【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. extract / ɪkˈstrækt / (v.) – to get a substance out of something
Example: We can extract oil from coconuts.
2. sunlight / ˈsʌnˌlaɪt / (n.) – the light that comes from the sun
Example: The early morning sunlight is good for the skin.
3. glacier / ˈgleɪ ʃər / (n.) – a large piece of ice formed by accumulating snow
Example: The glaciers in Greenland are rapidly melting.
4. cycle /ˈsaɪ kəl / (n.) – a set of events or actions that happen repeatedly and in the same order
Example: Evaporation is a process in the water cycle.
5. intensify / ɪnˈtɛn səˌfaɪ / (v.) – to become extreme
Example: The heat intensifies as summer approaches.
Read the text below.
Records show that the Earth has experienced the hottest March this year.
According to a report from the US National Oceanic [oh-shee-AN-ik] and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the first three months of 2015 were the hottest ever since the 1880s. In March alone, the average temperature reached 13.6°C (56.4°F), which is 0.85°C (1.5°F) higher than the average temperature for the whole 20th century.
According to scientists, the excessive burning of fossil fuels to produce energy might have caused the increase in the world’s temperature. Extracting fossil fuels increases the carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere. These gases form a layer in the atmosphere, preventing sunlight from going back into space. This, in turn, causes global warming.
Aside from fossil fuels, NOAA scientist Jessica Blunden also blames El Niño for the rise in temperature. El Niño usually occurs when the water in the Pacific Ocean becomes warmer than usual for seven to nine months. It is an effect of the El Niño Southern Oscillation—the cycle of warm and cold water throughout the Pacific Ocean.
If global warming continues to worsen, the world may experience severe effects. According to the NASA Earth Observatory, global warming may result in frequent weather changes, with more hot days and fewer cold ones. With a higher temperature, polar ice and glaciers will also melt, causing the sea level to rise. If this happens, the world will suffer from frequent floods.
These changes in the environment will have a direct effect on humans. People may suffer from heat stroke because of the high temperature. The supply of food may also decrease, as droughts intensify.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· What can be the other causes of the increase in the world’s temperature?
· How else can this increase in temperature affect humans?
· How can we prevent the world’s temperature from increasing any further?
· How do you think the temperature will be like 50 years from now?