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双语新闻播报(February 2)

chinadaily.com.cn 2024-02-02 18:28


> Groundwater levels are rapidly declining around the world
全球地下水正在加速枯竭 71%的含水层系统水位下降



Many parts of the world are experiencing a rapid depletion in the subterranean reserves of water that billions of people rely on for drinking, irrigation and other uses, according to new research that analyzed millions of groundwater level measurements from 170,000 wells in more than 40 countries.


It’s the first study to piece together what’s happening to groundwater levels at a global scale, according to the researchers involved, and will help scientists better understand what impact humans are having on this valuable underground resource, either through overuse or indirectly by changes in rainfall linked to climate change.


Groundwater, contained within cracks and pores in permeable bodies of rock known as aquifers, is a lifeline especially for people in parts of the world where rainfall and surface water are scarce, such as northwest India and the southwest United States.


Reductions in groundwater can make it harder for people to access freshwater to drink or to irrigate crops and can result in land subsidence.


The authors found that groundwater levels declined between year 2000 and 2022 in 71% of the 1,693 aquifer systems included in the research, with groundwater levels declining more than 0.1 meter a year in 36%, or 617, of them.


The Ascoy-Soplamo Aquifer in Spain had the fastest rate of decline in the data they compiled — a median decline of 2.95 meters per year, said study coauthor Scott Jasechko, an associate professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California Santa Barbara.


Several aquifer systems in Iran were among those with the fastest rate of groundwater decline, he added.


The team wasn’t able to gather data from much of Africa, South America and southeast Asia because of a lack of monitoring, but Jasechko said the study included the countries where most global groundwater pumping takes place.


> Industrial profits continue to improve in December

Workers install engines in new energy vehicles at the Dayun New Energy Vehicle Production Base in Yuncheng, Shanxi province, on Jan 25, 2024. [Photo/VCG]


Profits at China's industrial firms have extended gains for a fifth consecutive month in December, in a further sign of economic upswing.


Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Saturday that industrial enterprises with annual revenue of at least 20 million yuan ($2.8 million) saw their total profits increase 16.8 percent year-on-year in December after a 29.5 percent rise in November.


In 2023, firms of industrial firms fell 2.3 percent year-on-year to 7.69 trillion yuan, narrowing from the 4.4 percent drop in the first 11 months, the bureau said.


NBS statistician Yu Weining said the data point to a continued recovery trend in industrial profits, adding that more efforts should be made to consolidate the recovery trend and the promotion of high-quality development of the industry.


Among the 41 major industrial sectors surveyed, 27 saw year-on-year growth in their profits in 2023.


Last year, profits recorded by industrial firms that offer supplies of electricity, heat, gas and water grew by 54.7 percent year-on-year, up from the 47.3 percent rise in the first 11 months.


Meanwhile, profits recorded by mining firms and manufacturing companies shrank 19.7 percent and 2 percent, respectively, compared to the 18.3 percent and 4.7 percent contraction in the first 11 months.


Notably, profits at equipment manufacturing enterprises rose by 4.1 percent last year, up from the 2.8 percent rise in the first 11 months, NBS data showed.


According to a breakdown of the NBS data, State-owned firms saw earnings fall 3.4 percent year-on-year last year. Foreign firms booked a 6.7 percent decline and private-sector companies recorded a 2 percent growth.


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