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科学美国人60秒:一片被烧毁的红木森林告诉我们的

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This is scientific American’s 60-second science. I’m Shannon Behrman.

这里是《科学美国人》的60秒科学。我是香农 · 贝尔曼。

and I’m Sarah Goodwin.

我是莎拉 · 古德温。

You’re listening to the sound of a redwood forest after a wildfire.

你正在收听的是野火过后红杉林的声音。

It’s eerily quiet—save for the sound of our own footsteps.

除了我们自己的脚步声,这里安静得出奇。

We recorded those sounds in the spring of 2021.

我们在2021年春天录制了这些声音。

Nine months after a devastating fire swept through California’s Big Basin Redwood State Park.

9个月前,一场毁灭性的大火席卷了加利福尼亚州的大盆地红杉州立公园。

The flames left the redwood trees charred but still mostly alive.

大火把红杉树烧焦了,但大部分仍然活了下来。

The rest of the life that usually animates the forest was gone.

那些让森林生机勃勃的其他生命却都消失了。

You can hear it… in the silence.

听,这一片寂静之林……

There’s always been a fire season in California in the late summer and fall.

夏末和秋季一直是加州的火灾频发季。

But recently it’s gotten longer. And worse. Much worse. There’s no denying climate change here.

但是最近它变得更长,更糟,很糟,这里无法抗拒气候变化的裹挟。

2022 has been another year of drought for the American west and that means that, until the winter rains come in force, there’s still a risk for fire.

2022年是美国西部又一个干旱年,这意味着,在冬季降雨来临之前,仍然存在着火灾的风险。

California forests burned frequently until about a hundred years ago when across the west, a new approach to fire emerged in the name of conservation: suppression.

加利福尼亚的森林经常被烧毁,直到大约一百年前,在整个西部,以保护的名义出现了一种新的灭火方法: 灭火。

As in fire was bad — a destructive force to be avoided at all costs.

因为火是不好的,是一种要不惜一切代价避免的破坏性力量。

But research into thousands of years of climate history has shown that fire has always been a part of this landscape.

但是对数千年气候历史的研究表明,火一直是这片土地的一部分。

We see it in the tree rings of the ancient redwoods.

我们可以在古老红杉的年轮中看到它。

Fire keeps these forests healthy and vibrant.

火让这些森林保持健康和生机。

The native peoples who lived in these forests before colonization seemed to understand this intuitively.

殖民之前居住在这些森林中的土著人民似乎很自然地理解了这一点。

From an indigenous cultural perspective, we think about, you know, the frequencies of fire and the stewardship of those landscapes.

从土著文化的角度,我们思考的是火灾的频率和对这些景观的管理。

Don Hankins is a scientist who studies the intersection of fire, nature, and people. He’s also a member of the plains Miwok tribe.

唐 · 汉金斯是一位研究火、自然和人类交集的科学家。他同时也是平原米沃克人(Plains Miwok,加利福尼亚印第安人)。

The history of the removal of fire from California is at least coastal landscapes began pretty early on with early Spanish settlement.

加利福尼亚州灭火的历史在很早就形成了,至少在西班牙人早期定居西海岸时就开始了。

When we think about some of the first policies within the state, that limited the extent of where indigenous people could engage with fire, that policy initially came out around 1793 from a proclamation from the Spanish governor of California that forbid indigenous people from using fire. And so, you know, that spread from mission Santa Barbara outward.

加州的首批政策限制了土著人民可以使用火的范围,这些政策最初来自1793年左右西班牙裔加利福尼亚州州长禁止土著人民使用火的声明,也就是说,是从圣巴巴拉修道院(Mission Santa Barbara)向外推广的。

Hankins has done research into the indigenous practices before Europeans settled in the area.

在欧洲人定居该地区之前,汉金斯就已经对当地的习俗进行了研究。

Ohlone peoples in, in this region, would've been living in this landscape and using these different resources from the different ecosystems that are there from the wetlands to the grasslands, to the different oak forest and conifer forest and so forth, they each have their own timeframes for when fire would be appropriate

奥龙尼(Ohlone)人本该一直生活在这片土地上,利用来自不同生态系统的这些不同的资源,从湿地到草原,再到不同的橡树林和针叶林等等,他们每个人都有自己的时间表,在合适的时候点起火来。

And Hankins says that they would take a hand in the process of ecosystem management when the timing seemed right.

汉金斯说,当时机合适的时候,他们会参与生态系统管理的过程。

So, some places, like I said, would, would burn relatively frequently. People would see that, oh, the health of the grass is declining. We need to burn, or we're getting too much litter accumulation and on the forest floor.

所以,有些地方,就像我说的,会相对频繁地燃烧。人们会看到,哦,草场的健康状况正在下降。我们需要燃烧,否则会有太多的垃圾堆积在森林地面上。

With this policy in place, people were limited in being able to burn because there were really strict penalties applied to people who, who set fires.

有了这项政策,人们在自行燃火方面受到了限制,那些放火的人受到了非常严格的处罚。

But now we are seeing the folly of fire suppression in big basin and elsewhere.

但现在,在大盆地和其他地区的灭火行为显得十分愚蠢。

I talked to Portia Halbert, the chief environmental scientist for Big Basin State Park.

我和大盆地州立公园的首席环境科学家波希娅·阿尔贝特谈过了。

She was there when the fire took off.

起火时她在场。

It’s crazy how fast the fire came in. What was the burn of Big Basin like? What was the fire like, that came through?

火势蔓延得太快了。大盆地的火灾是什么样的?那场火是什么样的?

This part of California, the coastal central and Northern California. We have foggy cool summers. When I go to the beach, I don't wear my swimsuit. I often wear a wool sweater. The day the fire started was unseasonably warm. I think it was probably in the, you know, low nineties and it was sunny and it was hot.

加利福尼亚的这一部分,加利福尼亚中部和北部的沿海地区,夏季多雾凉爽。去海滩时我甚至不穿泳衣而是经常穿羊毛衫。火灾开始的那天,气温高得反常,我觉得我仿佛回到了九十年代后期:阳光明媚,天气炎热。

So that set the stage for a big fire. But how did it actually begin?

所以这就为一场大火埋下了伏笔。但它究竟是怎么开始的呢?

Part of that led to the conditions that set us up for a dry lightning event. So, we had lightning strikes. I think there was something like 11,000 of them that quickly started fires everywhere around the mountains. You could see these massive smoke columns.

这是后续干雷暴(dry lightning)事件发生的部分原因。我们遭遇了雷暴,我认为大约有1.1万道雷电发生在山区周围,迅速引燃火焰,巨大的烟柱随处可见。

We had a wind pickup out of the Northwest and it took the three fires that were burning all around Big Basin, and it just pushed. It just pushed the fire right through the park.

西北方向吹来的一阵风推动着大盆地周围燃烧的三场大火,让火势穿过整个公园。。

How did it all end?

这一切是如何结束的?

We weren't able to contain the fires with our current suppression resources in the state. What saved us is that we had the fog move in six days into the fire. Our normal weather pattern was back. So that marine influence that brings cool moist air from the ocean is now keeping the fire relatively mild.

加州当时的灭火资源无法控制火势,拯救我们的是雾气在6天内进入了火灾区。正常天气模式又回来了,从海洋而来的凉爽潮湿的空气让如今的火势保持相对温和。

I thought that Big Basin would never burn.

我以为大盆地永远不会燃烧。

That's Christian Schwarz.

那是克里斯蒂安 · 施瓦茨。

After the Big Basin wildfire, he spent a lot of time crawling around with his face inches from the scorched earth.

在大盆地野火之后,他花了很多时间在焦土上爬来爬去。

That's because he's a mycologist. On the forest floor, the mushrooms he studies also had a story to tell.

那是因为他是一个真菌学家。在森林的地面上,他研究的蘑菇也有故事要讲。

My first visits back to Big Basin after the fire a very small number of species of mushroom were present, but the ones that were present were present in amazing volumes, amazing quantity of, of biomass. And that's because they are fire responders or fire, uh, adapted species in some way, species that not only were able to tolerate the burning, but were in fact stimulated by it.

火灾发生后,我第一次回到大盆地时,发现的菌菇种类极少,但它们数量惊人,生物量惊人。那是因为它们对火灾作出了迅速的响应,或者说是某种程度上的火灾适应物种,这些物种不仅能够耐受燃烧,实际上还因此生长得更好。

It’s all part of the recovery process, but what eventually emerges at big basin in the centuries ahead is unknowable–at this point.

这些都是生态恢复过程的一部分,但就目前而言,未来几个世纪大盆地最终会兴起什么物种仍是未知。

Literally 95% of the park burning, left me realizing that there is no climate outcome that is impossible to imagine. The thing that I thought least likely and most painful happened. Climate change is here.

公园95%的地方都在燃烧,这让我意识到,什么样的气候后果都可能发生。我曾认为最不可能和最痛苦的事情已经发生了。气候变化就在这里。

It's a past tense verb. Climate changed.

是个过去式动词,气候已经变了。

The reporting for this podcast came from work that Sarah and I did as part of the Science Communication Lab. We are a nonprofit organization committed to science storytelling and filmmaking.

这个播客的报道来自于我和莎拉在科学传播实验室的工作。我们是致力于科学叙事和电影制作的非营利组织。

the interviews used where gathered as part of short documentary film called "Fire Among Giants" which you can see at scientificamerican.com.

这些采访是作为纪录短片《巨人之火》的一部分收集起来的,你可以在 scientificamerican.com上看到。

we want to thank Don, Portia, and Christian for giving their time to this project. And we want to thank all of you for listening.

感谢唐,波希娅和克里斯蒂安为这个项目付出的时间。感谢大家的收听。

For Scientific American's 60-Second Science, I'm Sarah Goodwin.

《科学美国人》的60秒科学,我是莎拉 · 古德温。

And I'm Shannon Behrman.

我是香农 · 贝尔曼。

This is scientific American’s 60-second science. I’m Shannon Behrman.

and I’m Sarah Goodwin.

You’re listening to the sound of a redwood forest after a wildfire.

It’s eerily quiet—save for the sound of our own footsteps.

We recorded those sounds in the spring of 2021.

Nine months after a devastating fire swept through California’s Big Basin Redwood State Park.

The flames left the redwood trees charred but still mostly alive.

The rest of the life that usually animates the forest was gone.

You can hear it… in the silence.

There’s always been a fire season in California in the late summer and fall.

But recently it’s gotten longer. And worse. Much worse. There’s no denying climate change here.

2022 has been another year of drought for the American west and that means that, until the winter rains come in force, there’s still a risk for fire.

California forests burned frequently until about a hundred years ago when across the west, a new approach to fire emerged in the name of conservation: suppression.

As in fire was bad — a destructive force to be avoided at all costs.

But research into thousands of years of climate history has shown that fire has always been a part of this landscape.

We see it in the tree rings of the ancient redwoods.

Fire keeps these forests healthy and vibrant.

The native peoples who lived in these forests before colonization seemed to understand this intuitively.

From an indigenous cultural perspective, we think about, you know, the frequencies of fire and the stewardship of those landscapes.

Don Hankins is a scientist who studies the intersection of fire, nature, and people. He’s also a member of the plains Miwok tribe.

The history of the removal of fire from California is at least coastal landscapes began pretty early on with early Spanish settlement.

When we think about some of the first policies within the state, that limited the extent of where indigenous people could engage with fire, that policy initially came out around 1793 from a proclamation from the Spanish governor of California that forbid indigenous people from using fire. And so, you know, that spread from mission Santa Barbara outward.

Hankins has done research into the indigenous practices before Europeans settled in the area.

Ohlone peoples in, in this region, would've been living in this landscape and using these different resources from the different ecosystems that are there from the wetlands to the grasslands, to the different oak forest and conifer forest and so forth, they each have their own timeframes for when fire would be appropriate

And Hankins says that they would take a hand in the process of ecosystem management when the timing seemed right.

So, some places, like I said, would, would burn relatively frequently. People would see that, oh, the health of the grass is declining. We need to burn, or we're getting too much litter accumulation and on the forest floor.

With this policy in place, people were limited in being able to burn because there were really strict penalties applied to people who, who set fires.

But now we are seeing the folly of fire suppression in big basin and elsewhere.

I talked to Portia Halbert, the chief environmental scientist for Big Basin State Park.

She was there when the fire took off.

It’s crazy how fast the fire came in. What was the burn of Big Basin like? What was the fire like, that came through?

This part of California, the coastal central and Northern California. We have foggy cool summers. When I go to the beach, I don't wear my swimsuit. I often wear a wool sweater. The day the fire started was unseasonably warm. I think it was probably in the, you know, low nineties and it was sunny and it was hot.

So that set the stage for a big fire. But how did it actually begin?

Part of that led to the conditions that set us up for a dry lightning event. So, we had lightning strikes. I think there was something like 11,000 of them that quickly started fires everywhere around the mountains. You could see these massive smoke columns.

We had a wind pickup out of the Northwest and it took the three fires that were burning all around Big Basin, and it just pushed. It just pushed the fire right through the park.

How did it all end?

We weren't able to contain the fires with our current suppression resources in the state. What saved us is that we had the fog move in six days into the fire. Our normal weather pattern was back. So that marine influence that brings cool moist air from the ocean is now keeping the fire relatively mild.

I thought that Big Basin would never burn.

That's Christian Schwarz.

After the Big Basin wildfire, he spent a lot of time crawling around with his face inches from the scorched earth.

That's because he's a mycologist. On the forest floor, the mushrooms he studies also had a story to tell.

My first visits back to Big Basin after the fire a very small number of species of mushroom were present, but the ones that were present were present in amazing volumes, amazing quantity of, of biomass. And that's because they are fire responders or fire, uh, adapted species in some way, species that not only were able to tolerate the burning, but were in fact stimulated by it.

It’s all part of the recovery process, but what eventually emerges at big basin in the centuries ahead is unknowable–at this point.

Literally 95% of the park burning, left me realizing that there is no climate outcome that is impossible to imagine. The thing that I thought least likely and most painful happened. Climate change is here.

It's a past tense verb. Climate changed.

The reporting for this podcast came from work that Sarah and I did as part of the Science Communication Lab. We are a nonprofit organization committed to science storytelling and filmmaking.

the interviews used where gathered as part of short documentary film called "Fire Among Giants" which you can see at scientificamerican.com.

we want to thank Don, Portia, and Christian for giving their time to this project. And we want to thank all of you for listening.

For Scientific American's 60-Second Science, I'm Sarah Goodwin.

And I'm Shannon Behrman.


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