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Climate Change This Week: Congressional Climateers, Weather on the Mind, and More!

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Today the Earth got a little hotter.

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Via The Climate Reanalyzer here

How unusual has the weather been? Looking above at recent temperature anomalies around the globe, we still have that unusually warm, high pressure ridge that's been sitting for months now off the west US coast, blocking cloud formation and keeping the west in drought, and extending unusually warm conditions thru Canada into Alaska. Another unusually warm area extends along much of the US eastern seaboard, into the Atlantic, and all the way up to the north pole. Unusually cold conditions surround the pole over Eurasia, with patches of slightly unusual cold through the mid US. Daily updates can be seen here.

Record Cold Arctic Outbreak Tied to Global Warming say scientists reports Terrell Johnson at The Weather Channel. Basically, as global warming melts the Arctic faster than elsewhere (called Arctic Amplification), the temperature difference between Arctic and equator decreases, weakening the jetstream, which then slows and dips much further south. Thus, it delivered a persistent Arctic dose of record cold recently to the US; imagine what further warming might do....

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As the Arctic warms faster than elsewhere, the jet stream weakens, slows, and gets much wavier, deliviering more extreme weather to the US and elsewhere. Credit: NASA.

Immediate Weather Shapes Our Climate Ideas say US researchers, reports Alex Kirby at Climate News Network, even if we understand climate change. Research indicates that people's views on climate change tend to be influenced by the most immediate and accessible information to be found, ie current weather. Well, if that's the case, climate deniers are probably dropping like flies in California...and in much of the West, for that matter...

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If you're looking at this outside your window, you're more likely to have doubts about climate change, a recent study concludes... but don't be fooled! Via wikipedia.

DEM Senators Launch Climate Action Task Force To Wake Up Congress reports Katie Valentine at Climate Progress. 12 Democratic senators plan to take an aggressive stance on climate action, host public events and floor speeches, and to collaborate with religious organizations and businesses that support action on climate change."Everybody gets it, except for Congress," Senator Barbara Boxer said. Truer words....

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The Climate Action Task Force hopes to pry Congress out of its deep freeze on climate action. Tom Toles at the Washington Post.

Study Shows Fracking Is Bad for Babies concludes a new study, similar to the findings of an earlier one, reports Mark Whitehouse at Bloomberg News. The yet to be published study notes that babies born within 1.5 miles of fracking activities are more likely to have below normal weight, and score lower on overall health.. Something to think about the next time you hear about fracking coming to a place near you...

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This baby looks like he's already heard the news about how bad fracking is for babies like him... wikimedia commons.

No Relief Forecast after One of California's Driest Years Ever reports Sam Sanders at NPR. The Ca Dept of Water Resources says much of the drought the state is experiencing can be attributed to climate change."We're coming off two years of below-normal precipitation," says Allan Haynes, a state hydrologist. "We've had an exceptionally dry past 12 months. In fact, one of the driest calendar years on record in lots of locations." Gov. Jerry Brown has convened a drought task force to help the state prepare for what could be a very dry 2014.

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Climate change, says a state agency, is behind much of the current California drought, which is probably a factor underlying present and future 2014 wildfires. Credit Matt Granz, courtesy twitter, Sacramento National Weather Service.


Parts of Europe ' 5°C (10°F) Warmer' by 2100 say researchers, reports Alex Kirby at Climate News Network, as well as more frequent droughts. The announcement comes as the fiercest storms for decades have been sweeping Europe for several weeks.

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Michael J. Aziz and others at Harvard University have developed a metal-free flow battery that uses naturally abundant organics to store energy from intermittent renewable sources. Credit: Eliza Grinnell, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

New Battery with Great Potential For Storing Massive Wind, Solar Energy has been developed by Harvard University scientists, reports Tim Radford at Climate News Network. Researchers have developed a metal-free flow battery that relies on the electrochemistry of naturally abundant, small organic molecules to store electricity generated from renewable, intermittent energy sources. Not a done deal yet, but definitely a big step in the right direction...

Climate Scientist Makes Crowdfunding Plea to Back Key Research reports John Cushman at InsideClimate News. Ralph Keeling, the director of an acclaimed Scripps Institute program that keeps track of the amounts of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere, has renewed his plea for public support of the research, which has suffered from flagging federal grants. Our government has enough money for Iraq, but not enough to keep tabs on the greenhouse gases fueling climate change?

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☼☼☼ On the Bright Side ☼☼☼

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(>(>(> PEOPLE SPEAK OUT <)<)<)

OO DEM Senators: More Scrutiny of Transport Laws Needed After Train Explosions

OO GOP N Dakota Senator Calls For A Slowdown In Oil-Booming State

OO Experts Urge Hawaii Lawmakers to Address Climate Change

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OO California Lawmakers Urge Jerry Brown To Adopt A Fracking Moratorium

OO Protesters Are Now Super-Gluing Themselves To Fracking Sites

OO Anti-Fracking Protest Rocks NY Governor's State Of The State Address

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Via Marina Portnaya, #nofrackingny at twitter

OO NY Mayor DeFazio Blasts Global Warming Skeptics As 'Blathering Idiots'

OO Green Groups Oppose Scientists' Call to Embrace US Nuclear Power

OO Terror Charges Faced By Oklahoma Fossil Fuel Protesters 'Outrageous'

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OO Group Of Parents Ended Radio Disney's Oil-Funded Educational Tour

OO Toronto City Manager: Ice Storm Signals It's Time To Get Serious About Climate Change

OO Climate Change Activists Disrupt Canadian PM Harper Event

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Severe storms have wracked the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe recently. Via wikimedia

OO European Ministers Urge EU to Set 2030 Renewable Energy Target

OO UK Prime Minister Cameron 'Very Much Suspects' Climate Change Is Behind Recent Storms


OO Enviros Sue Canada Over Species at Risk From Northern Gateway Pipeline

☼☼☼ BRIGHT IDEAS ☼☼☼

OO Endangered US Carbon-Storing Grasslands Can Be Saved - grasslands are shrinking rapidly for food and biofuels, but a coalition of government and green groups are going to pay farmers, subsidized with carbon credits to not plow up grasslands.

OO Group Proposes Labeling Gas Pumps, Warning Consumers About Climate Change - that is, the danger to the planet's health...

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To find out how, check out Pear Energy and Ethical Electricity.

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OO California: Gov. Brown Wants To Tap Cap-And-Trade Funds For Bullet Train

OO How to Replant Carbon Storing Forests: Tree Islands

☼☼☼ BRIGHT DEVELOPMENTS ☼☼☼

OO Revolution Now: Future Arrives for 4 Clean Energy Technologies - solar, wind, LEDs, electric vehicles.

OO Govt Clean Energy Programs Are a Success Story: How 60 Minutes Missed the Mark - by ignoring facts, as one interviewee explains.

OO Marines Are Molding Energy Savings Along With Young Troops

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OO Analysts: Cleantech Venture Investments on Upward Trend Through 2013

OO Clean-Tech Investors Venture Into Sustainability

OO Political Activism at the Grid's Edge: Ethical Electric Scores $11M

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Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel Car: I think they should have gone with the paisley, don't you? Credit Toyota

OO US Plug-In Electric Vehicle Sales Nearly Double In 2013

OO Toyota Unveils Zero-Emissions Hydrogen Fuel-Cell 'Car Of The Future' - as it plans a network of Hydrogen pump stations.

OO Wind Aids Grid as Cold Hits Conventional Power proving that a diverse mix of sources is needed, says wind industry.

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OO Goldman Sachs Sells Stake In Prospective West Coast Coal Terminal

OO SolarCity Comprises a Third of US Residential PV Market

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OO EnerVault's First Commercial-Scale Flow Battery Almost Ready - and will store solar energy.

OO $100M Secured to Make Intelligent Glass Commercial - the glass darkens when sunlit, keeping buildings cool.

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The most comprehensive newsfeed on climate change online.

For more news on our changing climate around the world, click here.

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☼☼☼ BRIGHT SIDE, STATE SIDE ☼☼☼

OO FERC's New 'Fast Track' Rules Will Make Clean Energy Development Easier

OO EPA: Offshore Drillers in S Calif Must Disclose Chemicals Discharged into Ocean

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OO California: Sizzling Solar Busts Through 3 GW

OO Nevada: Electric Race Car Debuts On Las Vegas Strip

OO Missouri Project To Convert Hog Waste Into Energy

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An aerial wind turbine; Midwest might be a prime location for them. Photo via Altaeros Energies

OO Midwest Might Be Prime Real Estate for Airborne Wind Power

OO New York: Governor Announces $1 Billion For Solar Energy

OO New York Plans $40M in Prizes for Storm-Resilient Microgrids

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OO NY Energy Plan Calls for Renewables And Cost Savings, Skips Fracking

OO Thanks To Wind Energy, Texans Didn't Lose Power During Polar Vortex

OO Lowell Turns Former Landfill Into Lucrative Solar Venture

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For more news on green technology, click here.

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OO Tar Sands Pipeline Company Drops $200M On Texas Mega-Wind Project - maybe they'll invest even more in clean energy when the pipeline is permanently stopped.

OO EPA Publishes First Rule Limiting Carbon Pollution From New Power Plants

☼☼☼ BRIGHT SIDE, WORLDWIDE ☼☼☼

OO Slowly, Asia's Factories Begin To Turn Green

OO China WindPower to Get $942 Million in Loans for Solar Farms

OO China on 'World's Biggest Push' for Wind Power

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OO China Pledges Further Support For Solar Industry

OO China Sets Targets For Curbing Air Pollution

OO Indonesia: In Historic First, Palm Oil Company Fined $30M For Destroying Orangutan Forest

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Children make bricks to build clean burning stoves in Uganda. Courtesy Kasiisi Project/Camp Uganda.

OO Uganda: Primary School Children Build Fuel-Efficient Stoves

OO Mosaic Plans Crowdsourced Solar Expansion to Developing Countries

OO Mexico as Bellwether for an Unsubsidized Solar Future

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OO Deutsche Bank Predicts Second Solar 'Gold Rush'

OO Analysis: German 2013 Wind, Solar Output Up 4% At Record High


OO Evolving Smart Grid: Czech, German Grids Reach Accord On Renewable Wind Power

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Via the Huffington Post

OO Europe's Storms Create Free Wind Powered Electricity

OO Italy: How A Small Town Struck Green Gold - wind turbines and solar panels helped.

OO Wind Power Tops Spain's Electricity Source in 2013

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The flag flies, May 21, 2013.

At Moore, OK, the day after a huge tornado demolished it.

Credit Major Jon Quinlan/defenseimagery mil

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***** US Climate Change News *****

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OO America's Forest Carbon Sink Is Shrinking government report says.

OO Cold Snap a Briefly Pauses Beetles Chewing Up Warming US Forests

URBAN SPRAWL STUDY TAKEAWAYS

OO Suburban Sprawl Cancels Out Climate Benefits Of City Living

OO Report: Biggest Energy Producers Are Also Biggest Users

OO Beefing Up Population Density Won't Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions
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Wikimedia commons

THE BIG COLD

OO Polar Freeze Grips United States, Disrupting Travel, Business

OO Polar Vortex Drives Record Winter Energy Use at Utility

OO Cold Weather Snap Fuels Misinformation Over Climate Change

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Minneapolis is just one of many US cities experiencing fewer frigid nights over the past few decades. Credit: Climate Central

OO Extreme Cold Is Becoming More Rare in US

OO The Polar Vortex In No Way Disproves Climate Change

OO December Cold Affected Jobs Report When cold prevents workers going to work, they aren't ccounted.

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OO President Obama Orders Sweeping Energy Review

OO Wind Energy Companies Prepare for Tax Credit's End

OO Large Scale Solar Stalls, As Mid Scale and Rooftop Booms and incentives decline.

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*****Ready to Invest Your Bucks in Solar? Check out Mosaic opportunities here!

OO What Can Investors Expect From US Renewable Energy Markets in 2014? Further development of financing, decreasing local incentives, and continued disruption of the traditional utility model.

OO Utility Holding Company Moves Into Residential Solar - to own both centralized and distributed power, the way of the future...

OO Fracking Operations Are Contaminating Well Water In 2 States

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For more, click here.

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OO Key Marcellus Study Didn't Test Waste researcher says.

OO West Virginia: Coal Pollution Disaster Leaves 300,000+ without Water

OO Wetland Contamination Can Be Predicted in Oil Boom States, says study.

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OO US Govt Safety Alert Issued Over Dangers Of Fracked Oil

OO A Reality Check On The Northwest Passage 'Boom'

OO California: LA Storms To Grow More Destructive As Sea Level Rises, study says.

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California water officials may have to choose - water for people, or salmon? Credit National Park Service at wikimedia

OO California: Record-Setting Drought Threatens Salmon Survival


OO Colorado: River Drought Forces A Painful Reckoning

OO Southwest: Dust On Rockies Snow Quickens Melting, Disrupts Water Supplies

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OO Southeast: Global Climate Change Brings Big Public Health Challenges Here, Globally, CDC scientist says.

OO Michigan: Streets Damaged from Extreme Weather, Grand Rapids Seeks Tax to Repair

OO New Jersey: Gov Christie's Other Scandal: How He's Trying To Silence A Gas Pipeline Critic

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New Jersey Governor Christie wanted to run a pipeline through the National Pinelands Reserve; he didn't succeed. via Wikipedia.

OO New Jersey: Christie Fails to Muscle Gas Pipeline Through Protected Forests

OO New Jersey: Study Finds Sea Levels Rising Fast; Concerns Grow About Shore

OO Texas: EPA Relied Wrongly on Driller Data for Water Contamination - say a new study and affected homeowners.

<><><><> GOPPING IT UP <><><><>

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Even elephants can't survive on oil. Credit: Mary Ellen Harte

OO GOP House to Vote On Three Bills To Weaken EPA Despite Obama Veto

OO GOP House Of Reps Voted 109 Times To Undermine Environmental Efforts In 2013

OO GOP Takes Last Shot At Repealing Light Bulb Ban

GOPGOPGOP...

OO GOP Koch Bros Political Network, Shielding Donors, Raised $400 Million In 2012 Elections

OO GOP 'Dark Money' Funds US Climate Deniers

OO GOP Senator James Inhofe Rejects Global Warming Because It's Cold Outside

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Senator James Inhofe, famous climate change denier, thinks cold weather supports his stance. I wonder what he thinks when he sees the sky darkening at day's end ....Credit wikimedia, US Navy

OO Maine: GOP Governor Tries Again to Cut Renewable Energy Law To Aid Big Companies

OO Virginia: GOP Lawmaker Proposes Schools Teach That Climate Change, Evolution May Not Exist

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Via the University of East Anglia Climate Change webpage

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<<<< Climate Change Round the World >>>>

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OO Environmental Degradation Leads To Public Health Crises says a new report.

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OO China: Energy Safety Probe Exposes 20,000 Potential Risks

OO China Decides Which Solar Companies Live or Die based on how well companies perform.

OO China: Despite Historic Smog, Adds Massive New Coal Production

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Smog over the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. As China expands coal use, this is likely to be a much more common sight. Credit Brian Jeffrey Beggerly via wikimedia commons.

OO Australia's 2014 Heat Wave Picks Up Where 2013 Left Off - as its weather agency officially declares 2013 to be the nation's hottest year yet.

OO Australia: Second Largest Carbon Emitter from Coal, While 25% of Its Mammals Endangered

OO Indonesia: Company Accused Of Illegally Logging Endangered Rainforest

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OO Myanmar: Natural Disasters, Climate Change To Add To Troubles

OO Severe Tropical Cyclone Bears Down On Tonga

OO Brazil's Oil Euphoria Hits Reality Hard

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Courtesy of CIRAD.fr

OO East Africa: Climate Change Threatens East Africa's Crops

OO Caribbean: Climate Change Adds to Flooding Lakes

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OO Canada: Govt Dismantles Ecological Libraries, Dismisses Thousands Of Scientists

OO Canada: Climate Change Rattles Mental Health Of Inuit Eskimos

OO Canada: Higher Insurance Premiums Forecast After Months Of Wild Weather

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The existence of the medieval town of Proschim is threatened by a planned coal development. Z Thomas at wikimedia

OO Dirtiest Coal's Rebirth In Europe Destroys Medieval Towns

OO Europe Outdoes US in Climate Disasters for 2013

OO Wanted: Billions Of Bees For European Farms - as honeybees crash from pesticides, wild bees are needed, but their habitat is shrinking as more farmlands are used to grow biofuels. The bee gap is growing.

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OO Britain: Warned Of More Droughts from Climate Change, Growing Population

OO UK: New Year Brings More Extreme Weather,Flooding For Storm-Weary

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OO UK: Lack Of Research Linking Climate Change And Floods Is A 'Scandal'

OO UK: Snow-Hit Sheep Farmers Fear Worse Is To Come

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Ten Global Warming Indicators. Credit NOAA

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(((((((( Seeking the Science ))))))))

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OO Warmer Weather Is Causing Pelican Chicks To Freeze To Death

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The conch snail (blurred, left) is "leaping" away from the Marbled Cone (end showing, right), a "spear" hunter that shoots poisonous darts into its prey, if it gets close enough. Courtesy Sue-ann Watson

OO Acid Oceans Leach Leap From Escaping Snail Via Nerve Damage - decreasing its chances of escape; acid oceans will probably damage many other marine creatures, as well. And what about damaging effects on the snail's predator, the Marbled Cone? Stay tuned for this and other exciting future episodes in the 'Watery Acid Kingdom'....

OO Species' Population Size Alters Climate Migration - if not many individuals exist, migration is less likely.

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@@@ Climate Change in the Media @@@

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@@ LIVING ON EARTH @@ PRI's Environmental News Magazine, covers climate change and other fascinating topics as well. Check it out!

@@ The Pros And Cons Of Geoengineering - is it worth risking a global experiment gone wrong when far more certain solutions exist to cutting carbon emissions?

!!!! Want to Save Energy & Help the Planet? Check out these helpful EPA Climate Change youtubers here! !!!!

@@ At Last, a Green Radio Show to counter the Lush Bimbaugh wasteland. Check out On the Green Front with Betsy Rosenberg at Progressive Radio Network to keep updated on climate change, and other green topics.
@@ Video: America's Dangerous Pipelines - the title says it all; compelling ....
To help you understand just what science does and does NOT do, check this out!

Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this rose I photographed last summer. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to join the increasing numbers of people who want to TELL Congress that they will vote for clean energy candidates you can do so here. It's our way of letting Congress know there's a strong clean energy voting bloc out there. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.

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