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Arctic ice loss driven by natural swings, not just mankind: study

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Natural swings in the Arctic climate have caused up to half the precipitous losses of sea ice around the North Pole in recent decades, with the rest driven by man-made global warming, scientists said on Monday.

The study indicates that an ice-free Arctic Ocean, often feared to be just years away, in one of the starkest signs of man-made global warming, could be delayed if nature swings back to a cooler mode.

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Natural variations in the Arctic climate “may be responsible for about 30–50 percent of the overall decline in September sea ice since 1979,” the U.S.-based team of scientists wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Sea ice has shrunk steadily and hit a record low in September 2012 — late summer in the Arctic — in satellite records dating back to 1979.

The ice is now around the smallest for mid-March, rivaling winter lows set in 2016 and 2015.

The study, separating man-made from natural influences in the Arctic atmospheric circulation, said that a decades-long natural warming of the Arctic climate might be tied to shifts as far away as the tropical Pacific Ocean.

“If this natural mode would stop or reverse in the near future, we would see a slow-down of the recent fast melting trend, or even a recovery of sea ice,” said lead author Qinghua Ding, of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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But in the long term the build-up of man-made greenhouse gases would become an ever more overwhelming factor, he wrote in an e-mail.

“Looking ahead, it is still a matter of when, rather than if, the Arctic will become ice-free in summer,” said Ed Hawkins, of the University of Reading, who was not involved in the study.

The melt of the Arctic is disrupting the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and damaging wildlife such as polar bears and seals while opening the region to more oil and gas and shipping.

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Professor Andrew Shepherd, of Leeds University, who did not participate in the study, welcomed it as pinning down the relative shares of natural and man-made influences. “Nobody’s done this attribution before,” he said.

The findings could help narrow down huge uncertainties about when the ice will vanish.

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In 2013, a U.N. panel of climate scientists merely said human influences had “very likely contributed” to the loss of Arctic ice, without estimating how much. It said that the ice could disappear by mid-century if emissions keep rising.

(Reporting By Alister Doyle; Editing by Catherine Evans)


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‘That’s a bombshell, that’s an earthquake’: NBC reporter sounds the alarm on Russia’s latest efforts for Trump

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The New York Times broke the story Thursday that Russia is supporting President Donald Trump and is already hacking the 2016 election to help his reelection.

It was something NBC reporter Ken Delanian called a "bombshell."

"It is the worst nightmare of many of my sources in the intelligence world," he said. "It's bad enough to learn that there is classified intelligence that Russia is interfering again and trying to elect Donald Trump. We should be careful about that because it is not clear what it means. Does it mean disinformation on social media, does it mean intercepts that suggest people in the Kremlin are discussing the campaign? That is bad enough, but then the notion that because a briefing of that information was delivered to a bipartisan group of lawmakers, that cost Joe Maguire the job? That is a bombshell."

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2020 Election

REVEALED: Bloomberg NDA gave women a specific script to read if asked about what the company did

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One of the key moments in Wednesday nights Democratic debate came when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) pressed former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg on why he won't release women from Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) that prevent them from discussing alleged wrongdoing at his companies.

President Donald Trump also used an NDA is his hush-money scheme to silence Stormy Daniels.

Warren asked Bloomberg to release the women from the agreements, "so we can hear their side of the story."

Former Vice President Joe Biden also joined in, but Bloomberg refused to allow the women to tell their story -- and couldn't even answer Warren's question about the number of women who are gagged by NDAs.

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Russia is working to re-elect Trump, he knows it, the intel community knows it, and he’s furious House Democrats were told

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Russia is working to re-elect President Donald Trump. That should come as little surprise to many – it's actually unclear they ever stopped attacking the U.S. elections – "meddling," as far too many put it – since they began as far back as 2013, according to the U.S. intelligence community.

But the U.S. intelligence community knows Russia is working to help Trump. Trump knows Russia is working to help Trump. House Democrats were told last week Russia is working to help Trump. And now Trump is furious.

"Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected," The New York Times, citing five sources, reports late Thursday afternoon. The newspaper adds that the "disclosure ... angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him."

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