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亚马逊大火,烧了谁的未来

亚马逊大火,烧了谁的未来

By The New York TimesSources: Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research; NASA

我们翻译这篇文章的理由

茨威格在《巴西:未来之国》一书中曾写道:“在数千公里的土地上,绵延着无尽孤独的绿色,仿佛处在远古时期。在飞机上俯瞰这片神奇的区域:轻柔的微风吹拂着大地,除了一小块荒凉的盐场,到处都是肥沃的景象。我们才明白,若想开发出这里的全部潜能,还需要很久很久。巴西的大部分资源依然属于未来的一代。”巴西还未成为茨威格笔下的未来之国,甚至就连其宝贵的热带雨林都正面临灭顶之灾。我们对亚马逊雨林的认知,不应只停留在社交媒体上 “亚马逊雨林连烧了3个星期”这短短的几个字,通过了解亚马逊雨林如何影响全球变暖、水循环以及气候模式,我们将更明白亚马逊雨林的重要性以及经济发展和生态保护上的悖论。

——朱小钊

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亚马逊大火,烧了谁的未来

译者:朱小钊

校对:刘小康

点评&推荐:王雅婧

策划:朱小钊

The Amazon is approaching an irreversible tipping point
亚马逊雨林正接近不可逆转的生态临界点
The results would be disastrous, for Brazil and for the world
一旦超过临界点,不仅对巴西,对全世界都是灭顶之灾
The amazon basin, most of which sits within the borders of Brazil, contains 40% of the world’s tropical forests and accounts for 10-15% of the biodiversity of Earth’s continents. Since the 1970s nearly 800,000km² of Brazil’s original 4m km² (1.5m square miles) of Amazon forest has been lost to logging, farming, mining, roads, dams and other forms of development—an area equivalent to that of Turkey, and bigger than that of Texas. Over the same period, the average temperature in the basin has risen by about 0.6°C. This century, the region has suffered a series of severe droughts.
亚马逊(又译亚马孙)流域大部分位于巴西境内,拥有世界40%的热带森林,占世界各大洲生物多样性的10-15%。其原始森林覆盖面积高达400万平方公里(150万平方英里)。但自20世纪70年代以来,由于滥砍滥伐、农业发展、过度采矿以及道路水坝建设等开发方式,近80万平方公里的原始森林遭到破坏,破坏面积超过美国德克萨斯州的面积,相当于土耳其的国土面积。同期,亚马逊流域的平均气温上升了约0.6°C。本世纪以来,该地区又多次遭受严重干旱侵袭。
Both the reduction in tree coverage and the change in climate were endangering the forest’s future well before Brazil’s general elections of October 2018. But after that the forest faced another threat: Jair Bolsonaro, the new president, and arguably the most environmentally dangerous head of state in the world.
目前,森林覆盖率降低、气候变化加剧,严重威胁着亚马逊雨林的未来。在2018年10月的巴西总统大选之后,亚马逊雨林又面临另一大威胁:新总统约尔·博尔索纳罗。纵观各国元首,可以说他是对环保最嗤之以鼻的那一个。
From 2004 to 2012 the rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon slowed. The government’s environmental protection agency, IBAMA, was strengthened. Other countries, and global ngos, nagged and encouraged; in 2008 an international Amazon Fund was created to help pay for protection. Not a moment too soon, said rainforest scientists. They had begun to suspect that, if tree loss passed a certain threshold, the deforestation would start to feed on itself. Beyond this tipping-point, forest cover would keep shrinking whatever humans might try to do to stop it. Eventually much of the basin would be drier savannah, known as cerrado. As well as spelling extinction for tens of thousands of species, that devastation would change weather patterns over much of South America and release into the atmosphere tens of billions of tonnes of carbon, worsening global warming.
在2004年至2012年这9年间,亚马逊地区的毁林率有所下降。在这期间,巴西政府加强了其环境保护机构——环境与可再生资源研究所(IBAMA)的作用。许多国家以及全球各地的非政府组织也都在敦促和鼓励巴西政府保护亚马逊雨林;2008年,国际亚马逊基金成立,用于援助巴西政府保护雨林。雨林科学家表示,保护雨林迫在眉睫、时不可待。他们认为,如果毁林率到达某个临界点,雨林就将走向自我毁灭。也就是说,一旦超过这一临界点,届时无论人类如何亡羊补牢,森林覆盖率都将持续下降,最终大部分亚马逊雨林都将变成像塞拉多一样干燥的稀树大草原。这不仅会导致数万种生物灭绝,甚至南美洲大部分地区的气候模式都将改变,数百亿吨碳将排放到大气中,从而使全球变暖持续加剧。

译注:塞拉多是巴西一片广袤的热带草原生态区。

亚马逊大火,烧了谁的未来

This hopeful period of slower deforestation was not to last. Even before Mr Bolsonaro, deforestation began to tick up (see chart 1). In 2012, under then-president Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s congress passed a new forest code that gave amnesty to those who had taken part in illegal deforestation before 2008. In 2017 Michel Temer, the next president, signed a law that streamlined the privatisation of occupied public lands, which spurred land grabs in the Amazon. During the deep recession of 2014-16 the environment ministry’s budget was slashed. Between August 2017 and July 2018 Brazil lost 7,900km² of Amazon forest—nearly a billion trees—the highest rate of deforestation for a decade.
然而好景不长,早在博尔索纳罗上台之前,毁林率就已呈抬头之势(见图表1)。2012年,时任总统迪尔玛·罗塞夫签署了巴西新森林法,对2008年之前参与非法伐木的人员实行大赦。2017年,时任总统米歇尔•特梅尔签署了一项法律,简化了公共土地私有化的流程,从而加速了亚马逊流域土地征用的进程。在2014-16年三年经济衰退时期,巴西削减了环境部的财政预算。在2017 年 8 月至 2018 年 7 月短短一年内,亚马逊流域的毁林面积就达到了7900平方公里(近 10 亿棵树木),毁林率创十年新高。
Heaven’s high canopy
穹顶之下
According to preliminary satellite data, since Mr Bolsonaro took office in January, the Amazon has lost roughly 4,300km² of forest, which means this year’s total will surely outstrip last year’s. This is not a fluke. The president appears to want the country to return to the time of Brazil’s military dictatorship, when big infrastructure projects prompted widespread destruction in the name of development.
根据卫星数据初步显示,自今年1月博尔索纳罗上任以来,亚马逊流域的毁林面积就已经达到4300平方公里,这意味着今年毁林总面积势必超过去年。这一切并非偶然,博尔索纳罗似乎想将巴西重新带回军事独裁时期。当时巴西政府借发展经济之名,大兴大型基础设施建设,实则对环境造成了巨大破坏。

译注:1964年3月,巴西反对派发动军事政变,推翻了古拉特文人政府,陆军参谋长、元帅卡斯特洛·布兰科随之担任新总统。自此,军政府开始了对巴西长达21年的独裁统治。军事政治的严格控制和高压手段,为巴西的经济“奇迹”铺平了道路。但为满足军事强硬派,完全清除左翼和民粹主义的影响,布兰科下令国会休会、排除异己、扩大立法机关和司法机关,并在全国范围内施行独裁统治和白色恐怖。——《中青在线》

A few of Mr Bolsonaro’s plans have been curbed. Pressure from Tereza Cristina, the agriculture minister, and the farm lobby led him to withdraw his threat to leave the Paris climate agreement and from abolishing the environment ministry—mostly because deals with disapproving European firms would be at risk. A bill introduced by Flávio Bolsonaro, the president’s eldest son and a senator in his own right, to eliminate a requirement for farmers to preserve some natural vegetation on land they clear has not yet passed. The supreme court blocked a decree to transfer powers over the demarcation of indigenous reserves from the justice ministry to Ms Cristina’s—which would have “put the fox in charge of the chicken coop,” argues Randolfe Rodrigues, an opposition senator.
博尔索纳罗的部分计划遭遇多方阻碍。在农业部部长特雷扎·克里斯蒂娜和农业游说团体的压力下,他放弃退出《巴黎气候协定》。此外,由于担心合作的欧洲企业会因为双方环保观不同而停止交易,他保留了环境部。他的长子兼参议员弗拉维奥·博尔索纳罗提出了一项法案,要求取消亚马逊地区农民在自己土地上维持森林覆盖率的规定,但该法案尚未通过。博尔索纳罗曾提出将司法部的土著居民土地划界权移交给农业部部长克里斯蒂娜,所幸最高法院否决了这项决策,否则在反对党参议员兰多尔费·罗德里格斯看来,这无异于狐入鸡舍。

译注:巴西当地土著居民及农村无地居民由于捍卫土地权利而被杀害,且几乎没有机会诉诸法律。由于当地相关部门对违法事件“有罪不罚”,再加上相关法治的匮乏,致使暴力冲突及谋杀案件数量在进一步攀升。巴西自1985年以来,在与土地冲突相关的1270起谋杀案件中,只有不到10%的案件送达法院进行裁决。——澎湃新闻

But even without the biggest changes, Mr Bolsonaro’s government can still encourage, directly or indirectly, a large amount of deforestation, by not enforcing the laws that prohibit it. On February 28th the environment minister, Ricardo Salles, fired 21 of IBAMA’s 27 state heads, following the president’s orders to “clean out” the agency. Most have yet to be replaced, including all but one in the Amazon states. The environment ministry has started to flag up in advance where and when anti-logging operations will take place. Between January and May, IBAMA imposed the lowest number of fines for illegal deforestation in a decade.
即便无法进行大刀阔斧的改革,但博尔索纳罗政府仍然不惜绕过砍伐森林的相关法律,或直接或间接地助长砍伐森林的行为。2月28日,博尔索纳罗下令“整顿”IBAMA。IBAMA分布在27个州的分署中,有21位署长遭到环境部部长里卡多·萨莱斯罢免。除亚马逊州之外,其他州的署长还未上任。环境部甚至开始提前关注所有反伐木活动举行的时间和地点。截至今年5月, IBAMA对滥砍滥伐等非法行为的罚款总额为十年最低。

译注:巴西环境部主要负责宏观层面,环保领域的执法职能由其下属的巴西环境和可再生资源协会(IBAMA)、水资源管理局和西科·门德斯生物多样性保护研究所等机构来履行。这些机构的负责人虽然由环境部来任免,但是在执法过程中独立性很强,就连环境部长本人都没有权力干涉。其中,IBAMA权限最大,任何企业投资办厂,必须首先得到该机构颁发的环保证书,否则不得破土动工。——百度百科

Mr Salles says that “the role of the state is to protect landowners’ property rights”. He wants to use donations from Norway and Germany to the 3.6bn reais ($950m) Amazon Fund to compensate landowners for land that had been turned into conservation areas, even though most of it was occupied illegally.
萨莱斯表示:”国家的职责就是保护土地所有者的财产权”。此前挪威和德国总共给亚马逊基金捐款了36亿雷亚尔(约合9.5亿美元),萨莱斯想用这笔钱补贴土地被划为自然保护区的土地所有者。但实际上,这些土地本身是他们非法占有的。
Deforesters appear emboldened. According to the Indigenist Missionary Council, a Catholic group, the number of illegal invasions in indigenous areas has jumped. On July 24th miners with guns invaded a village in the northern state of Amapá, killed one of its leaders and expelled the residents. Satellite data show a drastic rise in the year-on-year deforestation rate starting in May, the beginning of the dry season. In July, more than 1,800km² was cleared, three times more than last year.
砍伐森林者越来越肆无忌惮。据天主教团体“土著传教士理事会”称,土著地区非法入侵人数激增。7月24日,持枪的矿工闯入巴西北部阿马帕州的一个村庄,打死了一名村干部,并驱逐了当地居民。卫星数据显示,从5月份开始,亚马逊地区毁林率的同比增长速度惊人,而每年5月正是巴西旱季的开端。今年7月,巴西毁林面积高达1800多平方公里,是去年的三倍。
These statistics tell only part of the story. The Amazon matters to the global climate because it is a sink of carbon, mitigating warming. If the rainforest were to die back, the large amount of greenhouse gases this would release would speed up that process. But the climate matters to the Amazon, too. It is sensitive to changes in temperature and rainfall, as well as to atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels.
只看这些数据难免管中窥豹。作为一个巨大的碳汇,亚马逊雨林能有效缓解气候变暖,对全球气候起着重要的调节作用。如果大片雨林被砍,所释放的大量温室气体将加剧全球气候变暖。同时,气候变化也会对亚马逊雨林产生重大影响。气温、降雨量及大气中二氧化碳含量的变化都会影响亚马逊雨林的生态。
The Amazon is unique among tropical rainforests in that it produces a lot of its own rainfall. As moisture travels from the Atlantic to Peru, the Amazon’s trees recycle some of it; around half the forest’s rain is reused this way. Rainwater is pulled up from the roots to the canopy, where it is released back to the atmosphere to fall as rain again. Not only does this provide moisture to the region, the evaporation off the leaves also has a local cooling effect.
在全球几片热带雨林中,亚马逊雨林因其有自己的降雨系统而独树一帜。当大西洋的水汽来到秘鲁时,亚马逊雨林会回收其一部分水汽。亚马逊雨林将近一半的雨水都是通过这一水循环产生的。水分从根部输送到树冠,通过树叶的蒸腾作用回到大气中,最终形成降雨。这不仅为该地区提供了充足的降水,蒸腾作用也起到局部冷却的效果。
热带雨林水循环的过程
This is what has led to worries about tipping-points. In an influential paper in 2007 Gilvan Sampaio and Carlos Nobre of Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research forecast that, were 40% of the forest to perish, the loss of water-recycling capacity would mean very little of the rest would have enough rainfall to survive.
这就是人们担心亚马逊雨林恐到达生态临界点的原因。2007年,巴西国家空间研究所的吉尔万·桑帕约和卡洛斯·诺布雷在一篇颇具影响力的论文中预测道,如果40%的雨林被毁,那么水循环能力将大幅削弱,届时当地的降水量将不足以养活剩余的树木。
Trees rudely hollowed
滥砍滥伐
Alongside the threat from deforestation, the forest’s capacity to water itself can be weakened by rising temperatures. Beatriz Marimon and Ben Hur Marimon, at the University of Mato Grosso in Nova Xavantina, have kept tabs for decades on dozens of plots in the transição, the margin between the wet Amazon and the drier cerrado. Today, Mr Marimon says, they are seeing “two warmings in one”. On top of global warming are changes that result from deforestation, which removes the air-conditioning effect provided by water evaporating from the trees’ leaves.
除了砍伐雨林带来的威胁之外,雨林水循环的能力还会受到气温升高的影响。几十年来,马托格罗索大学的比阿特丽斯·马里蒙和本·赫尔·马里蒙一直在关注位于亚马逊和塞拉多草原干湿过渡区的十多块土地。马里蒙表示,目前两种变暖现象产生叠加效应。滥砍滥伐不仅加剧了全球变暖,也削弱了雨林的蒸腾作用,最终导致“空调效应”也大打折扣。

亚马逊大火,烧了谁的未来

A study by Divino Silvério and colleagues at the Amazon Environmental Research Institute, published in 2015, found that converting forest to pasture increased land temperatures by 4.3°C; if pasture was then turned over to arable crops, things warmed a little more. The transição is already hotter and drier than most of the rainforest. Clearing more of its patchwork of forest, farms and savannah makes the remaining woodland even hotter.
2015年,亚马逊环境研究所的迪韦诺·西尔维罗及其同事发布了一项研究。研究表明,毁林放牧会导致土地温度升高4.3°C;如果牧场再被开垦成耕地,那么土地温度还将攀升。与其他雨林区相比,这片干湿过渡区本就温度偏高、湿度偏低,如果此处零星的森林、农场和稀树草原再遭破坏,恐怕剩余雨林区的温度将持续走高。
Ms Marimon has also observed that temperatures above 40°C dry out trees, making them more likely to fall in strong winds. The fragmentation brought about by farming creates isolated patches of forest. If they lose access to seed banks in the soil and water sources, such disconnected fragments are less able to recover.
马里蒙还观察到,一旦气温超过40°C,树木便容易干枯,也更容易在狂风中倒塌。由于农业发展,此前成片的森林变得支离破碎,形成了数个分隔带。这些分隔带一旦无法获得土壤中的种子库和充足的水源,便难以恢复成林。
How plants respond to carbon-dioxide levels probably exacerbates matters. The more carbon dioxide in the air, the less air plants need to process in order to photosynthesise. The less air they take in, the less water vapour they let out. As a consequence, the plants both do less to cool their immediate environment (because less water evaporates) and also make the atmosphere less moist. This has been shown to be happening in other watersheds, though there is not yet conclusive evidence from the Amazon.
二氧化碳浓度过高也会对雨林产生重大影响。大气中二氧化碳浓度越多,树木光合作用所需的空气就越少,水分散失就越少,因此局部冷却的效果便会大打折扣,大气湿度也将降低。其他流域的确出现了这种现象,但亚马逊流域是否也是如此还有待考证。

译注:随着大气中二氧化碳浓度的增加,植物在进行光合作用时会更容易摄取更多的碳,同时水分损耗更少,这在生物中称为“二氧化碳施肥效应”。植物在通过气孔吸收二氧化碳的同时会散发许多水分,一旦二氧化碳浓度增加,植物只需要稍微打开气孔就能吸收大量二氧化碳,也避免了水分的散失。叶片释放水分的过程需要从周围的空气中吸收能量,因此可以降低周围环境的温度。

Clearances also lead to local drying. Satellite data show that air which passes over primary rainforest produces twice as much rain a few days later than that which passes over farmland. In 2012 scientists at the University of Leeds predicted that continued deforestation would cause rainfall in the Amazon to drop by 12% in the wet season and by 21% in the dry season by 2050.
毁林开荒还会导致局部地区气候干燥。根据卫星数据显示,空气在经过原始雨林几天后产生的雨量是经过农田后的两倍。2012年,利兹大学的科学家预测,到2050年,持续的森林砍伐将导致亚马逊地区的雨季降雨量减少12%,旱季降雨量减少21%。
The forest’s dry season started to lengthen in the 1970s; the rains which used to come in October now come in November. This might have been an effect of deforestation; there is some evidence that water returned to the atmosphere by trees is particularly important in getting the rainy season going. The most dramatic effect of drying seen by scientists, though, is not a shorter wet season. It is the disproportionate impact of the years in which rainfall is particularly low.
自20世纪70年代以来,亚马逊流域的旱季开始延长,雨季从十月推迟到十一月,这可能是滥砍滥伐引发的恶果。有证据表明,树叶释放到大气中的水分含量对雨季来临的时间有重要影响。但科学家认为,旱季延长不仅意味着雨季缩短,在降水量极低的年份还很有可能招致灾难性后果。

亚马逊大火,烧了谁的未来

This century has already seen three unusually harsh droughts, in 2005, 2010 and 2015. That of 2015 corresponds to an El Niño event—a see-saw effect in Earth’s climate whereby a shift in the flow of energy between the atmosphere and the ocean in the central Pacific produces a predictable pattern of climate anomalies all through the tropics and beyond (see chart 2). The correlation between El Niño events and droughts in the Amazon, most notably in the south-eastern part, predates human activities. But those activities may, at a global level, increase the frequency and intensity of El Niño events. At the local level they worsen the damage that droughts do.
本世纪已经出现了三次异常严重的干旱,分别发生于2005年、2010年和2015年。2015年的干旱与厄尔尼诺现象有关。厄尔尼诺现象是赤道极其附近地区出现的一种异常气候模式。当厄尔尼诺现象发生时,太平洋中部海洋的海温与气温发生变化,形成东西太平洋气压的“跷跷板效应”(参见图表 2)。早在人类活动之前,厄尔尼诺现象就曾导致亚马逊流域(尤其是东南部)出现多次干旱。但全球性的人类活动可能会强厄尔尼诺现象频发,而地区性的人类活动则会加剧干旱带来的影响。
The El Niño drought in 2015 was particularly severe. In Nova Xavantina more than a third of the trees in some of the Marimons’ study plots died in its aftermath. The region around the city of Santarém, farther north and deep in the Amazon, saw flames as tall as buildings tear through the forest, enveloping the canopy in thick black smoke that stretched for miles and turned the sunlight red. For months after the fires died down, the forest floor smouldered. Hundred-year-old trees dried out and died.
2015年,厄尔尼诺现象导致的干旱尤为严重。在新沙万蒂纳干湿过渡区的那些土地上,有三分之一以上的树木枯死。巴西北部城市圣塔伦位于亚马逊流域深处,其附近地区火光冲天,大火从林区奔腾而过,滚滚浓烟遮天蔽日、绵延数英里,染红了日光。在大火熄灭后的几个月里,森林地面仍在闷烧,许多百年老树枯萎而死。

亚马逊大火,烧了谁的未来

圣保罗黑烟蔽日 Andre Lucas—AP Images
Nearly four years later, the forest is still recovering. At one part of the Tapajós National Forest reserve, where 580km² (11% of the total area) burned, saplings have shot up among the ashes of their giant forebears, but it will be years before they form a canopy. A second round of fires in 2017 burned nearly a quarter of another reserve, where 75 communities of river-dwellers make their living fishing and hunting.
四年过去了,雨林仍未完全恢复。在塔帕若斯国家森林保护区中,有580平方公里的森林被烧毁(占该地区总面积的11%),曾经的苍天大树已然化为灰烬,新的树苗正茁壮成长,但形成树冠仍需数十年。巴西的另一保护区生活着75 个沿河而居的部落,居民以捕鱼和打猎为生,2017年一场大火烧毁了他们四分之一的家园。
Fires are not new to the Amazon, but recently they seem to have been more frequent and intense. This kicks off a vicious cycle. Dead trees open gaps in the canopy, allowing more light and wind to reach the forest floor, which becomes hotter, drier and more prone to burn again. This year is expected to be a mild El Niño year, which means higher temperatures and less rain for the area around Santarém. Fires could rage again. If that happens, says Joice Ferreira, a biologist at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, the debris left over from the previous fires will serve as fuel for the flames. “After that,” she says, “there won’t be many trees left.”
亚马逊森林也曾发生过火灾,但近期的火灾不论是次数还是强度都前所未见。恶性循环就此开启。树木一旦烧毁,大量的风和光线会从烧毁的树木上空进入,到达森林地面,导致森林地面更加燥热易燃。尽管今年可能不会出现强厄尔尼诺现象,但圣塔伦周边地区的气温仍将上升,降水量仍将减少,大火可能再次肆虐。巴西农业研究院的生物学家乔伊斯·费雷拉指出,如果再次发生火灾,那么此前大火留下的残渣或残根就是导火索。她说:“这轮大火过后,森林覆盖率可能会大幅减少。”
Over the past 50 years 17% of the rainforest has been lost, some way from the 40% tipping-point proposed in 2007. But last year Mr Nobre and Thomas Lovejoy of George Mason University, after taking account of climate change and fire as well as deforestation, revised the estimate of the threshold to 20-25%. That is uncomfortably close to today’s figure. Mr Nobre says the recent droughts and floods could be the “first flickers” of permanent change. Carlos Rittl of the Brazilian Climate Observatory, a consortium of research outfits, expects Mr Bolsonaro’s tenure to see deforestation pass 20%. If Mr Lovejoy and Mr Nobre are right, that could be disastrous—once the tipping-point is transgressed, much of the rest of the forest could follow in just a matter of decades.
在过去的50年中,17%的雨林已经消失,虽然还远未到达2007年所提出的40%临界点,但去年,乔治梅森大学的诺布雷和托马斯·洛夫乔伊在目睹了近期气候变化、森林火灾和森林砍伐的态势之后,将临界值调低至20-25%。如今的毁林率已十分接近这一新临界点,着实令人不安。诺布雷表示,近期干旱和洪水频发,可能就预示着全球生态将发生永久性变化。巴西气候观测站的卡洛斯·里特尔预计,在博尔索纳罗的任期内,巴西的毁林率将超过20%。如果不幸被二者言中,那对人类将造成灾难性打击。一旦超过临界点,大部分雨林都将毁于一旦。
To shade the barren wild
守卫荒野
Even now, the service that the Amazon provides the rest of the world as a sink for carbon dioxide appears to be declining. Simon Lewis of University College London, and colleagues, analysed observations of 321 plots across the Amazon basin. They found that in primary forests plants absorb, on average, a third less carbon dioxide than they did in the 1990s, owing to increasing tree mortality. In a paper published in 2011 Mr Lewis argued that carbon lost to the atmosphere through tree death and fire in the droughts of 2005 and 2010 might offset as much as a decade’s worth of carbon-dioxide absorption by the forest.
如今,亚马逊雨林作为世界碳汇的地位已经削弱不少。伦敦大学学院的西蒙·刘易斯及其同事在分析了亚马逊流域321块土地的观测结果之后发现,在原始森林中,由于树木死亡率上升,二氧化碳的平均吸收量比20世纪90年代降低了三分之一。刘易斯在2011年发表的一篇论文中指出,光是在2005年和2010年的数次干旱中,火灾和树木死亡排放到大气中的二氧化碳含量就足以让亚马逊雨林十年的二氧化碳吸收量前功尽弃。
Not everyone is so gloomy. Forests that are diverse, like the Amazon, are likely to have drought-resistant species that can fill the niche left by drought-prone ones without a loss of biomass, points out Kirsten Thonicke of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, a German think-tank. Secondary forests store significant amounts of carbon, though far less than primary ones. One study found that as a secondary forest grows, it recovers 1.2% carbon storage per year, so a 20-year-old secondary forest would store roughly 25% of the carbon stored by a primary forest. There are ways to mitigate the biomass loss from logging and ranching, by being careful about which trees to cut and reforesting afterwards. In Paris Brazil pledged not just to halt illegal deforestation by 2030 but also to reforest 120,000km².
但并非所有人都持悲观态度。德国智库波茨坦气候影响研究所的克里斯滕·桑尼克指出,像亚马逊雨林这样树种丰富的森林,在不耐旱的植被死亡之后,还有大量耐旱植物可以维持当地的生物总量。尽管碳汇能力不如原始森林,但次生林仍能储存大量碳。一项研究发现,随着次生林不断生长,其每年吸收的碳含量都将增加1.2%,生长了20年的次生林所吸收的碳量能达到原始森林碳吸收量的25%。要想减少因伐木和放牧所损失的生物量,巴西就必须禁止砍伐耐旱植被,同时及时重新造林。在全球气候变化巴黎大会上,巴西承诺2030年前停止非法砍伐森林,并重新造林12万平方公里。
Such attempts at mitigation look increasingly unlikely. In June Mr Bolsonaro published a decree which indefinitely extends the 2019 deadline for farmers to begin replanting illegally deforested land. This not only reduces the chances of reforestation. It reinforces the message: the government will turn a blind eye to more. Similarly, if his son’s bill were to pass it would legalise the deforestation of some 1.5m km². Clearing that would emit nearly 65bn tonnes of carbon dioxide—equivalent to Brazil’s emissions over the past 27 years.
但这些应对措施似乎只是纸上谈兵罢了。本来当地农民本应于今年就要在非法砍伐的林地上重新种树,但今年6月,博尔索纳罗颁布了一项法令,无限期延长了农民重新种树的期限。这一法令不仅让重新造林变得遥遥无期,更是让人们愈加相信,巴西政府在未来会对更多问题视而不见。同样,如果他儿子的法案通过,合法砍树的面积就将达到150万平方公里左右,从而排放近650亿吨二氧化碳,相当于巴西过去27年的二氧化碳排放总量。
In July President Bolsonaro called deforestation data “lies” and said he wanted to review them before they were released to the public. Hamilton Mourão, the vice-president, says that other countries’ professed concern for the Amazon masks “covetousness” for precious minerals in the region. Mr Salles, the environment minister, likes to point out that many rich countries cut down their own forests but have not fulfilled promises to pay Brazil not to do the same. “You can’t give Brazil the onus of being the world’s lungs without any benefits,” he argues.
今年7月,博尔索纳罗声称森林砍伐的数据”造假”,并希望在公布这些数据前对其进行审查。副总统汉密尔顿•莫朗表示,其他国家忧心忡忡只不过是觊觎亚马逊雨林珍贵的矿产资源罢了。环境部部长萨莱斯则表示,众多发达国家要求巴西停止砍伐雨林,但他们自己不仅滥砍滥伐,还没有履行给巴西经济援助的承诺。他认为:“不能把保护‘地球之肺’的责任全部推给巴西,却又不让巴西获得任何好处。”
Mr Salles is right that the countries responsible for the bulk of emissions should compensate Brazil for its role in absorbing them. In return Brazil must protect, rather than destroy, the rainforest. In June a trade deal between the EU and Mercosur—Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay—was announced at the g20 summit, which includes a commitment to implement the Paris climate agreement. It has yet to be approved; it is also unclear how much it will sway the president to curb his infrastructure plans, or indeed his rhetoric.
萨莱斯说的没错,巴西因保护亚马逊雨林而承受的损失应当由那些排放大户补偿。但相应的,巴西也应当承担起保护雨林的责任。在今年6月的二十国集团峰会上,欧盟与南方共同市场(成员国包括巴西、阿根廷、巴拉圭和乌拉圭)签署了一项贸易协定,其中包括承诺执行《巴黎气候协定》。但目前该协议尚未获批,博尔索纳罗是否会因为这一协议而减少基建计划或是不再强词夺理,还有待观察。
Concerns about what Brazil’s climate policies might do to the country’s reputation could spur local resistance to Mr Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental turn. Fears for the climate itself may yet do more. “We have no doubt that the forest has a direct effect on the rain cycle,” says Artemizia Moita, the sustainability director of a farming group that has 530km² of soyabean and cattle farms. “If we keep deforesting,” she asks, “how will we keep producing?” Unlike other farmers she admits she is worried about climate change.
由于担心对巴西的环保政策可能会损坏巴西的国家声誉,许多巴西人民可能会抵制博尔索纳罗破坏环境的政策。他们对气候本身的担忧也与日俱增。阿特米齐亚·莫伊塔说:“毋庸置疑,森林对降雨周期有着直接影响。”她是一家农业集团可持续发展部的主管,该集团养牛场和大豆种植的面积高达530平方公里。她问道:“如果我们继续砍伐森林,生产生活该如何继续?”与其他农民不同,她承认气候变化确实令她忧心忡忡。
For many, any shift in attitudes will already come too late. Magdalena is an elderly woman who has spent her life as a river-dweller in one of the rainforest’s reserves. She used to hunt deer and armadillo to make her living. Now she treks 13km to buy beef from a local village. “All the game is gone,” she laments.
对许多人来说,巴西政府即便悬崖勒马也为时过晚。马格达莱娜是一位居住在雨林保护区的老婆婆,一生傍水而居。在过去,她以狩猎鹿和犰狳为生。但现在,她不得不跋涉13公里去当地村庄买牛肉。她感叹道:“一切都玩儿完了。”

亚马逊大火,烧了谁的未来

  • 本文原载于TheEconomist

  • 原文链接:https://www.economist.com/briefing/2019/08/01/the-amazon-is-approaching-an-irreversible-tipping-point

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点评

说到生态文明,总能想起蕾切尔·卡森的名著《寂静的春天》。卡森从杀虫剂等化学试剂切入,集中展现了人与自然的矛盾。这位超强的思想家用犀利的观点和骇人的事实揭发了技术进步背后所隐藏的危险代价,并通过预言一种可能的灾难惊醒了世界。“先知”发出的声音一开始总是刺耳,且难以认同的。彼时《寂静的春天》还未出版,就遭遇了许多阻挠。许多人不理解,不在乎,更有些人觉得自己的利益受到了侵犯。卡森试图利用自己的知识与影响力让公众认识到杀虫剂的危害,试图唤醒人们保护自然的意识,但仍不乏专家抨击卡森为“自然界平衡崇拜的狂热辩护人”,代表主流商业文化的企业人甚至挖苦道“环境保护与商业相比不值一提”。虽如旷野中的一声呐喊,但好在历史最终证明,卡森的坚持与胆识是正确的,《寂静的春天》仍以其全面的研究和雄辩的论点,将环境运动加入了社会发展的轨道之中。

回到近几年,柴静对雾霾的控诉还掷地有声,亚马逊森林大火再次唤起了人们对环境保护的关注。果壳在《亚马孙大火:雨林不会被烧光,但会因火而死》一文中,将此称之为“这个星球生态的头等大事,比几万年前撒哈拉从草原变为沙漠更加严重,也将会是人类文明面对的最大一次灭绝”。环境破坏远比我们想象的严重。寂静的春天里罕闻鸟啼,亚马逊的大火也让圣保罗白昼如夜。或许只有当灾难离人类足够近的时候,我们才会真正意识到环保的重要性。

我们再也不能用“与我无关”的心态置之不理了。

2019年8月27日

王雅婧

参考阅读:

书籍|《寂静的春天》 我对人类感到悲观,因为它对于自己的利益太过精明。我们对待自然的办法是打击并使之屈服。如果我们不是这样的多疑和专横,如果我们能调整好与这颗行星的关系,并深怀感激之心对待它,我们本可有更好的存活机会。——E·B·怀特

https://book.douban.com/subject/2350407/

纪录片|《地球脉动》 从南极到北极,从赤道到寒带,从非洲草原到热带雨林,再从荒凉峰顶到深邃大海,难以数计的生物以极其绝美的身姿呈现在世人面前,引起了有关地球生物多样性的积极讨论。

https://movie.douban.com/subject/1871906/
附:

地球脉动——热带雨林

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亚马逊大火,烧了谁的未来

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