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科学美国人60秒:猫鼬患上了气候病

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Karen Hopkin: This is Scientific American’s 60-Second Science. I’m Karen Hopkin.

这里是《科学美国人》的 60 秒科学,我是凯伦霍·普金。

Climate change. It’s the culprit behind an increase in droughts and floods, wildfires and storms. And a new study shows that it’s making more meerkats come down with tuberculosis. The findings appear in the journal Nature Climate Change.

气候变化是导致干旱和洪水、野火和风暴增加的罪魁祸首。一项新的研究表明,它正在使更多的猫鼬患上肺结核。研究结果发表在《自然气候变化》杂志上。

Maria Paniw: So tuberculosis is an endemic disease in meerkats. It has been present in the population since meerkats have been studied.

肺结核是猫鼬的地方病。自从研究猫鼬以来,它就一直存在于猫鼬种群中。

Hopkin: Maria Paniw is a researcher at the Do?ana Biological Research Station in Spain. She says that for meerkats living in the Kalahari, TB outbreaks have been on the rise. Coincidentally, so have the local temperatures.

玛丽亚·帕尼乌是西班牙多纳纳生物研究站的研究员。她说,对于生活在卡拉哈里的猫鼬来说,结核病的爆发一直在上升。巧合的是,当地的气温也是如此。

Paniw: So we wanted to know whether there was a link between climate change, which you know has been increasing temperature extremes, and increases in tuberculosis outbreaks. And how this may affect populations of this social species.

所以我们想知道气候变化与肺结核爆发的增加之间是否存在联系,以及这会如何影响这个群居物种的数量。

Hopkin: So Paniw and her colleagues crunched the numbers.

因此,帕尼乌和她的同事们快速处理了这些数字。

Paniw: I was very fortunate to collaborate with the Kalahari Meerkat Project which is a fantastic project where we now have over 22 years of very detailed data on individual meerkats and about their survival, their reproduction, their growth, their movement, and so on. So it’s a very rich data set to work with.

我很幸运能与 Kalahari 猫鼬项目合作,这是一个非常棒的项目,我们现在有超过22年的关于猫鼬个体的非常详细的数据,关于它们的生存、繁殖、成长、运动等等非常详细的数据。所以这是一个非常丰富的数据集。

Hopkin: They used the data to build models to predict how climate change will affect meerkat populations.

他们利用这些数据建立模型,来预测气候变化将如何影响猫鼬的数量。

Paniw: Our main results show that climate change affects meerkats primarily by increasing the likelihood of deadly TB outbreaks.

我们的主要研究结果表明,气候变化主要通过增加致命结核病爆发的可能性来影响猫鼬。

Hopkin: And according to the model, it can do so in two ways.

根据这个模型,它可以通过两种方式实现。

Paniw: First, extremely hot years induce physiological stress on meerkats because meerkats need to hide from the extreme heat. They do not have enough time to search for food and extreme heat may also be associated with very low rainfall and therefore drought so little food availability.

首先,极端炎热的年份会给猫鼬带来生理压力,因为猫鼬需要躲避极端高温。它们没有足够的时间寻找食物,极端高温也可能与降雨量非常少有关,因此干旱导致食物供应很少。

Hopkin: That stress increases the probability that an endemic disease will turn into an outbreak that can completely wipe out meerkat populations….with the extinction risk for local groups predicted to double over the next dozen years.

这种压力增加了一种地方性疾病爆发的可能性,这种疾病可以完全消灭猫鼬种群... ... 而当地猫鼬种群的灭绝风险预计将在未来十几年内翻倍。

Paniw: And the other way is that climate change also sort of destabilizes local groups and makes male meerkats much more mobile.

另一方面,气候变化也会破坏当地群体的稳定,并使雄性猫鼬更具流动性。

Hopkin: Meerkats live in social groups from which males normally disperse to find mates. And when it’s warmer, males are much more likely to hit the road.

猫鼬生活在社会群体中,雄性猫鼬通常会离开这些群体寻找配偶。当天气变暖时,雄性猫鼬更有可能上路。

Paniw: And with that they carry disease, they carry tuberculosis with them, and by moving around too much they spread disease between meerkat groups which again increases the chances or the risks of severe outbreaks.

它们携带疾病,严格说是携带着结核病,通过移动次数增加,它们会在猫鼬群体之间传播疾病,而这再次增加了严重疾病爆发的机会或风险。

Hopkin: And Paniw says it’s not merely meerkats that should be concerned about the climate.

帕尼乌说,不仅仅是猫鼬应该关注气候。

Paniw: This finding is particularly interesting and important because tuberculosis is a very widespread disease which affects many species including livestock that is quite important for humans.

这一发现特别有趣和重要,因为结核病是一种非常普遍的疾病,会影响许多物种,包括对人类非常重要的牲畜。

Hopkin: Yet another way that climate change could land us all in hot water.

气候变化的另一种方式可能会让我们所有人陷入困境。

For Scientific American’s 60-Second Science, I’m Karen Hopkin.

以上是《科学美国人》的 60 秒科学,凯伦·霍普金报道。

Karen Hopkin: This is Scientific American’s 60-Second Science. I’m Karen Hopkin.

Climate change. It’s the culprit behind an increase in droughts and floods, wildfires and storms. And a new study shows that it’s making more meerkats come down with tuberculosis. The findings appear in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Maria Paniw: So tuberculosis is an endemic disease in meerkats. It has been present in the population since meerkats have been studied.

Hopkin: Maria Paniw is a researcher at the Do?ana Biological Research Station in Spain. She says that for meerkats living in the Kalahari, TB outbreaks have been on the rise. Coincidentally, so have the local temperatures.

Paniw: So we wanted to know whether there was a link between climate change, which you know has been increasing temperature extremes, and increases in tuberculosis outbreaks. And how this may affect populations of this social species.

Hopkin: So Paniw and her colleagues crunched the numbers.

Paniw: I was very fortunate to collaborate with the Kalahari Meerkat Project which is a fantastic project where we now have over 22 years of very detailed data on individual meerkats and about their survival, their reproduction, their growth, their movement, and so on. So it’s a very rich data set to work with.

Hopkin: They used the data to build models to predict how climate change will affect meerkat populations.

Paniw: Our main results show that climate change affects meerkats primarily by increasing the likelihood of deadly TB outbreaks.

Hopkin: And according to the model, it can do so in two ways.

Paniw: First, extremely hot years induce physiological stress on meerkats because meerkats need to hide from the extreme heat. They do not have enough time to search for food and extreme heat may also be associated with very low rainfall and therefore drought so little food availability.

Hopkin: That stress increases the probability that an endemic disease will turn into an outbreak that can completely wipe out meerkat populations….with the extinction risk for local groups predicted to double over the next dozen years.

Paniw: And the other way is that climate change also sort of destabilizes local groups and makes male meerkats much more mobile.

Hopkin: Meerkats live in social groups from which males normally disperse to find mates. And when it’s warmer, males are much more likely to hit the road.

Paniw: And with that they carry disease, they carry tuberculosis with them, and by moving around too much they spread disease between meerkat groups which again increases the chances or the risks of severe outbreaks.

Hopkin: And Paniw says it’s not merely meerkats that should be concerned about the climate.

Paniw: This finding is particularly interesting and important because tuberculosis is a very widespread disease which affects many species including livestock that is quite important for humans.

Hopkin: Yet another way that climate change could land us all in hot water.

For Scientific American’s 60-Second Science, I’m Karen Hopkin.
 


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