27th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

“The researchers that were on board the «Professor Levanidov» on the recent trans-arctic expedition have remarkable stories to tell.

“Among the discoveries made was halibut on more than 200 meter depths in the Laptev Sea and snow crab in the northeastern parts of the East Siberian Sea and Chukchi Sea.

“They also found Alaska pollock in the waters of the Chukchi Sea and large numbers of big and mature polar cod in the Kara Sea.

“The latter fish is more or less eradicated from the Barents Sea where other southern species have taken its place.

“It is the massive influx of Atlantic waters in 2019 that has spurred the spreading of the new species to the region, research institute VNIRO informs. All the species mentioned traditionally belong to other far away waters and have migrated to the  remote area in the course of the last few years.”


“Researchers at the University of California’s Center for Climate Science say a “functionally ice-free” Arctic can be expected within the next 50 years. [We should be so lucky!]

“A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change predicts that if the Earth continues at its current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, Arctic sea ice would regress to levels not high enough to perform its function of reflecting heat back — levels that can be reached as early as September 2044.”


“A month of near-constant downpours has finally lifted the Ketchikan area [Alaska] out of drought after more than a year.

“But getting all that rain all at once presents an entirely new set of problems. As recently as early October, the Ketchikan area was in “extreme drought,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.”


“Two massive storms are pounding the US from Oregon to New York with some combination of snow, rain and high winds as millions of people take to the roads and skies ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Blizzard and high wind warnings are in effect across the West Coast states including Oregon, California, Nevada and Idaho as a “historic, unprecedented” storm began dumping rain over the region, the National Weather Service said.”


“Thousands of passengers have been stranded at the Denver International Airport as power outages on the West Coast, widespread road closures and huge pileups on icy roads, add to the mix of travel chaos for millions ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“A storm packing heavy snow and high winds that wreaked havoc as it whipped through Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska is marching into the upper Midwest…”


“A new wildfire has been blazing near Santa Barbara ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The Cave Fire quickly burned through 4,262 acres since it started Monday afternoon—and it remains 0% contained as of midday Tuesday, according to the Los Padres National Forest (LPNF) unit…”


“The Michigan harvest is likely to be so dismal this fall it has agricultural experts scurrying to the record books.

“The culprit? A former farmer friend turned foe — rain.

“In spring, it rained and didn’t stop. It happened again in fall. And then, for good measure, parts of the state received record snowfall Nov. 11 followed by a few days of freezing temperatures.”


“From prolonged droughts to unpredictable weather and hotter days: the effects of global warming are already becoming increasingly noticeable in Germany.

“Now a new report has shone a light on how bad the situation is.

“The average air temperature in Germany increased by 1.5C between 1881 and 2018, according to the German government’s Climate Monitoring Report.”


“Torrential downpours have battered many parts of Italy this month, with extreme flooding wreaking havoc across northern Italy.

“The province of Alessandria is said to be one of the worst-affected areas according to Italian media, with around 200 people evacuated and 600 said to be left stranded.”


“At least 39 people died in flooding on Tuesday in Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, following torrential rains overnight that caused landslides near the University of Kinshasa, authorities said.

“At one site on University Avenue, in a southern suburb, at least three houses and a road collapsed into a ravine.”


“It may be winter season in the coast [of India], but the maximum temperature is going through the roof.

“The coastal city of Mangaluru has recorded an all-time high temperature of 38c. The earlier all-time record was 36.8 Deg C recorded… in 2008.”


“Deforestation in Australia has meant that the koalas were already under threat before the bushfires… The Rescue Collective, a Brisbane-based wildlife charity, said on Nov. 24 that animal rescuers were only just now able to enter fire zones on the East Coast of Australia to witness what they described as “a wildlife apocalypse”.

““As the embers cool and the smoke begins to clear, the harsh reality sets in. This is far worse than we could ever have imagined,” they said…”


“A grim summer is likely for the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin and the people, flora and fauna that rely on it.

“Having worked for sustainable management of these rivers for decades, I fear the coming months will be among the worst in history for Australia’s most important river system.”


“Thousands of homes have been damaged and nearly 30,000 are without power after a ‘five-minute cyclone’ ripped through Sydney on Tuesday toppling trees and powerlines.

“About 29,000 residents are still facing power outages as of Wednesday afternoon and Ausgrid customers have been told to expect extended blackouts.”


“The star of Pixar’s blockbuster “Finding Nemo” may be about to vanish again – this time for good – as its peculiar mating habits put it at risk from climate change, scientists said on Tuesday. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year warned that under 1.5C of warming Earth would lose at least 70 percent of its coral reefs.

“Under 2C of warming coral, and the vital ecosystems it supports, would be virtually wiped out.”


“In the melting Arctic, communities are racing to maintain their way of life. In the rising Pacific, residents are sounding alarm bells. And in Rhode Island, Kate Schapira and her husband are not having a baby.

“Fears about climate change are prompting worldwide action, but one knock-on effect in the United States is mounting anxiety about everything from plastics to class-based environmental disparities.”


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26th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

“Even if countries meet commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world is heading for a 3.2 degrees Celsius global temperature rise over pre-industrial levels, leading to even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts, warns a report from the UN Environment Programme, released on Tuesday.”


“The body of a man has been found on a road which was left underwater two weeks ago during severe flooding which devastated much of the north of England…

“Police launched an investigation after the body was discovered on Saturday afternoon.”


“Nine people have died as violent storms swept through parts of France, Greece and Italy over the weekend, causing flash floods, landslides and the collapse of an overpass.

“Greek media described the storms as leaving a trail of “biblical destruction” in some areas of the country while the overpass collapse in northern Italy brought back a chilling reminder of Genoa’s Morandi bridge giving way during a thunderstorm in August 2018, killing 43 people.”


“Since 21 November, Djibouti has experienced heavy rains which triggered flash floods across the country.

“In Djibouti city alone, initial estimates indicate that over 30,000-40,000 families (150,000-250,000 people) have been somewhat affected by the floods, and 9 people (7 children) have reportedly been killed.”


“Heavy rains in Kenya unleashed a deluge that killed five people overnight in the Rift Valley, raising the death toll from weekend flooding to 65, officials said Monday.

“The five were returning home after attending a wedding in Tanzania when their car was washed away, said Daudi Loronyokwe, a police chief in Kajiado Central community.”


“Until this year elephant graveyards belonged to myth and legend. But now in Zimbabwe elephant carcasses litter the national parks… Those who work with the wildlife here are confident the drought is the result of changing weather patterns due to climate change.

“They want to dig bore holes and bring in pumps – but with Zimbabwe’s economy on the brink of collapse there is no Government money to help.”


“The environmental drivers behind protests in Iran often receive less attention than economic and political factors, but they are increasingly important and are very likely to play a growing role in the future.

“Iran is experiencing increasing environmental pressures. Drought — and related desertification and dust storms — is the worst problem.”


“After years of drought, a struggling farmer named Fakir Mohammed stares at a field of corn ruined by pests and unseasonably late rains…”

Subscription only:


“Thunderstorms across Sydney overnight have failed to clear the smoke, with air quality across the city and its surrounds again above hazardous levels.

“Smoke haze is being forecast for large areas of the state’s coast and ranges, with air quality in Coffs Harbour and the Illawarra also rated as hazardous.”


“A “historic” storm is heading towards southwest Oregon and northwest California Tuesday and Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. The storm is currently forecast to rival the strength of a Category 1 hurricane and pack wind gusts up to 74 mph — stronger than hurricane force, CNN Meterologist Judson Jones said.

“The pressure could drop to a record low for November and all-time for the region, the NWS said.”


“Environment Canada says a low pressure system in Yukon and the Northwest Territories was responsible for very warm weather across Saskatchewan Saturday that saw records broken in 16 communities, from Uranium City in the north to Yorkton in the south.”


“As flooding and wildfires intensify across the country, New Jersey — which contains more toxic Superfund sites than any other state — is at the heart of a potential contamination crisis, according to a new report from the federal government.”


“This column could have been written in early September. That is how long it has been since there was a significant change in world weather. As they say…. “Is this the new normal?” There is nothing new about it. The same areas that were dry at the end of August and early September are still that way as of this writing in late October.

“The bigger question is when will it change? In the meantime, the only thing that can be said about “new normal” is to fasten your seatbelt because there is more wild weather coming. We just have to give the atmosphere a little nudge and the wheels of extreme will start anew.”


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25th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hit a new record in 2018, rising faster than the average rise of the last decade and cementing increasingly damaging weather patterns, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday…

““There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases’ concentration in the atmosphere – despite all the commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.”


“For Keith Morrison, the consequences of this fall’s extraordinarily warm weather across the North all came down to an urgent call for help.

“The fire chief for the Arctic community of Cambridge Bay in Nunavut was at home the evening of Oct. 6 when he got word that a couple had fallen through the ice near a river mouth…”


“For generations, people in Alaska‘s far-north whaling villages have relied on hand-built ice cellars dug deep into the permafrost to age their subsistence food to perfection and keep it cold throughout the year…

“Now, a growing number of these underground cellars are being rendered unreliable…”


“Complex weather patterns resulting from variations in ocean temperatures have become more intense in the industrial age, which stand to worsen storms, drought, and coral bleaching, says a recent study with physical evidence spanning millennia.

“Rising surface temperature in the tropical Pacific Ocean for prolonged periods leads to a climate process called the El Nino, which have become more extreme due to human-induced climate change…”


“Dozens of neighborhoods in Asunción are still affected by the lack of potable water service in the face of the intense heat wave.

“Consequently, the Company of Sanitary Services of Paraguay (ESSAP) informs that the assembly work of the electric pump of the VK3 plant that affects the service continues.”


“More thunderstorms have rolled in across NSW, Australia bringing with them lightning strikes and the concerns they may have sparked more bushfires…

“”Not exactly what we wanted to see,” the NSW Rural Fire Service tweeted after “numerous” lightning strikes were recorded on Monday evening.”


“Well they say all record heatwaves must come to end eventually and so did ours [Katherine, Northern Territories, Australia], but only just. After 16 consecutive days of above 40 degree maximums, the temperature fell to 39.6 degrees on Friday.

Little matter that it shot up to 40.8 on Saturday and then 41 yesterday.

“It was the longest run of 40 plus days ever recorded at our Tindal weather station…”


South Africans are being warned to prepare for heatwave conditions across most parts of the country, including the central interior and western parts.

“The South African Weather Service said temperatures were likely to peak from Wednesday with the mercury expected to hit 40°C [104f] in some areas.”


““According to our tools there is a strong signal that the severe storm that moved over the area produced a tornado”, South African Weather Service’s William Msimanga said.

“The tornado was the second tornado in less than 24 hours to hit the province, after another struck Utrecht on Friday night.”


“Dozens of people have died in flooding in the Democratic Republic of Congo when the Congo River and its tributaries burst their banks, a charity and media reports said on Saturday, as heavy rains also lashed east Africa.

“Twenty-five people were reported to have been killed in the northwestern province of Equator bordering Congo-Brazzaville, Congolese media reports said.”


Kenya’s interior minister says 29 people have been killed in mudslides, among the 34 people overall who lost their lives Saturday amid flooding in the East Africa nation.

“Heavy rains unleashed overnight floods in western Kenya.”


“Such is the rate of global warming that scientists predict that the Lost Mountain glacier in northern Spain will disappear altogether within twenty years.

“For the scientists at the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology who are monitoring it, Monte Perdido’s glacier is shrinking scarily fast.”


“Two people drowned when their moored sailing boat sank as torrential rain and thunderstorms lashed Greece, coastguard officials said on Monday.

“The storms hit western Greece over the weekend causing widespread flooding and disruption to transport.”


Venice has been hit by further high water levels after weeks of flooding brought the lagoon city virtually to its knees… With four tides above 140cm since November 11, this is the worst month for high tides in Venice since 1872 when official statistics were first produced.

“Further west on the other side of Italy, a portion of a motorway bridge linking Savona to Turin collapsed on Sunday.”


“At least four people have died in flooding in southern France over the weekend, adding to the death toll from flooding in the south west of the county earlier this year…

“The French government has produced a set of guidelines aimed at keeping people safe as flooding becomes a more frequent occurrence in France.”


“All of his [photographic] work brought the same unavoidable fact into focus. Vast walls of ice had diminished or disappeared. The glaciers [Switzerland] had retreated, leaving the landscape scarred with precarious hills of loose stone and scree.

““One glacier had dropped about 200 meters in depth and more than 3km in length in 150 years. You can really see it,” said Balibouse. “It’s mindblowing the amount of ice that has gone.””


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22th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

“…forecasts from leading Arctic researchers leave little doubt about an upcoming mild winter.

“The summer of 2019 was the warmest on record, and the trend will continue into early 2020, researchers from the Arctic Regional Climate Centre (ArcRCC) Network conclude.

“The forecasts support evidence of drastic changes in the region. Arctic temperatures continue to warm at more than twice the global average and the extent of winter sea-ice is at record low levels.”


“Blame the Grinch or Mother Nature, but the annual Christmas in Ice sculpture park won’t open this year in North Pole, Alaska, because of a lack of ice.

“It’s the first cancellation since the event started 14 years ago in the city where Christmas is celebrated year-round…”


“When too much rain falls on farm fields, crops can rot, and the soil can wash away. But with too little rain, the plants can wilt. In the northeast U.S., both of these extremes are becoming more common. For example, in 2018, Pennsylvania had its wettest summer on record.”


“…, the MTA, the authority that runs the New York City subway system elaborated:

“‘We’re investing in capital projects around the system to prepare for the impacts of a changing climate.’

“‘We were testing a new ‘flex gate’ which is a flood barrier that would allow us to seal off a subway entrance.

“We ‘test flood’ the entrance for four hours to make sure it was installed correctly, which it was! We’re doing this because climate change is real.'”


“The hottest, the sunniest, the driest … the list of weather-related records being reached and breached in recent years seems to be unparalleled.

“Well, the record keepers can add another one to the list following revelations that this autumn has been the wettest in [Denmark‘s] history – or at least since levels started being registered back in 1874.”


“Two people were to die on the first day of the deluge last week. More than 80 per cent of Venice, a Unesco world heritage site, was underwater.

“The Basilica, the cathedral church of the city, and St Mark’s Square were flooded. Modern as well as historic works of art suffered, including one of Banksy’s most famous drawings, that of a refugee child submerged at Campo San Pantalon.”


“The summer of 2019, for example, set record high temperatures across Italy, forcing dozens of cities to take steps to deal with the impact of hot weather, including handing out bottled water on the street and issuing warnings for tourists to stay inside, hydrate more, and avoid strenuous activities.

“Last winter, unusually high temperatures affected ski slopes in the country’s mountainous regions.”


“[Nigeria‘s] General Manager of LASEPA, Dr Adedolapo Fasawe, in a statement on Thursday urged residents to ensure adequate ventilation at homes and offices in order to mitigate the intensity of the prevailing heatwave in the state. Fasawe also advised to adequately prepare for heat intensity associated with the dry season which had manifested globally as heatwaves with serious public health implications.”


Zimbabwe has removed import controls on maize and wheat flour following a severe drought that cut supplies, a cabinet minister said. More than half of Zimbabwe’s population requires food aid following an El Nino-induced drought that also reduced water levels in the biggest hydro dam, leading to rolling power cuts.”


Israelis should brace themselves for summer heatwave temperatures of 46 degrees Celsius (115°F) by 2050 and up to 50°C (122°F) by 2100

“…unless governments worldwide meet the challenge of cutting greenhouse gases to slow global warming, an internationally renowned climate scientist has warned.”


“On Wednesday morning, a man known by the name Abbas risked his life to help people stuck in rain floods in Saudi Arabia‘s Wadi Nayra, a town located in Al Baha governorate.

“As most incidents these days, bystanders filmed the rescue mission and shared the incident on social media.”


“Experts are warning that over the next two to three months, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam can all expect severe drought conditions which will affect agricultural production.

“Of the four countries, Thailand and Cambodia are expected to suffer the most, according to the report.”


“The Australian state of New South Wales is gasping under the worst levels of air pollution recorded as smoke from widespread bushfires causes a spike in hospital visits and hazards including poor visibility for drivers.

“Sydney, the country’s most populous city, woke up to a thick haze, and blood red sun, for the fourth consecutive day on Friday…”


“An obsessive compulsive dog who was abandoned as a puppy has a new mission: helping find and save koalas injured in Australia’s recent devastating bushfires.

“Bear, a Cattle Dog cross-breed, is trained to find both koalas and and quolls, another small Australian marsupial, in the wild.”


“Most of the country [NZ] has already had sweltering temperatures this month – with two top-10 November temperature records – 33 degrees in Cheviot and 34 degrees in the Bay of Plenty – happening in the first days of the month.

“Mr Brandolino said hitting records so early in the month was a sign of climate change.”


Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

21st November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

My apologies again for the lack of an economic thread – work, work, work…

“Record-breaking spring temperatures helped spark and fan bushfires across Australia on Thursday, forecasting a potentially devastating bushfire summer.

“Melbourne’s maximum temperature of 40.9C matched the 1894 record for hottest November day. Laverton was the hottest place in Victoria at 44.3 degrees…

“In Tasmania, Hobart equalled its hottest ever November day…”


“Residents [of Mildura, Australia] told Guardian Australia it was like a “wall of dust”, a danger to asthmatics, and “unliveable”.

“And, for many, it is not even the worst dust storm this year. In May residents reported a storm as the town’s worst in 40 years.”


“Even as Maui moves deeper into fall, Kahului continues to break heat records, reaching 92 degrees on Tuesday that topped the old record of 91 degrees…”


“After a weekend of record-breaking high temperatures, Angelenos broke out jackets and umbrellas Wednesday as rain — and even snow — fell on Southern California.”


“In the new reality of the U.S. Arctic, open water is the November norm for the Chukchi. Instead of thick, years-old ice, researchers are studying waves and how they may pummel the northern Alaska coastline.

““We’re trying to understand what the new autumn looks like in the Arctic,” said Jim Thomson, an oceanographer at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory.”


“When prolonged periods of severe weather strike, two things often get the blame these days: climate change and the jet stream.

“Many have expressed concerns that the rapidly melting Arctic is now disturbing the jet stream, bringing more frequent bouts of wild weather. But potentially even more powerful changes are afoot in the tropics – and the consequences could be severe.”


Britain is set for a washout weekend with heavy rain on the way and more than 70 flood warnings or alerts in place.

“The country has endured severe conditions in recent days… heavy rain is expected for much of the UK across the weekend, and the Environment Agency still has 55 flood alerts in place for England, along with 17 more serious warnings, after severe flooding in the past fortnight.”


“It has been one week since historic floods caused more than a billion dollars worth of damage in Venice, and the skies are not exactly clearing. All across the country, extreme weather has flooded rivers, downed trees, caused mudslides, and wreaked collective havoc.

“And according to a new report called “The Climate Has Already Changed” released Tuesday by Italy’s environmental watchdog group Legambiente, this is just the beginning.”


“A third of plant species in tropical Africa are threatened with extinction, a new study suggests.

Plants are crucial to many ecosystems and life in general, providing food and oxygen, as well as being the source of myriad materials and medicines. However, human activities including logging, mining and agriculture pose a major threat.”


“The months long drought is affecting most of southern Africa.

“The United Nations estimates that more than 11 million people now face crisis levels of food insecurity in places like Zimbabwe and Mozambique, where two cyclones wiped out crops earlier this year. Among the hardest-hit areas is South Africa’s Northern Cape province…”


Zimbabwe’s second-biggest city of Bulawayo will extend interruptions to water supplies because of depleting resources, the town clerk said.”


“Reindeer owned by traditional herder families of Mongolia are getting sick and dying due to climate change melting the ‘eternal ice’ patches they rely on, scientists claim.

“The Tsaatan people use the ice for clean drinking water and to keep the reindeer cool in the summer. The ice is melting for the first time in living memory.”


Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

20th November 2019 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Apologies for the lack of an economic thread this morning – time is not my own today!

“Arctic sea ice recovery between Russia and Alaska has slowed to record levels since bottoming out over the summer, according to research, as climate change clears ice quicker and for longer periods.

““Very slow sea ice growth continues in the Chukchi Sea,” tweeted Zack Labe, a University of California Ph.D. student studying sea ice, citing NSIDC data. The Chukchi Sea lies northwest of Alaska above the Bering Strait.

“An attached chart showed November ice extent in the Chukchi Sea at its lowest level since records began. Melting in early spring and summer likely contributed to the record, Labe wrote last week.

““Extensive open water remains in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, resulting in unusually high air temperatures in the region,” NSIDC said in its latest update.”


“It may be 330 miles north of the Arctic Circle, but record warmth has been the story this year on Alaska’s North Slope. Through Nov. 17, it has been the warmest year to date on record in Utqiaġvik, over 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the same period three years ago, according to the Southeast Regional Climate Center.

“The persistence of the warmth has been remarkable.”


“A rare species of porpoise is facing imminent extinction as fishing vessels appear to be flouting an international ban on them entering its last sanctuary, off the coast of Mexico, the head of a U.N. treaty said…

“There are thought to be fewer than 30 vaquita porpoises left worldwide…”


“Timaru [NZ] has been hammered by a hail storm causing damage to buildings, closing some businesses and stretching emergency services.

“Large, golf ball-sized hail stones which began falling just before noon on Wednesday, smashed windows, damaged roofs, closed businesses and dented vehicles. Damage from the massive hail stones is being reported throughout Timaru.”


“Deadly bushfires have ravaged parts of Australia in recent weeks, whipped up by soaring temperatures, strong winds and the worst drought in decades.

“But summer hasn’t really even begun — and fears are growing that conditions will only get worse. More than 100 schools have closed in South Australia as catastrophic fire conditions threatened seven districts across the state Wednesday.”


“Global heating is “supercharging” an increasingly dangerous climate mechanism in the Indian Ocean that has played a role in disasters this year including bushfires in Australia and floods in Africa.

“Scientists and humanitarian officials say this year’s record Indian Ocean dipole, as the phenomenon is known, threatens to reappear more regularly and in a more extreme form as sea surface temperatures rise.”


“Data released by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reveals that the number of cyclones in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal has increased by 32% in the last five years.

“Compared to previous decades, the last 10 years have also seen an 11% rise in these extreme occurrences.”


“About 370,000 people have been displaced so far due to flooding, according to the latest UN figures.

“Authorities have not yet said how many people died in the flooding, Somalia’s worst in recent history.”


A few tiny misunderstandings in here:

“Climate change could directly cost the world economy US$7.9 trillion by mid-century as increased drought, flooding and crop failures hamper growth and threaten infrastructure, new analysis showed Wednesday.

“The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Climate Change Resilience Index measured the preparedness of the world’s 82 largest economies and found that based on current trends the fallout of warming temperatures would shave off three percent of global GDP by 2050.”


“2016 is currently the hottest year on record since recording started in 1880, Scientific American reports. That was a strong El Niño year, when unusually hot weather over the Pacific affects global climate. The fact that this year is approaching 2016’s global temperatures is worrisome, given that 2019 only had a weak El Niño effect that ended in July.

““The near-record warmth of 2019 is thus a testament to how greatly human-caused global warming is impacting the planet,” Jeff Masters, an extreme weather expert, writes for Scientific American. It also means that the last six years, from 2014 to 2019, will be the hottest six years since recording started in 1880.”


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