QUESTION TEXT: Meteorologist: Heavy downpours are likely to become…
QUESTION TYPE: Role in Argument
CONCLUSION: Heavy rains will happen more often if the earth’s atmosphere becomes much warmer.
REASONING: A warm atmosphere leads to:
- Warmer oceans, which cause fast evaporation, which means rain clouds form more quickly.
- More moisture and larger clouds.
- Large clouds lead to heavier downpours.
ANALYSIS: You don’t need to get too technical for role in argument questions. Just identify the conclusion and premises. The conclusion is the first sentence. The fact that it says “likely” indicates that it’s probably an opinion and thus the conclusion.
The stimulus lists three facts to support the conclusion. You can combine the facts into one statement: “Warming will cause faster accumulation of large clouds that cause heavier downpours”. This statement supports the slightly more direct idea that a warm atmosphere leads to more heavy rains.
The sentence in question is just a fact. The term “in general” is a clue: it’s not a conclusion indicator.
- The first sentence is the conclusion.
- The first sentence is the only explicitly stated conclusion. Explicitly stated = written down.
- This answer tempted me. But to choose this, you’d have to say which of the first two facts supports the third. Neither of them do: the third fact stands on its own and doesn’t need support.
- CORRECT. See the explanation above. The three facts stand independently of each other, and combine to support the first sentence, which is the conclusion.
- Nonsense. There was no phenomenon in the conclusion, only a prediction of a phenomenon. So the premises don’t explain the phenomenon. Instead, they support the likelihood of the prediction. That’s the second way to eliminate this answer: the third sentence definitely supports the conclusion.
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