Official 17 Set 3

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  • Q5
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Milankovitch Hypothesis

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What is the lecture mainly about?
  • A. A hypothesis that explains how changes in Earth’s motions affect climate

  • B. A hypothesis that explains why the shape of Earth’s orbit varies over time

  • C. Reasons it is difficult to find evidence to support hypotheses about the climate

  • D. Analyses of the accuracy of data collected in different ways

显示答案 正确答案: A

我的笔记 编辑笔记

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    NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in an environmental science class.

    MALE PROFESSOR:OK, so we've been talking about theories that deal with the effects of human activity on the climate,but today I'd like to talk a little bit about other theories that can explain variations in climate.And one of the,um, best known is called the Milankovitch hypothesis.

    Um, now what the Milankovitch hypothesis is about, um, it, it says that variations in Earth's movements, specifically, in its orbit around the Sun...these variations lead to differences in the amount of solar energy that reaches Earth, and it's these differences in the amount of energy that's reaching Earth from the Sun, it's what causes variations in Earth's climate.Okay,a lot of people think of Earth's orbit around the Sun as being perfectly circular...as smooth and as regular as um, say the way hands move on a well-made watch.But...it just doesn't work that way.

    You're probably aware that the Earth's orbit around the Sun, it's not shaped like a perfect circle, it's more of an oval, it's elliptical.But the shape of this orbit isn't consistent, it varies over time, over a period of about 100,000 years.Sometimes it's a little more circular, sometimes it's more elliptical.And when Earth's orbit is more elliptical, Earth is actually closer to the Sun during part of the year, which makes Earth and in particular the Northern Hemisphere warmer.And why's that important?Well, because most of the planet's glaciers are in the Northern Hemisphere, and if it gets too warm, then glaciers will stop forming and we already talked about how that affects Earth's overall temperature.

    The second movement involved in the hypothesis has to do with axial tilt, the tilt of Earth's axis, that imaginary pole that runs through the center of the Earth.And depending on the angle it tilts at, the seasons can be more or less severe-it makes winters cooler and summers warmer,or-what some might say it's doing now, it makes the summers less hot and, more importantly, the winters less cold, which, ah, just like what I mentioned before,can also stop, um, prevent glaciers from forming, or cause them to melt.

    There's a third movement the hypothesis covers called precession.Precession, basically, is the change in the direction of the Earth's axis of rotation.It would take me a million years to explain even just the basics of this movement as precession is quite complex.And all of these details are way beyond our scope.What's important for you to understand is that these three movements, well, they're cyclical, and they work together to form, to produce complex but regular variations in Earth's climate,and lead to the growth or decline of glaciers.

    Now, when Milankovitch first proposed this theory in the 1920s, many of his colleagues were skeptical.Milankovitch didn't have any proof.Actually there wouldn't be any evidence to support his hypothesis until the 1970s, when oceanographers were able to drill deep into the seafloor and collect samples, samples which were then analyzed by geologists.And from these samples, they were able to put together a history of ocean temperatures going back hundreds of thousands of years,and this showed that the Earth's climate had changed pretty much the way Milankovitch's hypothesis suggested it would.

    So this evidence was pretty strong support for the Milankovitch hypothesis, and by the 1980s, most people accepted this theory.Um, however, in the late 1980s, some scientists were exploring Devils Hole, which is, ah, basically an extensive, water-filled cave,far from the ocean in Nevada in the western United States.Over millions of years, groundwater left deposits of a mineral called "calcite" on the rock within Devils Hole.And by studying these calcite deposits, we could determine the climate conditions... the temperatures over the last half-million years.Well, the Devils Hole findings contradicted the ones obtained during the 1970s. So, basically, the question was, were the ages of one or both of the samples wrong?Or were scientists misunderstanding the significance of the evidence?

    Well, um, in the 1990s, a new study was done on the two samples, and the ocean floor samples were found to be correct,as were the samples from Devils Hole.And now it's generally believed that the samples from Devils Hole correspond to variations in local climate in the western United States, rather than global climate changes.

  • 旁白:听一段环境科学(麦兰科维奇假说)的课程。

    教授:好吧,我们前面讨论了一些关于研究人类活动对气候影响的理论,不过今天我想讲一讲其他解释气候变化的理论。其中最著名的理论当属米兰科维奇假说。

    嗯,那么米兰科维奇假说是到底是怎么回事呢?嗯,假设认为,地球运行的变化,特别是绕太阳轨道的变化,会导致太阳到达地球能量的不同。并且,正是这些抵达地球能量的差异导致了地球气候的变化。好的,许多人认为地球绕太阳的轨道是正圆、平滑弧线形的,地球围绕太阳的运动就像表针在高质量的手表上运动一样。但是事实并不如此。

    可能你们也知道了,地球绕太阳的轨道实际上不是一个标准的圆形,而更像个椭圆。不过,轨道的形状并不是始终如一的,它会随时间变化,变化周期为一千年左右。有时它更圆,有时它更扁。并且,当地球轨道更加椭圆的时候,地球事实上在一年的某个时候距离太阳更近,这使得地球,特别是北半球更加温热。那么,为什么这很重要呢?嗯,因为多数行星上的冰川都在北半球,如果那里温度太高,冰川就无法维持了。前面我们也已讲述过这种效应会如何影响地球整体的温度了。

    假说的第二种运动与地轴倾斜有关:地轴是我们虚构的穿过地心的一个倾斜的直线轴。根据它倾斜的角度,季节可能更加极端或者不极端,使冬天更冷,夏天更热,或者与之相反,就像一些人认为现在的状况一样,它使夏季不热,冬季不冷。更重要的是,冬季不冷,正如我前面讲述的那样,使得冰川不再形成,甚至融化。

    假说还包括了第三种名为“旋式推进”运动。旋进基本上是地轴旋转方向的变化。因为它特别复杂,即便花费了一个世纪我们也没弄清楚。此外,其运动细节也超出了我们的知识范围。你们特别需要了解的是,这三种运动都是周期性的,他们共同导致了复杂但有规律的地球气候变化,并且使得冰川增长或衰退。

    在20世纪20年代米兰科维奇假说刚发表的时候,许多同行都持怀疑态度。米兰科维奇假说确实没有任何的证据的支持。事实上,直到20世纪70年代之前,没有有任何支持它的证据,当海洋学家能够潜入海底钻孔并且取样,然后将样本交给地质学家分析。通过这些样本,我们能够得出几十万年的关于海洋气候的历史状况。这证明了地球气候的变化恰恰与米兰科维假说所描述的一样。

    因此这些证据很有力地证实了对米兰科维奇假说。到了20世纪80年代,多数人接受了这一理论。然而,在20世纪80年代后期,一些科学家探索位了于圣海伦娜的充满了水的大洞穴,其地理位置在美国西部的,远离内华达的海洋。在过去的几百万年,在圣海伦娜地下水沉淀了一种叫做方解石的矿物质。通过对这些方解石的研究,我们能够判定气候的情况,了解过去50万年气温的变化。不过,圣海伦娜的发现与在20世纪70年代的观点是相互矛盾的,这样的话,一个根本的问题产生了:到底是其中一个样本的年代有问题?还是两个样本的年代都有问题?抑或科学家误解了证据的意义?

    最后,到了20世纪90年代,科学家们对这两个样本重新进行了的研究,并且发现海底获取的样本是正确的,在圣海伦娜发现的也是正确的。而现在,一般都认为圣海伦娜发现的样本仅仅体现了美国西部当地的气候,不能代表全球的气候变化。

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    题型分类:主旨题

    题干分析:be mainly about主旨题

    音频定位:ProfessorOk,so we have been talking about theories that deal with the effects of human activity on the climate. But today I’d like to talk a little bit about other theories that can explain variations in climate. And one of the best-known is called the Milankovitch Hypothesis.

    选项分析:一听到but today就知道下面是主题了,主要介绍了M这个假说和三个movement和进程。

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