Lesson 4 - R&W, Culture - FOUR SEASONS

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Snow News
Snow News last updated: 28 July 2006

Snow Sports Overview
Skiing on the Austrian glaciers is wet and slushy due to the mild temperatures. There is good skiing on the French glaciers, although wet and stormy weather is forecast for Thursday afternoon and Friday.
The Italian glaciers are in the same situation as the French glaciers with dry weather becoming cloudy and wet later on.
There is still good skiing on offer at Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland. Summer skiing will finish at Whistler, Canada on the 30th July. It is another glorious day at Timberline, USA.
New Zealand has really good skiing on the machine-packed snow on-piste and skier packed and tracked conditions off-piste. In Australia, more snow is needed across the country for an improvement in conditions to be seen.
There are excellent conditions across Argentina especially at Chapelco following 18 centimetres of new snow. The conditions across Chile are absolutely fantastic thanks to around a metre of snow falling this week.
From: www.skynews.co.uk

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Look at the map of Southern Poland and the skiing resorts. Are the skiing conditions favorable there? Choose one skiing resort and describe the existing skiing conditions:



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Summer in Europe in August 2002. We would usually associate the last month of summer with sunshine and high temperatures. However, heavy rainfall and flooding in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Russia, Romania, Italy and Switzerland made the British weather look surprisingly nice, for once!
Although we can't say whether climate change caused the heavy rainfall, scientists predict we will see more heavy rainfall days in the future than we currently get. The Environment Agency Sustainable Development Unit, said in June 2001:
'Major floods that have only happened before say, every 100 years on average, may now start to happen every 10 or 20 years. The flood season may become longer and there will be flooding in places where there has never been any before.'
1. E…….
The UK has experienced devastating floods throughout the last five years, which have affected thousands of people and caused millions of pounds worth of damage. Can we really cope with similar flooding incidents in the future, and is there anything we can do to prevent it or deal with it?
Five million people in England and Wales are now at risk from flooding every year and two million homes have been built in the natural floodplain of rivers or the coast and are vulnerable to flooding.
2. ………
Insurance companies are faced with increasing bills and, therefore, have to either put up their premiums enormously, cut the level of cover they offer, or in some cases refuse to insure homes in high-risk areas. This doesn't obviously help the home owner and many people are now struggling to insure their homes against flood damage.
Building them on higher ground, away from flood plains, with materials which can withstand heavy rainfall better seems to be a good idea.
However, the Environment Agencies throughout the UK are also looking into the problem of flood defences, as there are many areas where these would be beneficial, although the financial implications of such schemes has to be considered. In London, the Environment Agency say around £4 billion could be needed to prevent the Thames flooding, due to sea level rises.
For many people around the world, particularly in developing countries, the dangers associated with flooding are serious. Houses or even shacks, in many countries, can be destroyed instantly as a result of heavy rain and flooding. In recent months, flooding in China and Bangladesh has left thousands homeless. Whether these floods are due to climate change is difficult to say, however, they are examples of how some areas in the world struggle to cope with such situations.
Deforestation can have a big impact, as upland forests can soak up a lot of water, but, if humans are destroying these areas, the water has more land it can run to, increasing the risk to homes and people. Wetlands can also soak up a lot of moisture, but so many are now drained to make room for development that their disappearance also increases the flooding risk.
6. …..
Land used for agricultural purposes around the coast could be affected drastically, which will obviously have a large impact on livelihoods.
Of the largest 15 cities in the world, 13 of them are on coastal plains - with rising sea levels, the inhabitants of the latter cities may have to do a lot of work on their defences to prevent disasters.
As well as human homes, wildlife will also be threatened, but what preparation can be done to save all this from flooding?
What will need to be weighed up in every corner of the globe is the impact rising sea levels and increased precipitation could have on people and the environment, what can be done to prevent this and how to adapt to it. Action and no action could be very costly financially, but doing nothing could affect human lives considerably.

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First, two quiz questions:

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Don't worry if you got any of the answers wrong. Read this short text about the Australian climate:
Australia is so large it encompasses a range of climatic zones, from the tropical northern regions, through to the arid expanses of the interior and temperate regions in the south. Autumn and winter in Australia, or Oz as some people call it, are from March through May and June to August. July has the coldest average temperature with alpine areas averaging between 5 and minus 5 degrees Celsius. The temperature in the winter in the tropics—or in ‘the dry’, as winter is known—varies between 5 and 30 degrees Celsius. During the spring and summer (September–November and December–February), Australia’s southern regions experience the highest average temperatures in January and February, while December tends to be the hottest summer month in the north.
Source: http://www.dfat.gov.au/aib/tourism.html

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