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Read the following passage carefully:
For all its remoteness, Antarctica has become increasingly accessible in recent years. Weather permitting, flights land regularly at the South Pole, bringing construction crews and materials there. Dozens of research stations have been planted all around the coastline. Now, fleets of cruise ships are bringing over 12,000 people a year and Antarctica is also becoming an increasingly popular venue for extreme sports.
Antarctica is owned by no one, and 43 nations are joined in an agreement which allows it to be used only for science and tourism. Yet these activities are already so intensive that they may soon pose a threat to the environment It is also feared that the agreements may not withstand pressures to exploit the continent’s mineral resources including gold, platinum and oil. Of equal concern is the possibility 10 of shipping accidents due to the influx of ships into the Southern Ocean. which could lead to devastating oil spills. With this in mind, the U.K. is leading an effort to introduce a new ‘Antarctic Code’ for shipping.
Even though Antarctica is the world’s most remote and desolate continent, entirely covered by a vast sheet of ice and having winds raging with unimaginable ferocity, the damaging effects of human activity have reached this distant and pristine place.
Perhaps the most worrying threat to Antarctic wildlife comprising penguins, petrels, seals and albatross. cry comes from the atmosphere. Air pollution has triggered the appearance of a vast hole in the atmosphere’s protective layer of ozone. This layer is useful as it blocks out the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. Without this protection, wildlife may be directly exposed to the harmful radiation from the sun. The plankton in the sea, on which many fish depend, may also be killed off.
Global warming could have an even more devastating effect. Average temperatures in Antarctica have risen to 2.5°C in the last 50 years, and the Ice sheet is melting more rapidly than scientists anticipated. Large chunks of ice are now actually breaking off or ‘calving’ to create icebergs like those in the Arctic. disrupting penguins’ breeding grounds in the process. The huge Larsen B Ice Shelf-a 200 metre thick sheet of floating ice as big as Jamaica, recently broke up. shocking scientists, who had not thought it would happen so soon.
Scientists fear that if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melts, it could raise sea levels by several metres with devastating results for the world’s coastlines.
1 On the basis of your reading of the above passage, complete the following sentences:
(a) The agreement between 43 nations regarding Antarctica states
(b) It is feared that the agreement may not be adequate to
(c) The possibility of ship accidents has increased due to
(d) Antarctica is the world’s most desolate continent as
2. Pick out words from the passage. which mean the same as:
(i) that can be easily reached, within reach (para I)
(ii) a lot of things arriving somewhere (para 2)
(iii) lonely, empty and without people (para 3)
(iv) expected (para 5)