I A D A II TＴFＦF III
1 Studies have shown that almost all living things will eventually become extinct. 2 In many cases, replacement species emerge over time.
3 Human activity is having a tremendous negative impact on extinction rates. 4 Some of the world’s species cannot survive without help.
5 Some groups may have a vested interest in not protecting certain species.
A species is considered extinct when careful scientific surveys show that the last individual of that species has died. The loss of many species of plants and animals has been attributed to changes in climate, genetic weaknesses, and human activities such as hunting and environmental destruction. Studies have shown that almost all living things will eventually become extinct. In fact, more than 99 percent of the species that have ever lived on Earth have now disappeared permanently. Although this sounds like a terrible situation, it is important to understand that the earth seems to recover from the loss of great numbers of species. In many cases, replacement species emerge over time; however, extinction does decrease the diversity of life on the planet in the short term. These replacement species often require recovery periods of millions of years.
Human beings have had a huge impact on the extinction rates of various species. Therefore, scientists have recently begun to examine humankind’s effects on the numbers of species that have become extinct. Through the use of geographical and biological research, a “background extinction rate” has been established. These figures show the numbers of species which have disappeared during the specific time period. By comparing rates of extinction before and after human existence, researchers were able to discover the exact effects of humankind on nature. Studies now cite that the extinction rates after human life began are 100 to 1000times greater than before human influence on Earth. Future rates are forecasted to be even higher. This demonstrates the tremendous negative impact that human activity is having on extinction rates.
Scientists are currently researching methods of dealing with this astonishing trend. As individuals, educators, and governments try to manage species survival, one key factor they find is that without help, some of the world’s species can not survive. In addition, scientists must learn to make difficult decisions based on incomplete information. They must also deal with groups that may have a vested interest in not protecting certain species. For example, people interested in developing oil fields in the Arctic may not think the protection of the wildlife in the region is of primary importance.
1 0.6, 0.8 2 1.4, 5.8 3 100 4 1473
5 2008 II
1 Greenhouse gases are produced by car and truck exhaust, factory smoke, and the burning of certain substances for heat and light.
2 The effects of global warming will most likely appear in animal populations first
3 Environmental groups not only governmental ones but also private groups, are working towards this goal.
4 The United Nations has organized international gatherings to approach this problem, and has produced a document known as the “Kyoto Protocol”.
5 The serious drawback of the “Kyoto Protocol” is that this document doesn’t include strict enforcement procedures for implementing the program. III 1D 2B 3A 4C
A flowering B nesting C annual D mating
Climate Change: Not Only a Human Worry
New York, June 4
In the past century, the earth’s temperature has risen by approximately 0.6 to 0.8 degrees Celsius. Scientists believe that this is the result of an enhanced greenhouse effect, which is the process by which the earth maintains its temperature. Recently, a rise in certain types of gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), has increased the amount of heat trapped near the earth’s surface by the effect. This increase has resulted in an insulating and warming of the planet. These problematic gases, or “greenhouse gases”, come from car and truck exhaust, factory smoke, and the burning of certain substances for heat and light. If alternative methods of producing energy are not found soon, the earth’s temperature will likely rise between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century.
Extreme temperature changes, such as those projected over the next 100 years, could be a serious threat to the human environment. However, the effects of global warming will most likely appear in animal populations first. In fact, certain changes have already been observed. For example, early thaws in the ice of the Bering Sea have affected the mating season of several types of seals. Certain species of birds are changing their nesting patterns as well. Certain plants are flowering earlier, and other large animals are changing their annual periods of sleeping and waking. According to Stanford University, global warming has directly resulted in biological changes to 1473 species around the world.
Environmental groups, both governmental and private, are currently working to decrease the amount of dangerous gases, or “emissions”, released each year. One of the first international gatherings organized by the United Nations to approach the problem produced a document which eventually became known as the “Kyoto Protocol”. Its aim was to stabilize greenhouse gas levels to prevent dangerous changes in the world’s climate. The agreement set limits on the amounts of greenhouse gases that each participating nation could release each year. Unfortunately, the agreement didn’t include strict enforcement procedures for implementing the program, and as of 2008, several countries only participate in the plan on a reporting basis. Others, including the United States, have refused to sign the document.
II distinctive, cultivate, emerge, harvested, temperature, adequate, regular III
1 Other areas are fast becoming important players in this lucrative game. 2 The world’s second best-known supplier of truffles after France is Italy. 3 Alba is best known for its white truffles.
4 Other countries, including Spain and Sweden, also produce truffles. 5 Australian production is increasing year by year.
When you think about where truffles come from, you probably picture a small town in the south of France. While the French countryside does produce much of the world’s supply of truffles, other areas are fast becoming important players in this lucrative game. A difficult undertaking
The situation is clear: truffles can’t be grown just anywhere. They must be grown near or under trees since scientists believe that this is what produces their distinctive flavor. It is also extremely difficult to cultivate them the way one would grow other crops. This special product doesn’t appear in the spring and summer, but emerges only in the fall and winter. Black truffles, which are the best-known of the French truffles, can be harvested only form November through March. White truffles appear only from September through early January. Furthermore, the weather conditions, such as the temperature, must be just right and the amount of rainfall must be adequate for the truffles to grow properly. Due to these challenges, very few farmers have mastered the skill of successfully planting and harvesting truffles on a regular basis. Truffles from Italy
The world’s second best-known supplier of truffles after France is Italy. The Piedmont region near the city of Alba is the center of the Italian truffle business. There, truffles are sold in their original form and are also used in pastas, flavored olive oils and breads. Alba is best known for its white truffles, which many people feel have a finer and more interesting flavor than black truffles. Truffles are so important in Alba that there has been a truffle festival, which lasts for several weeks, every year since 1899. Thousands of truffle lovers arrive in Alba each fall to enjoy the celebration and the scenery, and most importantly, to sample the truffles. Other sources of truffles
Other countries, including Spain, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, the U. K., and the U.S. also produce truffles. Currently Australian truffle growers are working hared to increase their share of the worldwide market. Scientists there have analyzed the soils, rainfall levels, and types of trees available in order to maximize their production and produce the finest tasting truffles possible. In certain parts of Australia, growing conditions are very close to those of the south of France and production is increasing year by year.
I F F T T F II
1 They can be found almost everywhere including northern Europe, East Asia, and South America. 2 They may regard a human in the water as a threat to their safety. Sometimes in murky water, they may mistake a human for a natural prey or a wounded animal which make an easy meal.
3 Because they almost always swim away immediately after biting. III
1 However, these attacks average only a single death per year.
2 The truth is that incidences of shark attacks are actually very rare. 3 In fact, humans kill more sharks each year than sharks kill people.
4 Almost all studies show that shark attacks are the exception, not the rule. 5 When a shark attacks a human, it is not a calculated choice.
Welcome to Shark Central
Shark Central is a website committed to reducing the world’s fear of sharks. Dangerous sharks: where are they?
Dangerous sharks can be found almost everywhere including northern Europe, East Asia, and South America. Of the total number of types of sharks in the world, very few are actually associated with human injury. The coastal areas in Australia host a diverse number of sharks, to which several attacks on humans per year are attributed. However, these attacks average only a single death per year. The east and west coasts of the United States also report between 20 and 40 shark attacks each year. However, these areas have thousands of miles of beaches and a very large population of people who use them during their free time. We have invaded the sharks’ domain, and they may not know how to deal with this. Why do sharks attack humans?
The truth is that incidences of shark attacks are actually very rare. In fact, humans kill more sharks each year than sharks kill people. Considering the millions of sharks and millions of people in the world’s oceans, the 71 proven attacks on humans in 2008 seems to be an extremely small number. Although the number of shark attacks is rising slightly each year, researchers attribute this to the human population growth. They feel it is a result of the fact that more people are spending time in the water—not an increasingly dangerous shark population. Almost all studies show that shark attacks are exception, not the rule. Why don’t sharks leave us alone
When a shark attacks a human, it is not a calculated choice. It’s usually a mistake. When they see hands moving and feet kicking, it looks like either a threat to their safety, or a wounded animal which would make an easy meal. Sometimes in murky water, a shark may mistake a human for a penguin, seal or other natural prey. The fact that they almost always swim away immediately after biting seems to indicate that sharks do not purposely purse and attack humans. Imagine that!
Sharks never run out of teeth: if one is lost, another tooth moves forward from the rows of reserve teeth.
Sometimes sharks eat other sharks, however not all sharks eat meat. One big meal can last a shark for over three months.
Two-thirds of a shark’s brain is linked to its sense of smell.
I TＦFＴF II
1 welcomed, experience
2 special, decorations 3 familiarize, inhabitants 4 assigned 5 treat illnesses 6 schedule, tough 7 touch the ground 8 cultural ambassador
1A 2 C 3 B 4A 5B 6D 7 C 8D A April 3 B April6 C April 12 D April 14
Daily Journal 2008
Well, here I am in Chengdu, China! After I joined the teaching exchange program, I was a little nervous about my year abroad, but this is a great opportunity. I’ve been assigned a job teaching English and American culture at a local school here. The program has also arranged for me to live with someone from the area, the Li family. I feel so welcome in their home and now I can experience typical Chinese life fist hand. April 6
I’m glad I have a couple of weeks to get used to things before I start teaching; things here are pretty different from back home! One of the sons in my host family, Xiaoping who is 14, has taught me a lot, though. We take long walks every day to help me familiarize myself with the town and its inhabitants. Yesterday we passed a man who was selling little red bags of what looked like nuts. Xiaoping told me they were traditional Chinese medicines. He said some people in the area use various plants to treat illnesses. For example, part of a local flower is used to treat coughs. Amazing! April 12
Today was the wedding of the oldest daughter in my host family Meiyu, to Zhifeng and I was invited to attend as a special guest. At about 10:00 in the morning, a car covered with red decorations arrived and Meiyu was carried out to it. Xiaoping explained that her feet must not touch the ground until she reached Zhifeng’s house. The actual wedding ceremony was short and simple, but the wedding dinner was just the opposite as I have never seen so much food in my life! What a great day! April 14
I just got my new schedule for school and it is going to be rough! I have to be there at 8:00 in the morning and sometimes I don’t go home until 5:00 at night. Teaching is always a difficult way to make a living, nevertheless I think it’s worth it. In my case, I’ll really have a chance to serve as a cultural ambassador for my home country and I’m sure that I’ll be able to broaden my students’ horizons—as well as my own. This is going to be a wonderful year!
I 1B 2C 3E 4A 5 D II
1 Saturday evening 2 transformation 3 delicious dinner 4 people walk by 5 achievement 6 Tuesday 7 riding skills 8 in action 9 impressive 10 saw the waterfalls 11 a rain forest