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photo Tara Benwell Instructions:
  1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
  2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
  3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
  4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
  5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
  6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

Arctic Ice Hits Record Low

dateline: 25 September 2012

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • greenhouse gas: a gas (e.g. carbon dioxide) that can absorb radiation and contribute to the Earth’s warming
  • permafrost: soil that remains frozen
  • drastic: extreme; will probably cause a major change
  • impact: effect

Arctic Ice Hits Record Low

Arctic sea ice fell to a record this September, down 18% from the previous record set in 2007. Scientists believe the sea ice in the Arctic could be gone in the summer months as early as . Previous reports had suggested that the melting could occur by 2050. Experts warn that the higher temperatures in the Arctic will cause the release of greenhouse gases that are currently frozen in the permafrost from the last . This will increase the rate of global warming, causing drastic . Environmentalist groups predict that the impact will be extreme in the northern hemisphere. Sea ice plays an important role in the Earth.

Comprehension Questions

  1. How did this year’s summer Arctic ice level compare to other recent years?
  2. What major concern is there about the melting of the permafrost in the Arctic?
  3. Why does the Earth need sea ice?

Discussion Question: Scientists have always said that the first real evidence of global warming would be observed in the Arctic. Will this year’s record low be enough to force governments to take climate change seriously?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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