(Words: about 270; Time: 3.5 minutes)
The United Nations, or UN, has named 2006 as the International Year of Deserts. The UN wants to highlight the beauty and wonders of deserts throughout the world.
But the United Nations also wants to call attention to the dangers the world faces as more and more land becomes desert. Large amounts of land that could once grow crops have become desert. Food can no longer be grown in those areas. More land is lost to desert each year.
Deserts are special environments, home to many different animals and plants. For thousands of years, deserts have also been home to many civilizations.
Deserts are fragile environments. The UN is hoping to protect the older deserts as well as stop new deserts from forming.
Experts believe that one-third of the earth’s land surface is being threatened by the loss of cropland. When the land dries up and becomes desert, people cannot grow enough to eat. Experts believe this danger will affect about 1 billion people.
Africa has been especially harmed by growing deserts. Experts believe about two-thirds of Africa’s people are threatened by this loss of cropland.
People and climate change are causing much of the land to turn to desert. People cutting down too many trees and grazing too many cattle and other livestock have harmed the land.
Also, as more cropland is lost each year, more and more people try to live for the remaining good land. This speeds up the harm to the land.
Scientists are using pictures taken from space to track the growing deserts. They are working to heal the damaged environment.
fragile adj. easily broken or damaged 易损的
It is ______ and ______ that are causing much of the land to become desert. More and more people ______ the remaining good land is also a reason for the desertification.
Key: people; climate change; leaving for