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Scientists have been warning about the effects of global warming and climate change since the 1960s. However, it wasn’t until the last 20 years that the effects of climate change were taken seriously. Even then, it has widely been perceived as something that would be a problem in the far future. Now, many scientists have observed that the world is starting to feel the effects of climate change.

Countries around the world have been experiencing record hot summers and winters. In the UK, the hottest days have become almost 1C hotter on average; the number of hot days has increased and there are fewer very cold days. A recent report from the UK’s Met Office has said that the number of “tropical nights” that the UK experiences is increasing.

landmark United Nations report on climate change from October 2018 suggested that the world could be heading for disaster by as early as 2040. The report argued that the only way to reverse the current trajectory of climate change would be to completely overhaul the world economy incredibly quickly and thoroughly. The report concluded that if current levels of greenhouse gas emissions continue, then the planet’s average temperature would increase by 1.5C by 2040. It was previously believed that if the planet’s temperature increased by 2C then the worst case effects would be seen. The UN report now claims that a 1.5C increase is all that is needed to realise the worst effects of climate change.

An increase of this much is predicted to significantly worsen the risks of extreme heat, floods, droughts and poverty for large portions of the world. It would significantly harm countries which already have hot climates and other environmental risk factors. Countries in southern Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East would all become more difficult to live in, with some becoming completely uninhabitable by humans. Already, countries around the world have faced record-breaking summers year after year.

Despite the best efforts of countries and governments around the world to reverse the effects of climate change, it is now believed that we are very close to the point of no return. Recent estimates have put the point of no return as being 2035, after which climate change would be impossible to control or stop.

Difficult words

Perceive: To understand or be aware of something.

Observe: To watch something significant.

Tropical: A very hot a humid climate.

Landmark: An important event.

Trajectory: A path followed by an object or thing.

Overhaul: To completely change everything.

Realise: For something to become true.

Predict: To guess what will happen based on facts.

Uninhabitable: A place that is not suitable to live in.

The Point of No Return: A time when nothing can ever be like it was before.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English:

Match the Synonym!

1. Perceive A. Hot weather
2. Observe B. Milestone
3. Tropical C. Change
4. Landmark D. Understand
5. Trajectory E.  Guess
6. Overhaul F. Unable to live
7. Realise G. Watch
8. Predict H. Become true
9.Uninhabitable I.  Path

True or False?

1.  Scientists started warning about global warming a decade ago. T / F

2.  People have believed global warming would only be a problem in the far future. T / F

3.  In the UK, there have recently been more cold days than hot days. T / F

4.   A report stated that the world could get to disaster levels by 2040. T / F

5. The report said only small changes need to be made to reverse the current trajectory.  T / F

6.  It is currently believed that an increase of 2C would trigger the worst effects of global warming. T / F

7. A temperature increase could cause floods and droughts. T / F

8. Already hot countries could become uninhabitable because of global warming.  T / F

9. All scientists believe that the effects of global warming will always be reversible. T / F

10. Recent estimates have put the point of no return as being 2035. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. have / Scientists / warming / effects / global / warning / of / about / the / been

2. is / effects / world / starting / feel / the / change / of / to / climate / The

3. increased / of / The / hot / number / has / days

4. planet’s / average / 1.5C / would / increase / temperature / The / by

5. to / We / point / of / very / the / no / close / return / are

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English:

Portions Suggested Climate
Estimates Realise  Overhaul
Reverse Experiencing  Uninhabitable

Scientists have been warning about the effects of global warming and ___________ change since the 1960s. However, it wasn’t until the last 20 years that the effects of climate change were taken seriously. Even then, it has widely been perceived as something that would be a problem in the far future. Now, many scientists have observed that the world is starting to feel the effects of climate change.

Countries around the world have been __________________ record hot summers and winters. In the UK, the hottest days have become almost 1C hotter on average; the number of hot days has increased and there are fewer very cold days. A recent report from the UK’s Met Office has said that the number of “tropical nights” that the UK experiences is increasing.

landmark United Nations report on climate change from October 2018 _____________ that the world could be heading for disaster by as early as 2040. The report argued that the only way to reverse the current trajectory of climate change would be to completely _______________ the world economy incredibly quickly and thoroughly. The report concluded that if current levels of greenhouse gas emissions continue, then the planet’s average temperature would increase by 1.5C by 2040. It was previously believed that if the planet’s temperature increased by 2C then the worst case effects would be seen. The UN report now claims that a 1.5C increase is all that is needed to ___________ the worst effects of climate change.

An increase of this much is predicted to significantly worsen the risks of extreme heat, floods, droughts and poverty for large _____________ of the world. It would significantly harm countries which already have hot climates and other environmental risk factors. Countries in southern Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and the Middle East would all become more difficult to live in, with some becoming completely __________________ by humans. Already, countries around the world have faced record-breaking summers year after year.

Despite the best efforts of countries and governments around the world to ___________ the effects of climate change, it is now believed that we are very close to the point of no return. Recent ________________ have put the point of no return as being 2035, after which climate change would be impossible to control or stop.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think about global warming?
4. Do you agree that humans are the cause of global warming?
5. When did you first hear about global warming?
6. Is your country doing anything to prevent global warming?
7. Are you concerned about global warming? If so, what concerns you most?
8. How will humans be affected by global warming?
9. Do you think global warming could wipe out all humans?
10. Have you noticed any effects of global warming in your country?
11. Do you do anything that is eco-friendly?
12. Do you think all countries are taking global warming seriously?
13. Which countries do you think are the most eco-friendly?
14. What countries do you think are the least eco-friendly?
15. What single change do you think could help the most?
16. Some cities are planning to ban all non-electric cars. What do you think about this?
17. What do you think about the claim that the world is heading for disaster by 2040?
18. How different do you think the world will be in 30 years?
19. Do you agree that radical change is required to stop global warming?
20. What is the biggest threat to your country from global warming?