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B1 reading history and climate changes from trees

14 January 2011 Last updated at 17:19 GMT

Roman rise and fall ‘recorded in trees’

By Mark Kinver Science and environment reporter, BBC News

Tree growth rings (Image: Science Photo Library) The study offers a link between changes to the climate and the rise and fall of human societies

An extensive study of tree growth rings says there could be a link between the rise and fall of past civilisations and sudden shifts in Europe’s climate.

A team of researchers based their findings on data from 9,000 wooden artifacts from the past 2,500 years.

They found that periods of warm, wet summers coincided with prosperity, while political turmoil occurred during times of climate instability.

The findings have been published online by the journal Science.

“Looking back on 2,500 years, there are examples where climate change impacted human history,” co-author Ulf Buntgen, a paleoclimatologist at the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape, told the Science website.

Ring record

The team capitalised on a system used to date material unearthed during excavations.

Continue reading the main story

“Start Quote

Distinct drying in the 3rd Century paralleled a period of serious crisis in the western Roman empire”

End Quote Ulf Buntgen

“Archaeologists have developed oak ring width chronologies from Central Europe that cover nearly the entire Holocene and have used them for the purpose of dating artefacts, historical buildings, antique artwork and furniture,” they wrote.

“Chronologies of living and relict oaks may reflect distinct patterns of summer precipitation and drought.”

The team looked at how weather over the past couple of centuries affected living trees’ growth rings.

During good growing seasons, when water and nutrients are in plentiful supply, trees form broad rings, with their boundaries relatively far apart.

But in unfavourable conditions, such as drought, the rings grow in much tighter formation.

The researchers then used this data to reconstruct annual weather patterns from the growth rings preserved in the artefacts.

Once they had developed a chronology stretching back over the past 2,500 years, they identified a link with prosperity levels in past societies, such as the Roman Empire.

“Wet and warm summers occurred during periods of Roman and medieval prosperity. Increased climate variability from 250-600 AD coincided with the demise of the western Roman empire and the turmoil of the migration period,” the team reported.

“Distinct drying in the 3rd Century paralleled a period of serious crisis in the western Roman empire marked by barbarian invasion, political turmoil and economic dislocation in several provinces of Gaul.”

Dr Buntgen explained: “We were aware of these super-big data sets, and we brought them together and analyzed them in a new way to get the climate signal.

“If you have enough wood, the dating is secure. You just need a lot of material and a lot of rings.”

A1-A2-B1-B2 from Haïkuleaks

Haïkuleaks Cable is poetry 65 haikus in 1830 cables

  1. As is typical,
    the Pope stayed above the fray
    and did not comment.


  2. Whether such tactics
    will have a chilling effect
    remains to be seen.


  3. Rocha and Rands
    did not attend the meeting
    with Micheletti.


  4. ‘We have made request
    after request,’ he said, ‘Why
    doesn’t the U.S. respond?


  5. They do not know when
    those attacks might occur or
    what form they will take.


  6. The current tensions
    demonstrate just how little
    progress has been made.


  7. Sol Melia owns
    and operates 24
    hotels in Cuba.


  8. Parts of the country
    are often cut off by snow
    and avalanches.


  9. Instead, he gulped three
    cans of Coca-Cola while
    inhaling his food.


  10. Note: Gilead has not
    yet filed a planned judicial
    appeal in Brazil.


  11. King Hamad flatly
    stated that Bahrain is not
    happy with Qatar.


  12. Trans-Atlantic Ties:
    The Cases of Britain, France
    and Germany.


  13. He added that there
    should be ‘no blank checks, no checks
    at all,’ for Hamas.


  14. They are being seen
    as barometers for next
    year’s nationwide vote.


  15. The vessels are met
    either on shore or a short
    distance off the coast.


  16. The machines do not
    operate well in non-air
    conditioned spaces.


  17. The forum would be
    shaped with the broader picture
    in mind, not just oil.


  18. They also often
    released hostages shortly
    after their capture.


  19. Post will be open
    today for emergency
    services only.


  20. This does more than just
    ensure that she has something
    important to do.


  21. However, he said
    he was willing to review
    the matter again.


  22. (U) Liberation
    is moderately left-wing
    and pro-socialist.


  23. We will still work toward
    domestic legislation
    as well, Froman said.


  24. Therefore, he added,
    we must prepare carefully,
    out of the spotlight.


  25. The Opel story
    has dominated the news
    November 4-5.


  26. Rocha and Rands
    did not attend the meeting
    with Micheletti.


  27. Also, the changes
    would reduce the penalties
    for non-compliance.


  28. For years, the Embassy’s top goal
    has been to promote progress
    in these areas.


  29. (C) China’s oil demand has
    grown substantially over
    the last 30 years.


  30. Strengthening the US
    Navy presence in the Gulf
    sent a good message.


  31. Macedonia
    continues to progress well
    on defense reforms.


  32. A Cuban woman
    in her thirties confides, “It’s all
    about who you know.


  33. In his pride, he lashed
    out at perceived opponents.
    No Comparison?


  34. (C) Changing tack, Li
    launched into a spirited
    defense of free trade.


  35. Once through this door, there
    was another metal gate
    inside the entrance.


  36. “Where is he putting
    the money?” those Cubans ask.
    End Comment. ) ¶16.


  37. He has written books,
    but most critics understand
    that is not his gift.


  38. We have not noted
    any tendency to shake,
    blink or roll his eyes.


  39. It is not yet clear
    whether these can be addressed
    before the deadline.


  40. To do otherwise,
    he said, risked more violence
    and more bloodshed. ¶5.


  41. They won’t want an untried
    Conservative leadership
    in charge,” he told us.


  42. Sol Melia owns
    and operates 24
    hotels in Cuba.


  43. (C) The wreath-laying
    ceremony proceeded
    according to script.


  44. Canada also
    supports Paris Club efforts
    on debt reduction.


  45. They were fast to point
    out that the decree is not


  46. Several Agreement
    implementation measures
    remain unresolved.


  47. I believe we do
    our duty as determined
    by God.” ¶17.


  48. But it is doing
    so on its own timetable,
    a slow timetable.


  49. ‘ Persistently low
    domestic investment rates
    bear this out (Ref H).


  50. His son will soon be
    moving to New York to work
    for Deloitte Touche. ¶12.


  51. The draft speech he had
    taken with him to Rome had
    been ‘toughened up’ there.


  52. This message could be
    reinforced from the White House
    as appropriate.


  53. ¶1. (U) This cable
    contains an action request
    in para 12. ¶2.


  54. (S) Saleh did not
    waste time for his usual
    quid-pro-quo tactics.


  55. It remains to be
    seen how Lugovoy’s new role will affect
    LDPR’s election prospects.


  56. Please see paragraphs
    3-4. ¶2. (S) Summary
    and Action Request.


  57. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) ¶1.
    This is an action request;
    see para 13.


  58. The Baghdad Mission
    Firearms Policy has been
    revised and issued.


  59. — Foreign attitudes
    on UN-sanctioned arms control


  60. (S/NF) Throughout the meeting,
    Mubarak was expansive
    and in fine humor.


  61. The three officials
    have informed their capitals
    but have no response.


  62. ¶4. (C) The Sultan
    appeared to follow events
    in Iraq closely.


  63. ‘People need to see
    the results of decisions,’
    the Sultan stated.


  64. The United States
    and South Korea must apply
    patience and pressure.

A2-B1 Celebrating the New Year with the future tense

1- This year will be different from the last.

will nous permet de parler du futur avec la base verbale

will + base verbale

2- A la forme négative, will devient will + not : forme pleine

ou won’t : forme contractée

On utilise la même forme pour l’ensemble

des personnes du singulier et du pluriel.

3- Il existe aussi une forme contractée pour will :

  I’ll get it all done = I will get

  I’ll get serious = I will get

ici nous parlons du futur, de l’avenir et des résolutions :

En français, quand je parle de l’avenir, j’utilise aussi le futur.

I will give back to society : je donnerai en retour à la société.

You’ll give back to society : tu donneras en retour à la société.

He’ll give back to society : il donnera en retour à la société.

We’ll give back to society : nous donnerons en retour à la société.

You’ll give back to society : Vous donnerez en retour à la société.

They’ll give back to society : Ils donneront en retour à la société.

4- Il y a une forme familière que l’on trouve

à l’oral ainsi que dans les chansons.

I’m gonna eat right and cut out the junk.

J’vais (je vais) manger correctement et réduire la malbouffe.

ou bien

I’m going to eat right and cut out the junk.

I’m gonna eat est plus familier que I am going to

I will show more love to my family.

I won’t chat in class.

I will enjoy life and help others.

I will speak English more often.

I will play more sports.

I will  do more my homework.

I will read more.

I will set the table every day.

I will read a book every month.

I will tidy my room more often.

I will go on working  hard at school and get better marks.

In the future, I will keep fit, drink water and walk every day.

I will eat right  and cut out the junk food.

I will eat fruit and vegetables and I will exercise more.

In the future, I will work hard at school.


I will become an electrician and won’t be hurt.

I will become a carpenter.

I will become a police woman.

I will become  a tourist on one of our planets…

I will be a  star with lots of children and a family.

I will become the best sportsman on the moon.

I will skate on the moon.

I will be more friendly with my friends.

I will tidy my bedroom because it is messy.

I will be friendly with my friends and be polite!

I will become Prime Minister.

I will become The President of Europe!

I will become a farmer.

I will surf on Mars.

I won’t have any accidents.

I will become an astronaut.

I will become a designer of clothes.

I will become a vet.

I will be more organized.

Yes, I can revise my verbs and enjoy doing so!


Celebrating  2011 in London


Niveau A2


- Nick : New Year’s resolutions

Nicks tells us about his New Year resolutions for 2011 : a new house, recycling and losing weight.

- Sarah : My New Year resolutions for 2011

Sarah speaks about her new year resolutions for 2011 : replying to her emails, travelling, enjoying her French experience, going to the gym…

Niveau B1

- Liv : New Years Eve
Liv has finally had a good New Years Eve !

- Paul : New Year’s resolutions in America
Paul tells us about the typical New Year’s resolutions in the US.

- Paul : My new year resolution for 2011
Paul speaks about his top new year resolution this year : quit smoking.


B1 et plus






January 2011
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