SPE004 Reading Comprehension

Section 3: Reading Comprehension

Questions 1 – 5: Choose the best multiple-choice answer for each question.

There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a pigsty, close by the seaside. The fisherman used to go out all day long a-fishing; and one day, as he sat on the shore with his rod, looking at the sparkling waves and watching his line, all on a sudden his float was dragged away deep into the water: and in drawing it up he pulled out a great fish. But the fish said, ‘Pray let me live! I am not a real fish; I am an enchanted prince: put me in the water again, and let me go!’ ‘Oh, ho!’ said the man, ‘you need not make so many words about the matter; I will have nothing to do with a fish that can talk: so swim away, sir, as soon as you please!’ (Excerpt from 'The Fisherman and His Wife', Grimm’s Fairy Tales, 1812)

What does the word “float” mean in sentence 2?

a small fish
a large wave
a piece of fishing equipment
a fishing boat

ROME, July 7 (Reuters) - Italy's available water resources hit an all-time low in 2022, as a combination of rising temperatures and lower rainfall halved fresh supplies compared to the average of the last 30 years, data showed on Friday. A drought last year also disrupted Italian olive oil output, which fell to its lowest level since 1990, said ISTAT, the national statistics institute. Total water supplies were "almost 50% below" the annual average of 133 billion cubic meters (bcm) from 1991 to 2020, ISTAT said in its annual report. (Excerpt from 'Italy's water resources hit rock bottom in 2022’, reuters.com, 2023)

What was the overall trend in total water supplies in Italy during the period from 1991 to 2020?

Supplies remained consistent throughout the years
Supplies gradually increased over the years
Supplies fluctuated dramatically year by year
Supplies were consistently below the annual average

Record-setting heat and extreme weather events spurred by climate change affects the animals closest to us. Pet cats, dogs, rabbits, rodents and other small mammals, reptiles, and birds all experience and exhibit signs of overheating in different ways than we do.

Here’s what you need to know about how your pets try to cope with heat—and how to help them.

How do pets cool down? Pet owners “sometimes judge heat by how they feel, and that’s not what we need to do,” says Barbara Hodges, a veterinarian and director of advocacy and outreach for the Humane Society Veterinary Medicine Association, located in Davis, California. A perfect example, she says, is that “people always forget how hot asphalt is,” because we never have to touch it. “You drive somewhere [with your dog] and think, Oh, I’ll just run across the parking lot into the clinic, not realizing that it would really hurt if you don’t have shoes on.”

Animals physiologically deal with heat differently than humans do. To regulate body temperature, we sweat through our skin, head to toe, and the sweat evaporates, cooling our bodies.

Dogs and cats sweat only through their paws and noses; rabbits and birds don’t sweat at all. Dogs rely on panting as their primary way of cooling down—it allows water to evaporate across their lungs, tongues, and moist surfaces of the mouth. Cats typically groom their fur to keep cool; the saliva evaporates off their fur.

While it may be tempting to shave your furry pet in the summer to help them stay cool, don’t do it, says José Arce, veterinarian and president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. It may seem counterintuitive, but fur acts as an insulator; it helps keep animals warm in winter and cool in summer, “like roofs of houses with layers of insulation,” Arce says. Plus, it protects them from sunburn, something they’re as susceptible to as humans.

While pets have adaptations to deal with normal summers, they “don’t cope with extreme heat,” says Hodges.

Extreme heat “can overwhelm an animal’s thermoregulation, preventing them from shedding that excess heat and eventually leading to heatstroke, which can be fatal,” Arce says.

Never leave your pet in a closed car unattended under any circumstance, Arce says. If the outside air is 80 degrees (26°C), the temperature in a closed car will hit 100 degrees (37.7°C) in about 10 minutes.

Even normal activities can lead to heat stroke when temperatures are extreme. “It used to be OK to leave a dog in the backyard for a couple hours on summer day,” Hodges says, but with rising temperatures triggered by climate change and frequent heat waves, it’s important to be more vigilant. (Excerpt from ‘How extreme heat affects our pets—and how to help them’, nationalgeographic.com, 2023)

What can extreme heat lead to in animals?

Prolonged hibernation
Increased fur growth
Adaptation to higher temperatures
Heatstroke, which can cause death
According to the passage, what should pet owners avoid doing in extreme heat?
Leaving their pets unattended in a closed car
Taking their pets for a walk in the park
Brushing their pets' fur
Providing cool water for their pets to drink
What would be a good alternative title for this article?
The Effects of Climate Change
How to Care for Your New Puppy
Temperature Changes in a Closed Car
Keeping Your Pet Safe in Summer
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