这世界上的风正在加速
The World’s Winds Are Speeding Up
670字
2019-12-13 16:32
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火星译客

Wind speeds are getting faster worldwide, and that's good news for renewable energy production — at least for now.

全球的风速越来越快,这对可再生能源的生产来说是个好消息 — 至少对现在(来说是个好消息)。

A study published yesterday in the journal Nature Climate Change finds that winds across much of North America, Europe and Asia have been growing faster since about 2010.

昨天发表在《自然气候变化》杂志上的一项研究发现,自2010年来,美国北部、欧洲和亚洲大部分地区的风速一直在加快。

In less than a decade, the global average wind speed has increased from about 7 mph to about 7.4 mph. For the average wind turbine, that translates to a 17% increase in potential wind energy. That might explain about half the increase in U.S. wind power capacity since 2010, researchers say.

不到十年,全球平均风速每小时约7公里增加到约每小时约7.4公里。对普通的风力发电机来说,这意味这潜在风能增加17%。研究人员说,这或许解释了自2010年来美国风能容量有近一半的增加。

The study may help put to rest a scientific debate that's perplexed researchers for years.

这项研究可能会平息困扰研究人员多年的科学争论。

Before global wind speeds picked up in 2010, they had been decreasing for several decades, starting in the 1970s. Scientists floated a variety of theories about the "global stilling," as it came to be called. One of the most popular ideas suggested that increasing urban development and other land-use changes had altered the surface of the Earth, making it rougher and increasing the amount of drag acting on the flow of air around the world.

在2010年全球风速开始加快之前,自20世纪70年代开始的几十年来风速一直在下降。科学家们提出了很多关于这一现象的理论,后来被称为“全球停滞”。其中一种最流行的观点认为,城市的发展和其他土地利用的变化已经改变了地球表层,使其变得更加粗糙,还增加了对世界各地气流的阻力。

But if that were the case, wind speeds should still be slowing down now — not speeding up. The recent reversal suggests that some other factor must be playing a bigger role.

但如果是这样的话,那现在的风速应该是减慢,而不是在加速。最近的逆转表明,一定还有其他的因素在发挥更大的作用。

The new study points to large, natural climate cycles as the likely culprit.

这项新研究指出,大自然气候循环可能是罪魁祸首。

Using models to investigate the factors that influence the behavior of global winds, the researchers found that big climate patterns — which affect temperatures in certain parts of the world — have a major influence on wind speeds. Temperature differences between neighboring regions, or between the ocean and nearby land areas, can affect the flow of air.

研究人员使用模型来调查影响全球风的行为的因素,发现影响世界某些地区温度的大气候模式对风速有大的影响。邻近区域或海洋与附近陆地区域的温差会影响气流。

For instance, the researchers found that wind speeds tend to be slower across much of the Northern Hemisphere when temperatures are warmer in parts of the tropical Atlantic and the western Pacific and over Greenland.

例如,研究人员发现,当热带大西洋和西太平洋的部分地区以及格陵兰岛的温度升高时,北半球的大部分地区的风速往往会变慢。

Temperatures all over the Earth are steadily rising as a result of human-caused climate change. But within that larger, long-term warming pattern, temperatures in these regions also tend to naturally cycle back and forth between warmer and cooler periods, sometimes lasting decades at a time.

由于人为的气候变化,地球的温度正稳步上升。但在较大的长期变暖模式下,这些地区的温度也往往会在较暖和较冷的时期之间自然地来回循环,有时一次能持续数十年。

The authors of the new study suggest that a shift between certain natural climate cycles may have helped trigger the switch from slower to faster winds.

这项新研究的作者们认为,某些自然气候周期的转变可能有助于引发从较慢风向更快风的转变。

If they're right, the speeding-up trend could continue for another decade or longer, until the next major shift occurs. That could be a boon for the wind power industry in the near future. If the current pattern continues, the authors suggest that average global power generation could increase by as much as 37% by 2024.

如果这研究对的话,这加速趋势可能会持续十年或更长时间,直到下次大的转变发生。在不久的将来,这对风力发电行业是个福音。这项研究的作者们认为,如果当前的模式继续下去,到2024年,全球平均发电量可能增加37%。

The study also raises some important points about long-term wind power planning. If natural climate cycles can cause such major changes in global wind speeds, the industry should plan for potential ups and downs.

该研究还提出了有关长期风电规划的一些重要观点。如果自然气候周期会导致全球风速发生大的变化,那风电行业应该计划潜在的起伏。

And if climate fluctuations really do have such a big effect, there's also the question of how future climate change may factor in.

如果气候波动确实产生了这么大的影响,那就还有个问题,未来的气候变化可能会如何影响。

While some theories are more controversial than others, recent studies have drawn connections between climate change and the behavior of the Northern Hemisphere jet stream, the westerly winds around Antarctica and other air circulation patterns around the world. And some modeling studies have suggested that continued warming could cause substantial shifts in the regions with the most potential wind power around the world — namely, declines in the Northern Hemisphere and some potential gains in the global South.

尽管有些理论比其他理论更具争议性,但最近的研究已经将气候变化与北半球喷射流的行为、南极周围的西风和世界其他空气流通方式之间建立了联系。一些模型研究表明,持续变暖可能全球风力发电潜力最大的地区发生重大变化,即北半球的衰落和全球南部某些潜在收益。

Determining where these changes could occur is critical for long-term planning purposes, including where to invest in new wind farms and what to expect from existing ones. And if the new study is accurate, both natural climate cycles and the ongoing impact of global warming should be taken into account.

确定这些变化可能发生的位置对长期计划至关重要,包括在哪里投资新的风电场以及对现有的期望。如果这项新研究是准确的,则该考虑自然气候周期和全球变暖的持续影响。

Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from E&E News. E&E provides daily coverage of essential energy and environmental news a twww.eenews.net.

经E&E News许可,从Climatewire那转载。E&E通过twww.eenews.net网址每天提供重要的能源与环境新闻。

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