Reading: The Climate Shaped Our Noses (B1)

nose variations

Have you ever wondered why everyone’s nose is a different shape? Researchers have come up with a possible explanation for this. A study from Pennsylvania State University in the USA says the Earth’s climate could have something to do with the shape of our nose. The study found that people who have wider noses usually live in warmer, more humid areas. People with narrower noses are more commonly found in colder and drier climates. The nose plays an important function in making sure the air we breathe reaches our lungs in a warm and moist condition. The width of the nostrils and length of the nose help to make sure this happens. Researchers said the nose is a little like a temperature controller.

The researchers used 3D images to measure the noses of more than 2,600 people from Africa, Asia and Europe. They measured the width of the nostrils, the distance between nostrils and nose height. The researchers said their findings could help people who move to different climates to adjust to the heat or cold, and the humidity. This could help reduce respiratory problems. Study co-author Dr Arslan Zaidi said increased travel and climate change make it difficult to predict if our nose will change shape in the future. He said: “Our lifestyles aren’t what they used to be. We move around the world way too much. That makes it very complicated to predict the future [evolution] of the nose with the changing climate.”


What can you say about these words and your life?

why / explanation / climate / humid / drier / breathe / condition / temperature / sure / 3D images / nostrils / adjust / future / lifestyles / complicated / evolution / predict

Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “breathe”.

Comprehension Questions:

  1. From which country is the university that did this research?
  2. Who did the article say lived in warmer, more humid areas?
  3. In what condition should air reach our lungs?
  4. What did the article say was important about the nostrils?
  5. What did the researchers liken our nose to?
  6. How many pictures of people’s noses did researchers measure?
  7. What did the researchers measure the distance between?
  8. What kind of problems could the study reduce?
  9. What did a researcher say aren’t what they used to be?
  10. What did the doctor say we did “way too much”?

Write five GOOD questions of your own about this topic




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