READING PASSAGE 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
The last March of the Emperor Penguins
THE emperor penguin is an impossible bird. It breeds in the middle of winter in some of the coldest places on Earth, surviving temperatures as low as -50℃ and hurricane-force winds. In March or April, just as the Antarctic winter begins, the birds waddle across the sea ice to their colonies, where they mate. After the egg is laid, the females head back to sea to feed, leaving the males behind to incubate it. By the time the females return in July or August, when the eggs hatch, the males will have spent almost four months huddling together in the bitter cold without eating, losing half of their body weight. This extraordinary lifestyle has made the emperors famous. They have even been held up as role models by evangelical Christians. But these breathtaking birds will soon have to face the one thing they haven’t evolved to cope with: warmth. Fast-forward a few decades, and many colonies will be on the road to extinction. Are we witnessing the last march of the emperor penguins?
Finding out what’s going on with emperor penguins is a huge challenge as almost all of their colonies are exceedingly difficult to get to. In fact, it was only this year that the first global census of the birds was published, based on an automated analysis of satellite images by the British Antarctic Survey. This revealed four previously unknown colonies, bringing the total to 46 (see map), and put the number of adults at 600,000, nearly double earlier estimates. That might sound like good news, but it’s impossible to say whether the overall number of birds is rising or falling. “It’s simply that we now have a better method to find them-remote sensing,” says team member Phil Trathan.
By far the most comprehensive insight into the highs and lows of emperor populations comes from just one colony, which happens to be next to the Dumont d’Urville research station on the Adelie coast of Antarctica. “After a snowstorm, they can see how many eggs have got frozen, and how many chicks have died,” says biologist Stephanie Jenouvrier of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, who studies the birds. This relatively small colony of 2500 birds featured in the 2005 blockbuster documentary March of the Penguins.
The Dumont d’Urville emperor’s have been closely monitored since 1962. During the 1970s and early 80s, the average winter temperature was-14.7℃, compared with a more typical-17.3℃. This “warm spell” reduced the extent of winter sea ice by around 11 percent and the penguin population by half. “When sea ice decreased, it caused strong mortality of emperor penguins,” says Jenouvrier. Why are emperors so sensitive to changes in sea ice? Well to start with, most never set foot on land. They aren’t agile enough to scale the steep rocks and ice precipices that guard most of Antarctica’s shoreline. All but two of the 46 colonies are on fast ice-sea ice stuck fast to the shore. So if the sea ice forms late or breaks up early, it won’t last for the eight months or so these large birds need to breed and raise chicly.
“Early break-up of sea ice can cause catastrophic breeding failure,” says Trathan. Emperors live around 20 years, so colonies can survive a few bad breeding seasons, but persistent changes can be disastrous. What’s more, emperors moult every year in January or February. The birds would freeze to death if they tried to swim during the 30 or so days it takes to grow new feathers, so they must find ice floes to shelter on that are large enough to survive this period. This may be an even more demanding period in the emperors’ lives than the winter, because they have little time to fatten themselves up beforehand. “The adults are reliant on stable sea ice for moulting, and for me, that’s the greatest concern,” says Gerald Kooyman of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, one of the world’s leading emperor penguin biologists. “They don’t have any options. They have to moult.”
Last, but not least, the source of much of the penguins’ energy, directly or indirectly, is krill-and krill also depend on sea ice. Young krill shelter and feed under it. “The sea ice is the basis of the Antarctic ecosystem,” says Jenouvrier. For now, there is still plenty of sea ice. In fact, the extent of Antarctic sea ice in winter has increased slightly over the last 30 years. This has been caused by stronger winds blowing sea ice further away from the land, with more ice forming in the open water exposed by this movement. The stronger winds are thought to be a consequence of ozone loss, rather than global warming.
But unlike the Arctic Ocean, where thick sea ice used to survive from year to year, in Antarctica almost all the sea ice melts every year. That means the extent of winter sea ice changes rapidly in response to any change in conditions. This can be seen around the rapidly warming Antarctic Peninsula, where winter sea ice extent is falling 1 or 2 percent each year. Here one small emperor colony, on the Dion Islands, has already died out. When it was discovered in 1948 it was home to 300 adults. By 1999， just 40 remained and 10 years later they were all gone. Though no one knows for sure what caused the colony’s demise, it coincided with a decline in the duration of winter sea ice. On the peninsula, populations of the other Antarctic native penguins, the Adelie and chinstrap, are also plummeting, probably because of the changing environment and declining krill. Matters haven’t been helped by an invasion of non-native gentoo penguins, and other species like the king and macaroni penguins could follow.
What’s happening on the peninsula today could be happening all around Antarctica in the decades to come. “With a doubling of greenhouse gas concentrations over the next century, we estimate that the extent of Antarctic sea ice would decrease by about one third, says John Turner, a climatologist with the British Antarctic Survey. Earlier this year the emperor penguin was added to the IUCN’s Red List for species threatened with extinction in the near future-“near” meaning in a century or two. When Jenouvrier’s team used the observations at Dumont d’Urville to predict what will happen as the continent warms, they concluded that the colony is likely to decline by 81 per cent by 2100 and be heading towards extinction.
That is in line with a 2010 study by a team including Jenouvrier and David Ainley of the California-based ecological consultants H. T. Harvey and Associates. It predicted that all emperor colonies north of 70 degrees latitude- about 35 percent of the total population-would decline or disappear if the world warms by 2℃, although a few colonies south of 73 degrees might grow a little. This might not sound too bad, but both these studies are based on what increasingly appear to be overly optimistic assumptions. If we continue as we are, the global temperature will climb above 2℃ before 2050, on course to a 5 or 6℃ rise by 2100. “If the earth warms by 5 or 6 degrees, I can’t see that there’s going to be much sea ice left anywhere on Earth,” says Ainley. And if the sea ice vanishes, the emperor penguins will vanish too.
Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-E) with opinions or deeds below.
Write the appropriate letters A-E in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.
A Stephanie Jenouvrier
B Gerald Kooyman
C Phil Trathan
D David Ainley
E John Turner
1 Penguin breeding is threatened by sea ice melting in advance.
2 About 30% sea ice would disappear in the future.
3 Penguin needs constant sea ice for feather changing.
4 Dead chicks are easy to be counted after a storm.
5 No sea ice left in case global temperature increased certain degrees.
6 Sea ice provides foundation for Antarctic ecology.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
In boxes 7-10 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
7 It is the female emperor penguin that carried more incubation duty.
8 Evangelical Christian lives a similar lifestyle as penguin.
9 With the advanced satellite photographs, fluctuation of penguin number is easily observed.
10 Strong winds caused by Ozone depletion, blow away the sea ice.
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 11-13 on your answer sheet.
There are several reasons of why emperor penguins are vulnerable to sea ice transformation. First of all, they are not 11 _________ to walk on steep rocks that all over Antarctica. They wouldn’t be able to breed. Next, emperors need to 12 _________ at certain time of year, which protects them from been killed by freezing water. Finally, emperor penguin’s food called 13 _________ is also connected to availability of sea ice.
READING PASSAGE 2
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below.
An ingenious invention is set to bring clean water to the third world, and while the science may be cutting edge, the materials are extremely down to earth. A handful of clay yesterday’s coffee grounds and some cow manure are the ingredients that could bring clean, safe drinking water to much of the third world.
The simple new technology, developed by ANU materials scientist Mr. Tony Flynn, allows water filters to be made from commonly available materials and fired on the ground using cow manure as the source of heat, without the need for a kiln. The filters have been tested and shown to remove common pathogens (disease-producing organisms) including E-coli. Unlike other water filtering devices, the filters are simple and inexpensive to make. “They are very simple to explain and demonstrate and can be made by anyone, anywhere,” says Mr. Flynn. “They don’t require any western technology. All you need is terracotta clay, a compliant cow and a match.”
The production of the filters is extremely simple. Take a handful of dry, crushed clay, mix it with a handful of organic material, such as used tea leaves, coffee grounds or rice hulls, add enough water to make a stiff biscuit-like mixture and form a cylindrical pot that has one end closed, then dry it in the sun. According to Mr. Flynn, used coffee grounds have given the best results to date. Next, surround the pots with straw; put them in a mound of cow manure, light the straw and then top up the burning manure as required. In less than 60 minutes the filters are finished. The walls of the finished pot should be about as thick as an adult’s index. The properties of cow manure are vital as the fuel can reach a temperature of 700 degrees in half an hour and will be up to 950 degrees after another 20 to 30 minutes. The manure makes a good fuel because it is very high in organic material that bums readily and quickly; the manure has to be dry and is best used exactly as found in the field, there is no need to break it up or process it any further.
“A potter’s din is an expensive item and can take up to four or five hours to get up to 800 degrees. It needs expensive or scarce fuel, such as gas or wood to heat it and experience to run it. With no technology, no insulation and nothing other than a pile of cow manure and a match, none of these restrictions apply,” Mr. Flynn says.
It is also helpful that, like terracotta clay and organic material, cow dung is freely available across the developing world. “A cow is a natural fuel factory. My understanding is that cow dung as a fuel would be pretty much the same wherever you would find it.” Just as using manure as a fuel for domestic uses is not a new idea, the porosity of clay is something that potters have known about for years, and something that as a former ceramics lecturer in the ANU School of Art, Mr. Flynn is well aware of. The difference is that rather than viewing the porous nature of the material as a problem — after all not many people want a pot that won’t hold water — his filters capitalize on this property.
Other commercial ceramic filters do exist, but, even if available, with prices starting at US$5 each, they are often outside the budgets of most people in the developing world. The filtration process is simple, but effective. The basic principle is that there are passages through the filter that are wide enough for water droplets to pass through, but too narrow for pathogens. Tests with the deadly E-coli bacterium have seen the filters remove 96.4 to 99.8 per cent of the pathogen — well within safe levels. Using only one filter it takes two hours to filter a litre of water. The use of organic material, which burns away after firing, helps produce the structure in which pathogens will become trapped. It overcomes the potential problems of finer clays that may not let water through and also means that cracks are soon halted. And like clay and cow dung, it is universally available.
The invention was born out of a World Vision project involving the Manatuto community in East Timor The charity wanted to help set up a small industry manufacturing water filters, but initial research found the local clay to be too fine — a problem solved by the addition of organic material. While the AF problems of producing a working ceramic filter in East Timor were overcome, the solution was kiln-based and particular to that community’s materials and couldn’t be applied elsewhere. Manure firing, with no requirement for a kiln, has made this zero technology approach available anywhere it is needed. With all the components being widely available, Mr. Flynn says there is no reason the technology couldn’t be applied throughout the developing world, and with no plans to patent his idea, there will be no legal obstacles to it being adopted in any community that needs it. “Everyone has a right to clean water, these filters have the potential to enable anyone in the world to drink water safely,” says Mr. Flynn.
Complete the flow chart, using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.
Guide to Making Water Filters
Step one: combination of 14________ and organic material, with sufficient 15________ to create a thick mixture
Step two: pack 16________ around the cylinders
Place them in 17________ which is as burning fuel
for firing (maximum temperature: 18________)
filter being baked in under 19________
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2?
In boxes 20-23 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement is true
FALSE if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
20 It takes half an hour for the manure to reach 950 degrees.
21 Clay was initially found to be unsuitable for filter making.
22 Coffee grounds are twice as effective as other materials.
23 E-coli is the most difficult bacteria to combat.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write your answers in boxes 24-26 on your answer sheet.
24 When making the pot, the thickness of the wall
A is large enough to let the pathogens to pass.
B varied according to the temperature of the fuel.
C should be the same as an adult’s forefinger.
D is not mentioned by Mr. Flynn.
25 What is true about the charity, it
A failed in searching the appropriate materials.
B thought a kiln is essential.
C found that the local clay are good enough.
D intended to build a filter production factory.
26 Mr. Flynn’s design is purposed not being patented
A because he hopes it can be freely used around the world
B because he doesn’t think the technology is perfect enough
C because there are some legal obstacles
D because the design has already been applied thoroughly
READING PASSAGE 3
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.
600 years ago, roller coaster pioneers never would have imagined the advancements that have been made to create the roller coasters of today. The tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world is the Kingda Ka, a coaster in New Jersey that launches its passengers from zero to 128 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds. It then heaves its riders skyward at a 90-degree angle (straight up) until it reaches a height of 456 feet, over one and a half football fields, above the ground, before dropping another 418 feet. With that said, roller coasters are about more than just speed and height, they are about the creativity of the designers that build them, each coaster having its own unique way of producing intense thrills at a lesser risk than the average car ride. Roller coasters have evolved drastically over the years, from their primitive beginnings as Russian ice slides, to the metal monsters of today. Their combination of creativity and structural elements make them one of the purest forms of architecture.
At first glance, a roller coaster is something like a passenger train. It consists of a series of connected cars that move on tracks. But unlike a passenger train, a roller coaster has no engine or power source of its own. For most of the ride, the train is moved by gravity and momentum. To build up this momentum, you need to get the train to the top of the first hill or give it a powerful launch. The traditional lifting mechanism is a long length of chain running up the hill under the track. The chain is fastened in a loop, which is wound around a gear at the top of the hill and another one at the bottom of the hill. The gear at the bottom of the hill is turned by a simple motor. This turns the chain loop so that it continually moves up the hill like a long conveyer belt. The coaster cars grip onto the chain with several chain dogs, sturdy hinged hooks. When the train rolls to the bottom of the hill, the dogs catches onto the chain links. Once the chain dog is hooked, the chain simply pulls the train to the top of the hill. At the summit, the chain dog is released and the train starts its descent down the hill.
Roller coasters have a long, fascinating history. The direct ancestors of roller coasters were monumental ice slides – long, steep wooden slides covered in ice, some as high as 70 feet – that were popular in Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries. Riders shot down the slope in sleds made out of wood or blocks of ice, crash-landing in a sand pile. Coaster historians diverge on the exact evolution of these ice slides into actual rolling carts. The most widespread account is that a few entrepreneurial Frenchmen imported the ice slide idea to France. The warmer climate of France tended to melt the ice, so the French started building waxed slides instead, eventually adding wheels to the sleds. In 1817, the Russes a Belleville (Russian Mountains of Belleville) became the first roller coaster where the train was attached to the track (in this case, the train axle fit into a carved groove). The French continued to expand on this idea, coming up with more complex track layouts, with multiple cars and all sorts of twists and turns.
In comparison to the world’s first roller coaster, there is perhaps an even greater debate over what was America’s first true coaster. Many will say that it is Pennsylvania’s own Maunch Chunk-Summit Hill and Switch Back Railroad. The Maunch Chunk Summit Hill and Switch Back Railroad was originally America’s second railroad, and considered by many to be the greatest coaster of all time. Located in the Lehigh valley, it was originally used to transport coal from the top of Mount Pisgah to the bottom of Mount Jefferson, until Josiah White, a mining entrepreneur, had the idea of turning it into a part-time thrill ride. Because of its immediate popularity, it soon became strictly a passenger train. A steam engine would haul passengers to the top of the mountain, before letting them coast back down, with speeds rumored to reach 100 miles per hour! The reason that it was called a switch back railroad, a switch back track was located at the top – where the steam engine would let the riders coast back down. This type of track featured a dead end where the steam engine would detach its cars, allowing riders to coast down backwards. The railway went through a couple of minor track changes and name changes over the years, but managed to last from 1829 to 1937, over 100 years.
The coaster craze in America was just starting to build. The creation of the Switch Back Railway, by La Marcus Thompson, gave roller coasters national attention. Originally built at New York’s Coney Island in 1884, Switch Back Railways began popping up all over the country. The popularity of these rides may puzzle the modern-day thrill seeker, due to the mild ride they gave in comparison to the modern-day roller coaster. Guests would pay a nickel to wait in line up to five hours just to go down a pair of side-by-side tracks with gradual hills that vehicles coasted down at a top speed around six miles per hour. Regardless, Switchback Railways were very popular, and sparked many people, including Thompson, to design coasters that were bigger and better.
The 1910s and 1920s were probably the best decade that the roller coaster has ever seen. The new wave of technology, such as the “unstop wheels”, an arrangement that kept a coaster’s wheels to its tracks by resisted high gravitational forces, showed coasters a realm of possibilities that has never been seen before. In 1919, North America alone had about 1,500 roller coasters, a number that was rising rampantly. Then, the Great Depression gave a crushing blow to amusement parks all over America. As bad as it was, amusement parks had an optimistic look on the future in the late 1930s. But, in 1942 roller coasters could already feel the effects of World War Two, as they were forced into a shadow of neglect. Most, nearly all of America’s roller coasters were shut down. To this very day, the number of roller coaster in America is just a very tiny fraction of the amount of roller coasters in the 1920s.
Answer the questions below.
A diagram that explains the mechanism and working principles of roller coaster.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
Traditional lifting mechanism
(1) Traditional roller coaster’s lifting force depends on a long time of 27 _______ for climbing up, which is connected firmly to a 28 _______ shape track
(2) there are both 29 _______ on the top and underneath the hill and it is powered by a 30 _______ when it takes a turn.
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage, using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 31-35 on your answer sheet.
The first roller coaster was perhaps originated from Russia which is wrapped up by 31 _______, which was introduced into France, and it was modified to 32 _______, because temperature there would 33 _______ the ice. This time 34 _______were installed on the board.
In America, the first roller coaster was said to appear in Pennsylvania, it was actually a railroad which was designed to send 35 _______ between two mountains. Josiah White turned it into a thrill ride, it was also called switch back track and a 36 _______ there allowed riders to slide downward back again.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3?
In boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet, write
YES if the statement is true
NO if the statement is false
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage
37 The most exiting roller coaster in the world is in New Jersey.
38 French added more innovation on Russian ice slide including both cars and tracks.
39 Switch Back Railways began to gain popularity since its first construction in New York.
40 The Great Depression affected amusement parks yet did not shake the significant role of US roller coasters in the world.