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What is climate change? The Earths climate has changed on many timescales in response to natural factors.

On long timescales, of the order of thousands of years, we see the Earth move in and out of ice ages; at the other extreme, El Ninos come and go every few years, temporarily raising the Earths temperature. Over the course of the last century there has been an unusual increase in the average global temperature, accompanied by changes in extremes of weather. So, what aspects of our climate are changing and what is causing these changes? Since we emerged from the last ice age around 11,000 years ago, the Earths climate has remained relatively stable, with global temperatures averaging at about 14C. This has allowed complex ecosystems to thrive and support a wide range of life on Earth. However, in the last century our climate has started to change rapidly. This isnt thought to be just a temporary blip in the system; the evidence points to a long-term change in our climate which is happening at an unusual rate. But how can we tell if these changes are natural or whether they are down to us? There are many factors that can cause a warming of our climate; for example, more energy from the sun, large natural events such as El Nino or an increased greenhouse effect. Scientists have ruled out the sun and natural variations in our climate as the major causes of the recent warming. There is overwhelming evidence that most of this warming weve seen is due to increased amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases, such as water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane, occur naturally in the atmosphere. But human activities have directly increased the amount of carbon dioxide, methane and some other greenhouse gases. [Anna, will leave it to you as to whether the bit in brackets should be inserted, but may be of interest] (Although water vapour is an important greenhouse gas, it is not directly affected by human activity: as the climate warms from increases in man-made greenhouse gases, the atmosphere in turn holds more water vapour.) These increases in the man made greenhouse gases can be through the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, and changes in land use such as chopping down forests for cattle grazing. Carbon dioxide and methane are both important greenhouse gases which have the greatest effect on our changing climate. Molecule for molecule methane has a stronger greenhouse effect, but there is less of it and it only remains in the atmosphere for about a decade. Carbon dioxide on the other hand is much more abundant in the atmosphere and lasts for about 100 years or more, having a greater cumulative affect on our climate. The amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has increased by 38% since the industrial revolution and because it stays for such a long time in our atmosphere, as we emit more it continues to build up. The world has warmed by three-quarters of a degree in the last century. On top of this we have seen changes in extremes of certain weather events, such as heatwaves and heavy rainfall. The term climate change is now often used to refer to that which has occurred as a result of human activity. Even if we were to stop emitting all carbon dioxide now, the extra carbon dioxide will remain in the atmosphere for a period and continue to trap more of the suns heat, warming our climate further and impacting our climate system.

But, could the warming be due to something else? Scientists are always looking at new evidence to see if there are any other possible causes of climate change. These could be from natural events or natural cycles. There is a natural carbon cycle in our climate. Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere from a variety of sources, from the oceans, land and vegetation, from animals breathing or volcanoes erupting. They are sources of carbon dioxide. This in turn is absorbed by things like trees and plants, especially as they grow, by rocks and by the oceans. They are sinks of carbon dioxide. This cycle has been delicately balanced for thousands of years. However, the increases in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can not be explained by these natural phenomena. The current changes are very unusual and can not be explained simply as part of any natural cycle, such as El Nino and La Nina, which cause the warming and cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean, which affects world temperature. Natural cycles can lead to periods with little or no warming and other periods with rapid warming. However, what is important is looking at the longer term trends in temperature,which are rising, and which scientists believe is almost certainly caused by human activity. When studying climate change, scientists draw their evicence from many sources. Are humans contributing to the warming we are observing? Or could it be natural causes and changes to the climate? Scientists, such as those at the Met Office Hadley Centre, are continuing to look at all the possible effects, both manmade and natural. However, it is widely understood that our emissions of greenhouse gases are causing changes to our climate. Science behind the big freeze: is climate change bringing the Arctic to Europe? A loss of sea ice could be a cause of the bitter winds that have swept across the UK in the past week, weather experts say

The bitterly cold weather sweeping Britain and the rest of Europe has been linked by scientists with the ice-free seas of the Arctic, where global warming is exerting its greatest influence.

A dramatic loss of sea ice covering the Barents and Kara Seas above northern Russia could explain why a chill Arctic wind has engulfed much of Europe and killed 221 people over the past week. The death toll from Arctic blast has been particularly severe in the Ukraine, where many of the dead have been people sleeping on the streets. Heating and food tents have been set up to ease their hardship. In Romania 24 people are known to have died and 17 in Poland. A growing number of experts believe complex wind patterns are being changed because melting Arctic sea ice has exposed huge swaths of normally frozen ocean to the atmosphere above. In particular, the loss of Arctic sea ice could be influencing the development of high-pressure weather systems over northern Russia, which bring very cold winds from the Arctic and Siberia to Western Europe and the British Isles, the scientists believe. An intense anticyclone over north-west Russia is behind the bitterly cold easterly winds that have swept across Europe and some climate scientists say the lack of Arctic sea ice brought about by global warming is responsible. "The current weather pattern fits earlier predictions of computer models for how the atmosphere responds to the loss of sea ice due to global warming," said Professor Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. "The ice-free areas of the ocean act like a heater as the water is warmer than the Arctic air above it. This favours the formation of a highpressure system near the Barents Sea, which steers cold air into Europe." Sea ice covering the Barents and Kara Seas has been exceptionally low this winter, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado. But air temperatures above the Barents and Kara Seas have been higher than average. The relatively mild westerly winds that have kept Britain from freezing much of this winter have been blocked by fierce high pressure over north-west Russia, centred on an area just south of the Barents Sea. Studies by scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research have confirmed a link between the loss of Arctic sea ice and the development of high-pressure zones in the polar region, which influence wind patterns at lower latitudes further south. Scientists found that as the cap of sea ice is removed from the ocean, huge amounts of heat are released from the sea into the colder air above, causing the air to rise. Rising air destabilises the atmosphere and alters the difference in air pressure between the Arctic and more southerly regions, changing wind patterns. Professor Rahmstorf said the Alfred Wegener study confirms earlier predictions from computer models by Vladimir Petoukhov of the Potsdam Institute, who forecast colder winters in western Europe as a result of melting sea ice.

Dr Petoukhov and his colleague Vladimir Semenov were among the first scientists to suggest a link between the loss of sea ice and colder winters in Europe. Their 2009 study simulated the effects of disappearing sea ice and found that for some years to come the loss will increase the chances of colder winters. "Whoever thinks that the shrinking of some far-away sea ice won't bother him could be wrong. There are complex interconnections in the climate system, and in the Barents-Kara Sea we might have discovered a powerful feedback mechanism," Dr Petoukhov said. But UK climate researcher Adam Scaife said other complexities are almost certainly influencing the current cold spell. "There is a pretty clear link between the current event and the upper level winds... The winds up at 30km (18.6 miles) altitude are very weak," he said. "We have verified several times using computer model experiments that this leads to high pressure across northern Europe and cold winter conditions in the UK as we see now."

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although despite Either could be used here. Q3 - She went out ____ the fact that it was raining. although despite Either could be used here. Q4 - ____ she didn't like it, I enjoyed it a lot. Though Although Either could be used here. Q5 - It was good, ____ expensive. though despite Either could be used here. Q6 - I was late. _____, the others were all on time. Although However Despite Q7 - ____ I was late, the others were all on time. Although However Despite Q8 - They managed it ____ I wasn't there. although despite however Q9 - They managed it ____ the fact that I wasn't there. although however despite Q10 - ____ tired, he managed to finish it on time.

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Q5 - She's expected ____ the job. get getting to get Q6 - Would you like ____? come coming to come Q7 - They don't tolerate any ____ about their decisions. argue arguing to argue Q8 - She taught me ____ it. do doing to do Q9 - I don't feel like ____ it. do doing to do Q10 - Do you mind ____ it with you? take taking to take Already or Yet? Q1 - He has ____ to start the project. already yet Q2 - As ___, I haven't had time to call her. already yet Q3 - Have you ____ finished?

already yet Q4 - I was tired, ___ I managed to finish it. already yet Q5 - Have they arrived ___? already yet Q6 - Have they ____ finished? already yet Q7 - I was shocked that they had ____ done it. already yet Q8 - I was surprised that they had ___ to decide what to do. already yet Q9 - She has ___ to arrive. already yet Q10 - He has ___ arrived. already yet Q11 - I had ____ had enough. already yet Gap Filling Q1 - The report has come in for a lot of ____ in the press. critics critcise criticism

Q2 - He was a ____ of mine at Cambridge. contporary contemporaneous Q3 - The judge said that she was in ____ of court. contempt contemptuous Q4 - In the ____ you could see the city lights. distant distance Q5 - I find yoga very ____ for controlling tension. benefit benefits beneficial Q6 - The cause of ____ remains a mystery. die died dead death Q7 - The painting was not genuine so it was ____. worthwhile worthy worth worthless Q8 - The ____ news is that his condition is stable. late later latest lately Q9 - He lacks ____. ambitious ambition Q10 - She's very ____ of her success.

pride proud Q11 - I spent much of my ____ living abroad. childish childlike childhood Q12 - The ____ was never established. true truly truth Q13 - I can't resist chocolate; it's a ____ of mine. weak weakly weakness Q14 - In all ____, she won't be able to come. likely likelihood Q15 - Fog reduced ____ to zero. visible visibility visibly Q16 - It was a ____ success. remark remarkably remarkable Q17 - He ____ to sack them if they didn't improve. threat threatened threaten Q18 - The tiger is in danger of ____. extinct extinction

Q19 - Her ____ was proved in court. innocence innocent Q20 - Their cottage in a lovely, ____ village. peace peaceful