Rocket blasts off with NASA satellite to track climate change 搭載NASA衛星的火箭升空,以追蹤氣候變遷

An unmanned Delta 2 rocket lifted off from California on Saturday carrying a NASA satellite to measure how much water is in Earth’s soil, information that will help weather forecasting and tracking of global climate change.

無人駕駛的「三角洲2號」火箭,週六搭載美國航太總署(NASA)一枚測量地球土壤含水量的衛星,從加州升空,所蒐集的資料,將有助於氣象預報與追蹤全球氣候變遷。

The tiny amount of soil moisture links the planet’s overall environmental systems – its water, energy and carbon cycles - as well as determines whether particular regions are afflicted with drought or flooding.

土壤中的微量水分與地球整體的環境體系——水、能源與碳循環——息息相關,同時決定了特定地區是否飽受旱澇之苦。

" It’s the metabolism of the system," NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive SMAP observatory lead scientist Dara Entekhabi said.

「這是(環境)系統的新陳代謝,」NASA土壤水分有源無源(SMAP)觀測首席科學家伊特哈比說。

Perched on top on the rocket was NASA’s 950 kg SMAP, which will spend at least three years measuring the amount of water in the top 2 inches of Earth’s soil.

安置在火箭頂端的是NASA950公斤的SMAP衛星,該衛星將以至少3年時間,測量地球表土下2英寸的含水量。

Overall, soil moisture accounts for less than 1 percent of the planet’s total water reservoir, with 97 percent in the planet’s oceans and nearly all of the rest locked in ice, said Entekhabi.

整體而言,土壤水分佔地球總水量不到1%,海洋則佔97%,其餘幾乎都封存於冰中,伊特哈比說。

Currently, scientists rely largely on computer models to account for soil moisture. But from its orbital perch 685 km above Earth, SMAP has two microwave instruments to collect actual soil moisture measurements everywhere on Earth and update the measurements every two-to three days. Reuters

目前,科學家主要仰賴電腦模型來瞭解土壤含水量。但從其位於地球上方685公里的軌道高度,SMAP的兩具微波儀器可蒐集地球每一處實際的土壤水分測量數據,並且每23天更新測量結果。(路透)

新聞辭典

blast off:片語,發射、升空。例句:The rocket will blast off in a few moments.(火箭即將發射升空。)

afflict:動詞,使苦惱、折磨。例句:Unemployment afflicts 1.2 million workers in that country.(那個國家的120萬勞工深受失業之苦。)

account for:片語,做出說明、做出解釋。例句:That accounts for it.(原來是這麼一回事。)

宏浩翻譯    引用自 http://iservice.ltn.com.tw/Service/english/english.php?engno=869749&day=2015-04-08

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