102. Reading Skills Comprehension: A Recent Examination

A Recent Examination

Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:                          

A recent examination of the eastern portion of Antarctica reveals startling news. According to an international team of scientists, Totten Glacier is melting faster than anticipated, and when it goes, the world’s oceans may rise by as much as 13 feet.

 Results of the most recent study of the East Antarctic Ice Shelf (EAIS) were published in the academic journal Nature Geoscience on May 16. Conducted by scientists from Imperial College London in association with research scientists from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and France, the study shows that the EAIS is not as stable as once thought.

The Imperial College London study compiled five years of aerial research of the gargantuan glacier. Using aeroplanes equipped with hi-tech monitoring gear, the researchers were able to measure the height and thickness of ice and bedrock topography. What they found was a series of cavities under the Totten Glacier. These recently discovered openings allow relatively warm sea water to melt and erode the underside of the massive moving ice formation. Until now, the eastern 98 per cent of Antarctica was considered to be more stable than its smaller western counterpoint.

Steve Rintoul from the Australian Climate and Environment Cooperative Research Centre told ABC News Australia the following:

“The measurements we collected provide the first evidence that warm water reaches the glacier and may be driving that melt of the glacier from below.”

Should we be worried? Professor Martin Siegert, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London, says yes, we should.

“The evidence coming together is painting a picture of East Antarctica being much more vulnerable to a warming environment than we thought. This is something we should worry about.

Totten Glacier is losing ice now, and the warm ocean water that is causing this loss has the potential to also push the glacier back to an unstable place.

 Totten Glacier is only one outlet for the ice of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, but it could have a huge impact. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is by far the largest mass of ice on the Earth, so any small changes have a big influence globally.”


1. What does the recent examination of eastern Antarctica reveal?

2. Is Totten Glacier melting as expected?

3. What is the full form of EAIS?

4. What does the recent study of the EAIS show?

5. Name the gargantuan glacier mentioned here.

6. What were the researchers able to measure?

7. What harm do the cavities under the glaciers cause to the ice formation?

8. How is the East Antarctic Ice Sheet important?


1. The recent examination of eastern Antarctica reveals that melting of Totten Glacier may cause the world’s oceans to rise as much as 13 feet.

2. No, Totten Glacier is melting faster than anticipated.

3. EAIS stands for the East Antarctic Ice Shelf.

4. The recent study of the EMS shows that the East Antarctic Ice Shelf is not as stable and strong as once thought.

5. The name of the gargantuan glacier mentioned here is the Totten Glacier.

6. The researchers were able to measure the height and thickness of ice and bedrock topography.

7. The cavities and openings under the Totten Glacier allow the warmer sea water to melt and erode the underside of the massive ice-formation.

8. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet is by far the largest mass of ice on East and any small changes on it will have a big influence globally.

Download the above Passage in PDF Worksheet (Printable)

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