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# Carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to

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Re: Carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to [#permalink]
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We can't determine the amount of carbon released simply from the fossil fuels.
Because fossil fuels are not the only source.
Carbons are getting released from the permafrost also.

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Re: Carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to [#permalink]
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C could also be an answer as there is a clear mention: "that are now being spread into the atmosphere by bacteria as the permafrost melts."
Kindly help me with the answer
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Re: Carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to [#permalink]
Bunuel wrote:
­Carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to the warming of the planet, which has melted ice in the Arctic Circle and unearthed caves and waterways that were previously inaccessible due to ice. Scientists researching these areas have found stores of carbon that had been trapped in the permafrost of these caves, and that are now being spread into the atmosphere by bacteria as the permafrost melts.

Which of the following can best be concluded by the information above?

A. The rate at which carbon is being released into the atmosphere is increasing.

B. Previously frozen carbon from permafrost will someday pose more of a threat to the environment than the carbon released from the burning of fossil fuels.

C. The amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere cannot be determined simply by calculating the amount of fossil fuel being burned.

D. The amount of carbon released into the atmosphere will increase until humans stop burning fossil fuels.

E. The amount of carbon released into the atmosphere from melting permafrost is about equal to the amount released from the burning of fossil fuels.​

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This is a CR Butler Question

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Veritas Prep Official Explanation

With Inference questions, the correct answer must meet the "must be true" standard, which means that you should attack each answer choice via process-of-elimination. Also note that when you have prior knowledge of the subject matter of a question and/or when you have a strong opinion about a topic (as many do with topics such as the environment), you must take care to avoid "mental inertia" - you can only decide on an answer choice based on what is explicitly given in the stimulus.

With choice A, pay attention to the specific wording that the "rate at which carbon is being released" is increasing (NOT "the amount of carbon is increasing"). While it might seem likely that the addition of a new source of carbon would increase the rate, you cannot prove this from the information given (what if a combination of more fuel-efficient vehicles and fewer people driving has dramatically cut down auto emissions by more than the newly unfrozen carbon is being released?).

With choice B, you can use similar logic: you just don't know how much carbon is in the permafrost (at least not from the stimulus) and you cannot rule out a massive surge in the burning of fossil fuels. (Also note - predictions far into the future are really hard to prove. What if an asteroid blows the whole planet up next week? Even if the trend were heading in this direction, that would render the prediction untrue!)

Choice C is correct: the stimulus proves that now there is (at least) a second source of carbon emissions, so calculating the amount from just one of those sources will not give an accurate statistic.

Choice D doesn't have to be true (what if someone invents a "carbon vacuum" to clean the air?). And choice E is also incorrect - you know now that there are two sources of carbon, but do not have nearly enough information to declare that the two sources are equal in the amount of carbon they release.­
Re: Carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to [#permalink]
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