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  Cohesion-tension Theory

  Atmospheric pressure can support a column of water up to 10 meters high. But plants can move water much higher; the sequoia tree can pump water to its very top more than 100 meters above the ground. Until the end of the nineteenth century, the movement of water in trees and other tall plants was a mystery. Some botanists hypothesized that the living cells of plants acted as pumps. But many experiments demonstrated that the stems of plants in which all the cells are killed can still move water to appreciable heights. Other explanations for the movement of water in plants have been based on root pressure, a push on the water from the roots at the bottom of the plant. But root pressure is not nearly great enough to push water to the tops of tall trees. Furthermore, the conifers, which are among the tallest trees, have unusually low root pressures.

  If water is not pumped to the top of a tall tree, and if it is not pushed to the top of a tall tree, then we may ask: how does it get there According to the currently accepted cohesion-tension theory, water is pulled there. The pull on a rising column of water in a plant results from the evaporation of water at the top of the plant. As water is lost from the surface of the leaves, a negative pressure, or tension, is created. The evaporated water is replaced by water moving from inside the plant in unbroken columns that extend from the top of a plant to its roots. The same forces that create surface tension in any sample of water are responsible for the maintenance of these unbroken columns of water. When water is confined in tubes of very small bore, the forces of cohesion (the attraction between water molecules) are so great that the strength of a column of water compares with the strength of a steel wire of the same diameter. This cohesive strength permits columns of water to be pulled to great heights without being broken.






  Icebergs are among nature’s most spectacular creations, and yet most people have never seen one. A vague air of mystery envelops them. They come into being ----- somewhere ----- in faraway, frigid waters, amid thunderous noise and splashing turbulence, which in most cases no one hears or sees. They exist only a short time and then slowly waste away just as unnoticed.

  Objects of sheerest beauty they have been called. Appearing in an endless variety of shapes, they may be dazzlingly white, or they may be glassy blue, green or purple, tinted faintly of in darker hues. They are graceful, stately, inspiring ----- in calm, sunlight seas.

  But they are also called frightening and dangerous, and that they are ---- in the night, in the fog, and in storms. Even in clear weather one is wise to stay a safe distance away from them. Most of their bulk is hidden below the water, so their underwater parts may extend out far beyond the visible top. Also, they may roll over unexpectedly, churning the waters around them.

  Icebergs are parts of glaciers that break off, drift into the water, float about awhile, and finally melt. Icebergs afloat today are made of snowflakes that have fallen over long ages of time. They embody snows that drifted down hundreds, or many thousands, or in some cases maybe a million years ago. The snows fell in polar regions and on cold mountains, where they melted only a little or not at all, and so collected to great depths over the years and centuries.

  As each year’s snow accumulation lay on the surface, evaporation and melting caused the snowflakes slowly to lose their feathery points and become tiny grains of ice. When new snow fell on top of the old, it too turned to icy grains. So blankets of snow and ice grains mounted layer upon layer and were of such great thickness that the weight of the upper layers compressed the lower ones. With time and pressure from above, the many small ice grains joined and changed to larger crystals, and eventually the deeper crystals merged into a solid mass of ice.








  British Columbia

  British Columbia is the third largest Canadian provinces, both in area and population. It is nearly 1.5 times as large as Texas, and extends 800 miles (1,280km) north from the United States border. It includes Canada’s entire west coast and the islands just off the coast.

  Most of British Columbia is mountainous, with long rugged ranges running north and south. Even the coastal islands are the remains of a mountain range that existed thousands of years ago. During the last Ice Age, this range was scoured by glaciers until most of it was beneath the sea. Its peaks now show as islands scattered along the coast.

  The southwestern coastal region has a humid mild marine climate. Sea winds that blow inland from the west are warmed by a current of warm water that flows through the Pacific Ocean. As a result, winter temperatures average above freezing and summers are mild. These warm western winds also carry moisture from the ocean.

  Inland from the coast, the winds from the Pacific meet the mountain barriers of the coastal ranges and the Rocky Mountains. As they rise to cross the mountains, the winds are cooled, and their moisture begins to fall as rain. On some of the western slopes almost 200 inches (500cm) of rain fall each year.

  More than half of British Columbia is heavily forested. On mountain slopes that receive plentiful rainfall, huge Douglas firs rise in towering columns. These forest giants often grow to be as much as 300 feet(90m) tall, with diameters up to 10 feet(3m). More lumber is produced from these trees than from any other kind of tree in North America. Hemlock, red cedar, and balsam fir are among the other trees found in British Columbia.







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