Air Pollution and Sample Academic Reading

Topics: Air pollution, Global warming, City Pages: 6 (1218 words) Published: April 8, 2013
Page 1 of 4

Sample Academic Reading A: Questions

Sample Academic Reading A: Questions
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1 on pages 2 and 3.
Questions 1 – 7
Reading Passage 1 has seven sections, A-G.
Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below. Write the correct number, i-x, in boxes 1-7 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings


Section A


Section B


Section C


Section D


Section E


Section F


Section G

Legislation brings temporary improvements
The increasing speed of suburban development
A new area of academic interest
The impact of environmental extremes on city planning
The first campaigns for environmental change
Building cities in earthquake zones
The effect of global warming on cities
Adapting areas surrounding cities to provide resources
Removing the unwanted by-products of city life
Providing health information for city dwellers

Page 2 of 4

Sample Academic Reading A: Questions

While cities and their metropolitan areas have always interacted with and shaped the natural environment, it is only recently that historians have begun to consider this relationship. During our own time, the tension between natural and urbanized areas has increased, as the spread of metropolitan populations and urban land uses has reshaped and destroyed natural landscapes and environments.

The relationship between the city and the natural environment has actually been circular, with cities having massive effects on the natural environment, while the natural environment, in turn, has profoundly shaped urban configurations. Urban history is filled with stories about how city dwellers contended with the forces of nature that threatened their lives. Nature not only caused many of the annoyances of daily urban life, such as bad weather and pests, but it also gave rise to natural disasters and catastrophes such as floods, fires, and earthquakes. In order to protect themselves and their settlements against the forces of nature, cities built many defences including flood walls and dams, earthquake-resistant buildings, and storage places for food and water. At times, such protective steps sheltered urbanites against the worst natural furies, but often their own actions – such as building under the shadow of volcanoes, or in earthquake-prone zones – exposed them to danger from natural hazards. C

City populations require food, water, fuel, and construction materials, while urban industries need natural materials for production purposes. In order to fulfil these needs, urbanites increasingly had to reach far beyond their boundaries. In the nineteenth century, for instance, the demands of city dwellers for food produced rings of garden farms around cities. In the twentieth century, as urban populations increased, the demand for food drove the rise of large factory farms. Cities also require fresh water supplies in order to exist – engineers built waterworks, dug wells deeper and deeper into the earth looking for groundwater, and dammed and diverted rivers to obtain water supplies for domestic and industrial uses. In the process of obtaining water from distant locales, cities often transformed them, making deserts where there had been fertile agricultural areas.

Urbanites had to seek locations to dispose of the wastes they produced. Initially, they placed wastes on sites within the city, polluting the air, land, and water with industrial and domestic effluents. As cities grew larger, they disposed of their wastes by transporting them to more distant locations. Thus, cities constructed sewerage systems for domestic wastes. They usually discharged the sewage into neighbouring waterways, often polluting the water supply of downstream cities.

The air and the land also became dumps for waste disposal. In the late nineteenth century, coal became...
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