IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 8, Test 2: Reading Passage 2; The Little Ice Age; with best solutions and step-by step detailed explanations

IELTS Academic Reading: Cambridge 8, Test 2: Reading Passage 2; The Little Ice Age; with best solutions and step-by step detailed explanations

This IELTS Reading post focuses on all the solutions for IELTS Cambridge 8 Test 2 Reading Passage 2 which is entitled ‘The Little Ice Age’. This is an aimed post for IELTS candidates who have great problems in finding answers for the Academic Reading module. This post can guide you the best to comprehend each Reading answer without facing much difficulty. Tracing IELTS Reading answers is a gradual process and I sincerely hope this post can help you in your IELTS Reading preparation.

IELTS Cambridge 8 Test 2: AC Reading Module

Reading Passage 2:

The headline of the passage: The Little Ice Age

Questions 14-17 (List of headings):

[In this question type, IELTS candidates are provided with a list of headings, usually identified with lower-case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc.). A heading will refer to the main idea of the paragraph or section of the text. Candidates must find out the equivalent heading to the correct paragraphs or sections, which are marked with alphabets A, B, C and so forth. Candidates need to write the appropriate Roman numerals in the boxes on their answer sheets. There will always be two or three more headings than there are paragraphs or sections. So, some of the headings will not be used. It is also likely that some paragraphs or sections may not be included in the task. Generally, the first paragraph is an example paragraph which will be done for the candidates for their understanding of the task.

TIPS: Skimming is the best reading technique. You need not understand every word here. Just try to gather the gist of the sentences. That’s all. Read quickly and don’t stop until you finish each sentence. ]

Question 14: Paragraph B

In paragraph B, in lines 3-5, the writer says, “The  climate  events  of  the  Little  Ice  Age  did  more  than  help  shape  the  modern world. They are the deeply important context for the current unprecedented global warming”.

The lines suggest that the climate events of the Little Ice Age are very important or relevant for the modern world / current state of global warming.

So, the answer is: ii (The relevance of the Little Ice Age today)

Question 15: Paragraph D

Take a look at the first sentence of paragraph D is: “This book is a narrative history of climate shifts during the past ten centuries.”

Here, ten centuries means a thousand years, narrative history means study,

So, the answer is: vii (A study covering a thousand years)


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Question 16: Paragraph E   

Take a look at the last sentence of paragraph E states: “The increased productivity from farmland made some countries self-sufficient in grain and livestock and offered effective protection against famine”.

The lines clearly indicate that some countries now have enough food to tackle famine, thanks to the productivity from farmland.

Here, self-sufficient = adequate to survive from their own resources, grain and livestock = foods and animals such as cows, sheep, horse, buffalos, buffalos, goats, etc. 

So, the answer is: ix (Enough food at last)

Question 17: Paragraph F

In general, paragraph F deals with how present human civilization is responsible for different types of problems that have affected our climate. For instance, we can find the reference of the famine caused by the Irish potato blight (lines 2-4), deforestation because of intensive farming (lines 4-5), and the rise in temperature because of excessive use of fossil fuel (lines 9-10).

All these activities are done by humans and it has affected the climate seriously.

So, the answer is: iv (Human impact on the climate)

Questions 18-22 (Completing summary with list of words)

[In this type of question, candidates are asked to complete a summary with list of words taken from the passage. Candidates must write the correct letter (not the words) as the answers. Keywords and synonyms are important to find answers correctly. Generally, this type of question maintains a sequence. Find the keywords in the passage and you are most likely to find the answers.]

Title of the summary: Weather during the Little Ice Age

Question 18 and 19: Documentation of past weather conditions is limited: our main sources of knowledge of conditions in the distant past are 18. ________ and 19. _________.

Keywords for this question: documentation, past weather conditions, limited, main source of knowledge,

In paragraph C the writer talks about how limited the documentation of the past weather is.

In lines 1-2 the writer says, “Reconstructing the climate changes of the past is extremely difficult, because systematic weather observations began only a few centuries ago. . . .”

Then, in lines 4-5, the writer says, “For the time before records began, we have only ‘proxy records’ reconstructed largely from tree rings and ice cores, . … ..”

Here, For the time before records began = distant past,

So, the answers are: (in either order)

C (tree rings)

B (ice cores)

Question 20: We can deduce that the Little Ice Age was a time of ________, rather than of consistent freezing.

Keywords for this question: Little Ice Age, time of, rather than, consistent freezing,  

For this question, we need to go back a little bit to paragraph B first, in lines 6-7. Here, the author says, “. . . The little Ice Age was far from a deep freeze, however; rather an irregular seesaw of rapid climatic shifts, few lasting more than a quarter-century, . . ..”.

Now, in paragraph C, the writer says in the first line, “This book is a narrative history of climatic shifts during the past ten centuries, . . . .”

Here, far from a deep freeze = rather than of consistent freezing

So, the book shows that The Little Ice Age was, in fact, a time of climatic shifts.

So, the answer is: A (climatic shifts)

Question 21 & 22: Within it there were some periods of very cold winters, others of 21. _________ and heavy rain, and yet others that saw 22. _________ with no rain at all.

Keywords for this question: some periods, very cold winters, others of, heavy rain,  

As paragraph B (lines 6-7) gave us the answer for question no. 20, we need look for the answer of this question in paragraph B. In lines 9-13, “The seesaw brought cycles of intensely cold winters and easterly winds; then switched abruptly to years of heavy spring and early summer rains, mild winters, and frequent Atlantic storms, or to periods of droughts, light northeasterly winds, and summer heat waves.”

So, the answers are:

  1. H (storms)
  2. G (heat waves)

Questions 23-26 (Classifying events to periods)

[In this kind of questions, candidates are asked to classify different events to their occurring periods and write the correct letters corresponding to the answers.]

Question 23: Many Europeans started farming abroad.

Keywords for this question: Many Europeans, farming, abroad,  

In paragraph F The author explains in the very beginning, “Global temperature began to rise slowly after 1850, with the beginning of the Modern Warm Period. There was a vast migration from Europe by land-hungry farmers and others, to which the famine caused by the Irish potato blight contributed. . .. .” 

Here, a vast migration from Europe by land-hungry farmers and others = Europeans started farming abroad,

So, the answer is: C (Modern Warm Period)

Question 24: The cutting down of trees began to affect the climate.

Keywords for this question: cutting down of trees, affect the climate,  

In paragraph F, the writer explains in lines 5-7, “. . . Millions of hectares of forest and woodland fell before the newcomers’ axes between 1850 and 1890, as intensive European farming methods expanded across the world. The unprecedented land clearance released vast quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, triggering for the first time humanly caused global warming.”

Here, Millions of hectares of forest and woodland fell and unprecedented land clearance = the cutting down of trees,

So, the answer is: C (Modern Warm Period)

Question 25: Europeans discovered other lands.

Keywords for this question: Europeans, discovered, other lands, 

In paragraph D, the author says in lines 2-5, “.. .. . Part one describes the Medieval Warm Period, roughly 900 to 1200. During these three centuries, Norse voyagers from Northern Europe explored northern seas, settled Greenland, and visited North America.”

So, the answer is: A (Medieval Warm Period)

Question 26: Changes took place in fishing patterns.

Keywords for this question: Changes, fishing patterns, 

Have a careful look at lines 9-12 of paragraph E, which talks about the Little Ice Age, “Dried cod and herring were already staples of the European fish trade, but changes in water temperature forced fishing fleets to work further offshore. The Basques, Dutch and English developed the first offshore fishing boats adapted to a colder and stormier Atlantic…”

This means the boats were redesigned for the change in fishing practice in the Atlantic.

So, the answer is: B (Little Ice Age)

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 8 Test 2 Reading Passage 1

Click here for solutions to Cambridge 8 Test 2 Reading Passage 3

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