Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 01 Vocabulary List
READING PASSAGE 1
By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the Earth’s population will live in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about three billion people by then. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% larger than in Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them if traditional farming methods continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use. Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to ensure enough food for the world’s population to live on?
The concept of indoor farming is not new, since the hothouse production of tomatoes and other produce has been in vogue for some time. What is new is the urgent need to scale up this technology to accommodate another three billion people. Many believe an entirely new approach to indoor farming is required, employing cutting-edge technologies. One such proposal is for the ‘Vertical Farm’. The concept is of multi-story buildings in which food crops are grown in environmentally controlled conditions. Situated in the heart of urban centers, they would drastically reduce the amount of transportation required to bring food to consumers. Vertical farms would need to be efficient, cheap to construct, and safe to operate. If successfully implemented, proponents claim, vertical farms offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (through year-round production of all crops), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.
It took humans 10,000 years to learn how to grow most of the crops we now take for granted. Along the way, we despoiled most of the land we worked, often turning verdant, natural ecozones into semi-arid deserts. Within that same time frame, we evolved into an urban species, in which 60% of the human population now lives vertically in cities. This means that, for the majority, we humans have shelter from the elements, yet we subject our food-bearing plants to the rigours of the great outdoors and can do no more than hope for a good weather year. However, more often than not now, due to a rapidly changing climate, that is not what happens. Massive floods, long droughts, hurricanes, and severe monsoons take their toll each year, destroying millions of tons of valuable crops.
The supporters of vertical farming claim many potential advantages for the system. For instance, crops would be produced all year round, as they would be kept in artificially controlled, optimum growing conditions. There would be no weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, or pests. All the food could be grown organically, eliminating the need for herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. The system would greatly reduce the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface. Although the system would consume energy, it would return energy to the grid via methane generation from composting nonedible parts of plants. It would also dramatically reduce fossil fuel use, by cutting out the need for tractors, ploughs, and shipping.
A major drawback of vertical farming, however, is that the plants would require artificial light. Without it, those plants nearest the windows would be exposed to more sunlight and grow more quickly, reducing the efficiency of the system. Single-story greenhouses have the benefit of natural overhead light; even so, many still need artificial lighting.
A multi-story facility with no natural overhead light would require far more. Generating enough light could be prohibitively expensive unless cheap, renewable energy is available, and this appears to be rather a future aspiration than a likelihood for the near future.
One variation of vertical farming that has been developed is to grow plants in stacked trays that move on rails. Moving the trays allows the plants to get enough sunlight. This system is already in operation, and works well within a single-story greenhouse with light reaching it from above: it Is not certain, however, that it can be made to work without that overhead natural light.
Vertical farming is an attempt to address the undoubted problems that we face in producing enough food for a growing population. At the moment, though, more needs to be done to reduce the detrimental impact it would have on the environment, particularly as regards the use of energy. While it is possible that much of our food will be grown in skyscrapers in the future, most experts currently believe it is far more likely that we will simply use the space available on urban rooftops.
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 01
Vocabulary List for READING PASSAGE 1
- A skyscraper is a tall continuously habitable building having multiple floors. Modern sources currently define skyscrapers as being at least 100 meters (330 ft) or 150 meters (490 ft) in height, though there is no universally accepted definition.
- The plant parts which are eaten by humans are called edible parts whereas the plant parts which cannot be eaten by humans are called nonedible parts e.g., in a tomato plant, the edible part is fruit whereas leaves, stems, and roots are nonedible parts.
- Demographic information examples include age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, income, education, and employment. You can easily and effectively collect these types of information with survey questions.
- pomegranate – A pomegranate is a sweet, tart fruit with thick, red skin. While the skin is not edible, it holds hundreds of juicy seeds that you can eat plain or sprinkle on salads, oatmeal, hummus, and other dishes.
- The expression “by then” means something will happen no later than a stated time or event, and the expression “until then” means something will continue happening (or not happening) at all times up to the stated time or event.
- vogue – adjective popular; fashionable.” service has become a vogue word over the past 35 years”
- scale up – increase something in size, number, or extent, especially by a constant proportion across the board.” one cannot suddenly scale up a laboratory procedure by a thousandfold”(of a factory, company, or system) increase production or capacity.” they can buy in at low cost and scale up as the company grows”
- Proponent comes from the same Latin word as propose, so a proponent is someone who proposes something, or at least supports it by speaking and writing in favor of it.
- An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscape, work together to form a bubble of life. Ecosystems contain biotic or living, parts, as well as abiotic factors, or nonliving parts.
- Granted as an adjective means “given,” and it usually follows “take for” or “taken for.” If you take someone for granted, you count on that person but you may not always show your appreciation.
- appreciation – noun – recognition, and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.”I smiled in appreciation
- along the way
during a particular period of time: I’ve been here for thirty years, and I’ve picked up a lot of experience along the way. Along the way also means while traveling from one place to another place: I drove from Texas to Maine, and I met a lot of interesting people along the way.
- How do you use despoil in a sentence?
to make a place less attractive, especially by taking things away from it by force: Many of the tombs had been despoiled.
- What is the meaning of the word verdant? green with growing plants: green in tint or color. : green with growing plants. verdant fields. : unripe in experience or judgment: green sense 5a.
- evolve – verb to develop gradually, or to cause something or someone to develop gradually: Did humans evolve from apes (an animal looks like a monkey but without a tail)? The company has evolved over the years into a multi-million dollar organization.
- What is the use of more often?
More often and more frequently are terms that express relative frequency; something can happen more frequently than something else, even though it does not happen frequently, on some absolute scale.
- herbicides — Herbicides are chemicals used to manipulate or control undesirable vegetation. Herbicide application occurs most frequently in row-crop farming, where they are applied before or during planting to maximize crop productivity by minimizing other vegetation.
- pesticides — Pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to kill pests, including insects, rodents, fungi, and unwanted plants (weeds). Over 1000 different pesticides are used around the world. Pesticides are used in public health to kill vectors of disease, such as mosquitoes, and in agriculture to kill pests that damage crops.
- plough definition: 1. a large farming tool with blades that digs the soil in fields so that seeds can be planted
- even so – in spite of that; nevertheless.” not the most exciting of places, but even so I was having a good time” even so
- ASPIRATION — a strong hope or wish for achievement or success: He has political aspirations, and hopes to run for Congress someday.
- undoubted —ADJECTIVE [usually ADJECTIVE noun]
You can use undoubted to emphasize that something exists or is true.
- What does far more likely mean?
: very probable or likely.
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 01
READING PASSAGE 2
The Falkirk Wheel
A unique engineering achievement
The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland is the world’s first and only rotating boat lift. Opened in 2002, it is central to the ambitious £84.5m Millennium Link project to restore navigability across Scotland by reconnecting the historic waterways of the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals.
The major challenge of the project lays in the fact that the Forth & Clyde Canal is situated 35 metres below the level of the Union Canal. Historically, the two canals had been joined near the town of Falkirk by a sequence of 11 locks – enclosed sections of canal in which the water level could be raised or lowered – that stepped down across a distance of 1.5 km. This had been dismantled in 1933, thereby breaking the link. When the project was launched in 1994, the British Waterways authority was keen to create a dramatic twenty-first-century landmark that would not only be a fitting commemoration of the Millennium, but also a lasting symbol of the economic regeneration of the region.
Numerous ideas were submitted for the project, including concepts ranging from rolling eggs to tilting tanks, from giant seesaws to overhead monorails. The eventual winner was a plan for the huge rotating steel boat lift which was to become The Falkirk Wheel. The unique shape of the structure is claimed to have been inspired by various sources, both manmade and natural, most notably a Celtic double-headed axe, but also the vast turning propeller of a ship, the ribcage of a whale, or the spine of a fish.
The various parts of The Falkirk Wheel were all constructed and assembled, like one giant toy building set, at Butterley Engineering’s Steelworks in Derbyshire, some 400 km from Falkirk. A team there carefully assembled the 1,200 tonnes of steel, painstakingly fitting the pieces together to an accuracy of just 10 mm to ensure a perfect final fit. In the summer of 2001, the structure was then dismantled and transported on 35 lorries to Falkirk, before all being bolted back together again on the ground, and finally lifted into position in five large sections by crane. The Wheel would need to withstand immense and constantly changing stresses as it rotated, so to make the structure more robust, the steel sections were bolted rather than welded together. Over 45,000 bolt holes were matched with their bolts, and each bolt was hand-tightened.
The Wheel consists of two sets of opposing axe-shaped arms, attached about 25 meters apart to a fixed central spine. Two diametrically opposed water-filled ‘gondolas’, each with a capacity of 360,000 liters, are fitted between the ends of the arms. These gondolas always weigh the same, whether or not they are carrying boats. This is because, according to Archimedes’ principle of displacement, floating objects displace their own weight in water. So when a boat enters a gondola, the amount of water leaving the gondola weighs exactly the same as the boat. This keeps the Wheel balanced and so, despite its enormous mass, it rotates through 180° in five and a half minutes while using very little power. It takes just 1.5 kilowatt-hours (5.4 MJ) of energy to rotate the Wheel -roughly the same as boiling eight small domestic kettles of water.
Boats needing to be lifted up enter the canal basin at the level of the Forth & Clyde Canal and then enter the lower gondola of the Wheel. Two hydraulic steel gates are raised, so as to seal the gondola off from the water in the canal basin. The water between the gates is then pumped out. A hydraulic clamp, which prevents the arms of the Wheel from moving while the gondola is docked, is removed, allowing the Wheel to turn. In the central machine room, an array of ten hydraulic motors then begins to rotate the central axle. The axle connects to the outer arms of the Wheel, which begin to rotate at a speed of 1/8 of a revolution per minute. As the wheel rotates, the gondolas are kept in the upright position by a simple gearing system. Two eight-meter-wide cogs orbit a fixed inner cog of the same width, connected by two smaller cogs traveling in the opposite direction to the outer cogs – so ensuring that the gondolas always remain level. When the gondola reaches the top, the boat passes straight onto the aqueduct situated 24 meters above the canal basin.
The remaining 11 meters of lift needed to reach the Union Canal is achieved by means of a pair of locks. The Wheel could not be constructed to elevate boats over the full 35-meter difference between the two canals, owing to the presence of the historically important Antonine Wall, which was built by the Romans in the second century AD. Boats travel under this wall via a tunnel, then through the locks, and finally onto the Union Canal.
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 01
Vocabulary List for READING PASSAGE 2
- A cog is a tooth at the edge of a gear wheel or sprocket. The cogs of the gears mesh together as they turn. This large wheel has teeth, or cogs, in its rim. A cog is a tooth at the edge of a gear wheel or sprocket.
- aqueduct. noun. a pipe or passage used for carrying water from a distance.
- upright position – If you are sitting or standing upright, you are sitting or standing with your back straight, rather than bending or lying down.
- axle –noun – a rod or spindle (either fixed or rotating) passing through the centre of a wheel or group of wheels. “the exhaust pipe corrodes around the bend which goes over the rear axle on motor cars”
- What is hydraulic clamping? Hydraulic clamps offer an easy and effective way to perform pressing processes. They are mechanical devices that use some type of liquid, such as oil, to clamp a workpiece with pressure. While all hydraulic clamps are designed for pressing processes, they are available in different types.
- gondola /ˈɡɒndələ/noun gondolas a light flat-bottomed boat used on Venetian canals, having a high point at each end and worked by one oar at the stern.the seating compartment in a ski lift.
- ambitious-adjective— having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed.
“a ruthlessly ambitious workaholic”
- The Principle of Displacement is a scientific principle put forth by Archimedes. It states that the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces and acts in the upward direction at the center of mass of the displaced fluid.
- across —adverb — from one side to the other of (a place, area, etc.). “I ran across the street”
- dismantle — verb -past tense: dismantled; past participle: dismantled take (a machine or structure) to pieces.” the engines were dismantled and the bits piled into a heap”
- landmark – noun an object or feature of a landscape or town that is easily seen and recognized from a distance, especially one that enables someone to establish their location.” the spire was once a landmark for ships sailing up the river”
- commemoration – noun — the action or fact of commemorating a dead person or past event.” local martyrs received public commemoration”a ceremony or celebration in which a person or event is remembered. plural noun: commemorations”commemorations of wartime anniversaries
- seesaw – verb — to change repeatedly from one emotion, situation, etc. to another and then back again: ; moving up and down, back and forth, or alternately ahead and behind
- What are monorails used for? A monorail is a type of railway that has a track that is a single rail. Monorails are used for passenger railway transport but they are also used in airport transfer and for medium-capacity metros.
- eventual, adj. concluding; happening at a later time or as a result at the end: “The eventual cost of the new facility has not been revealed.”
- the propeller of a ship – A propeller is a rotating fan-like structure that is used to propel the ship by using the power generated and transmitted by the main engine of the ship. The transmitted power is converted from rotational motion to generate a thrust that imparts momentum to the water, resulting in a force that acts on the ship and pushes it forward. A ship propels on the basis of Bernoulli’s principle and Newton’s third law. A pressure difference is created on the forward and aft side of the blade and water is accelerated behind the blades.
- the ribcage of a whale– The ribs connect on the front of the chest with the long flat sternum, or breast bone, and on the back with the vertebral column, creating a cage of protection for the lungs and heart.
- painstakingly –: taking pains: expending, showing, or involving diligent care and effort. painstaking research. painstaking tasks. painstaking accuracy.
- What means to withstand? to stand up against — transitive verb. : to stand up against: oppose with firm determination. especially: to resist successfully. : to be proof against: resist the effect of. withstand the impact of a landing Current Biography.
- What is robust an example?
/rəʊˈbʌst/ (of a person or animal) strong and healthy, or (of an object or system) strong and unlikely to break or fail: He looks robust and healthy enough.
- Is it welded or welded? weld verb [T] (JOIN METAL) – to join two pieces of metal together permanently by melting the parts that touch: Iron spikes have been welded (on) to the railings around the embassy.
- What is a bolt hole called?
It’s just a threaded hole. Occasionally a bolt-hole or fixing hole.
- displace – verb – take over the place, position, or role of. “he believes that books may be displaced by the electronic word”
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 01
READING PASSAGE 3
Reducing the Effects of Climate Change
Mark Rowe reports on the increasingly ambitious geo-engineering projects being explored by scientists
Such is our dependence on fossil fuels, and such is the volume of carbon dioxide already released into the atmosphere, and many experts agree that significant global warming is now inevitable. They believe that the best we can do is keep it at a reasonable level, and at present, the only serious option for doing this is cutting back on our carbon emissions. But while a few countries are making major strides in this regard, the majority are having great difficulty even stemming the rate of increase, let alone reversing it. Consequently, an increasing number of scientists are beginning to explore the alternative of geo-engineering — a term that generally refers to the intentional large-scale manipulation of the environment. According to its proponents, geo-engineering is the equivalent of a backup generator: if Plan A – reducing our dependency on fossil fuels – fails, we require a Plan B, employing grand schemes to slow down or reverse the process of global warming.
Geo-engineering; has been shown to work, at least on a small localized scale. For decades, MayDay parades in Moscow have taken place under clear blue skies, aircraft having deposited dry ice, silver iodide, and cement powder to disperse clouds. Many of the schemes now suggested look to do the opposite, and reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the planet. The most eye-catching idea of all is suggested by Professor Roger Angel of the University of Arizona. His scheme would employ up to 16 trillion minute spacecraft, each weighing about one gram, to form a transparent, sunlight-refracting sunshade in an orbit 1.5 million km above the Earth. This could, argues Angel, reduce the amount of light reaching the Earth by two percent.
The majority of geoengineering projects so far carried out — which include planting forests in deserts and depositing iron in the ocean to stimulate the growth of algae – have focused on achieving a general cooling of the Earth. But some look specifically at reversing the melting at the poles, particularly the Arctic. The reasoning is that if you replenish the ice sheets and frozen waters of the high latitudes, more light will be reflected back into space, so reducing the warming of the oceans and atmosphere.
The concept of releasing aerosol sprays into the stratosphere above the Arctic has been proposed by several scientists. This would involve using sulphur or hydrogen sulphide aerosols so that sulphur dioxide would form clouds, which would, in turn, lead to global dimming. The idea is modeled on historic volcanic explosions, such as that of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991, which led to a short-term cooling of global temperatures by 0.5 °C. Scientists have also scrutinized whether it’s possible to preserve the ice sheets of Greenland with reinforced high-tension cables, preventing icebergs from moving into the sea. Meanwhile, in the Russian Arctic, geo-engineering plans include the planting of millions of birch trees. Whereas the -region’s native evergreen pines shade the snow and absorb radiation, birches would shed their leaves in winter, thus enabling radiation to be reflected by the snow. Re-routing Russian rivers to increase cold water flow to ice-forming areas could also be used to slow down warming, say some climate scientists.
But will such schemes ever be implemented? Generally speaking, those who are most cautious about geoengineering are the scientists involved in the research. Angel says that his plan is ‘no substitute for developing renewable energy: the only permanent solution’. And Dr. Phil Rasch of the US-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is equally guarded about the role of geoengineering: ‘I think all of us agree that if we were to end geoengineering on a given day, then the planet would return to its pre-engineered condition very rapidly, and probably within ten to twenty years. That’s certainly something to worry about.’
The US National Center for Atmospheric Research has already suggested that the proposal to inject sulphur into the atmosphere might affect rainfall patterns across the tropics and the Southern Ocean. ‘Geo-engineering plans to inject stratospheric aerosols or to seed clouds would act to cool the planet, and act to increase the extent of sea ice,’ says Rasch. ‘But all the models suggest some impact on the distribution of precipitation.’
‘A further risk with geoengineering projects is that you can “overshoot”,’ says Dr Dan Hunt, from the University of Bristol’s School of Geophysical Sciences, who has studied the likely impacts of the sunshade and aerosol schemes on the climate. ‘You may bring global temperatures back to pre-industrial levels, but the risk is that the poles will still be warmer than they should be and the tropics will be cooler than before industrialization.’ To avoid such a scenario,” Hunt says, “Angel’s project would have to operate at half strength; all of which reinforces his view that the best option is to avoid the need for geo-engineering altogether.”
The main reason why geo-engineering is supported by many in the scientific community is that most researchers have little faith in the ability of politicians to agree – and then bring in — the necessary carbon cuts. Even leading conservation organizations see the value of investigating the potential of geoengineering. According to Dr Martin Sommerkorn, climate change advisor for the World Wildlife Fund’s International Arctic Programme, ‘Human-induced climate change has brought humanity to a position where we shouldn’t exclude thinking thoroughly about this topic and its possibilities.’
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 01
Vocabulary List for READING PASSAGE 3
- inevitable – adjective – certain to happen; unavoidable. – “war was inevitable”
- A birch is a thin-leaved deciduous hardwood tree of the genus Betula in the family Betulaceae, which also includes alders, hazels, and hornbeams.
- pre·engineering. : preliminary to or preparing for an engineering course.
- stratosphere – The stratosphere is a layer of Earth’s atmosphere. It is the second layer of the atmosphere as you go upward. The troposphere, the lowest layer, is right below the stratosphere. The next higher layer above the stratosphere is the mesosphere
- replenish – verb – fill (something) up again. “he replenished Justin’s glass with mineral water”
- What type of word is dimming? – verb (used with object), dimmed dim·ming. to make it dim or dimmer. to switch (the headlights of a vehicle) from the high to the low beam. verb (used without object), dimmed dim·ming.
- Algae exist in environments ranging from oceans, rivers, and lakes to ponds, brackish waters, and even snow. Algae are usually green, but they can be found in a variety of different colors. For instance, algae living in snow contain carotenoid pigments in addition to chlorophyll, hence giving the surrounding snow a distinctive red hue.
- The Arctic is a polar region located in the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Canada, the Danish Realm, northern Finland, Iceland, northern Norway, Russia, northernmost Sweden, and the United States.
- disperse -verb – distribute or spread over a wide area. “storms can disperse seeds via high altitudes”
- Silver iodide is an inorganic compound with the formula AgI. The compound is a bright yellow solid, but samples almost always contain impurities of metallic silver that give a gray coloration. The silver contamination arises because AgI is highly photosensitive. This property is exploited in silver-based photography.
- .cut back – phrasal verb of cut – reduce the amount or quantity of something, especially expenditure. – “they’ve cut back on costs”
plural noun: strides – .a long, decisive step. “he crossed the room in a couple of strides”
- Stemming is the process of reducing a word to its stem that affixes to suffixes and prefixes or to the roots of words known as “lemmas”. Stemming is important in natural language understanding (NLU) and natural language processing (NLP).
- Climate engineering (also called geoengineering) is a term used for both carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM), also called solar geoengineering, when applied at a planetary scale
- stem – a long, thin supportive or main section of something. “the main stem of the wing feathers”
- Global warming is the long-term heating of the Earth’s surface observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere. This term is not interchangeable with the term “climate change.” Since the pre-industrial period, human activities are estimated to have increased Earth’s global average temperature by about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), a number that is currently increasing by more than 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade. The current warming trend is unequivocally the result of human activity since the 1950s and is proceeding at an unprecedented rate over millennia.
- Climate change is a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and global climates. These changes have a broad range of observed effects that are synonymous with the term. Changes observed in Earth’s climate since the mid-20th century are driven by human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere, raising Earth’s average surface temperature. Natural processes, which have been overwhelmed by human activities, can also contribute to climate change, including internal variability
- An ice sheet is a mass of glacial ice of more than 50,000 square kilometers (19,000 square miles). Ice sheets contain about 99% of the freshwater on Earth, and are sometimes called continental glaciers. As ice sheets extend to the coast and over the ocean, they become ice shelves.
- An iceberg is an ice that broke off from glaciers or shelf ice and is floating in open water. Iceberg is located in the Ross Sea, Antarctica.
- The Russian Arctic is an immense territory that stretches over 24,150 kilometers of coastline and includes: The whole of the Murmansk Region and the Nenets, Yamal-Nenets, and Chukotka Autonomous Okrugs.
Cambridge IELTS 11 Reading Test 01
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