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Extremophile microbes to inherit the Earth in two billion years

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Two billion years from now, an ever-hotter Sun will have cooked the Earth, leaving microbes confined to pockets of water in mountains or caves as the last survivors, a study said Monday.

The bleak scenario is proposed by astrobiologist Jack O’Malley-James of the University of St. Andrews, Edinburgh.

As the Sun ages over the next billion years, it will become more luminous, cranking up the thermostat on the Earth, O’Malley-James suggests in a computer model presented at a meeting of Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).

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Increased evaporation rates and chemical reactions with rainwater will cause a dramatic fall in levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), on which plants depend for photosynthesis. Animals, in turn, depend on plants.

Over the second billion years, the oceans will dry up completely, leaving extremophiles — microbial life able to cope with intense ultra-violet radiation and raging heat from the Sun — to inherit the planet.

“The far-future Earth will be very hostile to life by this point,” O’Malley-James said in an RAS press release.

“All living things require liquid water, so any remaining life will be restricted to pockets of liquid water, perhaps at cooler, higher altitudes or in caves or underground.”

But 2.8 billion years hence, even these hardy holdouts will have followed the dodo, according to his model.

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The finding could help hunters of exoplanets who dream of finding an Earth-like planet in another solar system.

A dying planet would have a telltale nitrogen atmosphere where there would be only traces of methane pointing to residual bacterial life.

The five-day RAS annual meeting, gathering more than 600 astronomers and space scientists, runs at St. Andrews until Friday.

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Chris Hayes breaks down the ‘busy day in the criminal chronicles of one President Donald J. Trump’

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MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes connected the dots between all of the bombshell news that was reported Friday in the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump.

"Good God, today has been ten days and this week has been ten weeks," Hayes said. "And there are a million things happening at once."

"Just in the past couple of hours, for instance, we just got this incredibly incriminating and damning behind closed doors testimony from a U.S. foreign service officer that was still supposed to be kind of like the B-story today, the sideshow," he explained. "It's a guy who works in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, a guy named David Holmes. He testified behind closed doors that he could hear president Trump talking on the phone to the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union who was an inaugural donor, and they were in a restaurant in Kiev and the president was shouting so loudly on the phone that [Gordon] Sondland had to hold the phone away from his ear because it was hurting his eardrum, so then everyone could hear."

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Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.

Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.

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‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.

The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.

Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.

"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.

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