Use unit 10 of appendix 11 for written practice exercises
1) Visit the website of the Polytechnical University in St.Petersburg and compose a brief presentation about the international activities of this university. Use appendix 4 to evaluate your classmate’s presentation.
Your presentation should include the following points:
- Studies abroad / exchange programs
- Information on the academic mobility department
- Exchange programs for international / Russian students
- Intercollegiate collaboration
- Academic programs
- Scientific activities
Unit 11. Science and global problems
|Pollution Acid rain Deforestation Global warming Recycling Holes in the ozone layer Nuclear pollution Greenhouse effect Destruction Exhaust fumes||Загрязнение Кислотный дождь Вырубка леса Глобальное потепление Повторная переработка отходов Дыры в озоновом слое Ядерное загрязнение Парниковый эффект Разрушение Выхлопные газы|
1. What problems are considered global? Give examples.
2. Which technical advances can cause serious problems if something goes wrong? Give examples of consequences of recent technogenic catastrophes.
3. Can developments in your branch of science contribute somehow to finding a solution to global problems?
4. What can ordinary people do to contribute to solving environmental issues?
1. What are the consequences of human activities?
2. What is global warming? What is it caused by?
3. What are the consequences of global warming?
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C between the start and the end of the 20th century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century was caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation. The IPCC also concludes that variations in natural phenomena such as solar radiation and volcanism had a small cooling effect after 1950. These basic conclusions have been endorsed by more than 40 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries.
Climate model projections summarized in the latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface temperature is likely to rise further during the 21st century. The uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions. Some other uncertainties include how warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe.
Most studies focus on the period up to the year 2100. However, warming is expected to continue beyond 2100 even if emissions stop, because of the large heat capacity of the oceans and the long lifetime of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropical deserts. Warming will be strongest in the Arctic and will be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects include increases in the intensity of extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields. Political and public debate continues regarding global warming, and what actions (if any) to take in response. The available options are mitigation to reduce further emissions; adaptation to reduce the damage caused by warming; and, more speculatively, reengineering to reverse global warming.
Most national governments have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The effects of global warming and climate change are of concern both for the environment and human life. Evidence of observed climate change includes the temperature record, rising sea levels, and decreased snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere. It is predicted that future climatic changes will include further global warming (i.e., an upward trend in global mean temperature), sea level rise, and a probable increase in the frequency of some extreme weather events. Ecosystems are seen as being particularly vulnerable to climate change. Human systems are seen as being variable in their capacity to adapt to future climate change. To reduce the risk of large changes in future climate, many countries have implemented policies designed to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.
The most direct effect of climate change on humans might be the impacts of hotter temperatures themselves. Extreme high temperatures increase the number of people who die on a given day for many reasons: people with heart problems are vulnerable because one's cardiovascular system must work harder to keep the body cool during hot weather, heat exhaustion, and some respiratory problems increase.
Global warming could mean more cardiovascular diseases, doctors warn. Higher air temperature also increases the concentration of ozone at ground level. In the lower atmosphere, ozone is a harmful pollutant. It damages lung tissues and causes problems for people with asthma and other lung diseases. Rising temperatures have two opposing direct effects on mortality: higher temperatures in winter reduce deaths from cold; higher temperatures in summer increase heat-related deaths. The net local impact of these two direct effects depends on the current climate in a particular area. Cold-related deaths are far more numerous than heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and almost all countries outside the tropics. During 1979-1999, a total of 3,829 deaths in the United States were associated with excessive heat due to weather conditions, while in that same period a total of 13,970 deaths were attributed to hypothermia. A government report shows decreased mortality due to recent warming and predicts increased mortality due to future warming in the United Kingdom. The 2003 European heat wave killed 22,000-35,000 people, based on normal mortality rates.
Global warming may extend the favorable zones for vectors conveying infectious disease such as fever, West Nile virus and malaria. In poorer countries, this may simply lead to higher incidence of such diseases. In richer countries, where such diseases have been eliminated or kept in check by vaccination, the consequences may be felt more in economic than health terms. The World Health Organization (WHO) says global warming could lead to a major increase in insect-borne diseases in Britain and Europe. The World Health Organization estimates 150,000 deaths annually "as a result of climate change".
1. What are the reasons for temperature increase?
2. What are the effects of climate change and global warming?
3. What are the predictions of global warming in the future?
4. What is the aim of Kyoto Protocol?
5. What is the most vulnerable effect of climate change on people?
1) * Translate the following English words and phrases
Surface temperature; fossil fuel; solar radiation; gas emission; carbon dioxide; glacier; permafrost; sea ice; species extinction; mitigation; ratify; snow cover; sea level rise; ecosystem; vulnerable; implement policy; cardiovascular diseases; mortality; heat exhaustion; hypothermia; mortality rate; vaccination; insect-borne diseases.