Journey to the end of the Earth by Tishani Doshi
CBSE Guide NCERT Solutions for Vistas, Class 12 English Supplementary Reader
NCERT Answers of Exercise QuestionsChapter 3, Class 12 Vistas (NCERT English Supplementary Reader)
Read and Find Out Questions (Journey to the End of the Earth)
Question.1: How do geological phenomena help us to know about the history of humankind?
Answer: Geological phenomena help us a great deal to know about the history of humankind. By the study of geological phenomena we come to know what sort of life (flora and fauna), climate, geography etc. existed on the earth at a certain point of time in the past. It also helps us to understand how they have evolved to the present from what existed hundreds of millions of years ago.
For example, from the geological history of Antarctica and some other parts of the earth we come to know that about 650 million years ago a giant supercontinent called Gondwana did exist in the southern part of this planet. Though it had a huge variety of flora and fauna, human being did not exist at that time as the climate of the earth was much warmer and not favourable. After thriving for about 500 million years, Gondwana disintegrated into a number of small and big landmasses which later on became different countries as we see them today. It was this period when the dinosaurs were wiped out and the mammals appeared on the earth.
Question.2: What are the indications for the future of humankind?
Answer: Ninety per cent of the earth's total ice volumes are stored in Antarctica which has a major influence in controlling the earth's ecosystem. An unmitigated burning of fossil fuels, emissions of carbon dioxide and other poisonous gases are causing depletion of ozone layer resulting increase in global warming. And because of the rising temperature due to global warming the glaciers in Antarctica are retreating, icebergs are melting. Scientists warn that if we fail to check this global warming, it can lead to disastrous environmental problems which is the real and immediate threat for the future of humankind.
Reading with Insight Questions (Journey to the End of the Earth)
Question.3: 'The world's geological history is trapped in Antarctica. 'How is the study of this region useful to us?
Answer: It is true that the world's geological history is trapped in Antarctica. All secrets are embedded in the layers of ice as fossils which are abundant here owing to the great diversity of flora and fauna of Gondwana land which existed some 650 million years ago in the southern part of the globe where Antarctica is present. Studies of the fossils found in Antarctica are especially useful as it gives us an insight into the world’s geological history.
The study shows the super-continent Gondwana existed 650 million users ago, prospered for 500 million years before disintegrating into a number of small and big landmasses which later on became different countries as we see them today. It was during this period when the dinosaurs were wiped out and the mammals appeared on the earth. Man had yet to appear on this planet. No human being existed in Gondwana as the climate was warmer and not favourable to sustain human life. Antarctica because of its simple ecosystem and lack of biodiversity at present is the perfect place to study how little climatic changes can have big repercussions.
Question.4: What are Geoff Green's reasons for including high school students in Students on Ice expedition?
Answer: 'Students on Ice' programme is an inspiring educational expedition which aims at taking high school students to one end of the world, Antarctica. It provides them with the opportunity for understanding the planet they live in and thus, develop a feeling of respect for the mother earth. It offers future policy-makers of the young generations a life-changing experience at an age when they become ready to absorb, learn and act. Geoff Green wanted them to practically see how global warming is causing glaciers to retreat, ice shelves to melt and collapse. He wanted them to realize how human interference with nature can lead to disastrous environmental problems so that they can estimate the actual threat awaiting the future of humankind.
Question.5: 'Take care of the small things and the big things will take care of themselves.' What is the relevance of this statement in the context of Antarctic environment?
Answer: The above statement has a great relevance in the context of the Antarctic environment. Antarctica because of its simple ecosystem and absence of biodiversity is the perfect place to study how little climatic changes can have big repercussions.
For instance, single-celled sea grasses of microscopic size called phytoplankton after undergoing the process of photosynthesis serve as food for all birds and animals of the entire Southern Ocean. Scientists are of the opinion that any further depletion of ozone layer will affect the activities of phytoplankton. This in turn, can jeopardize the survival of the sea birds and animals, carbon cycle of the earth’s atmosphere and so on. There we see the relevance of the statement since, if we take care of these very small things big things will take care of themselves. We need to save phytoplankton by controlling our activities in order to protect the ozone layer and environment. A small change in the environment now can be disastrous for future and even make the human existence difficult.
Question.6: Why is Antarctica the place to go to, to understand the earth's present, past and future?
Chapter 3, vistas - Journey to the end of the earth - further study
(To be published next)