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    Question [Reading Comprehension] Argument about the meaning of the passage

    My colleagues had an argument about the reading comprehension of the following passage:

    It's a fact that our planet's climate is changing. Over the last century, average global temperatures have risen up to 0.6 degrees Celsius. Furthermore. according to one scientist, temperatures will rise another three to four degrees Celsius in the coming century, having many disastrous effects, including the continued melting of polar ice and rising sea levels. These climate shifts, popularly known as global warming, are a reality. However, their causes and effects are hotly debated subjects.

    At the heart of the debate is whether or not it is mainly humans that are causing these climate changes. Many climatologists, including the ones on the Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (IPCC), link greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to global warming. Indeed, the temperatures began to rise sharply after the Industrial Revolution, when humans started producing more greenhouse gases than ever before.

    However, not all agree that humans are primarily to blame for global warming. Climate shifts are a natural part of the earth's cycle, and some scientists believe global warming would have happened even without human intervention. Others agree that humans are producing more and more greenhouse gases. Yet, they argue that the effects won't be as grave as the IPCC predicts, and that taking dramatic action to curb the production of these gases isn't necessary.

    This debate won't over soon. Models that predicts the future climate of the earth aren't prefect, and the economic costs of lowering greenhouse gas emissions are high. However, the fact still remains that the climate is changing, and we'll be seeing the effect soon enough.

    Q: How can we describe the climate in the earth's history?
    (A) It just gets warmer and warmer.
    (B) The earth becomes warmer and colder by turns.

    Argument for (A):
    The passage tends to talk about the climate's getting warmer and the the matter of global warming a lot (all through the passage). It doesn't mention the ice age or other getting cold situation in the global climate history. The only suspicious wording the 'shift' and 'changing.' However, the writer tends to substantially talk about 'getting warmer' rather than 'getting warmer and getting colder by turns.' The article is not long enough to cover the two issues(warmer and colder shifts). The proof is not strong for option(B). However, the wording in (A) It "just" gets warmer and warmer. The use of 'just' seems not to be a good expression here. It is too absolute. If (A) is 'It gets warmer and warmer' will be better. Therefore, this question has no solution. (A) is not good enough and (B) is also not proper because the information is not sufficient to support the climate shifts in the earth's history.

    Argument for (B):
    The passage mentions 'climate is changing' and 'climate shifts.' It is already a proof for (B)The earth becomes warmer and colder by turns. There is no controversy.

    What would you think of these arguments? Do you agree with (A) or (B) according 'only' to this passage. Thanks in advance!

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: [Reading Comprehension] Argument about the meaning of the passage

    If I knew no science or history, and just judged on the passage, the answer would be A.
    It says, "These climate shifts, popularly known as global warming, are a reality."

    The only evidence for B comes from elsewhere. It's not in the passage. In fact, I can't see an argument for B, if "argument for B" means argument for talking B to the correct answer according to the passage.
    Last edited by Raymott; 29-Nov-2015 at 06:40. Reason: typo

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