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Arctic sea ice melt to exacerbate California droughts: study

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Melting Arctic sea ice could render sun-soaked California vulnerable to a recurrence of the severe drought suffered in recent years as it is likely to cause high pressure systems that push away rain-bearing storms, a study released on Tuesday said.

As temperatures rise, the Arctic Ocean is expected to become ice-free within two or three decades, resulting in more of the sun’s heat being stored in the Arctic Ocean, leading to atmospheric circulation changes and cloud formations in the tropical Pacific that move north.

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That will lead to the building of high pressure system known as an atmospheric ridge in the northern Pacific off California’s coast, steering storms north into Alaska and Canada, the study said.

“This has the potential to make a drought very similar to the one we had in 2012 to 2016,” said Ivana Cvijanovic, an atmospheric scientist at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Cvijanovic led the study with contributions from colleagues at the lab and at University of California, Berkeley.

The recent five-year drought cost California’s farmers billions of dollars in lost production, slashed seasonal agriculture jobs by the thousands, and spiked electricity bills for residents as hydroelectric systems failed.

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U.S. meetings on the Arctic warming are mostly attended by scientists and members of Alaskan communities, but Cvijanovic said residents of other regions should pay attention.

“Studies like this one imply that it’s not only a problem (for communities in Alaska) and that Arctic Sea ice loss that we expect in the next couple of decades could have massive effects” on Californians and other people around the world, she said.

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Modeling by the scientists showed that the loss of sea ice could cause a 10 to 15 percent decrease in California’s rainfall when considering a 20-year mean, with some years becoming much drier and others becoming wetter.

The loss of Arctic sea ice is only one path to a drier California that scientists have predicted.

A previous study on drought in the country’s most populous state blamed another aspect of global warming. California’s temperatures have risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century and the warmer air holds more water, sucking moisture out of soil, rivers and streams.

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The study appeared in the journal Nature Communications and was funded by the Energy Department’s science office.

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Foreign diplomats preparing for the worst — another Trump win in 2020: ‘People don’t want to be stupid twice’

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According to a report from Politico, foreign diplomats are not so sure Donald Trump will be beaten in the 2020 election and are making contingency plans for how they will deal with him should he be re-elected.

The report notes that the win by the New York businessman in 2016 caught foreign governments by surprise with former French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud admitting, "In 2016, nobody believed he was going to be elected. People don’t want to be stupid twice.”

According to Politico, "There’s no known scientific survey on the topic — few foreign officials would participate in one given diplomatic norms that preclude them from commenting on another country's internal politics. But none who talked to POLITICO were willing to say that Trump will lose. Instead, they pointed to three key advantages for Trump: He’s the incumbent, the U.S. economy is strong and the Democrats have no definitive front-runner to challenge him."

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Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times

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President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'

Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."

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Trump suggests hitting France with 100 percent tariff on wine over dispute with Macron

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According to a report from Bloomberg, President Donald Trump publicly suggested that he would consider a 100 percent tariff on wines coming from France.

The report states that the president recently made the suggestion as part of his trade war that has crippled American manufacturers and farmers while at the same time hitting American consumers' wallets.

Trump's comments came during a recent Long Island fundraiser and were tied to his unhappiness with President Emmanuel Macron and his tax on multinational technology companies.

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