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Antarctic summer ice melting 10 times faster: study

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Summer ice in the Antarctic is melting 10 times quicker than it was 600 years ago, with the most rapid melt occurring in the last 50 years, a joint Australian-British study showed Monday.

A research team from the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survey drilled a 364-metre (1,194 feet) long ice core from James Ross Island in the continent’s north to measure past temperatures in the area.

Visible layers in the ice core indicated periods when summer snow on the ice cap thawed and then refroze.

By measuring the thickness of these melt layers, the scientists were able to examine how the history of melting compared with changes in temperature at the ice core site over the last 1,000 years.

“We found that the coolest conditions on the Antarctic peninsula and the lowest amount of summer melt occurred around 600 years ago,” said lead author Nerilie Abram of the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences.

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“At that time, temperatures were around 1.6 Celsius lower than those recorded in the late 20th century and the amount of annual snowfall that melted and refroze was about 0.5 percent.

“Today, we see almost 10 times as much of the annual snowfall melting each year.

“Whilst temperatures at this site increased gradually in phases over many hundreds of years, most of the intensification of melting has happened since the mid-20th century,” she added.

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The research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, is only the second reconstruction of past ice melt on the Antarctic continent.

Abram said it helped scientists gain more accurate projections about the direct and indirect contribution of Antarctica’s ice shelves and glaciers to global sea level rise.

“What it means is that the Antarctic peninsula has warmed to a level where even small increases in temperature can now lead to a big increase in summer ice melt,” she said.

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“This has important implications for ice instability and sea level rise in a warming climate.”

Robert Mulvaney, from the British Antarctic Survey, led the ice core drilling expedition and co-authored the paper.

“Having a record of previous melt intensity for the peninsula is particularly important because of the glacier retreat and ice shelf loss we are now seeing in the area,” he said.

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“Summer ice melt is a key process that is thought to have weakened ice shelves along the Antarctic peninsula leading to a succession of dramatic collapses, as well as speeding up glacier ice loss across the region over the last 50 years.”


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Trump has Republicans ‘in a vice’ as bad as Charlottesville and Access Hollywood: MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace

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Donald Trump's increasingly toxic rhetoric against women of color has put the Republican Party in a "vice" of choosing between loyalty to the White House and voters disgusted by the bigotry the president had been broadcasting.

"Donald Trump today has the Republican Party in a vice the likes of which they haven’t experienced since Charlottesville and before that, in the aftermath of the “Access Hollywood” tape," Wallace explained, citing the biggest moments of Trump displaying his respective racism and misogyny.

"Republicans -- who have hardly been profiles in courage -- today found just over a dozen of their members break rank and slowly, timidly, begin to call out Donald Trump’s flagrant, bellicose, racist attacks against four female members of Congress," she reported.

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Republican analyst says Trump is ‘threatened by’ being challenged by women: ‘It hurts his ego’

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According to one Republican commentator, President Donald Trump's decision to lash out at four Congresswomen of color stems from his inability to handle being challenged by women.

In a segment with MSNBC host Ali Velshi, Rina Shah, who runs Republican Women for Progress, said that she's been the target of racist attacks from Trump supporters ever since she announced she wouldn't support him.

"I believe that what this president is doing is fanning the flames," she said. "He cannot denounce white supremacy, white nationalism. This is a moment in which he could have kept his mouth shut. You know, this tit-for-tat with [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi (D-CA) and 'The Squad,' he didn’t need to engage in it. If I was advising the president, if I were one of his advisers, I would have said stay out of it. But he doesn't listen to anyone around him."

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Mitt Romney blames democratic women for Trump’s racism: Their views ‘are not consistent with my experience’

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Little more than six months ago Senator-elect Mitt Romney (R-UT) promised voters he would "speak out" against President Donald Trump's racism. On Monday, Senator Mitt Romney blamed the targets of President Donald Trump's two-day racism fest for the President's own racism.

"I will speak out against significant statements or actions," by President Trump, "that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions," Romney said in a New Year's Day 2019 Washington Post op-ed.

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