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Kalau Anda berminat menerima artikel belajar bahasa Inggris ini secara teratur, isilah FORMULIR BERLANGGANAN.

 

Global Warming - Frightening Report

On 22 January, international scientists produced a frightening 1,000-page report on global warming. The 1990s were the warmest ten years for 1,000 years, they say. Temperatures will go up even more quickly in the next 100 years. The sea will be 88 centimetres higher than it is now. Millions of people in China, Bangladesh, Egypt and other places will lose their homes in terrible floods. Why is this happening? And what can we do to stop it?

Most people agree that carbon dioxide in the air is the biggest problem. It is produced when we burn gas and oil. In November 2000, 160 countries met in The Hague to discuss this problem, but nothing was decided. Europe and China want to produce less carbon dioxide. The USA, Australia, Canada, Russia and Japan disagree. They think that we should just plant more trees. 'More trees will cool the world,' they say.

Other people don't believe that there is a problem at all. International oil companies are paying scientists lots of money to prove that global warming doesn't exist. Their money has also helped an oil man to become the President of the USA. George W Bush worked in the oil industry for many years, 'I don't think global warming is a problem,' he says.
While governments do nothing, the world is getting hotter. There are more and more disasters because of global warming. Last summer, the USA had the worst fires in its history, and Northern Europe had its worst floods. In February 2000, heavy rain and storms brought serious floods across southern Africa. Southern Botswana received 75% of its usual yearly rainfall in only 3 days. Polar bears are dying near the North Pole because the ice is melting. This is already making the sea higher. The north of Egypt, for example, is losing 148 metres of land under the sea every year. There have been serious droughts in North Korea (1997), Afghanistan (2000) and Sudan and Ethiopia (1998-2000). The Yellow River in China ran dry in 1998 and 1999. There have even been reports of unusual illnesses in America: West Nile fever in Boston and malaria in New York.

Is there any hope for the future? Some people think that solar and wind energy is the answer. Germany already has 100,000 solar roofs. The USA has plans for 1 million. But there are some problems like carbon dioxide that countries cannot solve alone. Let's hope that at the next meeting, governments will stop fighting and start working together. If they don't do something now, what kind of world will there be for our grandchildren?

Penguin Dossiers; Copyright Pearson Education Ltd 2001; Digital Imagery Copyright 2001 PhotoDisc, Inc.

global: mendunia

flood: banjir

carbon dioxide: karbon dioksida

disaster: bencana

melt: cair

drought: musim kering

fever: demam

solar energy: energi matahari

 

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