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Read the following passage and then choose the best answer for each question.
The atmosphere that originally surrounded Earth was probably much different from the air we breathe today. Earth’s first atmosphere (some 4.6 billion years ago) was most likely hydrogen and helium–. the two most abundant gasses found in the universe–as well as hydrogen compounds, such as methane and ammonia, Most scientists feel that this early atmosphere escaped into space from the Earth’s hot surface.
A second, more dense atmosphere, however, gradually enveloped Earth as gasses from molten rocks within its hot interior escaped through volcanoes and steam vents. We assume that volcanoes spewed out the same gasses then as they do today: mostly water vapor (about g0 percent), carbon dioxide (about ten percent), and up to a few percent nitrogen. These same gasses probably created Earth’s second atmosphere.
As millions of years passed, the constant outpouring of gasses from the hot interior–known as outgassing — provided a rich supply of water vapor, which formed into clouds. Rain fell upon Earth for many thousands or years, forming the rivers, lakes, and oceans of the world. During this Lime, large amounts of carbon dioxide were dissolved in the oceans. Through chemical and biological processes, much of the carbon dioxide became
locked up in carbon sedimentary rocks, such as limestone. With much of the water vapor already condensed into water and the concentration of carbon dioxide dwindling, the atmosphere gradually became rich nitrogen.
It appears that oxygen, the second most abundant gas in today’s atmosphere, probably began an extremely slow increase in concentration as energetic rays from the sun split water vapor into hydrogen and oxygen during a process called photodissociation. The hydrogen, being lighter, probably rose and escaped into space, while the oxygen remained in the atmosphere.
This slow increase in oxygen may have provided enough of this gas for primitive plants to evolve, perhaps two to three billion years ago. Or the plants may have evolved in an almost oxygen-free (anaerobic) environment. At any rate, plant growth greatly enriched our atmosphere with oxygen. The reason for this enrichment is that plants, in the presence of sunlight, process carbon dioxide and water to produce oxygen.
1. What is the main idea of the passage?CorrectIncorrect
2. The word “enveloped” in line 5 is closest in meaning toCorrectIncorrect
3. The word “they” in line 7 refers toCorrectIncorrect
4. According to the passage, outgassing eventually led to all of the following EXCEPTCorrectIncorrect
5. The word “gradually” in line 14 is closest in meaning toCorrectIncorrect
6. The passage suggests that oxygen remained in the atmosphere becauseCorrectIncorrect
7. The author uses the word “Or” in line 20 toCorrectIncorrect
8. The phase “At any rate ”in line 21 is closest in meaning toCorrectIncorrect
9. The author organizes the discussion of the Earth’s atmosphere in terms of theCorrectIncorrect
10. Which of the following does the passage mention as necessary for both the production of oxygen by
photo dissociation and the production of oxygen by plants?CorrectIncorrect