Antarctica is the bottom of the world, where winds can reach 320 kph and temperatures can plunge below 85°C. It seems lifeless but a closer look reveals an amazing abundance of life. The coastal waters are filled with plankton and fish, and its thick ice is perforated by the breathing holes of seals. Antarctica is home to thousands of penguins and seagull-like birds. The ice itself is permeated with algae and bacteria.
There is another sort of life as well. All around Antarctica the coast is dotted with corrugated-metal buildings, oil-storage tanks and garbage dumps – unmistakable signs of man. Not fewer than 16 nations have established permanent bases on the only continent that belongs to the whole world. They were set up mainly to conduct scientific research but they have become magnets for boatloads of tourists who come to look at the peaks and the penguins. Environmentalists fear that miners and oil drillers may not be far behind. Already the human invaders of Antarctica have created an awful mess in what was recently the world’s cleanest spot. Over the years they spilled oil into the seas, dumped untreated sewage off the coasts, burned garbage in open pits, and let huge piles of discarded machinery slowly rust on the frozen ground.
News of the environmental pollution has unleashed a global wave of concern about Antarctica’s future. How best to protect Antarctica has been a topic of fierce debate all over the world.
Despite the damage done, so far Antarctica is still largely pristine, the only wild continent left on earth. There scientists can study unique ecosystems and climatic disturbances that influence the weather patterns of the entire globe. The research being done on the frozen continent cannot be carried out anywhere else. Therefore many people argue that the continent should be turned into a “world park” in which only scientific research and limited tourism would be permitted.
Task 1. Decide whether the sentences are True or False
|1.||There are few seals, penguins and seagull — like birds in Antarctica.||T||F|
|2.||Oil-storage tanks and dumps of garbage are hardly associated with people.||T||F|
|3.||Antarctica is the only continent that belongs to the whole world.||T||F|
|4.||Antarctica is the territory of permafrost.||T||F|
|5.||There is no need to protect Antarctica because it is the world’s cleanest spot.||T||F|
|6.||News of the environmental pollution has created a global wave of concern about Antarctica’s future.||T||F|
Task 2. Choose the right variant
- The research being done on the frozen continent…..
- is not useful for other continents
- can be carried out anywhere else
- is unique
- The coastal waters are
- uninhabited and deserted
- comfortable area for sea inhabitants
- filled with ice only
- Not fewer than 16 nations
- own their bases for militaries
- provide scientific research there
- turned the continent to a tourist attraction
- Despite the damage done, so far Antarctica is
- one of the largest wild ecosystems in the world
- still an attractive industrial source area
- the only place in the world which is still virgin
Task 3. Think of at least 3 reasons to protect Antarctica’s environment. Explain your choice
Task 4. Write a short summary about on a passage(200 – 250 words).
Answers: F, F, T, T, F, T; c, b, b, c.
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