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Welcome! This site is for students to practice their English and keep up to date with environmental issues.

TEN MINUTES OF ENGLISH A DAY!
You can find a mixture of reading, crosswords, videos and short English lessons: these will normally be vocabulary, but I may also treat you to some grammar!

There are now over 240 lessons on this blog. Look through the Blog archive, Post labels and Popular Posts to find what you want.

If you want to print a lesson, click on the lesson title and then look for the Print Friendly icon.

''Let nature be your teacher''
William Wordsworth, poet, 1770-1850

''Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift''
Albert Einstein, physicist, 1879-1955

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

No deal on Antarctic marine reserves

Level: Advanced / C1

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Talks to establish marine reserves in the Antarctic have failed.
Read this article about it and then answer the following questions:
1) What is the CCLMAR?
2) Where was the latest meeting held?
3) When and where is the next meeting going to be held?
4) How big was the proposed protected area in the Ross Sea?
5) Why are krill so important?


Answers below!




ANSWERS!


1) Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources 
2) Bremerhaven
3) Hobart, 23 October - 1 November
4) 2.3 million square km
5) They are a key element of the ecosystem as part of the diet of whales, penguins, seals and sea birds

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Germany's renewable energy

Level: Proficiency / C2

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Can Germany afford it's renewable energy policy?
Here is an interesting article which discusses the issue.

Read the article and then answer these questions:
1) How many renewable energy producers are there in Germany?
2) What is 'energiewende'?
3) Why did German CO2 emissions go up in 2012?
4) In 2012 how much of the UK's energy came from photovoltaics?
5) By 2050 the German government wants to cut electricity consumption by how much?


Answers below!




ANSWERS!


1) 1.3 million
2) Energy transformation
3) Increased use of brown coal
4) 1.8GW or 2%
5) 40%

Monday, 8 July 2013

Invasive species

Level: Upper Intermediate / B2

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The UK Environment Agency has compiled a list of the top ten invasive species.
Read this short photo article about them and then answer the following questions:
1) Why is Giant Hogweed a problem?
2) Where did American Mink escape from?
3) How much damage does Japanese Knotweed cause every year?
4) What is Dikerogammarus villosus better known as?
5) How tall can Himalayan Balsam grow?



Answers below!




ANSWERS!



1) The sap can cause blisters on human skin.
2) Fur farms.
3) 150 million pounds.
4) Killer shrimp
5) 3 metres

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Unprecedented climate extremes

Level: Advanced / C1

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We experienced unprecedented climate extremes in the last decade, according to a report from the World Meteorological Association (WMO).
Here is a BBC article about it. Read the article and then answer the following questions:
1) When did Europe have an extreme summer?
2) True or false: there was an increase in deaths from floods in the study period.
3) How fast did global mean sea levels rise?
4) Why does the WMO think temperatures are rising?
5) When was the warmest year ever recorded?

Answers below!

Update:
There is also a short video on this story.


Finally, what do you think? Are you a climate sceptic or are you worried about the issue?



ANSWERS!


1) 2003 (Russia 2010)
2) False
3) About 3mm per year
4) Greenhouse gases from human activity
5) 2010