双语阅读 | 珠穆朗玛峰新身高

双语阅读 | 珠穆朗玛峰新身高
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The New Height of Mount Qomolangma

珠穆朗玛峰新身高

The New Height of Mount Qomolangma

 

林晓洁 供稿

 

The height of Mount Qomolangma is one of the most fascinating questions in geography. Every time its measurement makes a splash across the world. On December 8th, 2020, China and Nepal agreed on a new official height for Mount Qomolangma, ending a long-running dispute over the exact height of the world’s tallest mountain.

珠穆拉玛峰的确切高度是地理学上最引人入胜的问题之一,每次它的高度测定都会在全世界引起轰动。2020年12月8日,中国和尼泊尔就珠穆朗玛峰新的官方高度达成一致,结束了关于世界最高峰确切高度的长期争议。

 

The mountain is officially 8,848.86 meters, according to the number agreed upon by both countries. That’s 86 centimeters higher than the measurement made by the Survey of India in 1954, which has been the widely accepted number ever since. Since then, there have been a bunch of other surveys which found slightly different measurements.

根据两国一致确定的数字,珠穆拉玛峰的官方海拔为8848.86米。这一数字比1954年由印度测绘局测得并在之后得到世界广泛认可的数字高出86厘米。从那以后,多次测量的结果出现了一些细微不同。

 

So how to measure a mountain?

那么如何测量一座山的高度呢?

 

The main technique that's been used for hundreds of years is trigonometry, to be precise. Surveyors measure two points on the ground and from each point they measure the angle between them and the top of the mountain to give them a triangle. Using those triangles and the laws of trigonometry, they can calculate the height of the mountain.

准确地说,三角学是测量山峰中运用的主要方法,这一方法已被使用了数百年。测量员在地面上测量两个点,从每个点测量它们与山顶之间的夹角,从而得到一个三角形。利用三角定律,测量员便能计算出山峰的高度。

 

The first person to measure Mount Qomolangma using that method was George Everest back in 1856. To get the angles, he had to use theodolites, which weighed about 500 kilos. As a result, the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India has pegged the mountain, known to them as Peak XV and later named after Sir George Everest, at 29,002 feet.

首次利用这种方法测量珠穆朗玛峰的人是1856年的乔治·额菲尔士。为了测得三角形夹角,他不得不使用重达500公斤的经纬仪进行测量。利用大三角测量法,英属印度测量局测得珠穆拉玛峰的海拔为29002英尺。当时他们将珠峰称为“第十五峰”,而后又以额菲尔士爵士的名字重新命名该山。

 

Fast forward to the 1950s, and surveyors got a bit of help from photogrammetry, detailed photos taken from the air that they could use to measure heights and distances.

到了20世纪50年代,测量员们从摄影测量学中得到启发,利用从空中拍摄的高清照片来测量山峰的高度和距离。

 

Now people have even fancier technology to measure mountains -- the Global Positioning System or GPS. Surveyors can bring a GPS receiver to the top of the mountain, where satellites in space can pick up their location and work out the height, again, using triangles.

如今,人们利用更先进的技术来测量山峰——全球定位系统(GPS)。测量员将GPS接收器带至山顶,太空中的卫星可以接收到它们的位置,计算出山峰高度。异曲同工的是,该方法也是利用三角形原理。

 

The 1954 measurement included the mountain’s snow-cap, but China came up with a shorter measurement in 2005, when it excluded the cap. In 2020, China and Nepal finally agreed to re-measure the mountain from the top to the mean sea level, using GPS and the latest surveying equipment. They spent two years training a team for the project, then placed several markers around the mountain and another at the very top to come up with the new number.

1954年的测量包括了珠峰雪顶部分的高度,但中国在2005年提出了一种更精简的测量方法,能减去雪顶部分的高度。2020年,中国和尼泊尔同意使用GPS和最新的测量设备重新测量珠峰从山顶到平均海平面的高度。为此,双方耗时两年培训测量团队,并在珠峰四周和山顶分别进行标记,从而测得新的数字。

 

There's debate over whether you should count the snow on top, or just the rock underneath. And there's a possibility that the height has actually changed because of erosion and earthquakes. In fact, scientists reckon this earthquake in Nepal in 2015 might have knocked some height off this very high mountain.

关于是否应该计入山顶的积雪厚度,或是仅仅计算以下岩石部分的高度,还没有最终的定论。同时,侵蚀和地震也是导致珠峰高度发生变化的可能原因。事实上,科学家们认为,2015年发生的尼泊尔地震可能导致了世界最高峰的高度有所下降。

 

With no climbers around due to the pandemic, scientists regarded it the perfect time for a re-measure. The team of surveyors that worked out the new height of the mountain is the first and the only group to summit Qomolangma in 2020. Let’s remember the height of the world’s highest mountain – 8848.86 meters.

由于疫情的到来,珠峰的攀登者变得寥寥,这为珠峰高度的测量提供了独特的契机。此次测出珠峰新高度的测量队是2020年首支也是唯一一支成功登顶珠峰的队伍。让我们记住世界最高峰的高度——8848.86米吧!

 

VOCABULARY

 

1. make a splash 引起轰动

2. trigonometry n. 三角学

3. theodolite n.  经纬仪

4. peg v. 使尺度、价格等固定于某水平

5. photogrammetry n. 照相测量法

 


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  • 来源:林晓洁 2021-01-11