Skeptical Science New Research for Week #10 2022

Luck to be submerged?

California seem to have falllen into a persistent pattern of having either far too little or far too much water available at any given time. February of 2017 saw California's Oroville Dam come close to catastrophic failure as a massive surge of water into the reservoir caused the main spillway to spectacularly fail. Dam operators responded by activating the emergency spillway but were eventually forced to reopen the main spillway despite its heavily damaged and perilous condition. During the course of the event 180,000 persons living downstream were hastily evacuated. The dam's survival ended up depending far too much on sheer luck rather than the preferred method, engineering. In sum, atmospheric rivers juiced by climate change combined with inherent faults in Oroville's main spillway to lead to the brink of a major disaster. 

A team of researchers lead by Allison Michaelis deconstruct the atmospheric river event precipitating Oroville Dam's testing moment. This arrived as two main pulses, respectively "enhanced" by ~11% and ~15% of what might have been expected without anthropogenic climate change putting a thumb on the hydrological scale. As anybody who has experienced "just" an inch of water on the floor of their home from flooding knows, a little is a lot when it's water in the wrong place and quantity.  Here what looks like not such a large percentage change inched Oroville to the very brink of complete failure.

Oroville scraped by in 2017. It's fairly safe to say that— all other things remaining equal— the dam would fail in the face of the same general sequence happening later in this century. Atmospheric River Precipitation Enhanced by Climate Change: A Case Study of the Storm That Contributed to California's Oroville Dam Crisis includes modeling suggesting that with the climate we're now busily constructing for the late 21st century, we can expect the same general circulation and weather setup of two pulses to deliver ~21% and ~59% more water to the dam. This would certainly have drowned the small amount of good fortune that saw the Oroville Dam through in 2017. Notably, the same models faithfully mimic the 2017 event. 

With regard to California's whipsawing by water, it's interesting to see another paper in this week's collection finding observational weather and climate data matching what models predict, Increasingly Dry/Wet Abrupt Alternation Events in a Warmer World: Observed Evidence from China during 1980–2019. The circulation mechanisms are not the same but the general hydrological pattern we're seeing in Califorinia is increasingly familiar. 

Other notables:

Americans Largely Favor U.S. Taking Steps to Become Carbon Neutral by 2050Favorable on its plain face, but if attitudes don't change we'll need to include vigorous active carbon removal of some kind, given that most Americans also appear to see a continued role for fossil fuels.

Global fossil carbon emissions rebound near pre-COVID-19 levels. Well, that didn't last long. We're straight back to hyperactively fidgeting.

Meta-analyses of fifteen determinants of public opinion about climate change taxes and laws. More than any other factors, fairness and efficacy seem to be key determinants of public acceptance of "nudges" to deal with our CO2 problem.

122 articles in 44 journals by 606 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Causes of the Arctic’s Lower-Tropospheric Warming Structure
Journal of Climate
Open Access 10.1175/jcli-d-21-0298.1

Assessing the ability of potential evaporation models to capture the sensitivity to temperature
Liu et al. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

Global Warming Pattern Formation: The Role of Ocean Heat Uptake
Journal of Climate

Observations of climate change, effects

Changes in monsoon precipitation patterns over Bangladesh and its teleconnections with global climate
Azad et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology

Trends in Downwelling Longwave Radiance over the Southern Great Plains
Liu et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10508107.1

Weakening and Poleward Shifting of the North Pacific Subtropical Fronts from 1980 to 2018
Journal of Physical Oceanography

Interdecadal Variation of the Number of Days with Drought in China Based on the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI)
Wang et al. Journal of Climate

Increasingly Dry/Wet Abrupt Alternation Events in a Warmer World: Observed Evidence from China during 1980–2019
Qiao et al. International Journal of Climatology

Increased amplitude of the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO) towards recent: evidence from tree-ring based reconstruction since 1596
Dong et al. International Journal of Climatology

Anthropocene tipping point reverses long-term Holocene cooling of the Mediterranean Sea: A meta-analysis of the basin's Sea Surface Temperature records
Marriner et al. Earth

Reduction in Meridional Heat Export Contributes to Recent Indian Ocean Warming
McMonigal et al. Journal of Physical Oceanography
Open Access pdf 10.1175/jpo-d-21-0085.1

(provisional link) Trends, breaks, and biases in the frequency of reported glacier lake outburst floods

Change and variability in Antarctic coastal exposure, 1979–2020
Reid & Massom Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28676-z

(provisional link) Detectable anthropogenic influence on summer compound hot events over China from 1965 to 2014

Atmospheric River Precipitation Enhanced by Climate Change: A Case Study of the Storm That Contributed to California's Oroville Dam Crisis
Michaelis et al. Earth's Future
Open Access pdf 10.1029/2021ef002537

Modeling, simulation & projection of climate change, effects

The Mesoscale Response to Global Warming over the Pacific Northwest Evaluated Using a Regional Climate Model Ensemble
Journal of Climate

Emergence of climate change in the tropical Pacific
Ying et al. Nature Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-022-01301-z

Spatial and temporal expansion of global wildland fire activity in response to climate change
Senande-Rivera et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28835-2

Biases and improvements of the ENSO-East Asian winter monsoon teleconnection in CMIP5 and CMIP6 models
Jiang et al.
Open Access pdf 10.21203/

Evaluation and projection of precipitation in Pakistan using the CMIP6 model simulations
Abbas et al. International Journal of Climatology

Advancement of climate & climate effects modeling, simulation & projection GCMA

The effect of experiment conditioning on estimates of human influence on extreme weather
Stone et al. Weather and Climate Extremes
Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100427

Orographic enhancement of rainfall over the Congo Basin
Raghavendra et al. Atmospheric Science Letters
Open Access pdf 10.1002/asl.1079

Evaluating Coupled Climate Model Parameterizations via Skill at Reproducing the Monsoon Intraseasonal Oscillation
Orenstein et al. Journal of Climate

Cryosphere & climate change

Sensitivity of the Ross Ice Shelf to environmental and glaciological controls
Baldacchino et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-2022-50

Overestimation and adjustment of Antarctic ice flow velocity fields reconstructed from historical satellite imagery
Li et al. The Cryosphere
Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-16-737-2022

Biology & climate change, related geochemistry

Pronounced loss of Amazon rainforest resilience since the early 2000s
Boulton et al. Nature Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-022-01287-8

Reduced climate adaptation at range edges in North American Arabidopsis lyrata
Sánchez?Castro et al. Global Ecology and Biogeography
Open Access 10.1111/geb.13483

Tropicalization of temperate reef fish communities facilitated by urchin grazing and diversity of thermal affinities
Schuster et al. Global Ecology and Biogeography

Satellite data reveal differential responses of Swiss forests to unprecedented 2018 drought
Sturm et al. Global Change Biology

Navigating climate crises in the Great Barrier Reef
Barnes et al. Global Environmental Change

Behavioral response to heat stress of twig-nesting canopy ants
Bujan & Yanoviak Oecologia
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00442-022-05143-6

Long-term soil warming alters fine root dynamics and morphology, and their ectomycorrhizal fungal community in a temperate forest soil
Kwatcho Kengdo et al. Global Change Biology

Successive extreme climatic events lead to immediate, large-scale, and diverse responses from fish in the Arctic
Husson et al. Global Change Biology

Spatial and Interannual Patterns of Epipelagic Summer Mesozooplankton Community Structures in the Western Arctic Ocean in 2016–2020
Kim et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

Stoichiometric mismatch causes a warming-induced regime shift in experimental plankton communities
Diehl et al. Ecology
Open Access pdf 10.1002/ecy.3674

Mutually inclusive mechanisms of drought-induced tree mortality
Hajek et al. Global Change Biology
Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16146

Effects of ocean acidification and warming on the development and biochemical responses of juvenile shrimp Palaemon elegans
Maia et al. Marine Environmental Research

Climate variability and aridity modulate the role of leaf shelters for arthropods: a global experiment
Romero et al. Global Change Biology

Rapid evolution fuels transcriptional plasticity to ocean acidification
Kang et al. Global Change Biology
Open Access pdf 10.1111/gcb.16119

Tree mortality in a warming world: causes, patterns, and implications
Yi et al. Environmental Research Letters
Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac507b

(provisional link) Linking climate change vulnerability research and evidence on conservation action effectiveness to safeguard European seabird populations

GHG sources & sinks, flux, related geochemistry

Global fossil carbon emissions rebound near pre-COVID-19 levels
Jackson et al. Environmental Research Letters
Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac55b6

Increasing terrestrial ecosystem carbon release in response to autumn cooling and warming
Tang et al. Nature Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-022-01304-w

Fast-decaying plant litter enhances soil carbon in temperate forests but not through microbial physiological traits
Craig et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28715-9

Adaptive carbon export response to warming in the Sargasso Sea
Lomas et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28842-3

Tropical extreme droughts drive long-term increase in atmospheric CO2 growth rate variability
Luo & Keenan Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28824-5

Satellite quantification of oil and natural gas methane emissions in the US and Canada including contributions from individual basins
Shen et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2022-155

Increasing functional diversity in a global land surface model illustrates uncertainties related to parameter simplification
Butler et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences

Rethinking of the adverse effects of NOx-control on the reduction of methane and tropospheric ozone – Challenges toward a denitrified society
Akimoto & Tanimoto Atmospheric Environment

Methane production controls in a young thermokarst lake formed by abrupt permafrost thaw
Pellerin et al. Global Change Biology

Effects of peatland management on aquatic carbon concentrations and fluxes
Pickard et al. Biogeosciences
Open Access pdf 10.5194/bg-19-1321-2022

Analysis of 5.5 years of atmospheric CO2, CH4, CO continuous observations (2014–2020) and their correlations, at the Observatoire de Haute Provence, a station of the ICOS-France national greenhouse gases observation network
Lelandais et al. Atmospheric Environment

CO2 capture, sequestration science & engineering

Laboratory demonstration of the stability of CO2 hydrates in deep-oceanic sediments
Fahed Qureshi et al. Chemical Engineering Journal

Preparation, characterization and performance of activated carbon for CO2 adsorption from CI engine exhaust
Maniarasu et al. Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology


Analysis of iron and steel production paths on the energy demand and carbon emission in China’s iron and steel industry
Yue et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability

A comparative study on surface energy flux characteristics of photovoltaic power station in Gobi in summer
Li et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology

Wind power generation in Brazil: An overview about investment and scale analysis in 758 projects using the Levelized Cost of Energy
Santa Catarina Energy Policy

Achieving −55% GHG emissions in 2030 in Wallonia, Belgium: Insights from the TIMES-Wal energy system model
Coppens et al. Energy Policy

Zero-carbon steel production: The opportunities and role for Australia
Venkataraman et al. Energy Policy

Decarbonisation of the Polish residential sector between the 1990s and 2021: A case study of policy failures
Soko?owski & Bouzarovski Energy Policy

Visual impact assessment of renewable energy developments with the application of multi-criteria decision-making method
Darabi et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability

Corruption: Is it a bane to renewable energy consumption in Africa?
Amoah et al. Energy Policy

Geoengineering climate

An interactive stratospheric aerosol model intercomparison of solar geoengineering by stratospheric injection of SO2 or accumulation-mode sulfuric acid aerosols
Weisenstein et al. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-22-2955-2022

The impact of stratospheric aerosol intervention on the North Atlantic and Quasi-Biennial Oscillations in the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) G6sulfur experiment
Jones et al.
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-2021-898

Black carbon

Carbonaceous aerosol source apportionment and assessment of transport-related pollution
Minderyt? et al. Atmospheric Environment

Background levels of black carbon over remote marine locations
Fossum et al. Atmospheric Research
Open Access 10.1016/j.atmosres.2022.106119


Pan-Arctic seasonal cycles and long-term trends of aerosol properties from 10 observatories
Schmale et al. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Open Access pdf 10.5194/acp-22-3067-2022

Differences in East Asian summer monsoon responses to Asian aerosol forcing under different emission inventories
Wang et al. Advances in Climate Change Research
Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2022.02.008

Climate change communications & cognition

Climate skepticism decreases when the planet gets hotter and conservative support wanes
Hornsey et al. Global Environmental Change

Meta-analyses of fifteen determinants of public opinion about climate change taxes and laws
Bergquist et al. Nature Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-022-01297-6

Leveraging social cognition to promote effective climate change mitigation
Boon-Falleur et al. Nature Climate Change

Revitalising embodied community knowledges as leverage for climate change engagement

Donkers Climatic Change
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s10584-022-03327-w

Agronomy, animal husbundry, food production & climate change

Novel wheat varieties facilitate deep sowing to beat the heat of changing climates
Zhao et al. Nature Climate Change

Institutional analysis for scaling alternate wetting and drying for low-emissions rice production: evidence from Bangladesh
Hong Trang et al. Climate and Development

Simulating winter wheat production potential under near-future climate change in arid regions of northeast Iran
Saberali et al. Theoretical and Applied Climatology

Responsible agriculture must adapt to the wetland character of mid-latitude peatlands
Freeman et al. Global Change Biology

(provisional link) The Impact of Climate Change on Wheat Yield and Quality in the Yellow River Basin under RCP8.5 during 2020-2050

From national vision to implementation: governance challenges in sustainable agriculture transitions in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta region
Minkman et al. Regional Environmental Change

Increased frequency of extreme rainfall events threatens an emblematic cultural coastal agroecosystem in Southeastern Thailand
Dumrongrojwatthana et al. Regional Environmental Change

Land-based climate change mitigation measures can affect agricultural markets and food security
Fujimori et al. Nature Food
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s43016-022-00464-4

Hydrology & climate change

Deep learning shows declining groundwater levels in Germany until 2100 due to climate change
Wunsch et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-28770-2

Increasing Tibetan Plateau terrestrial evapotranspiration primarily driven by precipitation
Ma & Zhang Agricultural and Forest Meteorology

Spatial patterns of extreme precipitation and their changes under ~ 2 °C global warming: a large-ensemble study of the western USA
Rupp et al. Climate Dynamics

Extreme Precipitating Events in Satellite and Rain Gauge Products over the Sahel
Journal of Climate

(provisional link) Accelerating flash droughts induced by the joint influence of soil moisture depletion and atmospheric aridity

The human factor in seasonal streamflows across natural and managed watersheds of North America
Singh & Basu Nature Sustainability

Climate change economics Climate change mitigation public policy research

Are fee-and-dividend schemes the savior of environmental taxation? Analyses of how different revenue use alternatives affect public support for Sweden’s air passenger tax
Matti et al. Environmental Science & Policy
Open Access 10.1016/j.envsci.2022.02.024

Ageing society risks emission cuts
Ottelin Nature Climate Change

Demographics of emissions
Nature Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41558-022-01325-5

Is border carbon adjustment the right tool for the power sector?
Pató et al. Climate Policy

Decarbonisation of the Polish residential sector between the 1990s and 2021: A case study of policy failures
Soko?owski & Bouzarovski Energy Policy

Clean at home, polluting abroad: the role of the Chinese financial system’s differential treatment of state-owned and private enterprises
Larsen & Oehler Climate Policy

Climate change adaptation & adaptation public policy research

Climate change will increase local government fiscal stress in the United States
Gilmore et al. Nature Climate Change

Adaptation funding
Füssel et al. Climate Change, Justice and Sustainability
Open Access 10.1007/978-94-007-4540-7_29

On the evaluation of climate change impact models
Wagener et al. WIREs Climate Change
Open Access pdf 10.1002/wcc.772

A new framework for rapidly assessing national adaptation policies: an application to small island developing states in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
Robinson et al. Regional Environmental Change

Capturing flood community perceptions for social vulnerability reduction and risk management planning
Cruz-Bello & Alfie-Cohen Environmental Science & Policy

Not all extreme weather events are equal: Impacts on risk perception and adaptation in public transit agencies
Zhang Climatic Change

Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for hydropower sector in China
Gu et al. Environmental Research Letters
Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac4c1b

(provisional link) Urban climate-health governance: Charting the role of public health in large global city adaptation plans

Climate change impacts on human health

Non-linear response of temperature-related mortality risk to global warming in England and Wales
Huang et al. Environmental Research Letters
Open Access 10.1088/1748-9326/ac50d5

(provisional link) Climate anomalies and birth rates in sub-Saharan Africa

Influence of temperature on mortality in the French overseas regions: a pledge for adaptation to heat in tropical marine climates
Pascal et al. International Journal of Biometeorology

Climate change impacts on human culture

A systemic approach for climate risk assessment applied to thermoelectric power plants in Northeastern coast of Brazil
Sousa et al. Climate Risk Management
Open Access 10.1016/j.crm.2022.100424


(provisional link) Modelling the future: climate change research in Russia during the late Cold War and beyond, 1970s–2000

A step toward tourism development: do economic growth, energy consumption and carbon emissions matter? Evidence from Pakistan
Kumail et al. Environment, Development and Sustainability

Export of Ice Sheet Meltwater from Upernavik Fjord, West Greenland
Muilwijk et al. Journal of Physical Oceanography
Open Access pdf 10.1175/jpo-d-21-0084.1

(provisional link) North Atlantic Footprint of Summer Greenland Ice Sheet Melting on Interannual to Interdecadal Time Scales: A Greenland Blocking Perspective

Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives

Informing Nature-based Climate Solutions for the U.S. with the best-available science
Novick et al. Global Change Biology
Open Access 10.1111/gcb.16156

Critical social science perspectives on transformations to sustainability
Fisher et al. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Open Access 10.1016/j.cosust.2022.101160

Articles/Reports from Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations Addressing Aspects of Climate Change

“We fear more war. We fear more drought.” How climate and conflict are fragmenting rural Syria (pdf), Peter Schwartzstein and Wim Zwijnenburg, Pax for Peace

The summer of 2021 brought unprecedented difficulties for rural communities in northeast Syria as severe drought combined with new and dangerous turns in the conflict to pitch them even deeper into poverty. Across this part of the country, many livestock herds halved in size – or worse. Farmers registered drops in crop yields of up to 90 percent, if they produced anything at all. Amid soaring food prices and services and quality of life that are deteriorating in lockstep with the area’s enormous agricultural and pastoralism sectors, few rural – or even urban – Syrians in the northeast have been spared the fallout from these troubles. It all gives rise to the question: can parts of rural Syria maintain their relative stability – and ward off humanitarian catastrophe, even as their economic lifeblood vanishes?

Onsite Water Recycling. An Innovative Approach to Solving an Old Problem (pdf), San Francisco Public Utility Commission

Water and sanitation systems are increasingly stressed as infrastructure systems are aging, climate and weather patterns are changing, and communities are rapidly growing. As a result, the ability to provide safe and reliable water and sanitation services is becoming increasingly difficult for urban and rural communities across the world. This e-book highlights global challenges for water and sanitation services, as well as localized solutions to treating wastewater for reuse on a smaller, decentralized scale. Numerous people around the world were contacted to share their stories, projects, and lessons learned to encourage transformation in the water sector. Several cases studies are shared throughout the e-book and complied in the Appendix. The purpose of this e-book is to inspire utilities and government leaders to consider onsite water treatment systems as an effective strategy in their long-term water resource and resilience planning. This information can help water and wastewater utilities, government agencies, and other interested stakeholders understand the benefits and drivers behind onsite non-potable reuse, how other utilities have addressed potential challenges, and best practices for the ongoing operation of these systems.

Sustainable Energy in America 2022 Factbook. Tracking Market & Policy TrendsBloombergNEF and The Business Council for Sustainable Energy

The Factbook aims to augment existing sources of information on U.S. energy. It focuses on renewables, efficiency, natural gas, distributed power and storage and sustainable transportation. It fills important data gaps in certain areas, e.g., clean energy investment flows, and contribution of distributed energy. It contains data through the end of 2021 wherever possible. This year’s report contains annual views of and commentary on driving factors in the energy sector. It includes new data on gasoline demand, hydrolyzer costs, energy efficiency codes and electric vehicles among other things.

Residential Solar-Adopter Income and Demographic Trends: 2022 Update (pdf), Barbose et al.
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The authors describe income and demographic trends among U.S. residential solar photovoltaic adopters. High level findings include (1) solar adopter incomes vary considerably, but are generally higher than population averages; (2) solar adopters vary among other demographics compared to the broader population; and (3) the rooftop solar market is becoming more equitable over time.

Joint Targeted Interconnection Queue StudyMidcontinent Independent System Operation (MISO) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP)

The study identifies transmission projects required to address the significant transmission limitations restricting the opportunity to interconnect new generating resources near the MISO-SPP seam.

Americans Largely Favor U.S. Taking Steps to Become Carbon Neutral by 2050 (pdf), Tyson et al., Pew Research Center

The new survey of 10,237 U.S. adults conducted from Jan. 24 to 30, 2022, finds that 69% of U.S. adults prioritize developing alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar, over expanding the production of oil, coal, and natural gas. The same share (69%) favors the U.S. taking steps to become carbon neutral by 2050, a key component of President Joe Biden’s climate and energy policy agenda. A relatively small share of Americans (31%) believe the U.S. should phase out the use of oil, coal, and natural gas completely; far more (67%) say the country should use a mix of fossil fuel and renewable energy sources. Officials are considering ways to remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere through tree plantings as well as carbon capture and storage techniques.

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We know it's frustrating that many articles we cite here are not free to read. One-off paid access fees are generally astronomically priced, suitable for such as "On a Heuristic Point of View Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light but not as a gamble on unknowns. With a median world income of US$ 9,373, for most of us US$ 42 is significant money to wager on an article's relevance and importance. 

How is New Research assembled?

Most articles appearing here are found via  RSS feeds from journal publishers, filtered by search terms to produce raw output for assessment of relevance. 

Relevant articles are then queried against the Unpaywall database, to identify open access articles and expose useful metadata for articles appearing in the database. 

The objective of New Research isn't to cast a tinge on scientific results, to color readers' impressions. Hence candidate articles are assessed via two metrics only:

A few journals offer public access to "preprint" versions of articles for which the review process is not yet complete. For some key journals this all the mention we'll see in RSS feeds, so we include such items in New Research. These are flagged as "preprint."

The section "Informed opinion, nudges & major initiatives" includes some items that are not scientific research per se but fall instead into the category of "perspectives," observations of implications of research findings, areas needing attention, etc.

What does "(provisional link)" mean?

When the input list for New Research is processed, some articles do not produce a result from the journal databases we employ. Usually this is because the publisher has not yet supplied information to for the given article. In these cases and in order to still include timely listing of articles, we employ an alternate search tactic. While this method is usually correct, sometimes the link shown will lead to an incorrect destination (available time does not always permit manual checking of these). We invite readers to submit corrections in comments below.

Each edition of New Research is reprocessed some two weeks after intitial publication to catch stragglers into the DOI ecosystem. Many "provisional links" will end up being corrected as part of this process. 


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Posted by Doug Bostrom on Thursday, 10 March, 2022

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