Journey to the end of the Earth Important Questions CBSE Class 12 English
1. Answer each of the following questions in about 30-40 words:
How do geological phenomena help us to 1 know about the history of mankind? (2000; 2009 Delhi)
It is geological phenomena that help us to know about the history of mankind. Geologists say about 650 million years ago a giant ‘amalgamated’ super continent, Gondwana existed in the South. At that time India and Antarctica were parts of the same landmass. Gondwana had a warm climate and a huge variety of flora and fauna. This supercontinent survived for 500 years till the age of mammals got underway.
What kind of indications do we get while visiting Antarctica to save Earth? (2004 Delhi)
Tishani Doshi’s entire experience of visiting Antarctica was nothing short of a revelation. It made her wonder about the “beauty of balance in play on our planet”. She hopes the new generation will understand their planet better and save it from annihilation. The planet’s ecosystem and its balance that took millions of years to form can be soon destroyed. Scientists warn that a further depletion in the ozone layer will affect the activities of the phytoplankton. The lives of the marine animals and birds of the region will be affected. But the school students’ visit to the Antarctica may make human beings handle their planet in a better way.
How can a visit to the Antarctica be an enlightening experience? (2008 Outside Delhi; All Comptt. Delhi)
By visiting the Antarctica we can understand the earth’s past, present and future. A visit there can teach the next generation to understand and value our planet. Antarctica also holds within its ice-cores half-million-years old carbon records which will help us to study climatic changes by global warming.
Why is a visit to Antarctica important to realise the effect of global warming? (2008 Outside Delhi)
Antarctica is the perfect place to study the effects that global warming is causing. It is here that one can see the effect of melting glaciers and collapsing ice-shelves and how this is likely to raise the water levels in the sea and the ocean, as a result of which many low lying regions will be submerged under water.
How is Antarctica a crucial element in the debate on climate change? (2008 Outside Delhi; 2013 Comptt. Outside Delhi)
Antarctica is a crucial element in the debate on climate change because it is the only place in the world which has never sustained a human population and thus remains relatively pristine. Moreover, it holds in its ice-caves half-million- year old carbon records trapped in its layers of ice. The world’s climate is changing fast and is at present one of the most hotly debated issues. Antarctica is the ideal place to study the effect of these environmental changes as it has a very simple ecosystem and lacks biodiversity. If global warming makes Antarctica warmer, it will have disastrous consequences elsewhere.
What was the objective of the ‘Students on Ice Programme’? (2009 Delhi; 2011 Comptt. Outside Delhi)
The objective of the ‘Students on Ice’ programme was to take High School students to the limits of the world and provide them not only with inspiring opportunities in education but also enable them to understand and respect our planet. The idea was to provide them a life-changing experience at an age when they are ready to absorb, learn and most importantly act. According to Geoff Green, the High School students are the future policy makers and through this programme they would save this planet from ecological hazards and the harmful effects of global warming.
Why is Antarctica and its understanding important for the survival of the world? (2009 Outside Delhi)
Antarctica and its understanding is important for the survival of the world because it helps us to know that the southern supercontinent of Gondwana existed and centered around the present-day Antarctica. Human beings had not come on the global scene but a huge variety of flora and fauna was present in the supercontinent. It was after 500 million years that the landmass was forced to separate into countries that exist today. Antarctica’s ice-cores hold over half-million-year-old carbon records which are crucial for the study of the Earth’s past, present and future.
What are the indications for the future of humankind? (2009 Outside Delhi)
A fast and steady rise in human population in proportion to the limited natural resources is exerting pressure on land. Forests are being cut and fossil fuels are being burnt and these factors are increasing the global temperature. Melting of glaciers, depletion of ozone layer and global warming are endangering man’s existence on earth. This is bound to adversely affect marine life, birds and mankind.
How did the Antarctica amaze the writer when he first saw it? (2010 Delhi)
When the writer first saw Antarctica he was amazed by its vastness and immense white landscape. It was an endless blue horizon and the fact that it was isolated from the rest of the world created an added sense of wonder and mystery about the continent.
Why was Tishani Doshi filled with relief and wonder when he set foot on the Antarctic continent? (2010 Comptt. Delhi)
Tishani Doshi’s first emotion when he set foot on the Antarctic continent was one of relief. He felt relieved to have set foot there after over a hundred hours. Its vastness and immense wild landscape dazzled his eyes. Its endless blue horizon and its isolation from the rest of the world created a sense of wonder and mystery for him.
Why is Antarctica the place to go to if we want to study the earth’s past, present and future? (2010 Comptt. Outside Delhi)
The Antarctica landmass, that was an amalgamated southern supercontinent called Gondwana dates back to 650 million years. It can help us understand better the formation of continents and mountains like the Himalayas as they are in the modem world. Its ice-cores hold over half-million-year old carbon records that are vital to study the Earth’s past, present and future.
What were the writer’s feelings on reaching Antarctica? (2011 Delhi)
The writer’s first emotion on reaching Antarctica was that of relief. He felt relieved to have set foot on the Antarctic continent after over 100 hours. Then he experienced a sense of amazement on seeing its vastness and immense white landscape which dazzled his eyes.
What sort of brightness and silence prevailed in Antarctica dining summer? (2011 Delhi)
The brightness that prevailed in Antarctica was surreal (strange) as the austral summer light remained for 24 hours in the continent. The silence there was ubiquitous (widespread) interrupted only by the occasional avalanche or calving ice sheet.
What do you think is the reason behind the success of the programme, ‘Students on Ice’? (2011 Delhi)
The programme ‘Students on Ice’ was a success because it offered a life changing exposure to the future generation of policy makers at an age when they could absorb, learn and act. It provided them with inspiring educational opportunities which would help them foster a new understanding and respect for our planet.
Why does the author of Journey to the End of the Earth state that in 12000 years man has managed to create a ruckus on this earth? (2012 Comptt. Outside Delhi )
Humans have been on this Earth for about 12,000 years and have created a havoc and ruckus on this Earth. They have done this by encroaching on nature and establishing cities and megacities. Their increasing population has depleted natural resources and their callousness towards nature has led to a rise in global temperature.
How was Antarctica a chilling prospect for a South Indian, Tishani Doshi? (2013 Comptt. Delhi)
Tishani Doshi is a sun-worshipping South Indian and for her to spend two weeks in a place where 90 per cent of the Earth’s total ice volumes are stored is a chilling prospect, not just for circulatory and metabolic functions, but also for the imagination.
2. Answer the following question in about 125-150 words.
How the programme, ‘Students on Ice’ was an attempt to equip future generation with knowledge to save Earth? (2005 Delhi)
The objective of the ‘Students on Ice’ programme was to take the High School students to the limits of the world and provide them with inspiring opportunities in education to enable them to understand and respect our planet. According to Geoff Green, the High School students are the future policy-makers and through this programme they would be able to save this planet from the ecological hazards and the harmful effects of global warming. Antarctica, with its simple ecosystem and lack of biodiversity, is the perfect place to study how little changes in the environment can have major repercussions. The school students’ impressionable minds can study and examine the Earth’s past, present and future by their voyage to Antarctica.
The world’s geological history is trapped in the Antarctica. How is the study of this region useful to us? (2008 Delhi)
The Antarctic landmass dates back to 650 million years. It was an amalgamated southern supercontinent called Gondwana. This landmass centered around the present-day Antarctica. Human beings did not exist as their civilization is only 12,000 years old. The climate at that time was warm and landmass flourished with a vast variety of flora and fauna. The study of this region shows that Gondwana prospered for 500 million years. But then the dinosaurs got wiped out and mammals began to appear. The landmass disintegrated into countries and India, the Himalayas and South America was formed. This left Antarctica frigid at the bottom of the earth. Today, it stores the key to the significance of coridelleran folds and pre- Cambrian granite shields, ozone and carbon layers as well as a study of the evolution and extinction. This can help us to understand in a better way the formation of continents and mountains like the Himalayas as we find them in the modem world. Its ice-folds hold over half-million-year-old carbon records that are so crucial for the study of the Earth’s past, present and future, thus trapping the world’s geological history in Antarctica.
What are phytoplanktons? How are they important to our ecosystem? (2010 Outside Delhi; 2012 Delhi)
The microscopic phytoplankton are tiny forms of plant life on the sea. They nourish and sustain the entire southern ocean’s food chain. They are single-celled plants and use the energy of the sun to assimilate carbon supplying oxygen and synthesise compounds. Depletion of the ozone layer that protects us from the harmful rays of the sun adversely affects the activities of the phytoplankton. Any further depletion in the ozone layer will hamper their activity which, in turn, is bound to affect the growth of marine animals and birds and even the global carbon cycle. Thus to save the big organisms the small organisms need to be cared for because even minor changes have huge repercussions.
The author calls her two-week stay in Antarctica, ‘a chilling prospect’. How far do you think is she justified? What other features of the Antarctic environment are highlighted?
Tishani Doshi, is a sun-worshipping South Indian and for her to spend two-weeks in a place where 90 per cent of the Earth’s total ice volumes are stored is a chilling prospect—both in terms of circulatory and metabolic functions and for the imagination. She has been transported from the scorching sun to the ice floes and glaciers where ninety per cent of the earth’s surface is ice-mass. Her two-week Antarctic encounter left an epiphanic effect on her and she carried back indelible memories of the continent. For her, it was like walking into a giant ping-pong ball, devoid of any human markers like trees, billboards and buildings. She says one loses all earthly sense of perspective and time here. As the day pass in surreal 24- hour austral summer light, a silence prevails which is interrupted only by the occasional avalanche or caving ice sheet.
She learnt that Antarctica has a very simple ecosystem that lacks variety. But if this system is interfered with and environmental changes are effected indiscriminately, it can lead to depletion of the ozone layer, which protects us from the harmful rays of the sun. Since the planet is unravaged by humans, it remains unblemished. Its ice-cores hold more than half¬million-year-old carbon records that are imperative for the detailed study of our planet.
Why does Tishani Doshi call her trip to Antarctica a “Journey to the End of the Earth”? What experience did she have during this expedition? (2011 Outside Delhi)
Tishani Doshi calls her trip to Antarctica a ‘Journey to the End of the Earth’ because she crosses nine time zones, six checkpoints, three water bodies and many ecospheres to reach there. The entire journey takes one hundred hours. She is wonder-struck by the immensity and isolation of the region. She is also relieved to see its expansive wide landscape and uninterrupted blue horizon. Antarctica provides young students like her with a platform to study changes in the environment. The programme is also likely to help them develop a new respect and understanding of our planet. Antarctica is also the perfect place for them to study how little climatic changes can have big repercussions and how global warming and further depletion of the ozone layer can affect the Antarctic region. The study of the Antarctica will help them to understand the earth’s past, present and future.
In what ways is the research on Antarctica helpful in the study and understanding of the Earth’s past and future, according to the author of ‘Journey to the End of the Earth’? (2012 Comptt. Delhi)
A visit to Antarctica will help us to understand where we have come from and where we could possibly be heading. It will also suggest a lot of future possibilities, probably for even a million years later. By visiting the Antarctica we get an opportunity to study about the future climatic changes easily and more effectively. We also come to know about the repercussions of the various environmental changes. It also gives us the realization of the appearance of the ‘future world’. The ice-cores of Antarctica hold more than half-million-year-old carbon records which are very crucial for the study of the past, present and future of our planet. All this will also help us to understand our planet better and also give us ideas to save our planet.