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  • Hi! Neil from BBC Learning

  • English here.

  • Did you know that

  • we are now offering

  • a new weekly extra episode of 6

  • Minute English exclusively on our

  • website? So go to

  • bbclearninenglish.com

  • to find your favourite

  • presenters on your favourite

  • programme. The extra episodes are only

  • available on our website:

  • bbclearningenglish.com. See you there!

  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English

  • from BBC Learning English.

  • I'm Neil.

  • And I'm Sam.

  • "No one is too small to make

  • a difference". Do you know

  • who said that, Sam?

  • Wasn't it climate change

  • activist, Greta Thunberg?

  • That's right. She went on to

  • say this in her message to

  • world leaders: "I don't want

  • you to be hopeful. I want

  • you to act as if your house

  • is on fire. Because it is."

  • Her speech reflected the

  • feelings of many young people

  • around the world who think that

  • not enough action is being

  • taken on climate change.

  • And they may be right, judging

  • by the record-breaking

  • temperatures that hit Canada

  • and the north-west of the

  • United States in July this year.

  • Yes, Greta Thunberg's plea to 'act

  • like your house is on fire' became

  • a reality for residents of the

  • small town of Lytton, Canada

  • which burned to the ground in

  • a shocking wildfire - a fire

  • that is burning strongly

  • and out of control.

  • So, was the Lytton wildfire yet

  • another climate change

  • wake-up call?

  • A wake-up call is the expression

  • used to describe a shocking event

  • that should make people realise

  • that action is needed

  • to change something.

  • Well, maybe not, according to

  • some climatologists who,

  • worryingly, say that what

  • happened in Lytton should

  • not even have been possible.

  • So in this programme we'll

  • be asking if scientists

  • have dangerously misunderstood

  • the realities of climate change.

  • But first it's time for my

  • quiz question and it's about

  • that extreme weather in Canada.

  • It broke records when the

  • temperature in Lytton hit an

  • all-time high on 1st July - but

  • just how hot did it get?

  • Was it:

  • a) 39 point 6 degrees?,

  • b) 49 point 6 degrees? or

  • c) 59 point 6 degrees Celsius?

  • All those temperature look really

  • high, especially for snowy Canada.

  • I ll say a) 39 point 6 degree C.

  • OK, Sam, we'll find out the

  • answer later on. Seeing your

  • hometown burn to the ground is

  • bad enough, but perhaps even

  • worst was the fact that the

  • wildfires were so unexpected.

  • According to weather pattern

  • modelling done by a team of

  • Oxford University researchers,

  • such extreme heat was

  • impossible - in theory, at least.

  • The research team was led by

  • climatologist, Geert Jan van

  • Oldenborgh. Here he is in

  • conversation with BBC World

  • Service programme,

  • Science in Action:

  • This is a wake-up call beyond

  • the wake-up calls that

  • we've had before.

  • Yes, and it's a very big shock

  • in the sense that we thought we

  • knew how heatwaves react to

  • global warming and within

  • which boundaries they're

  • increasing (of course they're

  • increasing in temperature) but

  • it's a gradual process we

  • thought and then you get this

  • thing and it's not gradual

  • at all - it's a huge jump!

  • Professor Van Oldenborgh had

  • been studying the

  • impact of global

  • warming on heatwaves - short

  • periods of time when the

  • weather is much hotter than usual.

  • Along with other climatologists,

  • he thought that climate change

  • was gradual - changing or

  • happening slowly, over a

  • long period of time.

  • But the Canadian heatwaves

  • caused him to think again.

  • Instead of being gradual the

  • temperatures saw a jump,

  • or a sudden

  • increase, of five degrees. And

  • it's this sudden jump that s got

  • Professor Van Oldenborgh and

  • his team worried.

  • By collecting data from all

  • over the world climatologists

  • try to predict changes in

  • the pattern of global warming.

  • But, as Geert Jan van Oldenborgh

  • told BBC World Service's,

  • Science in Action, the heatwave

  • in Lytton didn't fit

  • these predictions at all:

  • Everything looked like a nice

  • regular gradual trend like we

  • were used to up to last year and

  • then you suddenly break all

  • your records by four or five

  • degrees, I mean, this is

  • something that's no supposed

  • to happen and it has really

  • shaken our confidence in how

  • well we understand the

  • effect of climate

  • change on heatwaves.

  • Despite all his research,

  • Professor Van Oldenborgh is

  • still unable to explain such

  • extreme and sudden

  • changes in the

  • climate - and this, he says, has

  • shaken his confidence - made him

  • doubt something that he was

  • certain was true.

  • And it's this lack of understanding

  • worrying researchers because, as

  • the story of the town of Lytton

  • shows, the effects of climate

  • change may be even worse

  • than expected.

  • Maybe it's time we all took

  • notice of Greta Thunberg's

  • wake-up call to take action

  • on climate change.

  • Especially if even cold,

  • northern countries like Canada,

  • or Britain for that matter,

  • can experience such

  • extreme changes. Speaking of

  • which, Neil, what was the

  • answer to your quiz question?

  • Ah yes, in my quiz question

  • I asked you exactly how high

  • the temperature reached in the

  • Canadian town of Lytton.

  • What did you say, Sam?

  • I thought it was a)

  • 39 point 6 degrees Celsius.

  • Was I right?

  • Well, you were close but, in fact,

  • it got even hotter, actually reaching

  • 49 point 6 degrees Celsius - the

  • highest temperature ever recorded

  • in Canada by at least 5 degrees!

  • Phew! That's hot. Well, we'd

  • better recap the vocabulary from

  • this programme because we might

  • be hearing these words a lot more

  • in the future! Let's start with

  • a wildfire which is an

  • out-of-control fire that

  • is burning the countryside.

  • A wake-up call is an event which

  • should make people realise

  • that action needs to be

  • taken to change a situation.

  • A heatwave is a period of

  • days or weeks when the weather

  • is much hotter than usual.

  • A jump is a sudden increase

  • whereas gradual

  • means happening

  • slowly, over a long time.

  • And finally, if something

  • shakes your confidence, it makes

  • you doubt something that

  • you thought was true.

  • That's it for our look at

  • one of the hottest years

  • on record.

  • Bye for now!

  • Bye!

Hi! Neil from BBC Learning

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B1 gradual climate change climate van canada wake

Is the planet warming up faster? - 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/09/09
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