Question 27

The passage given below is followed by four summaries. Choose the option that best captures the author' s position.

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 seawater.


Let us note down the important points in the given paragraph.

Global warming does not cause storms but make them more powerful. Due to the increase in the temperature, the air can absorb more moisture. This relationship (the change in the ability to absorb water with the increase in the temperature) is given by the Clausius-Clapeyron equation.

Let us evaluate the options.

The author provides storm Harvey as an example to illustrate how increased temperatures can arm the storms with more power. Harvey is not the central theme of the given paragraph. We can eliminate options A and D since option D places much emphasis on storm Harvey and option A states that there is no relationship between the increase in temperature and the power of storms. 

Option B states that the Clausius-Clapeyron equation cannot predict the quantum of destruction that a storm might cause. This point is totally out of context with respect to what that is being discussed in the paragraph. Therefore, we can eliminate option B as well. 

Option C precisely explains the mechanism through which global warming makes the modern storms more destructive. Therefore, option C is the right answer. 

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