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    科技板塊--水產養殖:大規模種植海草(上)

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    Science and technology - Aquaculture: Seaweed at scale

    科技板塊--水產養殖:大規模的海草

    Floating offshore farms should increase production of a useful crop, and might even help alleviate climate change

    漂浮在海上的農場有望增加有益作物的產量,甚至可能有助于緩解氣候變化

    IN MANY PLACES where seaweed used to thrive, often growing in vast “forests”, it is disappearing.

    在許多曾經海草繁盛,往往長成大片“森林”的地方,這些植物正在消失。

    The cause is global warming, which, by heating the ocean’s upper layer, reduces its density through thermal expansion—thus making it more buoyant.

    因為全球變暖導致海洋表層升溫,熱膨脹會降低海水密度,從而使其浮力更大。

    That extra buoyancy means it is less likely to mix with cooler, denser and more nutrient-rich waters below.

    浮力增加意味著它不太可能與下方溫度更低、密度更大、營養更豐富的水域相融合。

    This is bad for the marine environment in general.

    總的來說,這對海洋環境不利。

    More specifically, it is bad for commercial seaweed farming, a business with revenues of (depending on whom you ask) between $6bn and $40bn a year.

    更具體一點,它對商業海草養殖不利,這一業務每年的收入(視具體情況而定)在60億至400億美元之間。

    The algae involved, particularly kelp, are popular in Asian cuisine.

    其中涉及的藻類,尤其是海帶,在亞洲菜肴中很受歡迎。

    They are also used as fertiliser, and are processed into carrageenan, a natural binder and emulsifier employed in foods, cosmetics and drugs.

    它們還可以用作肥料,并被加工成卡拉膠——一種用于食品、化妝品和藥品的天然粘合劑和乳化劑。

    Most are grown either on the seabed or on ropes attached to it. But some are cultivated on small floating platforms.

    多數海草都是在海床上種植,或者用繩子固定在海床上。但有些海草是在小型浮動平臺上培育的。

    To counter the effects of surface heating, which are particularly pronounced in the tropics, researchers are trying to improve the floating-platform approach by assisting the upwelling of cooler waters to stimulate algal growth on such platforms.

    為了抵消海水表面升溫的影響——這在熱帶地區尤為明顯——研究人員正試圖讓冷水上涌,刺激浮動平臺上的海草生長,來改進這種種植方法。

    This would also increase the area available for seaweed farms, by allowing them to be located well away from coastlines.

    這也會增加海草養殖場的可用面積,在離海岸線較遠的地方也可以種植。

    An experimental floating farm installed in August, off the coast of the Philippines, by a group led by the Climate Foundation, an American charity, is one of the largest attempts so far to do this.

    美國慈善機構氣候基金會(Climate Foundation)領導的一個小組于8月在菲律賓海岸安裝了一個實驗性的浮動農場,這是迄今為止最大的嘗試之一。

    Artificial stimulation of upwelling is not a new idea.

    通過海水上涌進行人工刺激并非新鮮之事。

    It has been touted for years as a way to regenerate kelp forests, in particular. And for good reason.

    多年來,這種方法一直被吹捧為打造再生海草森林的方法。這是有原因的。

    With enough nutrients, fronds of giant kelp, which grow to an average length of about 30 metres, can elongate by more than 50cm a day.

    有了足夠的營養,這些平均長度約為30米的巨型海草葉,每天可以生長50多厘米。

    Only now, however, is upwelling-stimulation being attempted seriously.

    然而,直到現在,人們才真正開始嘗試海水上涌的刺激措施。

    The foundation’s test platform has an area of 100 square metres.

    該基金會的測試平臺面積為100平方米。

    It employs solar-powered turbines to suck water up from a depth of several hundred metres through flexible, cylindrical pipes.

    它采用太陽能渦輪機,通過柔性圓柱形管道從幾百米的深海中抽取海水。

    The foundation plans to experiment with wind-powered and wave-powered turbines, too.

    該基金會還打算試驗風力渦輪機和海浪渦輪機。

    If this works, which early results suggest it does, and can be scaled up, not only could such technology boost seaweed production, it might also help ecosystems that depend on seaweed forests.

    早期的研究結果表明,這種方法是可行的,如果它能被推廣,這種技術不僅能促進海草的生產,還可能幫助依賴海草森林的生態系統。

    And—at least in theory—if part of the harvest were sacrificed by sinking it into the deep ocean, that might act as a novel form of carbon capture and storage which could help slow the warming that caused the problem in the first place.

    而且,至少從理論上來說,如果將部分海草收成沉入深海,這可能會成為一種新型的碳捕獲和儲存方式,有助于減緩最初的升溫問題。

    According to Brian von Herzen, who runs the foundation, the organisation carried out smaller-scale experiments, using similar technology, in 2020.

    該基金會的負責人布萊恩·馮·赫爾岑(Brian von Herzen)表示,該組織在2020年使用類似的技術進行了小規模的實驗。

    These showed that seaweed grows four times faster on platforms irrigated with upwelled water than on equivalent, unirrigated platforms.

    這些研究表明,在用上涌水灌溉的平臺上,海草的生長速度是同等條件下沒有灌溉上涌水的平臺的四倍。

    Moreover, it continues to grow during the warmest months of the year, when seaweed not so irrigated actually shrinks.

    此外,在一年中最溫暖的幾個月里,海草還能繼續生長,而沒有得到充分灌溉的海草其實會萎縮。

    Dr von Herzen and his colleagues hope to use experience gathered from their latest rig to develop a platform that would cover an entire hectare of the ocean’s surface—100 times the area of the one just launched.

    馮·赫爾岑博士和他的同事們希望利用從他們最新平臺上收集的經驗來開發一個平臺,該平臺將覆蓋一公頃的海洋表面積——是剛剛啟動的平臺面積的100倍。

    To that end, they are collaborating with the Marine Bioproducts Cooperative Research Centre, a public-private partnership in Australia.

    為此,它們正在與澳大利亞的一個公私伙伴關系——海洋生物制品合作研究中心合作。

    At this scale, the partners estimate, a seaweed farm could pay for itself within five years.

    合作伙伴估計,按照這個規模,一個海草養殖場可以在5年內收回成本。

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