(2) Three major geographical areas are traditionally distinguished in Siberia. They are the West Siberian Plain, the Central Southern Plateau, and the Russian Far East. The WSP is one of the largest plains in the world, with the area of about 3 million square kilometers. There are lots of forests, steppes, and some hills in this part of Siberia. Several major Asiatic rivers flow along the plain, too.

(3) The climate in Siberia is called sharply continental. The area is notorious for its long harsh winters, with the lowest temperatures in the world recorded there. Even in the South of Siberia, extremely low temperatures throughout January and February are not uncommon. In January 2001, the temperature in some regions dropped below -60C, and stayed there for several weeks.

(0) Summer is often very warm, especially in the South-West of Siberia. Hot spells are not rare. In July, the thermometer may climb to +45C. Many rivers, lakes, natural and man-made beaches make summers in Siberia very pleasant.

(4) Siberia is outstandingly rich in mineral resources, including coal, natural gas, petroleum, diamonds, and gold. In the twentieth century, many industries grew there. Plants and factories flourished, with all the usual pollution problems springing up almost everywhere.

(5) A large part of Siberia is covered with forests. Up North and in the East, the forests are called taiga. They consist chiefly of evergreen coniferous trees, which are common for many areas in the world, including Scandinavia, North America, and Russia. Forestry is an important industry in Siberia. The population of rural areas also goes in for hunting, nut and berry gathering.

(6) The Russian settlement of Siberia began in 1581 and continued intermittently until the end of the nineteenth century. The Trans-Siberian Railway, built in 1891-1905, finally connected Siberia to the main part of Russia.

Part 1. Headings for Paragraphs.

You are going to read an article about Siberia. Choose the most suitable heading from the list A-H for each paragraph (1-8). There is one extra heading you do not need to use. There is an example at the beginning (0).

0 Pleasant Summers

A Siberian Climate

B Trans-Siberian Railway

C. Geographical Position

D. The Rise of Civilization

E. Natural Resources

F. A Place of Exile

G. The West Siberian Plain

H. Forests

Нина КОПТЮГ, учитель английского языка школы-лицея №130, Новосибирск