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São Paulo UNESP 2007.1 1ª Fase Questão: 84 Inglês Interpretação de Texto 

TEXTO 1: Meltdown: the Alps under pressure (Excerpt 1) Around mid-June the Pitztal Glacier in Austria goes on summer vacation. That is to say, it begins to melt, racing down Tyrolean mountainsides in frigid streams that eventually lose themselves, like Europeans in August, at a beach somewhere. But if you are the owner of a ski resort on a glacier, four months of melting is a major cause for concern. So one day the owners of the Pitztal Glacier ski resort decided to try something radical. They ordered a supply of what are basically huge white blankets and spread them across 15 acres of the glacier to keep it cold through the summer. It seems to be working: The melting has slowed. So now ski areas in Germany and Switzerland are also wrapping at least part of their glaciers. The glaciers may not feel better, but the resort owners certainly do. One July morning I went up the Stubai Glacier with glaciologist Andrea Fischer and her team of students from the University of Innsbruck. They were there to give the glacier its weekly checkup, measuring how much it had melted under the various types of protective fabric – large squares of wool, hemp, plastic, and combinations of these that lay in rows across the slushy ice. One experimental square, made of plastic, had dropped almost a foot in a week. “It’s quite normal that glaciers are gaining or losing mass,” Fischer said. What’s not normal, say climatologists, is how fast it’s happening today. Fischer and her students made note of which material had slowed the melting most effectively. Various materials, including a new white fleece, had slowed the melting to an impressive two inches. You can’t wrap a whole mountain range in a blanket. But with so much riding on Alpine ice and snow – skiing, tourism, service industries, and the livelihoods of probably millions of workers – it’s easy to see why some people might want to. Yet it will take more than blankets to shield the Alps from the environmental and human pressures facing them today. (By Erla Zwingle, National Geographic, February 2006.) TEXTO 2: Meltdown: the Alps under pressure (Excerpt 2) “High-altitude regions seem to be more sensitive to the climate warming, and the retreat of glaciers is one sign,” says Martin Beniston, a climate specialist at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. “During Roman times it was even warmer than it is now. From Val-d’Isère to Zermatt, people could cross passes where they go glacier skiing now. But today it’s the speed of warming that concerns us the most. It’s very rapid.” How rapid? Scientists estimate that the Alps have lost half their glacier ice in the past century, 20 percent of that since the 1980’s; glaciers in Switzerland have lost a fifth of their surface area in the past 15 years. As temperatures rise, so does the snow line. Sooner or later some ski centers will be stranded, and their towns will shrivel away. And rockfalls, only an occasional hazard in earlier times, are increasing, endangering communications towers and radio installations, not to mention the occasional human. “What if there weren’t any more skiing?” I asked Karin Thaler, a university student from Oberndorf, near Kitzbühel in Austria. She stared at me, thunderstruck. “That would be horrible,” she stammered. Everyone has something to do with skiing. A winter without tourists? It wouldn’t be possible.” This is why the owners of the Pitztal ski resort and other sites are paying serious money to wrap their glaciers (some $121,000 a year for the Pitztal Glacier alone). They foresee a day when high-altitude glacier ski areas will be the only ones that can reasonably count on enough snow to stay open. “We’re businessmen,” said Willi Krueger of the Pitztal resort, which sits above 9,000 feet. “If I were investing, I wouldn’t invest in any ski area lower than 5,500 feet.” Yet ski areas are still being developed throughout the Alps. And with them come roads, hotels, and ski lifts that can carry 1,800 people an hour. Then there is the problem of snowfall. Global warming is making the snowfall less predictable. Sometimes there’s a lot, sometimes too little, and it doesn’t always come when you call it. Artificial snow is one of those solutions that just creates more problems. “If a resort wants people skiing in spring, it has to make the snow cover last longer,” said Ulrike Petschacher of the World Wildlife Fund in Innsbruck. “But this damages the plants and disturbs the water cycle.” (By Erla Zwingle, National Geographic, February 2006.) A leitura dos dois textos permite afirmar que:



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