Scientists call for research on climate link to geological disasters

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Volcano eruption - geological activity
Source: Volcano facts
Scientists today called for research into whether more volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis could be triggered by rising global temperatures under global warming. Significant warming of the atmosphere in the distant past can be linked to changes in geological activity, they say. Suggestions that climate change predicted for coming decades could bring similar changes remain speculative, but the scientists say there is enough evidence to take the threat seriously.
Richard Betts, from Exeter, said: “It was previously assumed that there was no link at all between climate change and these events, but it is possible to speculate that climate change might make some events more likely. If we do get large amounts of climate change in the long term then we might see some impacts”.  
Experts say global warming could affect geological dangers such as earthquakes because of the way it can move large amounts of materials around on the Earth’s surface. Melting glaciers and rising sea levels affect the distribution of huge amounts of water, which release and increase pressures through the ground.
Research suggests that the Earth’s surface can sometimes be so close to failure that small changes in surface pressure provoked by heavy rain can produce earthquakes. Actually, tropical storms, snowfall and shifting tides have all been linked to shifts in seismic activity.
Bill McGuire, from University College London, says: “studies point towards increased risk in relation to a warmer world, and observations suggest that the rise in global temperatures may already be producing disasters in the earth’s surface”.
David Adam, The Guardian, 9th April, 2010

RESPUESTAS

READING COMPREHENSION

I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text 
a) Why may there be a connection between global warming and geological disasters? PAR. 1
b) Why can heavy rain provoke earthquakes? PAR. 3

II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer by copying the exact passage on the answer sheet 
a) It has been scientifically demonstrated that climate change will make geological dangers more
likely.
b) A high amount of water can produce more pressure on the Earth’s surface.
c) Studies indicate that a warmer world may bring about a higher risk of geological dangers.

III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options: 
warming distant link likely actually rise

IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct 
1. Warming atmosphere in the past...
2. Global warming could affect geological dangers because...
3. Seismic activity...


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