Conquer It

In order to solidify your understanding of using context clues to uncover the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary, complete the following activity. Considering what you have learned in this module, define unfamiliar vocabulary in order to create an accurate summary of a section of the text.

Now read the following excerpt from Unwrapped mummies reveal effects of climate changeopens in new window, and then complete the activity below.

Worldwide Examples Of Changes

12 The issue around the Chinchorro mummies illustrates just how vulnerable many irreplaceable cultural artifacts may be to a changing climate — human caused or not. It is something that the United Nations (U.N.) has considered for some time. Its UNESCO department names certain places as World Heritage sites because of their importance to nature or culture. A 2007 report from the U.N. agency said climate change was affecting many World Heritage sites. UNESCO says "many more, both natural and cultural" could be harmed "in the years ahead."

13 The U.S. Agency for International Development is also concerned about what effect climate change will have on World Heritage sites. It highlights an example similar to what appears to be happening in Arica. "Buildings in the rare medieval city of Leh in Ladakh, India, were constructed in a high altitude desert environment and are ill suited to current increases in precipitation," it said. In other words, the buildings were not made to handle a lot of rain.

14 Archaeology magazine listed yet another example. The burial mounds of Scythian warlords (called "kurgans"), had been frozen and preserved in permafrost near Siberia, Russia. In this case, it was ice, rather than desert, that had preserved remains for such a magnificently long time. The magazine said that they can be destabilized by Arctic thawing. A change in climate can once again mean an irreplaceable loss of artifacts and ruins as the ice preserving them melts.

History Could Fade

15 Harvard's Mitchell, meanwhile, said he suspects there could be a new climate victim with outdoor marble statues. "Historic marbles in the outdoor environment are at risk from climate change," he said.

16 So we may not know exactly what's happening in Arica, Chile. We may not know whether it should be attributed to human-caused global warming either. Yet, the fact remains that damage to historical artifacts and World Heritage sites is an expected consequence of climate change in general. Many of these sites have been remarkably preserved precisely because of the fact that they have been undisturbed by climate for so long.

17 Alter that, and, along with many other consequences, the world could lose some of its history.

Newselaopens in new window, March 18, 2015