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科学美国人60秒:雷电和船只

lzy 于2017-10-20发布 l 已有人浏览
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科学美国人60秒:雷电和船只
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 Ships at Sea Stoke Lightning Strikes
雷电和船只
When lightning sparks across the sky, it sends out low-frequency radio waves that researchers can use to determine its location. Recently, scientists were looking over a map of lightning activity, when they noticed something strange: narrow lines of increased lightning frequency stretching across the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. Straight features like these are rare on a spherical, spinning planet, except where humans are up to something. In this case, sending ships across the sea.
闪电划过天际,研究人员可以根据闪电放射的低频无线电波来确定闪电的位置。最近,科学家查看闪电活动的地图,之后,他们注意到了一些奇怪的事情:在印度洋和中国南海上增加的闪电频率呈狭窄条状。像这样在一个圆形、旋转的行星上,频率呈直线特征是很罕见的。在这种情况下,可以派遣船只穿越大海。

“I had pretty immediately in my mind postulated that this was a result of the pollution from ship exhaust influencing the way the storms develop.”
“我立刻想到了这是由于船只造成的污染影响了风暴的形成。”
Joel Thornton, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Washington.
约尔·桑顿是华盛顿大学的大气化学家。
“That hypothesis had already been put out generally in the field more than a decade ago. But we had been lacking clear evidence that this was happening on a large-scale, long-time horizon.”
“这种设想在十年前就在该领域普遍流行。但是,对于发生的大规模、长期的水平线活动,我们缺乏明确的证据。”
The new maps changed that. Thornton and his team found that, on average, lightning activity almost doubled over shipping lanes compared to adjacent areas of the ocean.
但是这张新的地图已经在改变。桑顿和他的团队发现,通常,与周围的海域相比,这条长线上的闪电活动几乎加倍。

The researchers ruled out natural explanations for the pattern, and concluded it must be related to ship exhaust. Exhaust increases the number of tiny particles in the air, on which water vapor condenses to form cloud droplets.
研究人员排除了对这种现象的自然解释,之后得出结论这与船只的排气有关。废气会增加空气中微小颗粒的数量,水蒸气凝结后形成云滴。等量的水接触到更多的颗粒会形成更小的云滴,上升的气流将这些云滴送至足够的高度,之后云滴冷凝形成冰滴。
Spreading the same amount of water over more particles leads to smaller droplets, which get lifted by updrafts until they reach altitudes cold enough for them to freeze. For reasons scientists still don’t fully understand, interactions between these ice particles and water droplets inside the cloud builds up electrical charges—and produce lightning.
科学家尚不能完全理解,为何冰滴和水滴会在云中相互作用产生电荷——进而产生闪电。

Thornton says the ship tracks provide a unique opportunity to isolate the effects of pollution from all the other factors normally at play in storms.
桑顿表示,船只的行踪路径提供了一个绝佳的机会,可以将污染和在风暴中起作用的其他因素区分开来。
“From a science standpoint it’s exciting that we have this ongoing experiment where we know roughly how much particle pollution is being put into the atmosphere, we have a good signature that it’s influencing the nature of storms, and then we can use this experiment as a way to improve our understanding of how pollution affects the development of storms and their intensity.”
从科学的角度,令人兴奋的是,正在进行的实验让我们大概知道,有多少污染粒子输送至大气中,从实验中我们知道,这会影响风暴的特质,然后,我们使用这个实验来提升我们的理解:污染是如何影响风暴的形成和其强度。
The research was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
该研究结果发表在《地球物理通讯》快报上。
The International Maritime Organization recently adopted a rule that will force ships to start using fuels with lower sulfur content. That change will help reduce particle pollution—and should provide Thornton with new data.
国际海事组织最近通过了一项规则,要求船只开始使用含硫量较低的燃料。这种改变将有助于减少粒子污染——桑顿会得到新的数据。
“So, if they all do it at the same time in 2020, or even if they stagger it in over the period of a few years, the lightning response should be essentially immediate.”
所以,如果所有船只在2010年都这样做,或者,甚至在未来几年陆续遵守约定,闪电也会立即有所反应。
The cleaner fuel standards will help the environment, and boost lightning science, too.
更加清洁的燃料标准会有助改善环境,也会促进闪电科学的发展。
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