2014年4月27日托福阅读真题+题目+答案：The Climate of Japan
At the most general level, two major climatic forces determine Japan’s weather. Prevailing westerly winds move across Eurasia, sweep over the Japanese islands, and continue eastward across the Pacific Ocean. In addition, great cyclonic airflows (masses of rapidly circulating air) that arise over the western equatorial Pacific move in a wheel-like fashion northeastward across Japan and nearby regions. During winter months heavy masses of cold air from Siberia dominate the weather around Japan. Persistent cold winds skim across the Sea of Japan from the northwest, picking up moisture that they deposit as several feet of snow on the western side of the mountain ranges on Honshu Island. As the cold air drops its moisture, it flows over high ridges and down eastern slopes to bring cold, relatively dry weather to valleys and coastal plains and cities.
In spring the Siberian air mass warms and loses density, enabling atmospheric currents over the Pacific to steer warmer air into northeast Asia. This warm, moisture-laden air covers most of southern Japan during June and July. The resulting late spring rains then give way to a drier summer that is sufficiently hot and muggy, despite the island chain’s northerly latitude, to allow widespread rice cultivation.
Summer heat is followed by the highly unpredictable autumn rains that accompany the violent tropical windstorms known as typhoons. These cyclonic storms originate over the western Pacific and travel in great clockwise arcs, initially heading west toward the Philippines and southern China, curving northward later in the season. Cold weather drives these storms eastward across Japan through early autumn, revitalizing the Siberian air mass and ushering in a new annual weather cycle.
This yearly cycle has played a key role in shaping Japanese civilization. It has assured the islands ample precipitation, ranging irregularly from more than 200 centimeters annually in parts of the southwest to about 100 in the northeast and averaging 180 for the country as a whole. The moisture enables the islands to support uncommonly lush forest cover, but the combination of precipitous slopes and heavy rainfall also gives the islands one of the world’s highest rates of natural erosion, intensified by both human activity and the natural shocks of earthquakes and volcanism. These factors have given Japan its wealth of sedimentary basins, but they have also made mountainsides extremely susceptible to erosion and landslides and hence generally unsuitable for agricultural manipulation.
The island chain’s mountains backbone and great length from north to south produce climatic diversity that has contributed to regional differences. Generally sunny winters along the Pacific seaboard have made habitation there relatively pleasant. Along the Sea of Japan, on the other hand, cold, snowy winters have discouraged settlement. Furthermore, although annual precipitation is high in that region, much of it comes as snow and rushes to the sea as spring runoff, leaving little moisture for farming.
Summer weather patterns in northern Honshu, and especially along the Sea of Japan, have also discouraged agriculture. The area is subject to the yamase effect, when cool air from the north sometimes lowers temperatures sharply and damages farm production. The impact of this effect has been especially great on rice cultivation because, if it is to grow well, the rice grown in Japan requires a mean summer temperature of 20° centigrade or higher. A drop of 2° -3° can lead to a 30-50 percent drop in rice yield, and the yamase effect is capable of exceeding that level. This yamase effect does not, however, extend very far south, where most precipitation comes in the form of rain and the bulk of it in spring, summer, and fall, when most useful for cultivation. Even the autumn typhoons, which deposit most of their moisture along the southern seaboard, are beneficial because they promote the start of the winter crops that for centuries have been grown in southern Japan.
In short, for the past two millennia, the climate in general and patterns of precipitation in particular have encouraged the Japanese to cluster their settlements along the southern coast, most densely along the sheltered Inland Sea, moving into the northeast. There the limits that topography imposed on production have been tightened by climate, with the result that agricultural output has been more modest and less reliable, making the risk of crop failure and hardship commensurately greater.
1. According to paragraph 1, all of the following are true of the cold air from Siberia EXCEPT:
A. It gathers moisture as it moves across the Sea of Japan.
B. It is responsible for the snow that falls on the western side of Honshu Island.
C. It is warmed by the cyclonic airflows from the south that mix with it.
D. It is responsible for the cold, dry weather of the eastern valleys and coastal plains and cities. Paragraph 1 is marked with an arrow [→].
2. The word “enabling” in the passage is closet in meaning to
3. Why does the author include the phrase “despite the island chain’s northerly latitude” in the paragraph?
A.To indicate that one would not expect such hot, muggy weather at Japan’s latitude
B. To compare Japan’s climate to the climates of more northerly latitudes
C. To give a reason for the hot, muggy weather experienced in Japan during the summer
D. To explain why Japan’s climate is only suitable for rice cultivation
4. According to paragraph 3, all of the following are true of autumn storms EXCEPT:
A.They involve rain combined with tropical windstorms
B. Cyclonic storms have a predictable pattern of travel.
C. Their movement creates a weather cycle that repeats itself.
D. They begin as northern Siberian air masses with consistent rains following the summer heat. Paragraph 3 is marked with an arrow [→].
5. All of the following are mentioned in paragraph 4 as contributing to the high rate of erosion in the Japanese islands EXCEPT:
A.very steep slopes and heavy rainfall
B. intense agricultural manipulation
C. earthquakes and volcanic activities
D. human activity Paragraph 4 is marked with an arrow [→].
6. The word “susceptible to” in the passage is closet in meaning to
A.slow to replace losses from
B. likely to be affected by
C. unable to benefit from
D. well-known for
7. According to paragraph 5, which of the following is a major factor in the limited habitation in the area along the Sea of Japan?
A.It has too many mountains.
B. It is vulnerable to floods during spring runoff.
C. Its climate is highly irregular and unpredictable.
D. It is cold and snowy during winter. Paragraph 5 is marked with an arrow [→].
8. According to paragraph 6, how can the yamase effect lead to lower rice production in northern Honshu?
A.It can cause temperatures to drop below the level required for rice to grow well.
B. It can limit the amount of summer rainfall, resulting in less water for cultivation.
C. It can damage a large portion of the land on which rice is grown.
D.It can prevent rice cultivation during sessions other than summer. Paragraph 6 is marked with an arrow [→].
9. Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 6 about farming in southern Japan?
A.Farming is limited to rice cultivation.
B. Farming is difficult because of the yamase effect.
C. Farming takes place throughout the year.
D. Farming suffers from the effects of autumn typhoons. Paragraph 6 is marked with an arrow [→].
10. The word “exceeding” in the passage is closet in meaning to
B. going beyond
11. The word “cluster” in the passage is closet in meaning to
12. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in the passage? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.
A.Agricultural production has been more successful in northeastern Japan than along the Inland Sea, where topography and climate make life difficult for people.
B. Topography and climate have combined to limit agricultural production in northeastern Japan, resulting in an increased risk of crop failure and hardship.
C. Along the Inland Sea, where topography makes the climate more severe, decreased agricultural output has resulted from crop failure and hardship.
D. The risk of crop failure in northeastern Japan has caused greater hardship than have climate and topography.
This yearly cycle has played a key role in shaping Japanese civilization. ■It has assured the islands ample precipitation, ranging irregularly from more than 200 centimeters annually in parts of the southwest to about 100 in the northeast and averaging 180 for the country as a whole. ■ The moisture enables the islands to support uncommonly lush forest cover, but the combination of precipitous slopes and heavy rainfall also gives the islands one of the world’s highest rates of natural erosion, intensified by both human activity and the natural shocks of earthquakes and volcanism. ■These factors have given Japan its wealth of sedimentary basins, but they have also made mountainsides extremely susceptible to erosion and landslides and hence generally unsuitable for agricultural manipulation. ■
13. Look at the four squares [■] that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage. Such a large amount of rainfall has both positive and negative effects on the environment of the Japanese islands.
Where would the sentence best fit? Click on a square [■] to add the sentence to the passage.
14. Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some answer choices do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points. Drag your choices to the spaces where they belong. To review the passage, click on View Text.
1. Japan’s yearly weather cycle influences settlement patterns and agriculture across the islands. Answer Choices Cold, westerly winds from Siberia and cyclonic airflows from the Pacific Ocean provide ample rainfall for farming but contribute to high rates of erosion.
2.Settlements are most concentrated along the Pacific seaboard to the south, where climate and topography are more suitable for crop cultivation than along the Sea of Japan.
3. The yamase effect has a great impact on rice growing in northern Japan but does not affect cultivation in southern Japan, where precipitation comes in the form of rain rather than snow.
4.Japan’s yearly weather cycle makes farming possible only in the summer, as the effects of the Siberian air mass result in winters that are too cold and snowy for agriculture.
5. Agricultural practices that stabilize sediments have reduced erosion and landslides and allowed the growth of lush forests in Japan.
6. Climate changes during the last two millennia have caused the Japanese to move their settlements toward the northeast, where the climate is more favorable to agriculture.
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