LPE004 Reading Comprehension

Section 3: Reading Comprehension

Questions 1 – 6: Choose the best multiple-choice answer for each question.

The UAE is expected to witness a significant increase in temperatures, with a noticeable rise of approximately 2.21 degrees Celsius by 2050, particularly in the summer season. On July 3, the world recorded its hottest day ever, based on data from the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction. Experts explain the earth hit its highest recorded global average temperature on July 3, 2023, establishing a new peak since records began. While this doesn’t mean it was the hottest everywhere in the world, the global average temperature was the highest, 17C compared to 16.9C in August 2016.

(Excpert from ‘World records hottest day ever: UAE-based experts explain how summers have been getting warmer’, khaleejtimes.com, 2023)

What is the main focus of the paragraph?

The UAE's past temperature records.
The impact of global warming on the UAE.
The correlation between July and August temperatures.
The occurrence of the hottest day in history.

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice “without pictures or conversations?” So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

(Excerpt from ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’, Lewis Carroll, 1865)

How was Alice feeling?

Energized and alert
Bored and tired
Excited and motivated
Eager and adventurous

Your hair is surprisingly recyclable. People generate a staggering amount of hair waste—salons in the U.S. and Canada toss out some 31.5 tons a day. But what if that discarded hair didn’t have to be waste?

Nanako Hama gets a lot of mail. Mostly from strangers who live in her home city of Tokyo, but many packages also arrive from further afield in Japan. In lightly padded envelopes, they send locks of their hair—long, short, dyed, relaxed, permed—hoping to recycle it.

People generate a staggering amount of hair waste—salons in the U.S. and Canada toss out some 31.5 tons a day, and that figure is sevenfold higher in Europe. Nearly all of that waste ends up in landfills and incinerators, where it can release harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

But hair, proponents say, possesses so many useful properties that it’s a shame to simply toss it out. Which is why people all around the world, like Hama, have been collecting hair and finding innovative ways to recycle it, from weaving it into mats for mopping up oil spills to liquidizing it for use as a fertilizer.

“When you have hair on your head, it’s really important. But when it falls or you cut it, it suddenly becomes garbage,” says Hama. “Hair can be transformed into something really valuable.”

Hama is part of the San Francisco-headquartered nonprofit Matter of Trust (MoT). Members work at more than 60 hubs dotted across 17 countries, using machines to felt hair donated from local salons and individuals into inch-thick square mats roughly 33 inches across. The mats are then used to clean up oil slicks.

Hair is particularly well-suited for this, says MoT cofounder Lisa Gautier. “That’s because its rough sort of scaly outer layer lets oil cling to it.”

More specifically, hair is made of 95 percent keratin, and it’s this fibrous protein that mediates hydrophobic interactions—in other words, “oily stuff sticking together,” says Glenn Johnson, a materials scientist with the U.S. Air Force, who works with MoT to help develop and test the mats.

“Plus, hair has a large surface area,” says Megan Murray, an environmental scientist at the University of Technology Sydney, in Australia. In a 2018 study, Murray found that buffers made of recycled human hair could adsorb 0.84 grams of crude oil onto its surface for every gram of hair—significantly more than polypropylene, a type of plastic that’s typically used to clean up oil slicks.

MoT’s mats have been used in major oil spills, including the 2010 Deepwater Horizon and 2007 Cosco Busan incidents. Later this year, Hama’s team will deploy their mats in Niigata City, some four hours north of Tokyo, where more than 300 leaky wells remain in an abandoned oil field that once boasted the country’s largest oil production.

(Excerpt from ‘Your hair is surprisingly recyclable’, nationalgeographic.com, 2023)

Why do people from around the world send locks of their hair to Nanako Hama?

To participate in an art project.
To recycle their hair in innovative ways.
To donate their hair to charity.
To receive personalized haircare products.
How do proponents of hair recycling view discarded hair?
As a valuable resource that can be transformed into useful products.
As a form of waste that should be eliminated entirely.
As a potential hazard due to its contribution to greenhouse gases.
As an opportunity for salons to create wigs.
What makes hair particularly suitable for cleaning up oil spills?
Its ability to absorb large amounts of crude oil.
Its hydrophobic properties that repel water.
Its fibrous structure and rough outer layer that allow oil to cling to it.
Its availability in large quantities from salons and individuals.
What is the purpose of the nonprofit organization Matter of Trust (MoT)?
To recycle hair into fertilizers.
To promote hair donation campaigns.
To develop machines for hair recycling.
To use hair mats for cleaning up oil spills.
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