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Pre-reading activities a. Look at the title of the text. What do you think it means?

Look at the pictures and describe what Antarctica is like. b. How could the following be related to Antarctica? Discuss in pairs. Scientists expeditions fossils climate change sea level environmental awareness fishing c. Who do you think may be living in Antarctica? What might they be doing there? THE ANTARCTICA: KEY TO THE PLANET The first people to reach the South Pole in modern times, anyway, - were Roald Amundsen and the Norwegian Antarctic expedition, in December 1911. (0) G Explorers have been trying to reach the Antarctic for over a hundred years because it represented the ultimate challenge: the coldest and windiest continent in the world. Nowadays, scientists from over 27 countries work in the Antarctic all year round and there is even a small amount of tourism in the summer months. The Antarctic still represents a challenge, but a challenge of a different sort. Since the 1960s, people have come to realise that the Antarctic holds the key to the history of our planet: past, present and future. Antarctica has preserved valuable evidence of the natural history of our planet. Evidence from fossils shows how life evolved during geological time. The Antarctic has a crucial role to play in helping us understand global change. Analysing sediment from its different lakes makes it possible to collect information on climate change over the last 10,000 years. (1). The 4 km thick ice sheet is a frozen record of the last 500,000 years. Bubbles in the ice contain atmospheric gases. Frozen into the ice is evidence of levels of global pollution by industry, agriculture and atomic bombs. The Antarctic provides valuable information about what is currently happening to the ozone layer and about global warming. Scientists are also discovering that the ice sheet may contribute to changes in sea level. What happens in Antarctica affects the worlds climate and the worlds ocean. (2) Up until the 1960s, some species of whale and seal were driven almost to extinction by human activities in Antarctica. However, due to greater environmental awareness, all plants and animals in Antarctica are now protected by regulation. There is a special regulation to protect the six species of seal which breed in the Antarctic. Fishing in the Antarctic regions is also strictly controlled. The control is based on the ecosystem approach. (3) Commercial fishing is strictly limited and severe measures aim to minimise illegal fishing. At the moment, there is international concern over the environmental impact of fishing in the seas of the Antarctic. (4) There are also strict measures to control marine pollution. It is illegal to dump into the sea any kind of toxic chemicals, oil, plastics, rubbish or sewage. (5) Antarctica provides information on the past, present and future of our planet, and controls major issues in the rest of the world, like sea level. In this sense, it is a warning because it tells us what we have done wrong as regards the ozone layer and global warming, for instance. (6) It is up to us to listen and act, before it is too late.

Post-reading activities a. Read the sentences A-H taken from the text, and choose the most suitable one for each part (1-6) of the article. There is one sentence which you do not need to use. A. It is also illegal to leave anything like this on land (or ice) in Antarctica, so all waste must be taken away on board ship and disposed of elsewhere. B. This is why the Antarctic is now one of the most controlled regions of the world, in terms of regulations concerning pollution. C. These may include playing football, skiing for recreation and diving beneath the sea. D. It is also possible that future studies of a lake covered by 3.7 km of ice might reveal bacteria over half a million years old. E. An example of this is what is called marine litter which includes hooks and nets left in the ocean and which can cause harm to fish, birds, and seals. F. It is also a lesson because the regulations in force there show us what can be done for the environment and what must be done for the environment. G. They beat the British by one month H. This is an approach which takes account of the whole of the food chain which means that it assesses the numbers of seals and seabirds as well as fish, squid and krill (a creature like a shrimp) b. Look at the numbers. Find what they refer to in the text. 500,000 1911 1960s 27 10,000 4 3.7 LISTENING

You will hear five people expressing their views on environmental problems. For
speakers 1-5, choose which of the problems they are most anxious about. Use the letters only once. There is one extra letter which you do not need to use. A. Acid rain B. dioxins C. global warming D. carbon dioxide E. fossil fuels F. nuclear power Speaker 1 Speaker 2 Speaker 3 Speaker 4 Speaker 5