Journey to the end of the Earth Vistas English class 12 NCERT Summary and Question answers

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Journey to the end of the Earth (Tishani Doshi)


In this chapter the author describe his journey to Antarctica with a Russian research vessel called the Akademik Shokalskiy. The journey began in Madras and involved crossing various checkpoints, bodies of water, and ecospheres. After over 100 hours of travelling, the author felt relieved and amazed at the vast and isolated landscape of Antarctica. They also wondered how India and Antarctica were once part of the same landmass.

Part of history

Gondwana, which thrived for 500 million years. However, around the time of the dinosaurs’ extinction, Gondwana separated into different countries, shaping the world as we know it today. Visiting Antarctica allows one to understand the significance of various geological and environmental factors, such as Cordilleran folds, pre-Cambrian granite shields, ozone, carbon, evolution, and extinction. It is a place devoid of human markers and earthly sense of perspective and time, where one loses themselves in the vastness of the landscape. The experience forces individuals to place themselves in the context of the earth’s geological history, and for humans, the prognosis is not good. The author ends by expressing concern for the future of the planet and the impact of human activity on the environment.

Human impact

In the short time that human civilizations have existed, we have caused significant damage to the environment. The rapid growth of human populations has resulted in a competition for limited resources, and the burning of fossil fuels has created a blanket of carbon dioxide around the world, increasing the average global temperature. Climate change is a hotly debated topic, and Antarctica is a crucial element in this debate due to its pristine environment and the half-million-year-old carbon records trapped in its ice cores. Students on Ice is a program that takes high school students to the ends of the world, offering them an opportunity to gain a new understanding and respect for the planet. Antarctica is the perfect place to study how small changes in the environment can have significant consequences. Scientists warn that a further depletion in the ozone layer will affect the activities of phytoplankton, which in turn will affect the lives of all marine animals and birds in the region and the global carbon cycle. Taking care of small things, such as phytoplankton, can lead to a better understanding of the larger aspects of existence.

Walk on the Ocean

The author reflects on their experience visiting Antarctica and the epiphanies that they had while on the trip. They note that Antarctica is a crucial place for studying the Earth’s past, present and future, especially in regards to climate change. The author also describes an experience where they walked on a thick white stretch of ice between the peninsula and Tadpole Island, which was preventing the ship from moving any further south. The experience of walking on a metre-thick ice pack and seeing Crabeater seals sunning themselves on ice floes was a revelation to the author, making them realise that everything connects. The author concludes by pondering about the beauty of balance in play on the planet and wonders what will happen if Antarctica becomes the warm place that it once used to be. They end by saying that a lot can happen in a million years, but what a difference a day makes.

Journey to the end of the Earth Imp Questions and Answers

‘The world’s geological history is trapped in Antarctica.’ How is the study of this region useful to us?

Antarctica is a continent that has been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. It is covered with ice and snow, and it has been relatively untouched by human activity. Scientists have been studying the geological history of Antarctica for decades, and they have discovered a great deal about the continent’s past.
The study of the region of Antarctica is important because it can help us understand the geological history of the world. By examining the rocks, fossils, and other geological features of Antarctica, scientists can learn about the earth’s history, including how continents were formed and how life evolved on earth. In addition, studying Antarctica can help us understand how climate can change and affect the earth. Antarctica has experienced significant climate changes over the course of its history, and these changes can provide important insights into how the earth’s climate system works. The continent has a unique ecosystem that has been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. By studying the plants and animals that live there, scientists can learn about the adaptations that have allowed them to survive in such an extreme environment. This knowledge can provide important insights into the evolution of life on earth and how it has adapted to changing environmental conditions over time.

Why is Antarctica the place to go to, to understand the earth’s present, past and future?

By studying the history of Antarctica, we can learn about the processes that led to the division of the Earth into different land masses millions of years ago. Additionally, studying the geological history of Antarctica can provide us with valuable insights into how nature works. A major portion of Antarctica is made up of ice masses, which contain carbon that has accumulated over thousands of years. By studying this carbon, scientists can learn about the past and present conditions of the Earth, such as atmospheric composition and temperature. This understanding can help us predict how climate change may impact the planet in the future. Overall, the study of Antarctica can provide important insights into the Earth’s history, as well as its current and future state, through analyzing the ice and geological features of the continent.

What are Geoff Green’s reasons for including high school students in the Students on Ice expedition?

Geoff Green brought high school students on the student on Ice expedition to inspire and educate them about our planet. The expedition aimed to develop students’ understanding and respect for nature and the environment. By exposing them to the effects of rising temperatures on the ice lands and the planet, Green hoped to create awareness among the students that any sudden interference in nature can lead to future disasters.

‘Take care of the small things and the big things will take care of themselves.’ What is the relevance of this statement in the context of the Antarctic environment?

The statement suggests that even small changes in the environment can have significant and far-reaching consequences. The author illustrates this by giving an example of phytoplankton, a type of small grass that is important to the carbon cycle and serves as a source of food for many animals and marine birds. The author argues that if the depletion of the ozone layer continues, it could negatively impact the growth and survival of phytoplankton, which could then affect the rest of the food chain and the carbon cycle on the planet. Therefore, it is important to take care of these small processes carried out by plants and grasses, as it can ultimately affect the health and survival of bigger marine life and mammals.

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