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The Brazilian Program in Antarctica (Proantar) could come to an end. Scientists claim that there are no more funds to buy equipment, maintain the laboratories, and pay for science projects or research grants. If nothing is done, the program could be halted this July, according to a letter sent to the federal government by those connected to the research program.
Brazil has been studying Antarctica since 1982. The territory does not belong to one sole owner. Rather, it is occupied by 13 nations, which include Brazil, Argentina, the United States, and Japan. In 1975, these countries signed the Antarctica Treaty, a document in which the nations commit to carrying out research and keeping the peace on the continent.
Altogether, R$ 330 million have already been invested in the construction of a Brazilian base and the inauguration of the station is set to take place in two months time. The government said that it plans to direct seven million reais to the program.
Antarctica plays an important role in the regulation of weather conditions around the world and is thought to be Earth’s “thermometer”. According to scientists, what happens there could help explain the droughts and flooding in Brazil. They believe that carrying out research on the continent is essential for predicting extreme weather.
QUESTIONS – level 3
1. According to the text, what is Proantar’s main role?
a. Study Antarctica’s weather and check how it influences weather conditions.
b. Show the world that Brazil is able to carry out scientific research.
c. Spy on other countries.
d. Compete with other countries that also explore the continent.
2. Why do you think it is important for a country to study climate change?