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English Change language

Session 50

'Hothouse Earth' - Scientists have warned that we could soon be reaching a point where global warming cannot be reversed.

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

News Review

'Hothouse Earth'

Researchers believe we could soon reach a point which will lead to boiling hot temperatures and towering seas in the centuries to come.

An international team of climate researchers has warned that even if countries meet their CO2 targets, we could still be heading towards a 'hothouse Earth'.

Language challenge

What do we call a building which is constructed of glass and used to grow plants?

a) greenhouse
b) seedhouse
c) planthouse

Watch the video and complete the activity




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The story

At this moment in time, the world has warmed about one degree Celsius above the pre-industrial level. This new analysis says that temperatures would have risen much faster if it weren't for the oceans, forests and lands absorbing vast amounts of CO2 from human activities.

However, as temperatures continue upwards, the scientists say that these natural systems can flip from soaking up carbon to spewing out huge quantities into the atmosphere. That could cause a domino effect, where permafrost thaws, forests die back and ice sheets crumble – leading to a world with four to five degrees of warming with towering seas inundating coastlines.

Key words and phrases

tipping point
time after which events can't be stopped
• Employee anger over pay has reached a tipping point. Workers will now strike.
• His latest affair was a tipping point in their marriage. She left the next day.

implying something bad will happen
• Dan's car started making ominous noises, so he took it to a mechanic.
• I had an ominous dream about the party. I don't think we should go.

domino effect
situation where one event causes a series of consecutive events
• Some warn that A.I. will have a domino effect on jobs.
• Bad intelligence caused a domino effect of military mistakes.

To do

Try our quiz to see how well you've learned today's language.

News Review quiz

3 Questions

Now you've watched the video, try to answer these questions about the language in the news.

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You can download the audio and PDF document for this episode here

Language challenge - answer

a) greenhouse.


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