Postby jiang on Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:18 pm

Dear Prof.,
Please read the following:

Between A.D.900 and 1300, the earth warmed by some three degrees. Scholars refer to that period—one of the most favorable in human history—as the Medical Climate Optimum.
Food production surged. Key agricultural regions experienced fewer floods and droughts. Death rates declined in many places, partly because of the decrease in hunger and partly because people spent less time huddled in damp, smoke-filled hovels that helped spread tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.
Prosperity stimulated an outpouring of creativity—in architecture, art and practical invention.
Trade flourished, in part because there were fewer storms at sea.

On the whole, in the period of the Medieval Climate Optimum, ________ under the influence of global warming.

(a) culture, trade and farming got fully developed
(b) food production was well controlled
(c) nature disasters like floods and droughts came more often
(d) death rate declined all over the world

The key is A. But D is also possible. Is that right?

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thank you in advance.

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Re: comprehension

Postby prof on Tue Apr 07, 2015 11:07 pm

Let's assume that the 'Medical Climate Optimum' in the text is an auto-correct error for 'Medieval Climate Optimum.'

In any case, none of the answers are correct. A. is wrong because 'an outpouring in creativity' does not mean that the results were fully developed. In fact is is clear that architecture art and practical invention have not yet 'got fully developed' even today.

D. is wrong because the text says that 'the death rate declined all over the world', while the text only says 'in many places'. (In fact, the death rate in all these places was 100% because everyone died eventually. What the author meant to say was that age at death became higher.)

If any answer is correct it is 'B'. This is because 'well controlled' is a matter of opinion. Certainly it was better controlled than before, so a case can be made that this was good enough to be called 'well controlled'.

(By the way-the last four days were the Easter break in England and in most western countries, which is why my answers are a bit later than usual.)
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