BBC Earth: One Planet, Many Lives

BBC Earth Notes

1. Inferno 地狱(volcanic eruption, 火山喷发, mass extinction)

Mass extinction. 252 million years ago, Pangea, all the landmasses clustered as one. Late Permian.

nurturing 养育;扶持;滋长;怀有(希望、想法等);教育;培养(某人)

crunch 嘎吱嘎吱地嚼;

specimen 样品,标本;

This vocano spewed out enough lava to fill around 70,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. 这座火山喷出的熔岩足以填满大约7万个奥运会规模的游泳池。

spewed out 喷出:以大量、迅速或强烈的方式喷射或排出物质。

teaspoon 茶匙;一茶匙的量

hell 地狱;苦难的经历;(有人认为含冒犯意)该死,见鬼

fountain 喷泉;喷射;天然泉;源泉;(纹章)银蓝相间波状纹圆盾

blocking out the sun.

Plants wilt and die. 植物会枯萎和死亡。

swathe 一长条田地;一长条;绷带,包装物

reflect the sun’s rays(光线)

pushing global temperatures down.

I’ve come to an outcrop(露头;露出地面的岩层) in Northern Italy.

It’s a fossilised crime scene, with a chilling(令人毛骨悚然的,令人害怕的) tale(故事,传说) to tell. 这是犯罪现场的化石。

seam 线缝;煤层,矿层;(木板,墙纸等的)接缝;窄长的凹陷(或伤疤);宝贵资源;一些,一点儿

the landscape here was almost devoid of life.(没有生命)

devoid adj. 缺乏,完全没有

In a geological blink of eye, almost all life here vanished.

Holding this makes it so tangible.

This mass of detritus here is plankton. 这里的这些碎屑是浮游生物。

  • plankton 浮游生物
  • phytoplankton 浮游植物,algae
  • zooplankton 浮游动物

it goes into a reproductive frenzy 疯狂

Rising temperatures affect different parts of the food chain in different ways.

canopy 顶篷

thrive vi. 繁荣;

they thrive

inordinate 过度的

251.0 million years ago.

desolate 荒凉的

things get really nasty 事情变得非常糟糕

at this point, life was on the brink(危险边缘).

plants are now sterile 不能生育的

Once-lush forests become ravaged wastelands. 曾经郁郁葱葱的森林变成了荒芜的荒地。

The collapse in the oceans is even more dramatic.

plummet 暴跌

toxic hydrogen sulphide 有毒硫化氢

global deluge 洪水

tenacity of life 生命的坚韧

perish 死亡

Do we want those sort of extinctions on our conscience? 我们想让这样的物种灭绝让我们良心不安吗

Sulphur dioxide reflects sunlight back into outer space, causing global cooling, whereas carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and can lead to global warming.

Sulphur dioxide tends to stay in the atmosphere for a shorter period of time, because it can get rained out.

But carbon dioxide can stay in the Earth’s atmosphere for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Scientists think that heat-trapping carbon dioxide would have built up in the atmosphere, warming the planet.

And there were other clues in the fossil record.

So, we can measure what temperatures were like in the past by the study of fossils and particularly fossil bone material.

hat cause the dinosaurs to be successful? What cause them to extinct? 是什么导致了恐龙的成功? 是什么导致它们灭绝?

2. Snowball 冰期

terrifying

cascading down the valley

ferocious forces 凶猛的

our world froze.

lead to something miraculous 奇迹般的

850 million years ago. Almost all the land that existed was gathered into one, giant continet, called Rodinia.

desolate pains 荒凉的平原

bacteria clump together (细菌聚集在一起) into living mats(垫子) that cover the seafloor.

So hostile to life.

And look at this lovely, delicate little harebell here. 看看这个可爱,精致的小铃铛。

It’s a perfect little package, it’s exquisite(精致的).

grander scheme 更宏大的计划或目标:指更大范围的、更重要的计划或目标。

All the life here has evolved in partnership with everything around it.

Each individual is just one strand(串) in an intricate(错综复杂的) web of life.

Every part connect to, and reliant upon, all the others to survive.

But the staggering(惊人的) thing is, the truly stagging thing is, that until recently, none of this existed.

eukaryotes 真核生物, the first cells with a nucleus.

The bacteria mats here get their energy from sunlight, but like you and me, the eukaryotes rely on food from their surroundings.

These new life forms seem destined to live out a meagre existence, suck on the sidelines.

chasm 峡谷;裂口;分歧;深坑

centimeter 厘米

geological time hundreds of millions of years

tectonic plates

Heat churning within the mantle of our planet(地球地幔内的热搅动), is drving these plates apart.

creating great rifts through the landscape.

These forces have been moving the world’s greatest landmasses, creating and destroying them, for more than three billion years, and nothing can resist them, not even a giant supercontinent like Rodinia.

swirling(旋动;流传) currents of heat

great chasms gape(裂口) open across the landscape.

This great continent is ripping itself apart.

leg up 帮助,支持:指得到帮助或支持的机会或优势。

800 million years ago

Thanks to this boost in minerals, the eukaryote population explodes.

They build numerous colonies, a crucial step towards forming multi-celled animals.

730 million years ago

rock basalt 岩玄武岩

We know that carbon dioxide is a very potent(强大的) greenhouse gas, has the capacity to lock lots of heat into out atmosphere, and the more of it that we pump into the air, the more we see our global temperatures rising.

basalt 玄武岩;黑陶器

spewed up 喷出

spewed up when Rodinia broke apart, sucked that warming, blanket of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Ant it flicked(轻击) the Earth’s thermostat(恒温器) from a comfortable stasis(停滞) to chill(寒冷).

Awakening a sinister(邪恶的) force, ice.

How verdant(青翠的), how green, how lush it is.

There is also a tremendous diversity of plants, flowers, mosses, dwarf trees.

But the lingering(缠绵的) cold of winter is never too far away.

Across the world, when temperatures drop low enough, long enough, plants and life slowly fade away.

Temperature is the natural limiter for complex life in our world, and those rich, interconnected ecosystems, which can thrive down there can’t even survive up here.

When it gets cold, the web of life unravels.

teeter vi. 摇晃;摇摇欲坠;踉跄;蹒跚行走

The ancient Earth teeters on the edge of a climate catastrophe, as the ice tightens its grip.(随着冰层的收紧。) 古代地球在气候灾难的边缘摇摇欲坠

grinding 没完没了的;无休止的;无改进的

The world is simply too warm.

The idea that ice could smother(窒息) the whole world.

And the flow of minerals from the land slows to a trickle(涓涓细流).

the web of life unravels 生命之网瓦解了

places shrinking

it comes to grinding stop there. 到了磨磨蹭蹭的地步。

it just because human induced climate change.

The idea that(同位语) ice could smother the whole world seems incomprehensible. 冰可以窒息整个世界的想法似乎令人难以理解。

We now know just how far it reached.

Glaciers are so destructive, they leave scars in the rock record. Like these stones and boulders.

A completely different type of rock to the layers around them.

Called drop stones, the flowing ice picked them up and dropped them.

700 million years ago.

Ice surges over almost all of the remaining oceans.

And finally, this last stretch succumbs 最后,这最后一段屈服

sterile 贫瘠的

hence

The triumph(胜利) of ice is a disaster for life.

The ocean is entirely cut off from the atmosphere.

the ice would have waxed and waned(盛衰) a little (冰会稍微增减) with the chaning of the seasons, but the cold persisted.

oasis 绿洲

cryoconite 冰石

puddle 水坑

patches(补丁) of exposed rock and land

640 million years ago.

with one exception.

Volcanoes eruptted.

But even the ferocious heat of all that molten rock was too fleeting to break the grip of the global Ice Age.

avoid the tipping point of the accelerating of ice, global warmming.

runaway 逃跑

deluge 洪水

gruelling years 艰苦的岁月

Snowball Earth was an unprecedented assault on our planet.

An astonishing moment that left no corner of the world unscathed(毫发无伤).

But as tenacious(顽强) as it was, that life was still single-celled. 但尽管它很顽强,生命仍然是单细胞的。

shred 撕碎

gorged 狼吞虎嚥的

550 million years ago.

Snowball earth was an unprecedented assault on out planet. (军事)袭击,攻击;人身攻击,侵犯人身(罪);抨击;闯关,冲击(难关)

At this moment, for the first time ever, life and the planet come together be become complimentary cogs(齿轮) spinning(转) in a great nutrient recycling machine, which is providing life with exactly what it wants in quantities that it’s never had before.

And as a consequence, life explodes.

now evolved into myriad(无数) strange(奇怪的) forms

They was no easy route out.

The ice prevented almost any change on the planet.

Earth’s fledgling(初出茅庐) spring is set to become a glorious(烨) summer.

In shallow coastal waters across the planet, life blossoms.

These may look like planets, but they are the first animals. They are the descendants of those first eukaryote pioneers, now evolved into myriad(五花八门) strange forms.

3. Green

Viewed from above, Planet Earth is a riot(骚乱) of colours(色彩缤纷).

shrouded in a noxious atmosphere of methane clouds. 被有毒的甲烷云层笼罩。

vents 通风口

miraculous 神奇

Extremophiles 极端微生物, an extraordinary form of single-celled life.

peeping out 偷看

basalt

The Earth’s earliest islands were made up of basalt, solidified lava.

How did plants forge a permanent base on the land? 植物是怎样在陆地上建立永久根基的?

The culprits were giant asteroids. 罪魁祸首是巨大的小行星。

Fracturing out planet’s crust. 行星地壳断裂。And triggering a process that would re-write Earth’s story.

Plate tectonics

granite 花岗岩(高山上的石头,pushed up into our giant moutain ranges that we see today)

perched 栖息

gyrating 旋转

full of possibility and promise 充满可能性和希望

Life had migrated from the depths to the shallows, in the form of marine algae.

hostile 敌对的

substrate 基质

feasting on the bare rock 在裸露的岩石上享用盛宴

mutually benificial system: plants <= trade nutrients => fungis, the first complex terrestrial ecosystem on Earth.

The plants got from fungi the nutrients they could extract from rocks, and they repaid their fungal parners with glucose, the sugar product of photosynthesis using energy from the sun and CO2 from the atmosphere.(symbiosis 共生)

fungi is all about decay and decomposition. There’s an extensive network of their hyphae(菌丝).

After 70 million years after plants and fungi first teamed up, something utterly astonishing has happened to fungi. They are now giants.

Prototaxites 原杉藻

the meteoric rise of plant life 植物生命的迅速崛起

a sweltering jungle paradise 闷热的丛林天堂

carboniferous swamp forest. 石炭纪沼泽森林。

The interior was soft, corky material, and the exterior, a very robust, tough structural shell, which allowed them to perhaps grow to 50 metres in as little as 15 years.

But maybe that tough structural shell was just a little too indestructible.

log-jammed 堵塞

These carbon-hoarding swamp forests. 这些储存碳的沼泽森林。

plummeting 直线下降

This bountiful, blooming miracle. 这是丰饶而盛开的奇迹。

fungi filaments 真菌丝, These are gigantic tree-like fungi.

4. of 5 Atmosphere

delicate 精美的

The world is smothered by thick toxic fog. 世界被浓重的有毒雾笼罩。

searing hot

turquoise tropical paradises 绿松石热带天堂

Geyser fields 间歇泉田(地热泉水)

Today life is prolific 今天的生活丰富多彩

but whilst chaos rages above the waves 但当混乱在海浪之上肆虐时

With a wingspan of more than 3m, the giant Andean condor is one of the largest birds on Earth.

They can be found in almost every puddle, lake, sea or ocean across our planet. 几乎在每个水坑、湖泊里都能找到它们。

rod-shaped structure 棒状结构

flecks 斑点

that was about to change 这一切即将改变

The iron is being oxidised aggressively attacked by the oxygen in the presence of water, or water vapour.

geological tattoo. 地质纹身。

volatile gas 挥发性气体

But this volatile gas had one more gift to bestow.(授予)

calibrated 标定

precursor 前身;先驱;先锋

Life needed water, and it needed a way to harness energy.

Bacterias can break to wanter into oxygen and hydrogen.

stewards 干事;管理员;服务员(steward 的复数)

5. of 5 Human - The making of the modern world

It’s not a slow process, it’s slow burner.

Skull 头骨

aftermath(bad effects) effects of the that strike;

earthquakes, tsunamis 地震,海啸

jigsaw 拼图

blast 吹, 爆破

dark, twilight conditions 黑暗、黄昏条件

palnts wither away 枯萎

Many dinosaurs starve to death.

an apocalyptic landfill 末日般的垃圾填埋场

a whole host of wildfowl 一大群野禽

let’s stick with the mammals

What do you reckon?(think) Rat

Whiskers 胡须

Our ancient ancestors shared significant similarities with creatures like this rat.

Most of the early mammals, they generalists, and equally importantly, they were omnivores.(杂食动物) They could eat plant material and flesh.

In fact they could eat rotting(腐烂) plant material and rotting flesh.

the sky cleared, the sun shone(闪闪发光) down 天空放晴,阳光普照

The methane escapes into the atmosphere, sending temperatures rocketing and triggering rapid climate change.

Violent storms ravage(摧残) the planet with flash floods and protracted droughts. 猛烈的风暴以洪水泛滥和长期干旱破坏地球。

This dramatic global warming has profound implications for the ancient mammals. 剧烈的全球变暖对古代哺乳动物有着深远的影响。

Millions of bats, millions of mammals.

I can smell them, I can see them, I can hear them and I can feel them.

There are so many bats out there whirling around that it’s actually generated a breeze, which is very pleasant given how sweaty I am.

sobering 令人警醒

fabulous resource 极好的资源

stereoscopic vision 立体视觉

limbs 四肢 long and strong

hothouse 温室

Scientists aren’t entirely sure why it happened, but the result was devastating(毁灭性的).

Across the northern continents, the cooler, drier conditions decimated the jungle.

Destroying much of the habitat of our ancient ancestors.