VCR Lesson 6 Presentation

Adrian Mucha

Fill in the blank

Some environmentalists believe that global warming will eventually climax in an irreparable _________, with ocean levels rising to cover low-lying islands and Earth's temperature being too high to adequately support human life.
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The Word

cataclysm (noun) -- a disaster or catastrophe on such a large scale that biological, environmental, or cultural elements are permanently altered or irreparably lost to the earth


from Greek:

kata -- "down"

kluzein -- "to wash"

You can imagine a cataclysmic flood washing away people, buildings, and crops; being so severe that prior civilization would forever remain underwater.


  • catastrophe
  • disaster
  • devastation
  • upheaval
  • apocalypse


  • transitory effect
  • reversible effect

Other Forms

cataclysmal (adjective)

cataclysmic (adjective)

Examples of Real Cataclysms

  • eruption of Mount Tambora (Indonesia) in 1815 -- the eruption spewed so much smoke that global temperatures were lowered to such a degree that this year was called "The Year Without a Summer"
  • Chernobyl Disaster (Ukraine) in 1986 -- a nuclear power plant exploded, releasing massive amounts of radiation into the atmosphere; deaths related to the effects of the radiation are estimated to be well into the thousands
  • Most known -- The event which caused the extinction of the dinosaurs; the Earth's atmosphere changed so dramatically that the dinosaurs were unable to withstand the sudden change


Choose the sentence where the word in bold in used correctly

a. A cataclysmic event in Jenna's life was the nasty divorce between her and her first husband.

b. The life currently existing on Earth likely would not have been able to survive prior to the most recent cataclysm.

c. A winter cataclysm gave the Southeastern United States its coldest winter in over fifty years.