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2014年12月14日托福阅读机经

2015-04-02 10:43:29 | 编辑: 无 | 有502人参与 | 来自: 匿名

以下是环球托福小编为你整理的201412月14日托福阅读机经,希望对各位考生有所帮助。

考试日期:2014年12月14日
Reading Passage 1
Title:生物移居星球
Question types:
文章内容回顾:这篇文章讲了生物从一个星球转移至另一个星球的可能性,最终的结论是有可能的,因为微生物可以休眠也可以承受严苛的条件
难度分析:生物类话题,永远高频主题之一。本篇稍稍结合了一点天文地理知识,但不影响对整片文章内容结构的把握。全篇主线是对一种假说的讨论,出现了各种分析和观点,最终得出一个合理的结论。
相关背景内容:Extraterrestrial life[n 1] is life that does not originate from Earth. It is also called alien life, or, if it is a sentient and/or relatively complex individual, an "extraterrestrial" or "alien" (or, to avoid confusion with the legal sense of "alien", a "space alien"). These as yet hypothetical forms of life range from simple bacteria-like organisms to beings far more complex than humans. The possibility that viruses might exist extraterrestrially has also been proposed.[1]

The development and testing of hypotheses on extraterrestrial life is known as "exobiology" or "astrobiology", although astrobiology also considers Earth-based life in its astronomical context. Many scientists consider extraterrestrial life to be plausible, but there is no direct evidence of its existence.[2] Since the mid-20th century, there has been an ongoing search for signs of extraterrestrial life, from radios used to detect possible extraterrestrial signals, to telescopes used to search for potentially habitable extrasolar planets. It has also played a major role in works of science fiction.
Alien life, such as microorganisms, has been hypothesized to exist in the Solar System and throughout the universe. This hypothesis relies on the vast size and consistent physical laws of the observable universe. According to this argument, made by scientists such as Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, it would be improbable for life not to exist somewhere other than Earth.[3][4] This argument is embodied in the Copernican principle, which states that the Earth does not occupy a unique position in the Universe, and the mediocrity principle, which suggests that there is nothing special about life on Earth.[5] The chemistry of life may have begun shortly after the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, during a habitable epoch when the Universe was only 10–17 million years old.[6][7] Life may have emerged independently at many places throughout the Universe. Alternatively, life may have formed less frequently, then spread—by meteoroids, asteroids and other small Solar System bodies—between habitable planets in a process called panspermia.[8][9] In any case, complex organic molecules necessary for life may have formed in the protoplanetary disk of dust grains surrounding the Sun before the formation of the Earth based on computer model studies.[10] According to these studies, this same process may also occur around other stars that acquire planets.[10] (Also see Extraterrestrial organic molecules.) Suggested locations at which life might have developed include the planets Venus[11] and Mars, Jupiter's moon Europa,[12] and Saturn's moons Titan and Enceladus.[13] In May 2011, NASA scientists reported that Enceladus "is emerging as the most habitable spot beyond Earth in the Solar System for life as we know it".[14]

Since the 1950s, scientists have promoted the idea that "habitable zones" are the most likely places for life to be found. Numerous discoveries in this zone since 2007 have stimulated estimations of frequencies of Earth-like habitats numbering in the many billions[15][16] though as of 2013, only a small number of planets have been discovered in these zones.[17] Nonetheless, on November 4, 2013, astronomers reported, based on Kepler space mission data, that there could be as many as 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones of Sun-like stars and red dwarfs in the Milky Way,[18][19] 11 billion of which may be orbiting Sun-like stars.[20] The nearest such planet may be 12 light-years away, according to the scientists.[18][19] Astrobiologists have also considered a "follow the energy" view of potential habitats.[21][22]

No widely accepted evidence of extraterrestrial life has been found; however, various controversial claims have been made.[23] Beliefs that some unidentified flying objects are of extraterrestrial origin,[24] along with claims of alien abduction,[25] are dismissed by most scientists. Most UFO sightings are explained either as sightings of Earth-based aircraft or known astronomical objects, or as hoaxes.[26]

In November 2011, the White House released an official response to two petitions asking the U.S. government to acknowledge formally that aliens have visited Earth and to disclose any intentional withholding of government interactions with extraterrestrial beings. According to the response, "The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race."[27][28] Also, according to the response, there is "no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye."[27][28] The response further noted that efforts, like SETI, the Kepler space telescope and the NASA Mars rover, continue looking for signs of life. The response noted "odds are pretty high" that there may be life on other planets but "the odds of us making contact with any of them—especially any intelligent ones—are extremely small, given the distances involved."[27][28]
Reading Passage 2
Title:Ocean currents
Question types:
文章内容回顾:这篇文章讲的是洋流是由风引起,还有地球自转影响,所以南北半球方向不同。后面还提到海水的上层下层温度和密度不同,流动时可以带来好多海洋植物和动物。
难度分析:地球科学类话题,涉及的因素比较多,如洋流,风,自传,海水,温度,动植物等。但对于练习量还不错的考生来说问题应该不大,它们无一不是托福阅读中的高频话题。在理解文章时重点把握的是因果推理关系,理清事物发生的前因后果。
相关背景内容:An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of seawater generated by the forces acting upon this mean flow, such as breaking waves, wind, Coriolis effect, cabbeling, temperature and salinity differences, with tides caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun. Depth contours, shoreline configurations and interaction with other currents influence a current's direction and strength.

Ocean currents can flow for great distances, and together they create the great flow of the global conveyor belt which plays a dominant part in determining the climate of many of the Earth’s regions. Perhaps the most striking example is the Gulf Stream, which makes northwest Europe much more temperate than any other region at the same latitude. Another example is Lima, Peru where the climate is cooler (sub-tropical) than the tropical latitudes in which the area is located, due to the effect of the Humboldt Current. Ocean currents influence the temperature of the regions through which they travel. warm currents increase the temperature of the coasts along which they move. sea breezes that blow over warm currents get warmed in turn and absorb moisture.
Surface ocean currents are sometimes wind driven and develop their typical clockwise spirals in the northern hemisphere counter clockwise rotation in the southern hemisphere because of the imposed wind stresses. In wind driven current, the Ekman spiral effect results in the currents flowing at an angle to the driving winds. The areas of surface ocean currents move somewhat with the seasons; this is most notable in equatorial currents.

Ocean basins generally have a non-symmetric surface current, in that the eastern equatorward-flowing branch is broad and diffuse whereas the western poleward flowing branch is very narrow. These western boundary currents (of which the Gulf Stream is an example) are a consequence of the rotation of the Earth.

Deep ocean currents are driven by density and temperature gradients. Thermohaline circulation, also known as the ocean's conveyor belt which refers to the deep ocean density driven ocean basin currents. These currents, that flow under the surface of the ocean and are thus hidden from immediate detection, are called submarine rivers. These are currently being researched using a fleet of underwater robots called Argo. Upwelling and downwelling areas in the oceans are areas where significant vertical movement of ocean water is observed.

The South Equatorial Currents of the Atlantic and Pacific straddle the equator. Though the Coriolis effect is weak near the equator (and absent at the equator), water moving in the currents on either side of the equator is deflected slightly poleward and replaced by deeper water. Thus, equatorial upwelling occurs in these westward flowing equatorial surface currents. Upwelling is an important process because this water from within and below the pycnocline is often rich in the nutrients needed by marine organisms for growth. By contrast, generally poor conditions for growth prevail in most of the open tropical ocean, because strong layering isolates deep, nutrient rich water from the sunlit ocean surface.

Surface currents make up about 8% of all the water in the ocean. Surface currents are generally restricted to the upper 400 m (1,300 ft) of the ocean. The movement of deep water in the ocean basins is by density driven forces and gravity. The density difference is a function of different temperatures and salinity. Deep waters sink into the deep ocean basins at high latitudes where the temperatures are cold enough to cause the density to increase.

Ocean currents are measured in sverdrup (sv), where 1 sv is equivalent to a volume flow rate of 1,000,000 m3 (35,000,000 cu ft) per second.
Reading Passage 3
Title:农业商品化
Question types:
文章内容回顾:本文讲了一个地方的农业从自给自足到商品化的原因。第一个原因是有很多消费需求,第二个原因是政府偏向于收cash形式的税,而起农民也有消费需求需要用到cash,第三个原因是railway的发展。后来说到了农民开垦了很多土地,从有水的地方到没水的地方,灌溉和工具都得到发展了。
难度分析:典型的总分结构,由一个现象的提出展开了三个不同原因的讨论。考生要注意理解每个原因得出的证据,理清因果关系。并且能分清三个原因的主要差别,事例和观点要能一一对应。
相关背景内容:Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinals and other products used to sustain and enhance human life.[1] Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. However, all farming generally relies on techniques to expand and maintain the lands that are suitable for raising domesticated species. For plants, this usually requires some form of irrigation, although there are methods of dryland farming. Livestock are raised in a combination of grassland-based and landless systems, in an industry that covers almost one-third of the world's ice- and water-free area. In the developed world, industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has become the dominant system of modern farming, although there is growing support for sustainable agriculture, including permaculture and organic agriculture.

Until the Industrial Revolution, the vast majority of the human population labored in agriculture. Pre-industrial agriculture was typically subsistence agriculture/self-sufficiency in which farmers raised most of their crops for their own consumption instead of cash crops for trade. A remarkable shift in agricultural practices has occurred over the past century in response to new technologies, and the development of world markets. This also has led to technological improvements in agricultural techniques, such as the Haber-Bosch method for synthesizing ammonium nitrate which made the traditional practice of recycling nutrients with crop rotation and animal manure less important.

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological improvements have sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological damage and negative human health effects. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and the health effects of the antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals commonly used in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are an increasing component of agriculture, although they are banned in several countries. Agricultural food production and water management are increasingly becoming global issues that are fostering debate on a number of fronts. Significant degradation of land and water resources, including the depletion of aquifers, has been observed in recent decades, and the effects of global warming on agriculture and of agriculture on global warming are still not fully understood.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials. Specific foods include cereals (grains), vegetables, fruits, oils, meats and spices. Fibers include cotton, wool, hemp, silk and flax. Raw materials include lumber and bamboo. Other useful materials are produced by plants, such as resins, dyes, drugs, perfumes, biofuels and ornamental products such as cut flowers and nursery plants. Over one third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the services' sector, although the percentages of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased significantly over the past several centuries.

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