Directions (Q. 1-10): Read the passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
For a look at what climate change could do to the world's food supply, consider what the weather did to the American Corn Belt last year.
At the beginning of 2012, the Agriculture Department projected the largest corn crop in the country's history. But then a savage heat wave and drought struck over the summer. Plants withered, prices spiked, and the final harvest came in 27 per cent below the forecast.
The situation bore a striking resemblance to what happened in Europe in 2003, after a heat wave cut agricultural production for some crops by as much as 30 per cent and sent prices soaring.
Several researchers concluded that the European heat wave was made more likely by human-caused climate change; scientists are still arguing over the 2012 heat blast in the United States. Whatever their origin, heat waves like these give us a taste of what could be in store in a future with global warming.
"The negative impacts of global climate change on agriculture are only expected to get worse," said a report earlier this year from researchers at the London School of Economics and a Washington think tank, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. The report cited a need for "more resilient crops and agricultural production systems than we currently possess in today's world".
This may be the greatest single fear about global warming: that climate change could so destabilise the world's food system as to lead to rising hunger or even mass starvation. A leaked draft of a report by the United Nations climate committee, known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, suggested that the group's concerns have grown, and that the report, scheduled for release in March, is likely to contain a sharp warning about risks to the food supply.
The tone is strikingly different from that of a report from the same group in 2007, which discussed some risks, but saw global warming as likely to benefit agriculture in many important growing regions. In the years since, new scientific research has checked those assumptions.
For one, a group of young scientists has pioneered more sophisticated ways of analysing the relationship between agriculture and climate. People like David Lobell at Stanford and Wolfram Schlenker at Columbia have used elaborate statistical techniques to get a detailed picture of what heat does to crop yields.
Their work suggests that rising heat stress in some major growing areas is already putting a drag on production, and raises the possibility of much more serious effects as global warming continues.
Scientists had long hoped that the effect of heat and water stress on crops might be offset by the very thing driving global warming: the sharp increase of carbon dioxide in the air. The gas is the main food supply for plants, and a large body of evidence suggested that the ongoing rise could boost crop yields.
But a lot of that evidence came from tests in artificial environments like greenhouses. Younger scientists, who insisted on testing crops in open-air conditions more closely resembling the real world, found that the bump in yield, while certainly real, was not as high as expected. And it may not be high enough to offset other stresses from global warming. The good news is that agriculture has a tremendous capacity to adapt to new conditions, including a warming climate. Crops can be planted earlier, and new varieties that are more resistant to climate stress can be developed.
"Our past successes in agriculture have lulled many of those in decision making positions into a false sense of security," said LVal Giddings, a fellow with the Washington think tank and a co-author of its report. "It's been so long since any of them were actually hungry."
1. Why did the final harvest in 2012 come to a remarkably lower level than what was forecast by the Agriculture Department?
(A) Heavy rainfall and flood caused severe harm to the crops.
(B) A heat wave and drought led the plants to wither away.
(C) A severe cold wave during the winter damaged the plants to a great deal.
1) Only (A) 2) Only (B) 3) Only (C) 4) Only (A) and (B) 5) All (A), (B) and (C)
2. What did the research report from London School of Economics say about the impacts of global climate change on
1) There will be bumper crops in years to come.
2) There will be quantitative increase but qualitative deterioration in crops.
3) Global climate change will have adverse effect on agriculture.
4) There is a need for more resilient crops and agricultural production systems.
5) Only 3) and 4)
3. What is/are the greatest single fear about climate change? Give your answer in the context of the given passage.
1) Climate change will result in large - scale global changes in natural and social system.
2) Climate change will result in the extinction of many species.
3) Climate change will destabilise the world’s food system and may lead to rising hunger or even mass starvation.
4) Climate change will cause increased malnutrition and increased health impacts.
5) All the above
4. What had the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assumed about the effect of global warming in2007?
(A) That global warming would harm agriculture only in the tropical region
(B) That global warming would help agriculture in a lot of important growing regions
(C) That global warming is harmful in coastal areas but beneficial in hilly regions
1) Only (A) 2) Only (B) 3) Only (C) 4) Only (A) and (B) 5) Only (B) and (C)
5. Which of the following is/are the outcome(s) of the research work of young scientists David Lobell and Wolfram Schelenker?
1) That global warming is a temporary phenomenon and will have little effect on crops in desert regions
2) That the rising heat stress in some major growing areas is putting a drag on production
3) That global warming will have harmful effects on such crops as are grown in the winter season.
4) That global warming has no effect on the troposphere
5) All the above
6. What was the reason of soaring prices of crops in Europe in 2003?
1) Rising inflation across the globe
2) Cyclonic storms which completely destroyed the standing crops
3) Heat wave
4) Heavy rainfall during crop seasons
5) None of these
7. What was the reason for the difference between the expected and actual results of crop yields?
1) The increase in CO2 level was not so high as it was expected.
2) It was a factual mistake to assume that the rise in gas level would boost crop yields.
3) Artificial environment and open-air condition produced different crop yields.
4) In artificial environment the rate of photosynthesis was at optimum level whereas in open-air condition the rate of photosynthesis varied throughout the growing season.
5) None of these
8. Which of the following gases is responsible for food supply for plants?
1) Methane 2) Nitrogen 3) Carbon dioxide 4) Ozone 5) All the above
9. Which of the following is not true about agriculture?
(A) Agriculture cannot withstand warming climate.
(B) Climate-resistant varieties of crops cannot be developed by any means.
(C) Agriculture has a huge capacity to adapt to new conditions.
1) Only (A) and (B) 2) Only (B) and (C) 3) Only (A) and (C) 4) Only (B) 5) All (A), (B) and (C)
Directions (Q. 10 ): Choose the word/group of words which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.
1) projected 2) peaked 3) declined 4) pierced 5) developed