ACT Reading Practice Test 74: Natural Science - El Nino: Ameteorological Enigma

DIRECTIONS: Each passage is followed by several questions. After reading a passage, choose the best answer to each question and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. You may refer to the passages as often as necessary.



1. The main purpose of the passage is to:

A. explain the weather pattern known as El Niño and describe its effects.
B. argue that El Niños are a far more significant source of weather change than global warming.
C. discuss the four meteorological patterns that form global weather.
D. describe how scientists study the weather.

2. It can reasonably be inferred from the passage that scientists began to show interest in El Niño weather patterns during which of the following decades?

F. 1780s
G. 1890s
H. 1930s
J. 1990s

3. As presented in the passage, the statements in lines 49–81 are best characterized as:

A. facts based on careful historical and scientific documents.
B. speculation based on rumor and hearsay.
C. hypotheses supported by evidence.
D. estimates based on data.

4. The author uses the information in parentheses in lines 23–25 primarily to:

F. present information related to the topic, but not immediately relevant to the paragraph.
G. suggest that La Ni?a is less important than El Niño.
H. support the use of Spanish terminology in meteorological research.
J. imply that La Ni?a phenomena were discovered considerably later than El Niño.

5. Based on the passage, some scientists speculate that when weather oscillations "beat" at the same frequency, the resulting weather:

A. is frequently neutralized.
B. is milder than normal.
C. is unusually cold.
D. is often intensified.

6. The main purpose of the third paragraph is to:

F. provide a history of 20th century climatology.
G. explain why meteorological predictions are often inaccurate.
H. describe how modern climatologists define El Niño phenomena.
J. show how climatologists know where rainfall will occur worldwide.

7. Suppose that a scientist was trying to determine if a given year in the past had been an El Niño year. Which of the following would most likely indicate an El Niño weather pattern?

A. Reports of unusually wet weather in Southern California and reports of drought in Darwin, Australia.
B. Reports of ice storms in Wisconsin and Michigan.
C. Reports of flooding in Jakarta, Indonesia and reports of unusually dry weather in Africa.
D. Reports of drought in New Mexico and Texas.

8. Based on the passage, how should the claim that "pressure caused by intense weather can have unexpected political effects" (lines 69–70) most likely be interpreted?

F. People are more likely to attend indoor political rallies in poor weather.
G. Severe weather caused problems that changed the political landscape of modern Europe.
H. In the 18th century, people frequently blamed their political leadership when weather turned bad.
J. A series of particularly severe El Niños caused Germany to lose World War II.

9. According to the passage, all of the following are negative consequences of El Niño weather patterns EXCEPT:

A. damage to coral reefs.
B. flooding.
C. drought.
D. increases in large fish populations.

10. The author makes which of the following comparisons between El Niño and global warming?

F. El Niño patterns and global warming have nothing to do with one another, and have no effect on global weather.
G. El Niño patterns and global warming have the same underlying causes.
H. The effects of El Niño patterns and global warming are easy to confuse.
J. El Niño patterns and global warming are completely independent, but often have the same effects on global weather.