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15. 2. 2009


1) What kind of weather do you know?
sunny, hot, rainy, frosty, foggy, windy, stormy, snowy, misty, muddy, slippery.
 It may: rain, drizzle, pour, hail or snow.
The sky may be clear and bright, cloudy or overcast. The rainbow may appear.
The wind may be strong (storm) or weak and refreshing (breeze)
How would you describe today´s weather?
- a) the arctic zone:
- it mostly snows and freezes. Temperatures stay below zero. The life is hard because there is winter most of the year. Typical animals are polar bear, polar fox, reindeer.
b) the tropical zone:
- the weather is mostly hot, the air is humid. Changing of drought and rain seasons are typical. Some of the animals living in this zone are snake, monkey, parrot, elephant, zebra, lion, tiger, rhino etc.
c) the moderate zone: changing of 4 seasons is typical. Each season takes 3 months.
Describe the particular seasons:
What is typical for them?
a) Spring: The snow melts and there may be floods. During April, the weather is very unstable. It drizzles, there are often rain showers or even snowstorms. Suddenly it changes into sunshine. The nature awakens. Trees turn green and they start to bloom. The first flowers appear: snowdrops, dandelions, crocuses. Birds start singing and some of them return from the south.  
       In the spring we celebrate Easter.
b) Summer: starts in June and lasts up to September. Children have two months holiday. The sun shines hot, the temperature rise – summer days are very hot. People like suntanning, having a bath in swimming pools, ponds, lakes or rivers. Some of them go hiking, stay in camps, or go abroad to the seaside.
In the summer there sometimes storms: the sky clouds over and and it gets dark, the wind gets faster. Then you can hear the thunder and see the lightning. It starts to pour and it may even hail. Some people are afraid of a thunderstorm. When the storm is over, sometimes you can see the rainbow in the sky.
Farmers have their harvest time. People pick fruits and vegetables, go mushrooming in the woods or pick strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. 
Lots of people are fond of barbecues in their gardens or at their cottages.
     c) Autumn: Children go to school again. The sun rises later and sets earlier. At the  beginning of autumn, the weather may be fine and sunny (we call it „Indian Summer“). Autumn is fairly popular because of its colours. The leaves change their colour (they turn red, orange, yellow, finally brown, and then they fall off). Some birds leave for the south. Days become colder and colder. It often rains or drizzles and the mornings are foggy. People often catch a flu, they have a cold because of an unpleasant weather. It is cloudy and overcast. Some people may even suffer from depression.
      d) Winter:
It freezes and snows. Children love winter because they like playing with the snow: throwing snowballs and building snowmen. Wintersports are very popular: skiing (downhill or crosscountry skiing), ice skating, sledging and bob sledging. Sometimes there is no snow in winter.
We celebrate Christmas (in the Czech Republic also St. Nicholas Day before Christmas),  New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
3) ENVIRONMENT and its problems:
Some of the environmental problems are:
a) grenhouse effect
b) global warming
c) cutting down rainforests (because of wood; this is a big problem in  Latin America; Brazilian rainforest is called „the lungs of the world“ – but it is being destroyed)
d) hunting endangered species – mostly by poachers
e) pollution

what causes the pollution?

The air is polluted by:

- exhaust fumes from transport and cars: people use cars to go to work or to go shopping, and there are often traffic jams, especially in big cities

- factories and power stations. There are lots of coal power stations in North Bohemia (Tušimice, Prunéřov, Počerady). They are desulphurized today; in spite of that they emit lots of pollutants every day.  

- freons and other gases

Water is polluted:

-  by cargo ships and disasters on the sea

- by people who wash their cars by rivers and ponds

- by fertilizers used in agriculture

- by chemical factories

Soil is polluted by fertilizers used in agriculture and by landfills (especially illegal landfills).


5) Explain what is the Greenhouse Effect:
 This process is natural for the Earth. It prevents heat from escaping into the atmosphere. The problem is, that human activity makes this process too intensive. Our civilization produces greenhouse gases (freons, water vapour, methane, carbon dioxide), which are let into the atmosphere in too big amounts. The effect is made stronger and our planet warms up, which results in global warming and climate changes.
 There is an ozone layer around the Earth which protects us against ultraviolet rays. The layer is getting thinner because it is damaged by freons. As a result, we are endangered by UV rays which can cause skin cancer and other diseases.
6) How can we contribute to environmental protection?
- in households:            we should: save water in our household, use environmentally friendly detergents, save electricity (turn off the lights when we are not in a room), use economical bulbs, recycle rubbish: there are special containers with a specific colour for plastic, glass and paper; we can put the biological waste into a normal container
- in the street:  we should use public transport (public buses, trams, trains, underground, trolley buses) , use ecological fuels: gas, electricity, unleaded petrol , we should go on foot or by bicycle
7) How can we get the electricity?
- coal power stations – one day we will run out of coal and we will have to search for alternative resources
- by water power: especially in Austria: they have strong rivers
- by wind power: „wind mills“ – in Germany – because there are plain areas; nowadays, wind mills are being constructed in the Czech Republic too
- nuclear power stations: especially in France
- solar power: solar panels are installed on the roofs of ecological houses
8) Ecological activists:
in the ČR: „Duha“ movement
           „Děti země“
activists in Austria demonstrate against the nuclear power station in Temelín. Do you agree with Austrian activists? Are you afraid of nuclear power or do you think it is safe and necessary? 
9) Natural disasters:
Some of the natural disasters are for example earthquakes (especially Japan, USA), tidal waves (Asia – they are connected to earthquakes in the ocean), gales, hurricanes and tornadoes (USA), volcano eruptions (Italy, Greek), avalanches in the mountains, drought in Africa which causes famine.






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