Reading Passage 1
You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.
Most city skies have become virtually empty of stars
Adapted from Verlyn Klinkenborg
If humans were truly at home under the moonlight and stars, it would make no difference to us whether we were out and about at night or during the day, the midnight world as visible to us as it is to the vast majority of nocturnal creatures on the globe. Instead, humans are diurnal beings, which means our eyes have evolved to live in the light of the sun. Even while most of us don't think of ourselves as diurnal beings, primates, mammals, or Earthlings, this is a basic evolutionary fact. Yet it's the only way to explain what we've done to the night: we've filled it with light to fulfill our needs.
Damming a river is similar to this type of engineering. Its advantages come with drawbacks, known as light pollution, whose impacts experts are only now beginning to investigate. Light pollution is mostly the result of poor lighting design, which allows artificial light to beam outward and upward into the sky, where it is not needed, rather than concentrating it downward, where it is wanted. Wherever human light enters the natural environment, it affects some part of life — migration, reproduction, and eating.
The term 'light pollution' would have been meaningless for much of human history. Imagine a starry night in 1800, when London was one of the world's most populous cities, and you're strolling toward it. Nearly a million people lived there, making due with candles and lanterns like they always had. For another seven years, there would be no gaslights in the streets or squares.
For much of human history, the term "light pollution" would have been meaningless. Imagine wandering toward London on a starry night in 1800, when it was one of the world's most populous cities. Nearly a million people lived there, surviving on candles and lanterns as they had for centuries. There would be no gaslights in the streets or squares for another seven years.
We've lit up the night as if it were an unoccupied country, despite the fact that this is far from the case. The number of nocturnal species among mammals alone is astounding. Light is a potent biological force that functions as a magnet for many organisms. Songbirds and seabirds are 'caught' by searchlights on land or by the light from gas flares on maritime oil platforms, circling and circling in the hundreds until they drop, according to scientists. Migrating birds are more likely to collide with brilliantly lighted buildings at night, and immature birds suffer far more than adults.
Insects, of course, congregate around streetlights, and for many bat species, feeding on those insects is a critical means of survival. The European lesser horseshoe bat began to disappear in some Swiss valleys after street lights were installed, possibly because those valleys were suddenly overrun with light-feeding pipistrelle bats. Other nocturnal mammals, such as desert rodents and badgers, are more cautious about hunting for food under the permanent full moon to fight pollution because they've become easier targets for predators.
Some birds, such as blackbirds and nightingales, sing at unnatural hours when exposed to artificial light. Scientists have discovered that long artificial days – and short artificial nights – induce early breeding in a variety of birds. Because a longer day allows for more feeding, it can also have an impact on migration schedules. The issue is that migration, like most other aspects of bird behavior, is a precisely timed biological behavior. If you leave too soon, you may arrive at your destination too soon for the nesting conditions to be favorable.
Nesting sea turtles, which seek out dark beaches, find fewer and fewer of them to bury their eggs on. When the baby sea turtles emerge from the eggs, they gravitate toward the brighter, more reflective sea horizon but find themselves confused by artificial lighting behind the beach. In Florida alone, hatching losses number in the hundreds of thousands every year. Frogs and toads living on the side of major highways suffer nocturnal fight levels that are as much as a million times brighter than normal, disturbing nearly every aspect of their behavior, including their night-time breeding choruses.
Light pollution was originally assumed to exclusively impact astronomers who needed to see the night sky in all its glory. Indeed, some of the first civic initiatives to minimize light pollution were conducted half a century ago to safeguard the vista from Flagstaff, Arizona's Lowell Observatory. Flagstaff was named the first International Dark Sky City in 2001. The fight against light pollution has now extended across the globe. More and more governments, and even entire countries, are pledging to decrease unwanted glare.
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?
Choose True,False, or Not Given on each statement.
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
1. Few people recognise nowadays that human beings are designed to function best in daylight.