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VOA慢速英语:气候变化会使人更容易过敏吗?

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Is Climate Change Making You Sneeze More?

气候变化会使人打更多的喷嚏吗?

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.

这里是美国之音英语学习栏目,这是一篇关于健康与生活方式的报道。

Blooming flowers and new growth on trees make spring a beautiful time of the year. But for many people, all of this new growth only brings suffering in the form of allergies.

盛开的花朵和树木上的新芽使春天成为一年中很美好的时光。但对许多人来说,所有这些新的生长只会以过敏的形式给他们带来痛苦。

Some people claim that each year their allergies seem to get worse and worse.

有些人声称,每年他们的过敏症状似乎变得越来越严重了。

Well, they are likely right.

嗯,他们很可能是对的。

Environmental experts and public health researchers are all saying the same thing: Climate change can make allergies more severe and allergy seasons longer.

环境专家和公共卫生研究人员都在说同样的话:气候变化会使过敏症状变得更严重,过敏季节延续更长。

A study published in the March 2019 journal Lancet Planetary Health found that pollen counts in the Earth’s northern hemisphere have been increasing -- along with a rise in temperatures.

发表在2019年3月的《柳叶刀行星健康》杂志上的一项研究发现:随着气温的升高,地球北半球的花粉数一直在增加。

The lead writer of that study is Dr. Lewis Ziska, a scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). For the past 20 years, he has been studying the effects of climate change on allergens.

这项研究的主要作者是刘易斯·齐斯卡博士。他是美国农业部的一名科学家。在过去的20年里,他一直在研究气候变化对过敏原的影响。

He told VOA Learning English that his research takes scientific theory and helps people’s health.

他告诉美国之音英语学习栏目说,他的研究采用了科学的理论并有助于人类健康。

"So, it's been very interesting to be able to take this sort of theoretical observation and to link it into some real pragmatic responses that have a direct impact on people’s health. And one of the things that we’ve been trying to do is to make it more real: 'How does this affect me? What does it mean for my health? What does it mean for my life?'"

“所以,能够采用这种理论观察并能将其与一些对人类健康有直接影响的真实的实际反应联系在一起是非常有趣的。 我们一直在努力做的事情之一就是让它更加真实:‘它是如何对我产生影响的?它对我的健康意味着什么?它对我的生活意味着什么?’”

Allergies impact millions of people around the world. Experts at the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America say allergies are one of the most “common chronic diseases.” A chronic disease is one that causes problems often or long-term.

过敏影响了全世界数百万人口。美国过敏和哮喘基金会的专家说,过敏是最“常见的慢性疾病”之一。 慢性疾病是一种能够经常性或长期引起健康问题的疾病.

On its website, the Academy claims that between 10 to 30 percent of the world’s population suffers from hay fever, a type of allergy. Many people experience allergic reactions to tree pollen, grass pollen, ragweed pollen and more.

在它的网站上研究院声称:世界上10%到30%的人口受到了花粉病的折磨。 它是过敏的一种。许多人对树木花粉、草花粉、豚草花粉等有过敏反应。

Findings from 2019 report

2019年报告

But now, back to Ziska and his research. In this most recent study, he and his team studied 17 locations in North America and Europe as well as the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and South Korea.

但现在回到齐斯卡和他的研究。在最近的这项研究中,他和他的团队研究了北美和欧洲的17个地方,以及下列国家:澳大利亚、巴西、智利、中国、埃及、印度、伊朗、日本、墨西哥、沙特阿拉伯、南非和韩国。

Ziska only included places where scientists could provide at least 20 years of data.

齐斯卡只计入了科学家可以提供至少20年数据的地方。

The researchers found that 12 of those 17 places showed “significant increases” in pollen levels. And 11 of the 17 showed a “significant increase” in the length of allergy seasons.

研究人员发现,在这17个地方中,有12个地方的花粉水平有“显著的增长”。其中11个地方,在过敏季期间表现出“显著的增长”。

Back in 2000, Ziska wanted to examine more closely the link between climate change and allergens in the environment.

早在2000年,齐斯卡就想更密切地研究气候变化与环境过敏原之间的联系。

He and another USDA researcher, Frances Caulfield, looked at the effects that rising carbon dioxide levels were having on the production of ragweed pollen. Ragweed is a common allergen, especially during the fall.

他和美国农业部的另一位研究人员弗朗西丝·考菲尔德研究了不断上升的二氧化碳水平对豚草花粉产量的影响。豚草是一种常见的过敏原,特别是在秋季。

Ziska said that ragweed is one of the plants that has the most effect on human health.

齐斯卡说,豚草是对人类健康影响最大的植物之一。

“Remember, one of the memes that you’ll hear often is that CO2 is plant food. And one of the plants that has a[n] effect in terms of human health is ragweed. It's the most common allergen in the fall.”

“记得,你经常听到的一个模因就是二氧化碳是植物的食物。豚草是对人类健康有影响的植物之一。这是秋季最常见的过敏原。”

The researchers grew ragweed in a controlled environment and increased the carbon dioxide levels in the air. They found that ragweed plants produced much more pollen when carbon dioxide levels increased.

研究人员在可控环境中种植了豚草,并增加了空气中二氧化碳的含量。他们发现,当二氧化碳含量增加时,豚草会产生更多的花粉。

But that is not all they found.

但这并不是他们的所有发现。

Increased carbon dioxide in the air may also lead to ragweed pollen that is stronger, or more allergenic.

空气中二氧化碳含量的增加还会导致豚草花粉变得更强壮或更容易引起过敏症状。

Carbon dioxide is one of the so-called “greenhouse gases.” These gases do not let heat escape from the planet; so, temperatures increase on Earth. This is part of what we call “climate change.”

二氧化碳是所谓的“温室气体”之一。这些气体阻止热量脱离星球;所以,地球的气温上升。这是我们所谓的“气候变化”的一部分。

Ziska adds that CO2 does not know a so-called good plant from a bad one. And if you have allergies, ragweed is a bad plant.

齐斯卡补充道:CO2 并不能区分所谓的好植物和坏植物。并且如果你有过敏反应,那么豚草就是一种不好的植物。

Longer growing seasons

生长季节变得更长

When other scientific writers report on the effects of climate change on allergens, they often use Ziska’s research.

当其他科学作家在报告中写气候变化对过敏原的影响时,他们经常引用齐斯卡的研究。

One such report was published in 2010 by the U.S. National Wildlife Federation and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. In it, experts give a detailed explanation on how climate change is affecting allergen-producing plants.

美国国家野生动物联合会和美国哮喘和过敏基金会于2010年联合发表了一份这样的报告。在报告中,专家们详细地解释了气候变化对产生过敏原植物的影响。

For one thing, warmer temperatures are making the growing season for some allergen producers longer. And, the report says that some plant species may react better to increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) than others. For example, as the climate warms, the areas for major allergen-producing trees such as oak are getting larger.

一方面,更暖和的气温正在使一些产生过敏原的植物的生长季节变得更长。并且报告称,一些植物物种可能会对二氧化碳(CO2)的含量比其他物种的反应更敏感。例如,随着气候变暖,主要产生过敏原的树木(如橡树)的面积越来越大。

So, does that mean increased CO2 could help “good” crops grow better? Again, here is Ziska.

所以,那意味着二氧化碳含量的增加能帮助“好的”作物生长得更好吗?同样这里是齐斯卡的一些话。

“One of the things that we’re also doing is looking at common crops -- such as wheat and rice and oat --and trying to find specific varieties of those crops that respond more to carbon dioxide.”

“我们也在做的一件事是研究普通作物,比如小麦、大米和燕麦。并试图找到那些对二氧化碳有更多反应的作物的特定品种。”

Ziska warns that not all places are being affected by rising levels of CO2 in the same way.

齐斯卡警告说,并非所有地方受二氧化碳水平上升的影响程度都是相同的。

“A city is different than the surrounding countryside. Cities are heat sinks. Trees, for example, in the spring...they tend to flower earlier in the cities because it’s warmer. Cities heat up faster.”

“一个城市不同于周围的乡村。城市是一台吸热器。例如,在春天,城市的树木往往开花较早,因为城市里更暖和。城市升温速度更快。”

And that’s the Health & Lifestyle Report.

那是健康与生活方式的报道。

I’m Anna Matteo.

安娜·马泰奥为您报道。

Tips for allergy sufferers

给过敏患者的一些意见

During certain times of the year, it may be impossible to avoid contact with outdoor allergens. However, there are things you can do to lessen the effect.

在每年的特定时期,可能无法避免接触到室外的过敏原。然而,你可以做一些事情减少过敏原的影响。

Experts give these tips:

专家给了这些建议:

★Get tested to find out what allergies you have.

做检查找出你的过敏原。

★Limit your time outdoors when the pollen count is especially high.

当花粉数量尤其高时,限制你外出的时间。

★Shower and change your clothes after spending time outdoors. Pollen can get trapped in hair and clothing.

在户外待一段时间之后更换你的衣服并进行淋浴。花粉往往会进入你的头发和衣服。

★Wash out your nose with salt water solution.

用盐水清洗你的鼻子

★On especially bad pollen days, keep doors and windows closed.

特别是在不好的花粉盛行的日子,保持门窗关闭。

★Clean up pollen in your home.

清扫你家里的花粉。

★When planting trees or flowers for your garden, choose those that do not produce much (or any) pollen. For example, plant female fruit trees. They don’t make pollen.

当在你的花园种植树木和花时,选择那些不会产生很多(或任何)花粉的植物。例如,种植能结果实的雌性树木。它们不会产生花

Is Climate Change Making You Sneeze More?

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.

Blooming flowers and new growth on trees make spring a beautiful time of the year. But for many people, all of this new growth only brings suffering in the form of allergies.

Some people claim that each year their allergies seem to get worse and worse.

Well, they are likely right.

Environmental experts and public health researchers are all saying the same thing: Climate change can make allergies more severe and allergy seasons longer.

A study published in the March 2019 journal Lancet Planetary Health found that pollen counts in the Earth’s northern hemisphere have been increasing -- along with a rise in temperatures.

The lead writer of that study is Dr. Lewis Ziska, a scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). For the past 20 years, he has been studying the effects of climate change on allergens.

He told VOA Learning English that his research takes scientific theory and helps people’s health.

"So, it's been very interesting to be able to take this sort of theoretical observation and to link it into some real pragmatic responses that have a direct impact on people’s health. And one of the things that we’ve been trying to do is to make it more real: 'How does this affect me? What does it mean for my health? What does it mean for my life?'"

Allergies impact millions of people around the world. Experts at the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America say allergies are one of the most “common chronic diseases.” A chronic disease is one that causes problems often or long-term.

On its website, the Academy claims that between 10 to 30 percent of the world’s population suffers from hay fever, a type of allergy. Many people experience allergic reactions to tree pollen, grass pollen, ragweed pollen and more.

Findings from 2019 report

But now, back to Ziska and his research. In this most recent study, he and his team studied 17 locations in North America and Europe as well as the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and South Korea.

Ziska only included places where scientists could provide at least 20 years of data.

The researchers found that 12 of those 17 places showed “significant increases” in pollen levels. And 11 of the 17 showed a “significant increase” in the length of allergy seasons.

Back in 2000, Ziska wanted to examine more closely the link between climate change and allergens in the environment.

He and another USDA researcher, Frances Caulfield, looked at the effects that rising carbon dioxide levels were having on the production of ragweed pollen. Ragweed is a common allergen, especially during the fall.

Ziska said that ragweed is one of the plants that has the most effect on human health.

“Remember, one of the memes that you’ll hear often is that CO2 is plant food. And one of the plants that has a[n] effect in terms of human health is ragweed. It's the most common allergen in the fall.”

The researchers grew ragweed in a controlled environment and increased the carbon dioxide levels in the air. They found that ragweed plants produced much more pollen when carbon dioxide levels increased.

But that is not all they found.

Increased carbon dioxide in the air may also lead to ragweed pollen that is stronger, or more allergenic.

Carbon dioxide is one of the so-called “greenhouse gases.” These gases do not let heat escape from the planet; so, temperatures increase on Earth. This is part of what we call “climate change.”

Ziska adds that CO2 does not know a so-called good plant from a bad one. And if you have allergies, ragweed is a bad plant.

Longer growing seasons

When other scientific writers report on the effects of climate change on allergens, they often use Ziska’s research.

One such report was published in 2010 by the U.S. National Wildlife Federation and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. In it, experts give a detailed explanation on how climate change is affecting allergen-producing plants.

For one thing, warmer temperatures are making the growing season for some allergen producers longer. And, the report says that some plant species may react better to increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) than others. For example, as the climate warms, the areas for major allergen-producing trees such as oak are getting larger.

So, does that mean increased CO2 could help “good” crops grow better? Again, here is Ziska.

“One of the things that we’re also doing is looking at common crops -- such as wheat and rice and oat --and trying to find specific varieties of those crops that respond more to carbon dioxide.”

Ziska warns that not all places are being affected by rising levels of CO2 in the same way.

“A city is different than the surrounding countryside. Cities are heat sinks. Trees, for example, in the spring...they tend to flower earlier in the cities because it’s warmer. Cities heat up faster.”

And that’s the Health & Lifestyle Report.

I’m Anna Matteo.

Tips for allergy sufferers

During certain times of the year, it may be impossible to avoid contact with outdoor allergens. However, there are things you can do to lessen the effect.

Experts give these tips:

★Get tested to find out what allergies you have.

★Limit your time outdoors when the pollen count is especially high.

★Shower and change your clothes after spending time outdoors. Pollen can get trapped in hair and clothing.

★Wash out your nose with salt water solution.

★On especially bad pollen days, keep doors and windows closed.

★Clean up pollen in your home.

★When planting trees or flowers for your garden, choose those that do not produce much (or any) pollen. For example, plant female fruit trees. They don’t make pollen.

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

bloom – n. the flowering state

allergy – n. An allergy is a medical condition that causes someone to feel sick after eating, touching or breathing something that is harmless to most people. : allergen substances that cause allergic reactions

pollen – n. very fine, yellow dust that is produced by a plant and is carried to other plants by wind or by insects

pragmatic – adj. formal : dealing with the problems that exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories

impact – n. a powerful or major influence or effect

hay fever – n. allergy usually caused by pollen

itch – v. to have or produce an unpleasant feeling on your skin or inside your mouth, nose, etc. that makes you want to scratch

significant – adj. large enough to be noticed

meme – n. an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture

heat sink – n. something that absorbs (or dissipates) especially unwanted heat


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