SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Antarctic Treaty System in Need of Reform

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Antarctic Treaty System in Need of Reform

The Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) was established in 1959 to provide governance over an entire continent and the surrounding Southern Ocean. Twelve member 1 countries, including the United States currently manage the affairs of Antarctica. In the next fifty years, however, it is likely that existing conflicts will 2 accelerate over the sovereignty and resources of Antarctica, challenging the ATS. Some countries feel the ATS should be reformed, while other countries argue that Antarctica should be designated as the “common heritage of mankind” and be placed under the watch of the United Nations.

[1] 3 Altogether, opponents of the ATS believe that politics should trump science in Antarctica. [2] A main objective of the ATS was to establish international research on a continent considered a “perfect laboratory.” [3] But new technological advances have countries 4 interested in Antarctic minerals, although mineral extraction is currently banned to protect the environment. [4] New players in Antarctic affairs such as China are oil-poor states. [5] They view Antarctica’s mineral resources as one solution to their increasing oil demands. [6] In the case of China, its future demand for energy from resources such as oil and coal is forecasted to defeat that of all other countries.5

7 Because of its many reserves such as coal, uranium, oil, and natural gas, Antarctica is indeed a rich continent. Yet, for environmental reasons, and because icebergs and weather have made mineral extraction expensive, there has never been commercial mining. But non-member countries believe that easier methods of extracting oil will bring the ATS’s mineral ban into review. 8 Right now, the ATS’s superpowers choose to ignore the prediction that Antarctica may hold 200 billion barrels of oil. When the protocol banning extraction is re-examined in 2048, 9 it will be waiting for claims currently held by a few privileged nations.

[1]There is also the economic issue of the Southern Ocean, since management of the commercial exploitation of marine resources is part of the ATS. [2] Fishing is a primary industry for many countries; 10 therefore, Chinese Russian and other officials argue that forming marine preserves in Antarctica’s periphery will seal off future fishing possibilities as fish stocks in the world are being depleted. [3] Such a challenge has people wondering if national economic incentives are overwhelming the ATS’s competing science and conservation values for the Southern Ocean.11

These examples illustrate that after two decades, it’s clear Antarctica’s current governance structure isn’t dealing with new global priorities such as fuel and food security. As has probably been said by others before, detractors already feel that the continent could be better governed by the United Nations instead of the ATS. Without concessions or reform, many doubt the system can accommodate a wider community and survive in its current form.

1.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. countries including the United States, currently manage
  • C. countries: including the United States currently manage
  • D. countries including the United States currently manage

2.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. anticipate
  • C. decelerate
  • D. vacillate

3.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. Mainly,
  • C. Surprisingly,
  • D. Selfishly,

4.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. thinking about
  • C. curious about
  • D. uninterested in

5. What is the most effective way to combine sentences 4 and 5?

  • A. New players in Antarctic affairs such as China are oil-poor states, and so they view Antarctica's mineral resources as one solution to their increasing oil demands.
  • B. New players in Antarctic affairs such as China are oil-poor states, even though they view Antarctica's mineral resources as one solution to their increasing oil demands.
  • C. New players in Antarctic affairs such as China are oil-poor states, viewing Antarctica's mineral resources as the solution to their increasing oil demands.
  • D. New players in Antarctic affairs such as China are oil-poor states, despite their view that Antarctica's mineral resources are one solution to their increasing oil demands.

6. Which choice best supports the author's claim that China is an oil-poor state with accurate data based on the graphic?

  • A. In 2010, China's oil consumption exceeded production by approximately 4.5 million barrels per year.
  • B. In 2010, China's oil consumption exceeded production by approximately 10 million barrels per day.
  • C. By 2015, China's oil consumption is forecasted to exceed production by approximately 7 million barrels per day.
  • D. By 2015, China's oil production is forecasted to exceed consumption by approximately 7 million barrels per day.

7.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. With reserves such as coal, uranium, oil, and natural gas,
  • C. Because it has various reserves which include coal, uranium, oil, and natural gas,
  • D. Due to its reserves like coal, uranium, and oil, and natural gas,

8.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. At the current moment, the superpowers of the ATS fail to realize the prediction that Antarctica may hold 200 billion barrels of oil.
  • C. Currently, the ATS's superpowers are not addressing the prediction that Antarctica may hold 200 billion barrels of oil.
  • D. For now, the ATS's superpowers don't seem to mind the prediction that Antarctica may hold 200 billion barrels of oil.

9.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. an energy-hungry world
  • C. they
  • D. this banning protocol

10.

  • A. NO CHANGE
  • B. therefore Chinese Russian and other officials
  • C. therefore Chinese Russian, and other officials
  • D. therefore, Chinese, Russian, and other officials

11. Which sentence, if inserted before sentence 2, would best link the ideas of the first sentence and the rest of the paragraph?

  • A. Antarctica has a wide variety of fish.
  • B. This is one of several areas of responsibility assigned to the ATS.
  • C. Other areas of the world have been heavily overfished.
  • D. Non-member nations want to utilize the fishing ground.