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In a vast ocean region, phosphorus levels have doubled in the past few

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In a vast ocean region, phosphorus levels have doubled in the past few  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2018, 10:28
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Difficulty:

  55% (hard)

Question Stats:

57% (01:49) correct 43% (01:53) wrong based on 74 sessions

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In a vast ocean region, phosphorus levels have doubled in the past few decades due to agricultural runoff pouring out of a large river nearby. The phosphorus stimulates the growth of plankton near the ocean surface. Decaying plankton fall to the ocean floor, where bacteria devour them, consuming oxygen in the process. Due to the resulting oxygen depletion, few fish can survive in this region.

Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the information above?

(A) The agricultural runoff pouring out of the river contributes to the growth of plankton near the ocean surface.
(B) Before phosphorus levels doubled in the ocean region, most fish were able to survive in that region.
(C) If agricultural runoff ceased pouring out of the river, there would be no bacteria on the ocean floor devouring decaying plankton.
(D) The quantity of agricultural runoff pouring out of the river has doubled in the past few decades.
(E) The amount of oxygen in a body of water is in general inversely proportional to the level of phosphorus in that body of water.

Source: LSAT

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Re: In a vast ocean region, phosphorus levels have doubled in the past few  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Aug 2018, 20:25
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Here is my take on this question.
Akela wrote:
In a vast ocean region, phosphorus levels have doubled in the past few decades due to agricultural runoff pouring out of a large river nearby. The phosphorus stimulates the growth of plankton near the ocean surface. Decaying plankton fall to the ocean floor, where bacteria devour them, consuming oxygen in the process. Due to the resulting oxygen depletion, few fish can survive in this region.

Which one of the following can be properly inferred from the information above?

(A) The agricultural runoff pouring out of the river contributes to the growth of plankton near the ocean surface.
Implies that the agricultural runoff is one of the contributong factors of plankton growth near the ocean surface. Can be validated from the passage.

(B) Before phosphorus levels doubled in the ocean region, most fish were able to survive in that region.
We know few fish can survive this region, if the oxygen is consumed. Since we do not know the situation of the lake before phosphorus levels doubled in the ocean region, so can't infer that most fish were able to survive there.

(C) If agricultural runoff ceased pouring out of the river, there would be no bacteria on the ocean floor devouring decaying plankton.
There is no causality implied by event A (agricultural runoff) leading to causing event B (initiating bacterial life). We just know that the bacteria devour plankton and consume oxygen in the process.

(D) The quantity of agricultural runoff pouring out of the river has doubled in the past few decades.The phosphorus levels have doubled in the past few decades due to agricultural runoff. Since nothing is mentioned about either the quantity of agricultural runoff or the amount of phosporus levels per unit of runoff, we can't be sure of this to be true.

(E) The amount of oxygen in a body of water is in general inversely proportional to the level of phosphorus in that body of water.
This generalised statement cannot be inferred from the specific case mentioned in the question stem. Mostly because no such information is provided.

Hope this helps! :)
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Re: In a vast ocean region, phosphorus levels have doubled in the past few &nbs [#permalink] 07 Aug 2018, 20:25
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In a vast ocean region, phosphorus levels have doubled in the past few

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