技术,即众所周知的CRISPR,试图研发一种能在更加干燥和温暖的气候条件下存活并生长的可可植物。

[7] gene-editing technology 基因编辑技术,指人类对目标基因进行“编辑”,实现对特定DNA片段的修改等。

 

CRISPR has received widespread media attention because of its potential to eradicate[8] human diseases and make so-called “designer babies[9]”.

CRISPR 目前得到媒体的广泛关注,因为该项技术有望根除人类疾病,并培育出所谓“定制婴儿”。

[8] eradicate 根除,消灭。

[9] designer baby 设计婴儿,指在出生前就对其基因构成进行了选择的孩子。


 

However, Jennifer Doudna, the UC Berkeley geneticist who invented CRISPR, thinks its most useful effects will be on plants rather than humans.

然而,加州大学伯克利分校的遗传学家、CRISPR的发明者珍妮弗·杜德娜认为,此项技术最大的用武之地在植物而非人类。

 

“Personally, I’d love a tomato plant with fruit that stayed on the vine longer[10],” Doudna, who is an avid[11] gardener, told Business Insider.

酷爱园艺的杜德娜对美国《商业内参》表示:“我个人觉得,如果能培育出藤上挂果时间长一些的番茄树,会更有意义。”

[10] 采用基因编辑技术培育出的番茄挂果时间长,不容易掉落。

[11] avid 热衷的,酷爱的。

 

If the team’s work on the cacao plant is successful, it could remove the need for farmers in West Africa to relocate to higher ground, and perhaps even allow cacao to be grown elsewhere in the world.

如果该团队在可可作物的研发项目上能取得成功,西非的农民就无须将作物迁往更高的地带,而且,可可树或许还可以种植在世界其他地方了。


(译者单位:三峡大学)


(选自《英语世界》2018年第7期)


文拓视野  译悦心灵
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