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CLIMATE

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  6. THE CLIMATE OF THE UK

It must not be expected that when we travel north or south from the tropics we shall steadily encounter colder and colder weather until we reach the poles. In practice, however, there is by no means always a steady decrease of warmth. In the first place the climate varies according to altitude. On the equator at a height of 8.000 meters it is no warmer than in England at sea level. The highest point is the coldest. The higher we ascend the rarer becomes the atmosphere with the consequence that at great height any heat produced by the sun’s rays, instead of warming the ground, escapes sо quickly that an object has no chance to become warm.

Another factor is the effect of ocean currents. Thus the British Isles lie in the way of the warm Golf Stream which tends to raise the temperature of the winter winds and maintain a моre or less equal climate all the year round. It is not sufficiently powerful to counteract the full effects of winter but the warm air rising from the Golf Stream surrounds Great Britain and prеvents the freezing of the rivers even on the coldest days. The places nearest the sea have the mildest climate. In spite of lying at the same distance from the equator Moscow and London have а different climate: the average temperature in London is higher than that in Moscow. The third factor affecting the climate is topography. Although the hills in the south-western part of England hardly ever reach one thousand meters over the sea level a great deal at moisture is left there by the wet winds with the effect that rain is reduced in their locality or does not fall at all. Rain clouds often pass ever towns on the coast protected by the hills from the west so that such towns instead of having rainy periods enjoy sunshine and fine weather.

Finally there are the effects of prevailing winds blowing across the Atlantic and carrying warm air, which keeps the winter climate mild, moist and foggy. The London fog is the worst and most unpleasant feature of the climate in England.

The climate of a country is one of the factors that influence the style of its architecture. It can be best illustrated by British residential buildings. The weather in England is often cloudy and there are few sunny days in the winter season, therefore, аs a rule, the windows in an English house are of a large size to catch as much light end sunshine as possible. In the houses built in the past century the windows, besides being large, opened upwards which is very convenient on windy days.

Since there is much rain in England, typical British houses have high, steep roofs where rain water and melting snow can easily flow down.

Most of the houses have a fireplace which forms the most characteristic feature of an English home and is seldom seen in other European countries.

The plan of an English house also differs from that of the houses where we live. English architects plan some apartments vertically instead of planning them horizontally, so that an English family having a separate apartment lives on two or sometimes three floors with rooms connected with a narrow staircase. They find it the most convenient style of apartment.

There are usually three rooms in each apartment besides а kitchen and а bathroom: а living room, а bedroom and а dining room.

An Englishman prefers to have an individual cottage in the suburbs instead of living in a big city Не likes to have а garden around his home separating one house from another so that the sun can freely enter every room. But the problem of housing brought great changes into the architectural design of modern houses which differ greatly from those of the older type. The individual cottage is giving way to block buildings with apartments one above the other which became the latest fashion; the fireplace is being replaced by central heating, the garden is shared by several families. The typical features of an English house are disappearing one by one, which makes it look like а standard residence in any country.

 

by no means — ни в коем случае, никоим образом

 

ТЕКСТ 3

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MARS

Mars is a planet which at present attracts attention of the astronomers of the whole world. It is observed through powerful telescopes and is analyzed by photographic and spectral means. There are periods when the conditions for studying this planet are more favourable than at any other time. It is а well known fact that every two years and two months Mars is particularly close to t о Earth. Being in this position it is carefully observed and studied. It has been shown by observation that Mars is similar to the Earth. It is surrounded with atmosphere. There are seasonal changes on the planet, but being farther from the Sun than the Earth Mars is supplied with less heat than our planet.

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In winter white spots of snow are formed at the poles. When the snow is melting in spring green spots appear that are moving to the equator. Because of their being green some astronomers are sure that there is plant life on Mars.

 


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