文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2012-02-27 03:01 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

A new study reports that the disintegration1(瓦解,崩溃) of the Maya Civilization may have been related to relatively2 modest reductions in rainfall. The study was led by Professors Martín Medina-Elizalde of the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research in Mexico and Eelco Rohling of the University of Southampton in the UK. Professor Rohling says: "Our results show rather modest rainfall reductions between times when the Classic Maya Civilization flourished and its collapse3 -- between AD 800-950. These reductions amount to only 25 to 40 per cent in annual rainfall. But they were large enough for evaporation4(蒸发,消失) to become dominant5 over rainfall, and open water availability was rapidly reduced. The data suggest that the main cause was a decrease in summer storm activity."

The study combines records of past climate changes from stalagmites(石笋) and shallow lakes to model 40 per cent reductions in summer rainfall and reduced tropical storm activity over the region. The work is published in the leading scientific journal Science.

Professor Medina-Elizalde, who led the study while at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton working with Professor Eelco Rohling, says: "For more than a century, researchers have related the demise6 of the Classic Maya civilization to climate change, and especially to drought. No sound estimates had been made about the severity of this drought, but some have suggested extreme scenarios7. New data made it possible to finally get detailed8 estimates. To do this, we developed a model that coherently explains changes in critical datasets of change in the region's balance between evaporation and rainfall."

Professor Rohling explains why such modest rainfall reductions would cause the disintegration of a well-established civilisation9: "Summer was the main season for cultivation10 and replenishment11(补充) of Mayan freshwater storage systems and there are no rivers in the Yucatan lowlands. Societal disruptions and abandonment of cities are likely consequences of critical water shortages, especially because there seems to have been a rapid repetition of multi-year droughts."

The scientists also note that the reconstructed droughts during the demise of the Classic Maya Civilization were of similar severity as those projected by the IPCC for the near future in the same region. Professor Medina-Elizalde adds:

"There are differences too, but the warning is clear. What seems like a minor12 reduction in water availability may lead to important, long-lasting problems. This problem is not unique to the Yucatan Peninsula, but applies to all regions in similar settings where evaporation is high. Today, we have the benefit of awareness13, and we should act accordingly."

This research was funded by the UK's Natural Environment Research Council.


1 disintegration TtJxi     
  • This defeat led to the disintegration of the empire.这次战败道致了帝国的瓦解。
  • The incident has hastened the disintegration of the club.这一事件加速了该俱乐部的解体。
2 relatively bkqzS3     
  • The rabbit is a relatively recent introduction in Australia.兔子是相对较新引入澳大利亚的物种。
  • The operation was relatively painless.手术相对来说不痛。
3 collapse aWvyE     
  • The country's economy is on the verge of collapse.国家的经济已到了崩溃的边缘。
  • The engineer made a complete diagnosis of the bridge's collapse.工程师对桥的倒塌做了一次彻底的调查分析。
4 evaporation Pnoxc     
  • Be careful not to lose too much liquid by evaporation.小心不要因蒸发失去太多水分。
  • Our bodies can sweat,thereby losing heat by evaporation.我们的身体能出汗,由此可以蒸发散热。
5 dominant usAxG     
  • The British were formerly dominant in India.英国人从前统治印度。
  • She was a dominant figure in the French film industry.她在法国电影界是个举足轻重的人物。
6 demise Cmazg     
  • He praised the union's aims but predicted its early demise.他赞扬协会的目标,但预期这一协会很快会消亡。
  • The war brought about the industry's sudden demise.战争道致这个行业就这么突然垮了。
7 scenarios f7c7eeee199dc0ef47fe322cc223be88     
  • Further, graphite cores may be safer than non-graphite cores under some accident scenarios. 再者,根据一些事故解说,石墨堆芯可比非石墨堆芯更安全一些。 来自英汉非文学 - 环境法 - 环境法
  • Again, scenarios should make it clear which modes are acceptable to users in various contexts. 同样,我们可以运用场景剧本来搞清楚在不同情境下哪些模式可被用户接受。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
8 detailed xuNzms     
  • He had made a detailed study of the terrain.他对地形作了缜密的研究。
  • A detailed list of our publications is available on request.我们的出版物有一份详细的目录备索。
9 civilisation civilisation     
  • Energy and ideas are the twin bases of our civilisation.能源和思想是我们文明的两大基石。
  • This opera is one of the cultural totems of Western civilisation.这部歌剧是西方文明的文化标志物之一。
10 cultivation cnfzl     
  • The cultivation in good taste is our main objective.培养高雅情趣是我们的主要目标。
  • The land is not fertile enough to repay cultivation.这块土地不够肥沃,不值得耕种。
11 replenishment 44e87ded1f117890479f02f42e128295     
  • Since the wartime population needed replenishment, pregnancies were a good sign. 最后一桩倒不失为好现象,战时人口正该补充。
  • Natural replenishment of this vast supply of underground water occurs very slowly. 靠自然补充大量地下水是十分缓慢的。
12 minor e7fzR     
  • The young actor was given a minor part in the new play.年轻的男演员在这出新戏里被分派担任一个小角色。
  • I gave him a minor share of my wealth.我把小部分财产给了他。
13 awareness 4yWzdW     
  • There is a general awareness that smoking is harmful.人们普遍认识到吸烟有害健康。
  • Environmental awareness has increased over the years.这些年来人们的环境意识增强了。
TAG标签: water Maya rainfall