CAT 2017 Question Paper | Verbal Slot 1

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The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

Question 31 : For each of the past three years, temperatures have hit peaks not seen since the birth of meteorology, and probably not for more than 110,000 years. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air is at its highest level in 4 million years. This does not cause storms like Harvey - there have always been storms and hurricanes along the Gulf of Mexico - but it makes them wetter and more powerful. As the seas warm, they evaporate more easily and provide energy to storm fronts. As the air above them warms, it holds more water vapour. For every half a degree Celsius in warming, there is about a 3% increase in atmospheric moisture content. Scientists call this the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. This means the skies fill more quickly and have more to dump. The storm surge was greater because sea levels have risen 20 cm as a result of more than 100 years of human -related global warming which has melted glaciers and thermally expanded the volume of sea water.

  1. The storm Harvey is one of the regular., annual ones from the Gulf of Mexico; global warming and Harvey are unrelated phenomena.
  2. Global warming does not breed storms but makes them more destructive; the Clausius-Clapeyron equation, though it predicts potential increase in atmospheric moisture content, cannot predict the scale of damage storms might wreck.
  3. Global warming melts glaciers, resulting in sea water volume expansion; this enables more water vapour to fill the air above faster. Thus, modern storms contain more destructive energy.
  4. It is naive to think that rising sea levels and the force of tropical storms are unrelated; Harvey was destructive as global warming has armed it with more moisture content, but this may not be true of all storms.

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Explanatory Answer

The main idea of the paragraph is that as the seas expand in volume due to melting glaciers and warm due to global warming, they evaporate more easily and the warm air above them holds more water vapour. This leads to wetter and more powerful storms. Option 3 sums up the key ideas of the paragraph.

Option 1 calls global warming and Harvey ‘unrelated’ and is clearly incorrect. The first part of option 2 is correct. But the paragraph does not mention anything about the Clausius-Clapeyron equation’s ability to predict the scale of damage of storms. Option D states that what was true with Harvey may not be true for all storms. This is incorrect.

Choice C is the correct answer.


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