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 Realize Dying Beauty 认识即将消失的美

     1 亚马逊热带雨林危在旦夕
     The vast Amazon rainforest is on the brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world's climate. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year. The cause comes from the permanence of the El Nino climate from the Pacific that is altering the precipitation in Amazonia.
     Scientists were surprised to find that the forest is rapidly approaching a "tipping point" that would lead to its total destruction. Dr Nepstead covered an area of rainforest the size of a football pitch with plastic panels to see how it would cope without rain, and expected to record only minor changes.
     The trees managed the first year of drought without difficulty. In the second year, they sunk their roots deeper to find moisture, but survived. But in year three, they started dying. Beginning with the tallest the trees started to come crashing down, exposing the forest floor to the drying sun.
     By the end of the third year the trees had released more than twothirds of the carbon dioxide they had stored during the whole of their lives, accelerating climate change. This study shows that Amazonia cannot withstand more than two consecutive years of drought without breaking down.
     This immense forest contains 90 billion tons of carbon, enough to increase the rate of global warming by 50 per cent.
     In 2006 the Amazon appears to be entering its second successive year of drought, raising the possibility that if the drought continues it could start dying next year. Mega-fires are expected to rapidly sweep across the drying jungle. With the trees gone, the soil will bake in the sun and the rainforest could turn into desert. This would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences. Spinning out of control this process could end in the world becoming uninhabitable -for the Amazon is the earth's largest CO2 sink.
     After carbon emissions caused by humans, deforestation is the second principle cause of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Deforestation is responsible for 25% of all carbon emissions entering the atmosphere, by the burning and cutting of about 34 million acres of trees each year, equivalent to the area of Italy.
     2 地球上濒临消失的美景的表达方式
     the North Pole and the South Pole       南极和北极
     Venice                     威尼斯
     Maldives                    马尔代夫
     Great Barrier Reef               大堡礁
     Amazon Tropic Rain Forest           亚马逊热带雨林
     Kilimanjaro                  乞力马扎罗山
     Luxor temple                  埃及卢克索神庙
     Swiss Glacier                 瑞士冰河
     Sagarmatha National Park            萨加玛塔国家公园
     Machupicchu(in Peru,72°32'W13°08'S)
     the Mogao Grottoes              中国敦煌莫高窟
     the Dead Sea                  中东死海
     Patagonia of South America          南美洲:巴塔哥尼亚地区
     Glacier National Park of America       美国冰河国家公园

     Australia's Great Barrier Reef will lose most of its coral cover by 2050 and, at worst, the world's largest coral system could collapse by 2100 because of global warming, a study released recently said.
     The destruction of coral on the Great Barrier Reef was inevitable due to global warming, regardless of what actions were taken now.
     Under the worst-case scenario, coral populations will collapse by 2100 and the re-establishment of coral reefs will be highly unlikely over the following 200-500 years.
     The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living reef formation stretching 2,000 km north to south along Australia's northeast coast.
     Only if global average temperature change is kept to below two degrees Celsius can the Reef have any chance of recovering from the predicted damage.
     Coral has a narrow comfort zone and is highly stressed by a temperature rise of less than one degree Celsius.
     With bleaching, the warmer water forces out the algae that give coral its color and, if all are lost, the coral dies and the reef will crumble.
     Over-fishing and pollution from coastal farms were also contributing to the destruction of coral on the Great Barrier Reef.
     The Great Barrier Reef supports huge fishing and tourism industries. Even under favorable conditions tourists would only be able to experience real corals in reef "theme parks".
     Over the past three years the Dead Sea has decreased by three meters and the whole area is currently one third less than it used to be in the 1960s due to the diversion of the Jordan River water for irrigation, experts said.
     A goldmine for potash extractors and a magnet for tourists who come to bathe in its salty waters, the Dead Sea could disappear in 50 years.
     "The Dead Sea basin is facing an environmental decline and if it continues like this it will hit a catastrophe." Jordanian Water Minister Hazem Nasser cautioned.
     To contain the damage, Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian officials will submit a project to channel water through a canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, at the weekend meeting here of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
     The snow cap of Mount Kilimanjaro, famed in literature and beloved by tourists, first formed some 11,000 years ago, but will be gone in two decades, according to researchers who say the ice fields on Africa's highest mountain shrank by 80 percent in the past century.
     Modern navigation satellites show that the oldest ice layers on the famed mountain were deposited during an extremely wet period starting about 11,700 years ago.
     The mountain is enshrined in literature, most notably Ernest Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro and some ancient beliefs in Africa hold the mountain to be a sacred place.
     But a temperature rise in recent years is eroding the 150-foot-high blocks of ice that gave Kilimanjaro its distinctive white cap.
     Kilimanjaro is the number one foreign currency earner for the government of Tanzania. It has its own international airport and some 20,000 tourists every year. The question is how many will come if there are no ice fields on the mountain.

     Daisy:Have you ever heard of the Great Barrier Reef?
     Sara:Of course. It is in Australia. And the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living reef formation
     Daisy:But in forty years' time, it will disappear.
     Daisy:Because of the warmer sea, the coral dies and the reef will crumble.
     Sara:Cann't we do something to rescure it?
     Daisy:All will be useless.
     Sara:But I have never been there, and it will disappear.
     Daisy:Yes. It is a pity.
     Sara:There must many views which are threatened by the damaging environment.
     Daisy:The snow on Mount Kilimanjaro will also be gone in two decades
     Sara:It is the time that we should protect our environment.
     Daisy:You are right.

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