D. Max Dearing was on the golf course in North Carolina when lightning struck.
It happened on a lovely July afternoon while I was playing golf with friends from work. When it started to drizzle, we decided to get under a shelter. We were standing there teasing each other and I remember the air had an unusual sweet smell. When the lightning struck, I felt absolutely frozen, but then part of me was boiling hot too. I saw these flashing lights and there was such an incredibly loud noise that I couldn’t hear anything for a while. My arms and legs felt heavy. Every bit of my body – including my hair, my eyelashes – hurt. It was a dull ache and yet so sharp at the same time, like a bad headache and needles being stuck in every part of my body. The lightning bolt went up through me and left an exit wound in my head. Now I have a hard time adding simple numbers, although I have no problem with more complex calculations.
PART 1 – Write a short summary of the article below on the separate answer sheet ¹2 (50-100 words).
The Little Ice Age
Western Europe experienced a general cooling of the climate after the year 1150 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850 that brought dire consequences to its peoples. The period from 1150 to 1850 is sometimes called the Little Ice Age.
During this time, the cooler air of the Arctic began to spread southward. Together with other changes in the atmosphere over the North Atlantic, this directed a higher number of storms into northern Europe. The sea level seems to have been increased by ice melt during the preceding Medieval Warm Period (from about 900 to 1150), contributing to the flooding which caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. Additionally, hail wiped out farmland and killed great numbers of livestock over much of Europe, due to very cold air during the warmer months. Glaciers in many parts of Europe began to advance, destroying farmland and causing massive flooding.
The climate change of the Little Ice Age had a serious impact on agriculture, as it reduced the growing season by up to two months. That is enough to affect almost any type of food production, especially crops highly adapted to use the full-season warm climatic periods. Varieties of seeds that can withstand extreme cold or warmth, wetness or dryness were not available in the past. The impact on agricultural output was significant, with poor harvests leading to high food prices and famines. In one of the worst famines, millions of people died in France and neighbouring countries in 1693. Food prices reached a peak in the year 1816 - 'the year without a summer'.
The cooler climate during the Little Ice Age had a huge impact on the health of Europeans. Malnutrition led to a weakened immunity to a variety of illnesses, including bubonic plague - the Black Death which killed a third of the population of Europe in the late 1340s. Cool, wet summers led to outbreaks of an illness called St Anthony's Fire, which caused terrible suffering, hallucinations and even death. This was due to a fungus which develops in grain stored in cool, damp conditions. Used to make bread, the grain passed the illness to whole villages.
PART 2 - Choose one of the two topics below for writing your essay on the separate answer sheet ¹3 (200-250 words). ________________________________________________________________________________
In the future, students may have the choice of studying at home by using technology such as computers or television or of studying at traditional schools. Which would you prefer? Use reasons and specific details to explain your choice.
Some people think that human needs for farmland, housing, and industry are more important than saving land for endangered animals. Do you agree or disagree with this point of view? Why or why not? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.