2019年10月17日 星期四

A Race Against the Sun 果樹面臨生存威脅 對抗地球暖化的長征

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2019/10/11 第282期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 A Race Against the Sun 果樹面臨生存威脅 對抗地球暖化的長征
Personality Tests Are the Astrology of the Office 「色彩密碼」性格測驗 看出職場潛能
A Race Against the Sun 果樹面臨生存威脅 對抗地球暖化的長征
文/Marla Cone


It was a long, hot summer, like most in the San Joaquin Valley. The pistachio trees planted in orderly rows — and the growers who nurture them — are accustomed to harsh conditions. With their deep roots and tough, gnarly branches, pistachio trees are hardy, tolerant of salty soils and brutal heat waves. Some can live for centuries.


But while sweltering summers are the norm in this part of central California, there's a new, existential threat to these trees, one that scientists warn could spell the end of the pistachio harvest: warmer winters. Many crops are facing similar threats as agricultural regions across the world experience previously unseen extremes in heat, rain and drought.


Chilly winters are critical to nut and fruit trees, particularly pistachios. To break their slumber and spread their pollen, pistachios need to spend about 850 hours, or five weeks, at temperatures below 45 degrees.


So as the San Joaquin Valley warms and its cooling fogs retreat, growers have found their orchards out of sync: Many male trees are no longer producing pollen when the females need it.


After suffering a billion-dollar loss from a recent warm winter, California pistachio growers don't need much convincing that their livelihoods are endangered by climate change. Heeding warnings that the industry may not survive past the middle of the century, they are among the world's earliest adapters. Scientists are wrangling and crossing genes to breed trees that can survive a warmer world, and growers are hedging their bets by planting experimental trees that need fewer chilly days.


"There's a lot to be said about traditional knowledge. But this is new territory," said Rebecca Carter of the World Resources Institute, a nonprofit research group that is working with growers around the world to adapt to the threats of climate change, including warmer winters, dried-up aquifers and record-breaking heat waves.


Scientists in 2013 urged "immediate adaptation" by farmers to ensure that they can feed the 10 billion people expected to inhabit the planet by 2050. They warned in a study that world hunger would worsen as crop yields declined, pests and diseases increased, water demand skyrocketed and highly vulnerable crops vanished. "The whole food system needs to change," according to the report published in the journal Science.


Coping, Carter said, would "require fundamental changes in how food is produced, how land is used, who lives where and what economic activities occur in specific areas."

Those changes are already happening worldwide. After growing coffee for generations, farmers in parts of Costa Rica are switching to oranges. Kenyan herders, facing intense droughts, are raising camels instead of cattle. In China's drought-prone Fujian province, farmers who grew wheat and corn have switched to apples.





outsmart是擊敗…的意思,尤其是靠著機智勝過…,非正式用語,與outwit、outfox、outthink同義。相關慣用語是outsmart oneself,意思是弄巧成拙、聰明反被聰明誤。

sync這一個常見的字是synchronization(同步)的非正式寫法,指兩件事情同時或以同樣方式發生,引申為合作良好、意見一致或彼此適合,例如:The president and Senate majority leader are in sync (= think the same way) on the big issues.又如:She found that the job was out of sync (= not a good match) with her principles, and she had to leave.

sync也可以當動詞,指兩台電子設備之間「同步」更新最新的資訊和文檔。sync up是指跟其他人協調好,使相關各方都知道同樣的資訊、計畫或時間表,例如:Be sure to sync up with Mary so you're both on the same page about your responsibilities.


Personality Tests Are the Astrology of the Office 「色彩密碼」性格測驗 看出職場潛能
文/Emma Goldberg

性格測驗 看出職場潛能

On his first day working at the University of Phoenix, Eric Shapiro found out the good news: He had tested red-yellow.


To the layperson this doesn't mean much. But to those well-versed in the psychology of Taylor Hartman's "Color Code," as all employees of the University of Phoenix's enrollment office were required to be, it was a career-maker.


Red meant you were a person motivated by power and yellow by fun. This was an ideal combination for someone looking to climb the ranks in an admissions team that demanded the ability to schmooze and then hit recruitment targets: equal parts charisma and competitiveness.


"The dominant people in the office, most of the leadership staff including myself when I got promoted, we were heavy red and yellows," said Shapiro, 36. "Yellows tend to be really good at working the room. Reds tend to be more type A, like bulls in a china shop. You're passionate, you're not sensitive, you get over things quicker."


As Shapiro rose to be a manager, he became fluent in the color-code vocabulary. It helped him diagnose office problems and identify areas for professional growth.


The taxonomy didn't typically have a direct influence on hiring decisions, Shapiro said, but managers knew which color types were most likely to thrive when reviewing applications. (He said a 45-minute assessment was included in the job application process to purportedly identify each subject's primary behavioral motivator, which he added was later discontinued.)


"We tried to be ethical but it's tough because we were hiring for what's actually a sales position, so if you were a blue-white those traits really didn't line up," he said (blues are motivated by desire for intimacy and the whites by peace).


The code is just one example of the kinds of psychometric tests now being administered in workplaces. There's CliftonStrengths, owned by Gallup, which tells you your five best professional qualities; there's Insights Discovery, which assigns you a color and an associated workplace archetype like coordinator, inspirer or observer.


The DiSC model, which has been used by the Times, diagnoses a person's dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. A new test on the scene, Helen Fisher's Temperament Inventory, identifies whether you're a testosterone, dopamine, estrogen or serotonin, purportedly in the name of love.


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