Тест 4 ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
A tsunami is a series of huge waves that often cause great devastation and loss of life when they strike. It can happen as the result of an underwater earthquake, a rock slide or a volcanic eruption. Sometimes an asteroid or meteorite crashing into the water from space may lead to a tsunami. A tsunami can travel at over 970 kph in the open ocean – as fast as a jet flies. It can take only a few hours for a tsunami to travel across an entire ocean.
A drought is an extended period when a region receives a deficiency in its water supply. It can be atmospheric, surface or ground water. For most people a drought is a period of unusually dry weather that persists long enough. Such a situation occurs when a region receives below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region. But it isn’t common knowledge that a drought can be caused by not only lack of precipitation and high temperatures but also by overuse and overpopulation.
Flooding is an overflow of water that covers land which is usually dry. Flooding may occur when the level of water in a river or a lake rises, or when rainwater is accumulated on saturated ground. Floods often cause damage to homes and businesses if they are in natural flood plains or rivers. But in spite of such problems people have traditionally lived and worked by rivers because the land is usually flat and fertile there and because rivers provide easy travel and access to commerce and industry.
The earth surface called the “crust” isn’t one solid piece. It consists of quite a few pieces called “plates”. The plates constantly move. Fortunately for us, they don’t move fast. Nevertheless, a plate can scrape, bump, or drag along another plate. Such movements take place constantly, but people don’t feel most of them because the quake is too small, too far below the surface, or too deep in the sea. Some, however, are so powerful that they can be felt thousands of miles away and can cause landslides, tsunamis, flooding, and other catastrophic events.
A hurricane is a swirling mass of wind, rain, thunder, and chaos. Hurricanes begin over tropical and subtropical ocean water. It all starts when warm water, moist air, and strong winds collide and create a rotating bundle of thunderstorms and clouds. A hurricane might last for a few hours or several days. Hurricanes can be very fast and create high waves and push water onto the shore. Violent winds flip cars, sink boats, and rip (smth apart) houses apart. In addition to the storm surge, hurricanes bring rain and cause landslide and floods.
Volcanoes are openings in the Earth’s surface. They are usually located where tectonic plates meet. This is especially true for an area around the Pacific Ocean where over 75% of the volcanoes on Earth are found. While most volcanoes appear near tectonic boundaries, they can also be formed in areas that contain abnormally hot rock inside the Earth. When they are active they can let ash, gas and hot magma escape in sometimes violent and spectacular eruptions. Common volcanic gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride and hydrogen sulfide.
Dad: Well, do you like the flat, Bella?
Bella: Yes, it’s quite nice, spacious and airy.
Dad: I agree with you, but I don’t really like the view very much.
Bella: That’s true, a garden or a park would be much better, but unfortunately we have to choose between location and view.
Dad: Yeee, I can’t agree more. The central location of this house is very convenient. It’ll take me only 10 minutes by bus to get to work and you can just walk to school.
Bella: Excellent! I’ll sleep longer every morning! By the way, what about the rubbish? Do you know where to take it?
Dad: Sure. Rubbish bins are just outside, next to our entrance door. Haven’t you seen them?
Bella: No, I haven’t noticed. Do we have to sort our rubbish for recycling? Our biology teacher said that we have to think about the environment every day. And little things like saving water and energy are very important.
Dad: Absolutely! These things can also help us save money as well. But can we do anything to actually produce less rubbish?
Bella: We can reuse paper that‘s been printed on one side, we can recycle metal, paper, glass and plastic…
Dad: True. And we can avoid buying things with a lot of packaging.
Bella: That’s not always possible, is it? What if we really need something and it has a lot of packaging. We just don’t buy it you mean?
Dad: Come on, we can always make a bit of an effort. Sometimes we have a choice of products and one has more packaging than the other, breakfast cereal, for example.
Bella: I see what you mean, in this case isn’t it better to buy things in the market but not in the shops? They don’t use much packaging there.
Dad: It makes sense, but I don’t know if there’s a market nearby where we can buy locally produced food?
Bella: We can check, but I’m afraid that if it’s organic and so on it’ll be too expensive for us.
Dad: Not necessarily. If it’s a farmers’ market, it may be not so bad. Local farmers don’t have to bring their products from faraway places, so local carrots and onions won’t be more expensive than asparagus that’s been flown from Chile.
Bella: You are probably right. We have to find everything out about local markets, supermarkets, and corner shops. I can search the net.
Dad: Brilliant, you can do that. But I think the best way to get information about our neighborhood is to talk to local people. What if we invite our new neighbors for a cup of tea? It’ll be a good opportunity not only to meet them but to know all the details about this area.
Bella: What a wonderful idea! I can make my favorite strawberry cake!