新世纪英专本科生系列(修订版):听力教程(第三版)第1册 Unit 09 Local and Global Pressures Threaten Coral Reef

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The world’s coral reefs are increasingly being threatened,

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mostly because of human activities.

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A group of environmental organizations 
released a report on the issue in February.

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The “Reefs at Risk Revisited” report used new information

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and improved satellite mapping systems to

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study the world’s coral reefs.

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For the first time,it also considered the effect

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of climate change on these threatened sea organisms.

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Jane Lubchenco is administrator of the National Oceanic

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and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. 
She says the problem is serious.

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“Approximately 75 percent of the world’s
coral reefs are currently threatened

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by a combination of local and global pressures.”

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Lubchenco says the threat to coral reefs

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 will continue to increase unless
something is done to save them.

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“If the current trend persists, 

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the projections in this report
tell us that 20 years from now,

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roughly half of the reefs globally

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will experience thermal stress sufficient
to induce severe bleaching in most years.

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Within the next 50 years this percentage

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is expected to grow more than 95 percent.”

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Nancy Knowlton is with the Smithsonian Institution.

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She says the threat to coral reefs

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could have a major effect on sea life.

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“It has been estimated that about one —

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 at least one quarter, maybe as much as one third,

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of all species that live in the
ocean live associated with coral reefs.

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So perhaps it is not too
surprising that even more recently

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 an analysis was done that suggests that one third of all coral

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species are actually at risk of extinction.

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This makes corals the most
endangered animal on the planet,

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 even more endangered than frogs.”

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Millions of species of sea life
depend on coral reefs for their survival. 

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This makes them an important source of food 

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for millions of people around the world.

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Coral reefs also protect coastlines from storms and flooding.

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And, they provide economic security for many countries.

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“Tourism is an important economic contributor

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in over 95 countries and territories around the world.

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It contributes over 20 percent of GDP in over 20 countries.”

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Lauretta Burke is with the World Resources Institute.

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She was one of the lead writers of the report.

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She says more than 275-million people are dependent

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on the resources from coral reefs,

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mostly in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.

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The report noted overfishing and climate change as

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two of the most serious threats to the world’s oceans.

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It said higher acidity levels caused by carbon

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dioxide emissions are also a problem.

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Other threats include the use of explosives for fishing,

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as well as the run-off of toxic materials and other pollution.

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“Overfishing is the most widespread threat

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affecting about 55 percent of the world’s reefs.

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The threat is particularly high in Southeast Asia.

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Watershed based pollution and coastal development

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affect roughly a quarter of the world’s reefs.”

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Burke says while the reefs

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around Australia are the best preserved,

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those in Southeast Asia are the most threatened.

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90 percent of them are at risk,

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largely because of overfishing.

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The report says coral reefs are critically important.

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It says better management practices and

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policies must be established to

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 reduce the threats to these valuable ecosystems.

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  • 时长:4.3分钟
  • 来源:外教社 2017-08-04