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# Since the 1970s, a multitude of scientists from the fields of climatol

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Since the 1970s, a multitude of scientists from the fields of climatol  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 10 Oct 2019, 23:04
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 167, Date : 25-APR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

Since the 1970s, a multitude of scientists from the fields of climatology, oceanography, and biology have been warning the governments of the world that unless human societies reduce their emissions of “greenhouse gases”—gases such as carbon dioxide and methane that increase the capacity of the atmosphere to retain heat—worldwide global warming caused by these gases will result in catastrophic consequences for people and the environment. In December 1997, a group of delegates from over 100 nations gathered together in Kyoto, Japan, in order to work out the details of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the most comprehensive international effort to date to combat the rise of greenhouse gas emissions.

The chief goal of the Kyoto Protocol is for industrialized nations to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2 percent compared to 1990 levels. The gases targeted by the protocol are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs. The protocol contains some provisions for developing nations, but as the percapita emissions of greenhouse gases from these nations are much lower than those of industrialized nations, the majority of the reductions called for by the protocol come from the European Union (8 percent reduction from 1990 levels), the United States (7 percent reduction), and Japan (6 percent reduction).

Proponents of the Kyoto Protocol maintain that although it is not sufficient by itself to halt global warming, it represents an important first step toward a sustainable global economy. These proponents argue that most of the reductions in greenhouse gases can be achieved through improvements in efficiency and the use of cleaner fuels. While they concede that the provisions of the protocol may slow economic growth in affected nations, they maintain that the potential economic costs are far outweighed by the benefits of avoiding the ravages of global warming, which they say could include rising sea levels, erratic weather patterns, and long-term reductions in biodiversity.

Critics of the Kyoto Protocol argue that it is unnecessary, unfair, and too costly to implement. It is unnecessary, they maintain, because the scientific community is still divided on the questions of whether global warming is happening and, if it is, whether human activity is the cause. They say it is unfair because the provisions primarily limit the emissions growth of industrialized nations while giving free rein to developing nations such as India and China, which actually emit more greenhouse gases than most industrialized nations, and that this situation will give these developing nations an economic edge in the global marketplace. Furthermore, they argue, the costs of switching fuels and limiting energy use will severely damage the economy, and the negative effects of this economic depression will outweigh any theoretical gains to be had by delaying global warming.
1. Which of the following best describes the structure of the passage?

A. It raises a problem, discusses plans to address the problem, and then evaluates the merits of those plans.
B. It highlights a potential threat to the environment, discusses an international effort to alleviate this threat, and suggests possible areas for future research.
C. It introduces a proposal, describes it in greater detail, and gives arguments for and against it.
D. It presents an argument, evaluates both sides of the argument, and then comes down on the side with the stronger logical reasoning.
E. It introduces an idea, discusses the controversy that the idea has generated, and finally dismisses the idea.

2. According to the passage, what is the likely response of a supporter of the Kyoto Protocol to the argument that implementation of the protocol will cause undue economic hardship for industrialized nations?

A. It is only fair for industrialized nations to pay the majority of the expenses for enforcing the protocol, since industrialized nations have the majority of the money in the world.
B. While the Kyoto Protocol may cause some economic hardship to certain industries in industrialized nations, the protocol represents an important first step toward the development of a sustainable global economy.
C. Technological improvements, such as the hybrid fuel-cell car, will allow fuel efficient machines to offer the same performance as older inefficient machines.
D. The economic costs of enforcing the Kyoto Protocol will be outweighed by the benefits.
E. The unnecessary costs of enforcing the Kyoto Protocol will outweigh any theoretical benefits to be had by reducing greenhouse gases.

3. By observing the author’s tone, it can be inferred that which of the following most accurately represents the author’s opinions?

A. The author is in favor of immediate implementation of the Kyoto Protocol by all nations.
B. The author believes that the costs of the Kyoto Protocol should fall equally on industrialized and developing nations.
C. The author doubts that the Kyoto Protocol is an effective measure to address the problem of global warming.
D. The author is not convinced that the problems raised by global warming justify the severe restrictions imposed by the Kyoto Protocol on national economies.
E. The author believes the Kyoto Protocol is more comprehensive than prior efforts to address the problem of global warming at an international level.

4. According to the information given in the passage, which of the following would be most likely to help a nation meet the reduction targets of the Kyoto Protocol?

A. A power plant switches its fuel source from bituminous to anthracite coal, thereby reducing the amount of sulfur dioxide that the plant releases into the air.
B. An aluminum processing plant alters the mix of the chemicals used in its smelting process so that the amount of nitrous disulfide emitted by the plant is increased and the amount of sulfur hexafluoride is decreased.
C. A petrochemical plant that produces plastics adjusts its manufacturing process so that the ratio of HFCs to PFCs emitted by the plant is altered from 1:12 to 1:8.
D. A metropolitan area switches its power source from a plant that burns coal to one that burns natural gas, which emits significantly less carbon dioxide per kilowatt of power generated than coal, although leaks in the natural gas pipeline have increased the amount of methane emitted in the area.
E. To reduce smog, a state mandates that all state employees on state business must drive electric vehicles instead of gasolinepowered vehicles; the energy used by these electric cars comes from coal- and oil-burning power plants that emit carbon dioxide.

5. Which of the following, if true, would best reconcile the claim that developing nations like India and China “actually emit more greenhouse gases than most industrialized nations” with the previously stated claim that “the per-capita emissions of greenhouse gases from these nations are so much lower than those of industrialized nations”?

A. Both China and India have larger populations than any three industrialized nations combined.
B. Once China and India develop economically to a level comparable to that of an industrialized nation in Europe or North America, it is expected that these previously developing countries will have to limit their carbon emissions as well.
C. The concept of “greenhouse gases” is controversial because it has not been proven definitively that the “greenhouse effect” exists.
D. Some of the most advanced forms of industry, such as the computer industry and biotechnology, emit far less greenhouse gases per unit of economic output than less advanced industries, such as agriculture or heavy manufacturing.
E. Economic development in developing countries such as India and China is hampered by lack of investment capital, lack of economic infrastructure, and the presence of persistent social problems that hinder government efforts to spur development.

6. Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument of the critics of the Kyoto Protocol that implementing the protocol would be too costly?

A. While it is true that the scientific community is not unanimously in agreement that global warming is occurring, more than 95 percent of climatologists at universities and
government-funded laboratories in Europe and North America agree that global warming is a real phenomenon.
B. Hybrid fuel-cell cars are less expensive to operate than conventional cars because of their much greater fuel efficiency, but it is unlikely that these operational savings will ever be able to cost-justify the much greater initial investment required to purchase one of these hybrid cars.
C. Nuclear power, although completely free of carbon emissions and comparable in operating cost to an oil-burning power plant, brings the added back-end cost of disposing of the spent nuclear waste, which is both radioactive and highly toxic.
D. Although it is unfair in a sense to impose different emissions restrictions on different countries, it is only fair to impose the most restrictive limitations on countries whose advanced economic development will allow them to conform to the regulations without losing the benefits of an industrialized economy.
E. One nation that switched the fuel of 35 percent of its power plants from coal to natural gas in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions found that natural gas, although initially more expensive than coal, dropped in price to a level comparable to that of coal because natural gas companies increased production in order to meet the market demand.

Source: McGraw-Hill's GMAT (565 - 6th)
Difficulty Level: 700

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Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 10 Oct 2019, 23:04, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (931).
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Re: Since the 1970s, a multitude of scientists from the fields of climatol  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2019, 08:35
2
Hello guys

dhruv2989
shubhamrwt123

This post is for you

Official Explanation

4. According to the information given in the passage, which of the following would be most likely to help a nation meet the reduction targets of the Kyoto Protocol?

Explanation

The greenhouse gases mentioned in the passage as targeted for reduction by the Kyoto Protocol are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs. The process described in answer B will lead to a reduction in sulfur hexafluoride, which will help meet Kyoto reduction targets. Note that nitrous disulfide is not mentioned in the passage, so the increase in it mentioned in this answer is irrelevant. It is unclear whether the processes mentioned in any of the other answers will actually lead to an overall reduction in the greenhouse gases targeted by the Kyoto Protocol.

5. Which of the following, if true, would best reconcile the claim that developing nations like India and China “actually emit more greenhouse gases than most industrialized nations” with the previously stated claim that “the per-capita emissions of greenhouse gases from these nations are so much lower than those of industrialized nations”?

Explanation

If China and India both have larger populations than any industrialized nation, then they may have very large overall emissions but lower per capita emissions than industrialized nations because their emissions are distributed over a far larger population.

Hope it helps
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Re: Since the 1970s, a multitude of scientists from the fields of climatol  [#permalink]

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25 Apr 2019, 13:10
can someone explain question number 4 please?
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25 Apr 2019, 14:08
1
Passage was easy to understand, Q4 was the tricky one
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25 Apr 2019, 14:12
dhruv2989 wrote:
can someone explain question number 4 please?

I'm sure you marked C.
The hypocritical solution as GMAT gives is that Even though PFC decreased, the HFC didn't. But smilarly, if SF6 REDUCED, it isn't talking about others
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25 Apr 2019, 19:49
dhruv2989 wrote:
can someone explain question number 4 please?

"The gases targeted by the protocol are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs. The gases targeted by the protocol are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs."
"greenhouse gases can be achieved through improvements in efficiency and the use of cleaner fuels."
These two sentences need to be kept in mind.
A contradicts the cleaner fuel usage besides sulphur dioxide is not one of the gases mentioned
B seems to reduce sulfur hexafluoride. Hence is the solution.
C is reducing PFC but HFC is constant
D is increasing methane
E is increasing CO2
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25 Apr 2019, 19:56
Please explain 5. How is A outweighs rest of the arguments.

Which of the following, if true, would best reconcile the claim that developing nations like India and China “actually emit more greenhouse gases than most industrialized nations” with the previously stated claim that “the per-capita emissions of greenhouse gases from these nations are so much lower than those of industrialized nations”?
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Re: Since the 1970s, a multitude of scientists from the fields of climatol  [#permalink]

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26 Apr 2019, 11:01
Hello guys

dhruv2989
shubhamrwt123

This post is for you

Official Explanation

4. According to the information given in the passage, which of the following would be most likely to help a nation meet the reduction targets of the Kyoto Protocol?

ExplanationThe greenhouse gases mentioned in the passage as targeted for reduction by the Kyoto Protocol are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs. The process described in answer B will lead to a reduction in sulfur hexafluoride, which will help meet Kyoto reduction targets. Note that nitrous disulfide is not mentioned in the passage, so the increase in it mentioned in this answer is irrelevant. It is unclear whether the processes mentioned in any of the other answers will actually lead to an overall reduction in the greenhouse gases targeted by the Kyoto Protocol.

5. Which of the following, if true, would best reconcile the claim that developing nations like India and China “actually emit more greenhouse gases than most industrialized nations” with the previously stated claim that “the per-capita emissions of greenhouse gases from these nations are so much lower than those of industrialized nations”?

Explanation

If China and India both have larger populations than any industrialized nation, then they may have very large overall emissions but lower per capita emissions than industrialized nations because their emissions are distributed over a far larger population.

Hope it helps

THANKS AND KUDOS FOR POSTING SOLUTION

STILL DOESN'T EXPLAIN WHY NOT C? IN QUES 4
HFC AND PFC RATIO REDUCTION WILL ALSO MEAN THE SAME
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06 May 2019, 22:13
all my questions were correct except question 3. Can somebody please explain this. Thanks a lot in advance
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16 May 2019, 12:07
Official Explanation

3. By observing the author’s tone, it can be inferred that which of the following most accurately represents the author’s opinions?

Difficulty Level: 700

Explanation

The last sentence of the first paragraph refers to the Kyoto Protocol as “the most comprehensive international effort to date to combat the rise of greenhouse gas emissions.” There is not sufficient evidence in the text to support the opinions expressed in answers A through D, so E, although it is not central to the main point of the article, has to be the answer because it has direct textual support.

paras1992 wrote:
all my questions were correct except question 3. Can somebody please explain this. Thanks a lot in advance

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Re: Since the 1970s, a multitude of scientists from the fields of climatol   [#permalink] 16 May 2019, 12:07
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