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Pollution is the degradation of natural environment by external substances introduced directly or indirectly.

Human health, ecosystem quality and aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity may be affected and altered permanently by pollution. Pollution occurs when ecosystems can not get rid of substances introduced into the environment. The critical threshold of its ability to naturally eliminate substances is compromised and the balance of the ecosystem is broken. The sources of pollution are numerous. The identification of these different pollutants and their effects on ecosystems is complex. They can come from natural disasters or the result of human activity, such as oil spills, chemical spills, nuclear accidents ... These can have terrible consequences on people and the planet where they live: destruction of the biodiversity, increased mortality of the human and animal species, destruction of natural habitat, damage caused to the quality of soil, water and air ... Preventing pollution and protecting the environment necessitate the application of the principles of sustainable development. we have to consider to satisfy the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This means that we should remedy existing pollution, but also anticipate and prevent future pollution sources in order to protect the environment and public health. Any environmental damage must be punishable by law, and polluters should pay compensation for the damage caused to the environment.

Comprehension
1. The damage caused by pollution might be irreversible: a. True

b. False 2. The ecosystem a. can always cope with pollutants

b. may not always be able to cope with pollution. 3. Pollution a. is always caused by humans.

b. may sometimes be caused by natural disasters. 4. An ideal solution to prevent pollution would be to a. b. refrain the development of some countries. continue developmental projects.

c. take into consideration the future generations need to live in a healthy environment.

A list of vocabulary items related to the environment:


Important environment issues, natural environmental disasters and other environment vocabulary.

acid rain rain which contains large amounts of harmful chemicals as a result of burning substances such as coal and oil. biodegradable able to decay naturally and harmlessly. Biodegradable packaging helps to limit the amount of harmful chemicals released into the atmosphere. biodiversity the number and variety of plant and animal species that exist in a particular environmental area or in the world generally, or the problem of preserving and protecting this. a new National Biological Survey to protect species habitat and biodiversity. carbon monoxide the poisonous gas formed by the burning of carbon, especially in the form of car fuel. carbon dioxide the gas formed when carbon is burned, or when people or animals breathe out. climate the general weather conditions usually found in a particular place. The Mediterranean climate is good for growing citrus fruits and grapes. climate change there has been a growing concern about climate change. deforestation the cutting down of trees in a large area; the destruction of forests by people. Deforestation is destroying large areas of tropical rain forest. desertification the process by which land changes into desert. disposable products describes an item that is intended to be thrown away after use. disposable nappies

drought a long period when there is little or no rain. This year (a) severe drought has ruined the crops. earthquake a sudden violent movement of the Earth's surface, sometimes causing great damage. endangered species endangered birds/plants/species animals or plants which may soon not exist because there are very few now alive. energy the power from something such as electricity or oil, which can do work, such as providing light and heat. There are different types of energy: solar, nuclear, hydroelectric... The energy generated by the windmill drives all the drainage pumps. energy conservation the process of conserving energy environment the air, water and land in or on which people, animals and plants live. Certain chemicals have been banned because of their damaging effect on the environment. extinction Many species of plants and animals are in danger of/threatened with extinction (= being destroyed so that they no longer exist) flood a large amount of water covering an area that is usually dry. fumes strong, unpleasant and sometimes dangerous gas or smoke. Petrol fumes always make me feel ill. natural resources things such as minerals, forests, coal, etc. which exist in a place and can be used by people.

Some natural resources, such as natural gas and fossil fuel, cannot be replaced. global warming a gradual increase in world temperatures caused by polluting gases such as carbon dioxide which are collecting in the air around the Earth and preventing heat escaping into space. greenhouse effect an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere which is believed to be the cause of a gradual warming of the surface of the Earth. green peace an organization that fights for the protection of the environment. renewable energy describes a form of energy that can be produced as quickly as it is used. renewable energy sources such as wind and wave power oil slick a layer of oil that is floating over a large area of the surface of the sea, usually because an accident has caused it to escape from a ship or container. ozone layer a layer of air high above the Earth, which contains a lot of ozone, and which prevents harmful ultraviolet light from the sun from reaching the Earth. Scientists believe that there is a hole in the ozone layer. pollution damage caused to water, air.... by harmful substances or waste. recycle waste to collect and treat rubbish to produce useful materials which can be used again. sustainable development a development that is causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time. A large international meeting was held with the aim of promoting sustainable development in all countries. tsunami

an extremely large wave caused by movement of the earth under the sea, often caused by an earthquake (= when the Earth shakes) unleaded petrol describes a type of petrol or other substance that does not contain lead. use up natural resources The degradation of natural resources because of human pressure volcano a mountain with a large circular hole at the top through which lava (= hot liquid rock), gases, steam and dust are or have been forced out. Erupting volcanoes discharge massive quantities of dust into the stratosphere. waste unwanted matter or material of any type, often that which is left after useful substances or parts have been removed.

Climate change and global warming Climate change Wikipedia defines climate as follows: Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elements in a given region over a long period of time. Climate can be contrasted to weather, which is the present condition of these same elements and their variations over shorter time periods. Climate may be inherently variable as evidenced by the irregularity of the seasons from one year to another. This variability is normal and may remain partially understood. It is related to changes in ocean currents, volcanic eruptions, solar radiation and other components of the climate system. In addition, our climate also has its extremes (such as floods, droughts, hail, tornadoes and hurricanes), which can be devastating. However, in recent decades, a number of indicators and studies show more and more evidence of climate warming across the globe. A disturbing phenomenon that challenges human habits and activities which are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. The green house effect

The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by gases in the atmosphere warm a planet's lower atmosphere and surface. It was proposed by Joseph Fourier in 1824 and was first investigated quantitatively by Svante Arrhenius in 1896. Naturally occurring greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 C (59 F). But Human activity since the Industrial Revolution has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, leading to increased radiative forcing from CO2, methane, tropospheric ozone, CFCs (chlorofluorocarbon) and nitrous oxide. The concentrations of CO2 and methane have increased by 36% and 148% respectively since 1750. These levels are much higher than at any time during the last 650,000 years, the period for which reliable data has been extracted from ice cores. Over the last three decades of the 20th century, GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita and population growth were the main drivers of increases in greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 emissions are continuing to rise due to the burning of fossil fuels and land-use change. Consequences of global warming There are two major effects of global warming: the increase of temperature on the earth by about 3 to 5 C (5.4 to 9 Fahrenheit) by the year 2100 and Rise of sea levels by at least 25 meters (82 feet) by the year 2100. Other consequences are listed below:

Sea levels are rising due to thermal expansion of the ocean, in addition to melting of land ice. Amounts and patterns of precipitation are changing. The total annual power of hurricanes has already increased markedly since 1975 because their average intensity and average duration have increased. Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns increase the frequency, duration, and intensity of other extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, heat waves, and tornadoes. Higher or lower agricultural yields, further glacial retreat, reduced summer stream flows, species extinctions. Diseases like malaria are returning into areas where they have been extinguished earlier.

Sources: Wikipedia | Time for change Comprehension: 1. Climate is by definition variable. a. True

b. False 2. Climate change observed in the last decades is natural. a. True

b. False 3. Global warming is caused by industrialization. a. b. True False

4. Greenhouse effects have no impacts on our health. a. b. True False

Reading Comprehension - 7 ways to protect the environment


Develop your reading skills. Read the following text about how to protect the environment and do the comprehension questions

Seven ways to protect the environment


We all want to protect our planet, but we're mostly too busy or too lazy to put up big change that would improve our lifestyle and save the environment. These are 7 simple habits to implement in your everyday life which will make a difference. There is nothing new here but if you follow at least some of these tips, you can be proud of yourself participating in the protection of the environment. 1. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs: It is true that these bulbs are more expensive, but they last much longer and they can save energy and in the long term your electricity bill would be reduced. 2. Donate: You have tons of clothes or things you want to get rid of. If they are still usable, give them to someone who needs them. You may also choose to give them to associations. These associations may sell them and collect a little money. Not only will you protect the environment, but you will also contribute to a good cause. 3. Turn off your devices: When you do not use a house device, turn it off. For example, if you don't watch TV, turn it off. Turn off the light when you leave a room (even if you intend to return.) It's an easy habit to take up which will help you save a lot of money. 4. Walk or cycle: Driving is one of the biggest causes of pollution. If you want to use your car, ask yourself the following question: do I really need my car? Walk or use your bike if the journey is a short one. 5. Detergent: Follow the recommended dose of detergent to wash your clothes or dishes. 6. leaky faucets: Watch leaky faucets, which can cause a significant increase in the the water bill. An average of 120 liters of water can be wasted due to a dripping faucet. 7. Rainwater: Think of recovering rainwater. This water can be used for different purposes. This list is far from being exhaustive but in addition to saving the environment, all these tips will help you save money.

Comprehension:
1. Fluorescent light bulbs waste more energy a. b. True False

2. Donate means: a. give.

b. take. 3. The 7 tips suggested a. b. c. to save money. protect the environment. to save money and protect the environment.