GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: 1994

The Earth's magnetic field is generatedas the molten iron of the Earth's outer core revolves around its solid inner core. When surges in the molten iron occur, magnetic tempests are created.At the Earth's surface, these tempests can be detected by changes in the strength of the Earth's magnetic field.For reasons not fully understood. the field itself reverses periodically every million years or so. During the past million years, for instance, the magnetic north pole has migrated between the Antarctic and the Arctic.

Clearly, geophysicists who seek to explain and forecast changes in the field must understand what happens in the outer core. Unlike meteorologists, however, they cannot rely on observations made in their own lifetimes. Whereas atmospheric storms arise in a matter of hours and last for days, magnetic tempests develop over decades and persist for centuries.Fortunately scientists have been recording changes in the Earth's magnetic field for more than 300 years.

Question List: 1 2 3 4

In the passage, the author is primarily concerned with

  • A analyzing a complicated scientific phenomenon and its impact on the Earth's surface features
  • B describing a natural phenomenon and the challenges its study presents to researchers
  • C discussing a scientific field of research and the gaps in researchers' methodological approaches to it
  • D comparing two distinct fields of physical science and the different research methods employed in each
  • E proposing an explanation for a geophysical phenomenon and an experiment that could help confirm that explanation

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