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Wildfires 2019 Thread

Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 21 Apr 2019, 16:54:17

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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 22 Apr 2019, 09:43:27

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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 29 Apr 2019, 20:51:23


Winnie the Pooh's Real-Life Hundred Acre Wood Hit by Forest Fire


https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/04/29/euro ... index.html
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby jedrider » Sun 09 Jun 2019, 19:49:21

Pretty funny if there wasn't so much destruction as a result.

How the Biggest Fire in California History, the Ranch Fire, was Started
https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-wasp-fire-california-20190608-story.html

If you hit a paywall, maybe you'll find it in another California paper, SacBee or SFGate.

All he wanted to do was plug up a wasp nest because he’s allergic to bees and worried about being stung.
It was a hot day. The rancher in the Northern California hamlet of Potter Valley walked into a bed of waist-high cured grassland, driving a stake into the ground. That created a spark that grew into the largest wildfire in state history.
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 19 Jun 2019, 21:10:11

Wildfires in Siberia.

Alarming wildfires rage near giant ‘Mouth of Hell’ gash in the tundra, a wonder of Siberia



The fires are now raging some 10 to 15 kilometres from the megaslump crater - a large hole in the frozen Arctic soil which highlights the dramatic speed of thawing permafrost.

The Batagaika or Batagai "megaslump" is a tadpole-shaped depression around one kilometre long, 800 metres wide and 100 metres deep.

It is growing by some 15 to 30 metres a year - but if it is hit by the nearby inferno this would destroy trees on its rim and loosen the soil even more, resulting in further collapses.
...
Changes in the local climate have seen an ‘almost snowless’ winter in this northern outpost with dry weather exacerbating the risk of wildfires spreading. ...

http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/n ... f-siberia/
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 27 Jun 2019, 22:22:08

From the Guardian:
Spain
: Firefighters battle biggest wildfires in 20 years as heatwave grips Europe
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 28 Jun 2019, 05:28:07

dohboi wrote:From the Guardian:
Spain
: Firefighters battle biggest wildfires in 20 years as heatwave grips Europe


All those beautiful green shoots of new vegetation that will emerge next spring. It will be beautiful.
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 28 Jun 2019, 15:51:10

Sooo, every scorched-earth-ashen cloud has a green lining, so to speak? :)

In the normal cycle of things, yes, fires can be an important part of re-generation.

But we are not in the normal cycle of things. Zones are shifting. Basically we are witnessing Spain become part of the Sahara desert. This is a long predicted shift.

Of course (if we are looking desperately for green linings :) ) that may mean that the southern-most borders of the Sahara could start to green up a bit. But more immediate human intervention is likely to undermine that development (unless these folks and their ilk get more support https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Belt_Movement ).
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 28 Jun 2019, 16:08:46

Just over at a friend's house helping him remove things. He got his "level 1" evacuation warning" a couple of days ago. He doesn't have to evacuate yet, but he has been told to get the house in order and be ready to leave at any time.

There are fires burning all over central Alaska, and thick smoke where I live.

Multiple-fires-burning-in-Alaska-interior-due-to-hot-weather-and-lightning-

We haven't had any record hot days, but every day for the last two months has been above average. Right now we're getting temps up in the 80s.....not quite a record, but when its hot every day the forests dry out and burn. Right now I've got fires burning in several spots around me here, and there fires across the river from my lake cabin too.

Image
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Fri 28 Jun 2019, 16:24:12

Wow, thanks for the report, P. Stay safe!
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 28 Jun 2019, 19:14:23

dohboi wrote:Zones are shifting. Basically we are witnessing Spain become part of the Sahara desert. This is a long predicted shift.



Zones are shifting. They always have been. But they will really accelerate with human caused climate change.

8000 years ago an ice sheet covered Europe and most of the continental US. Cycles of these shifts are in the fossil record. With every ice age the slate was cleared of life and recolonization happened as ice recedes. But what we will see in the near term is an acceleration into unknown territory.

Just like you mentioned, Spain might continue to become more desert. Other areas with more rainfall.

I will give you two examples of shifts happening really fast, both examples within the last 100 years.

The first is in the Everglades in South Florida in the USA. At the beginning of the 20th century the Everglades where intact with a broad shallow river flowing south from Lake Okefenokee. This pulse of fresh water flowed into Florida Bay. In 1900 Whitewater Bay at the southern tip of the Everglades was fresh water with Large Mouth Bass and lined with Bald Cypress Trees.

In a very short time, even quicker than climate change, in just 50 years canals reduced this river of freshwater moving south to a mere trickle, Salt water intruded so that today only the Shark River Valley remains anything remotely similar to the way things were in 1900. Here is the interesting part of the story.

Whitewater Bay, which in 1900 was fresh water and lined with Bald Cypress, is today saltwater or brackish, lined with mangroves and filled with Snook and Redfish and dolphins. It's a healthy thriving ecosystem . Not the same one as in 1900. But thriving and healthy. The Everglades lost over 95% of the aquatic bird life; herons, spoonbills, Limpkins, egrets, etc. But note, no extinctions except the Seaside Sparrow. Invasive species is a huge problem, but leave that topic aside for a moment.

This example illustrates two of the main points I keep bringing up here. The first is the resiliency of ecosystems and the 2nd is that even with a species losing 95% of its population, as long as there are refuge populations the bounce back can be remarkeable. If all of the canals that drained the Everglades were filled and if the original hydrology was returned we would see within 30 years White Water Bay once again teaming with fresh water aquatic life and young Bald Cypress trees lining the shore. The aquatic bird life would bounce back close to their numbers found in 1900.

This illustrates the resiliency of ecosystems, even with accelerated shifts.

2nd Example. Go to Mount Saint Helens in Oregon and visit the area that was obliterated in 1980. Full scale obliteration. 38 years ago. Look at the bounce back from mother nature. Enough said.

Now, to my claim that Homo Sapiens will be disproportionately affected by Climate Change, lets for a moment take the example of Spain and lets draw out those climate change consequences for the next 100 years and the desertification that may happen there. Desert habitat will slowly replace forests. Just like the example of the Everglades. There will be winners and losers, probably some signigicant extinctions. Regional extinctions for sure. But what about the human landscapes. The human population? Olive oil, wine, crops, food sustainability, fresh water availability, etc, etc, etc,

Natural ecosystems breath in and out shifting. Human ecosystems are fixed and tied to their grain and crop productions with limited resiliency. At a time when their population is in severe overshoot.

I know I like to sometimes yank peoples chains a bit with snarky comments, but I also do try to back up some of my claims.. Not with links to studies. I am not an internet warrior perusing studies and posting links. My posts are original and derive from my own knowledge. Take it or leave it.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed and felt that what I have written here is somewhat enlightening in explaining some of the claims I make here on this site in regards to:

1) Ecosystem resiliency
2) Vulnerability of Homo Sapiens disproportionate due to climate change.

Thank You
Last edited by Ibon on Fri 28 Jun 2019, 19:57:16, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 28 Jun 2019, 19:31:23

Take the boundary between the tundra permafrost and the Boreal Forest. What will happen with advancing climate change? This represents an enormous percentage of our terrestrial planet, circumpolar, that is extremely sparsely populated by humans. Interesting to contemplate. Largely still intact ecologically.

Under almost no scenarios of climate change can this region become void of life. It will breath the shifting changes of climate and still be pristine 100, 200 , 500 years from now. It might be a complete different equation in the mix of tundra, boreal forest and who knows, bananas, but it will still be a thriving ecosystem in any case. Bye bye Polar Bears.. that will be a tragedy. Individual species gone for ever, but the integrity of the existing habitat still intact.

I will post something, maybe tomorrow if I have time, about the stability of the tropical latitudes through the fossil record and compare this to temperate regions. It is interesting to consider this especially when considering climate change.
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 29 Jun 2019, 07:37:58

Are you guys ready for your next installment regarding ecosystem resiliency in adaptation to climate change?

Fossil record (mainly pollen samples from lakes) indicate that the tropical latitudes have had fairly stable climate conditions deep into our geological past. As ice ages covered higher latitudes with vast ice fields the climate in the tropics remained fairly stable, the main fluctuations where in rain fall. Pollen samples in ancient lake beds in the Amazon indicate grass pollen during maximum ice advance during past glacial periods. Tropical forests were replaced with savanna conditions. Riparian habitats maintained tropical forests. One of the reasons given for the higher biodiversity in tropical latitudes is that the ecosystems are more stable for longer periods of time. Contrast this with the higher latitudes where vast ice sheets during past ice ages basically replaced forested and trundra ecosystems. The pulse of ice advance and retreat cleaned the slate so to speak. These cycles of climate extremes in higher latitudes has an impact of species adaptability.

Now I will post a link which I don't often here on po.com but it will help to enlighten some of the points I have recently been making regarding eco system resiliency in times of change.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases ... 112013.php

[i]The team was surprised to find that while the number of bird and mammal species increases closer to the equator, the number of genetically distinct groups within each species -- known as subspecies -- is greater in the harsher environments typical of higher latitudes.

"These are environments that are colder and drier, and where the differences between the hottest and coolest months are more extreme," Botero explained.

Animals in these environments are more likely to freeze during cold winters or die during usually hot summers. "If extreme weather events wipe out a population every now and then, but don't wipe out an entire species, the populations that survive will be geographically separated and could start to diverge from one another," Botero said
[/i]

To summarize, since higher latitudes experience more extremes in climate there is greater genetic diversity within each species in terms of adaptation and also then speciation. This makes sense when you consider the advance and retreat of ice ages through time and the recolonization of life as ice retreated and how populations of individual species would experience extremes.

The tropics have greater biodiversity but less extremes in climate and therefore within each species there is not so much stress on existing populations.

In no way am I downplaying the upcoming rise of extinctions because of human caused climate change. Also in now way am I pointing out these ecological studies as some way of justifying BAU. The focus of explaining these ecological dynamics to folks like Dohboi, Cid, Asg70 and even KJ is that you guys all specifically talk about the upcoming ecological death of our planet due to homo sapiens. You project linearly out into the future current trends ignoring completely cyclical dynamics. The same damn mistake we did with peak oil projections, acid rain, ozone hole and the population bomb theory popular back in the 70's.

You guys lack ecological knowledge, you peruse the internet for studies on climate and in your amateur arm chair analysis in front of your fucking digital devices you then weave a narrative in your heads that our lovely planet is heading toward the status of a charcoal brisquet. FOOLS.

This incredible resiliency found in natural ecosystems to adapt to stress it totally lacking in the brittle and fragile human ecosystem made up of Homo sapiens and a handful of our slave crops and livestock. 7.5 billion and growing in this precarious arrangement about to be confronted with climate change events with high dependency on embedded technologies and a few grain crops. Contrast this with the above example on my previous post on the Everglades, how within a 50 year period fresh water habitat was replaced with saltwater and how resilient the resulting ecosystem remained due to the stresses in a short time. The only resiliency similar in human landscapes that can even remotely compare is our brains, our ability to use technology to adapt to external stresses. But that has limits.

I don't want to overwhelm you guys with too much information too fast. Let's stop here. Anyway, I have to go plant coffee trees.
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 29 Jun 2019, 08:13:59

Two points for now.

"...Homo Sapiens will be disproportionately affected by Climate Change..."

If one species goes extinct from CC (which, more than one already has), then by definition, that species was more 'disproportionately affected by CC' than homosapiens sapiens has...so far.

Also, sorry that I can't remember if you haven't commented on this, but I am wondering if you doubt the overwhelming evidence that most of the previous mass extinction events were driven by global warming. Why would you think the the current gw event, which seems to be developing even faster than previous ones, will be less destructive to life on earth than those were (as you seem to imply here...but correct me if I am mistaken in that impression, please).

Now I have to get out for my morning bikeride before it's too hot, since we are under heat advisories here.
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sat 29 Jun 2019, 08:20:16

Ibon, as usual, you are ignoring the mathematics involved.

==> On the globe as a whole, the rate of both animal and plant species extinctions is increasing. If adaptation were happening, that would not be the case. Whatever underlying mechanisms cause species to diversify over time, is absolutely dominated by humans and their intensive monocultures of both plants and animals. Remember this diagram, that we discussed extensively six years back:

Image

Arguably, 200,000 years ago, the wild animals would be 100%, as mankind had just evolved, as yet existed in small numbers, and had not yet begun practicing crop monoculture or domesticating animals. Today, wild animals by tonnage are 2.89% of the animals on Earth, and Man and his food species are 97.11%.

Image

Heck, even our pets - those domesticated animals we keep for amusement and companionship versus food - exceed the total tonnage of all species of wild animals by 1/3rd. Not to mention that horses are an example of a domesticated species that has been population crashing for a century, as petroleum-fuelled vehicles replaced them. Yet there remain enough horses - many little more than pets - to almost equal the tonnage of all wild animal species.

Your theory does your intellect justice, and is a logical conclusion for someone who lives in one of the few remaining pockets of tropical diversity. But when one does the simple arithmatic, you understand how ephremal and temporary such remaining places are. I see no basis for a belief that the ecology itself will not crash - because it already is 97.11% gone.
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby dohboi » Sat 29 Jun 2019, 10:23:34

Also, Ibon, if you would be so kind to enlighten us 'FOOLS' as to exactly what 'cyclical dynamics' we are 'completely ignoring,' I'm sure we fools would all appreciate it! :)
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 29 Jun 2019, 19:21:04

dohboi wrote:Also, Ibon, if you would be so kind to enlighten us 'FOOLS' as to exactly what 'cyclical dynamics' we are 'completely ignoring,' I'm sure we fools would all appreciate it! :)


Nobody with few exceptions are fools here, you guys all have my respect. Let's say your position on this topic is foolish instead of calling you fools, ok? Foolish specifically in the claim of a destroyed near lifeless planet as a result of global warming or human ecological overshoot.

We are probably all in agreement that ecological degradation is far advanced already and huge stresses will follow, I am presenting here some arguments well founded that point out that natural ecosystems, some more than others, have actually evolved to roll with the punches of rapid change and external stresses.

I will focus on some of your comments, the issue for me right now is that I am physically exhausted after a long day of labor and my brain usually shuts down about now, it is in the morning hours well caffeinated that I can write clear. So for the moment I will repeat, nobody is a fool, just foolish in arriving at some erroneous conclusions. Of which I will elaborate. Good night.
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 29 Jun 2019, 20:35:15

I know its hard to accept, but a cogent scientific argument can be made that global heating is going to alter the earth to such an extent that human civilization is going to collapse over the next several decades and many natural ecosystems are going to be severely damaged or destroyed.

A new best selling book discusses the scientific case for global warming destroying human civilization and making much of the earth uninhabitable.

new-climate-book-we-are-already-far-down-the-road-to-a-different-earth

In The Uninhabitable Earth, Wallace-Wells wants us to understand just how bad that future may get.....

The point for humanity is that with every degree of warming, we get further from the kind of world we grew up in. For Wallace-Wells this is not just a matter of where you can go skiing in 2040. The Uninhabitable Earth focuses on the potent cascades that flow through the entirety of the complex human-environmental interaction we call "civilization." So, when Wallace-Wells talks of economic impacts, he cites a study linking 3.7 degrees of warming to over $550 trillion of climate-related damage. Since $550 trillion is twice today's global wealth, the conclusion is that eventually rebuilding from the "n-th" superstorm will stop. We'll just abandon our cities or live within the ruin. The Uninhabitable Earth also gives us similar visions of rising hunger and conflict. If today's refugee problems are straining political systems (the Syrian crisis created 1 million homeless people), Wallace-Wells asks us to imagine a global politics when more than 200 million climate refugees are on the move (a U.N. projection for 2050).

The picture The Uninhabitable Earth paints is unsparingly bleak.


Image

Of course, Mr. Wallace-Wells may be too pessimistic in his view of the future, just as Dohboi and I may have been too pessimistic for years in our posts about global warming here. But there is nothing "foolish" about such views.....in fact our views are increasingly being supported by a great deal of state-of-the-art scientific and economic research by the UN and other agencies.

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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 29 Jun 2019, 20:53:53

Insomnia struck and sleep alludes me. Probably because this discussion wont allow my brain to quiet down, in spite of the immense silence and darkness of the night in this remote corner of the world.

So I am first addressing KJ's above post with those graphs.....

KJ, I have no argument with your mathematics or your graphs. The problem is you are applying a quantitative analysis and forgetting about the qualitative inherent characteristics found in native ecosystems when comparing them with what has now replaced them.


Let’s illustrate this by taking a bioregion many of us are familiar with. The midwest tall grass prairie of the US. Western Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, southern Wisconsin and southern Minnesota, parts of Missouri. Originally a bioregion of tall grass prairie that extended like an ocean for hundreds of thousands of square kilometers. Today some of the most fertile farmland in the world. Today less than 1% of the tall grass prairie habitat remains mostly along railroad easements, along a few rural roadways, some military sites that were used as ammunition practice, some ancient cemeteries, etc. Just as you pointed out, this bioregion, this natural ecosystem is not just 97% gone, it is now 99% gone. Replaced with one endless vast monoculture of corn and soy. Farmland so valuable and so fertile we did not even consider preserving any of it as a natural area. So based on your sheer quantitative analysis of the replacement of natural ecosystems with manmade mono culture one would arrive at the conclusion as you said in your post

I see no basis for a belief that the ecology itself will not crash - because it already is 97.11% gone.


let’s now consider the qualitative aspects of the natural ecosystem of the tall grass prairie. Fire resistant, deep roots, rich biodiversity of perennials, adapted to drought, adapted to ruminants grazing.
Now let’s fast forward through the bottleneck of human overshoot where we land at some stable carrying capacity and a percentage of this bioregion goes fallow, left to its own devices. Let’s watch together what happens to these abandoned fallow areas. The GMO corn and soy is gone within one year. Succession starts with annual weeds taking over former plowed fields. Starting from those railroad right ways and old cemeteries, tall grass perennial prairie plants start recolonizing this vast area. How long would it take before you would return to a resilient tall grass prairie community of plants? 20 years, 100 years? How long before White Tailed Deer and Pronghorn Antelopes appear. Maybe , just maybe, those Buffaloes on Ted Turners ranch in Montana jump the fence and make their way east?
The question is the qualitative one, it does not really matter that 97% or 99% of the habitat was destroyed, it matters how much integrity is still inherent for this habitat to once again dominate the landscape once the human footprint recedes.

How quickly will cattle pastures and soy and sugar cane acreage in the Amazon be recolonized by rainforest vegetaion once the human footprint recedes. That succession by the way starts immediately, the day that acreage lies fallow.

Let's not paint too rosy a picture though. I mentioned the asymmetric nature of extinctions in previous posts. I would like to come back to that, there are some really tragic biodiversity hot spots around the planet that are doomed because the refuge population required for recolonization has already been obliterated. This is still the exception rather than the rule though. It is too late for some places to regenerate. The degradation is too far advanced.

There are inherently very vulnerable natural ecosystems. I pointed out once that Hawaii has more bird extinctions, over 29 already, than all of the continental USA. You can’t unwind the damage done by rats and mosquitoes and feral pigs on a fragile ecosystem like Hawaii has, thousands of miles separated from the mainland evolving life forms that had no defenses against humans and their invasive companions. But again, this is still the exception rather than the rule.

The vast majority of eco systems around the planet still hold on to refuge populations.

By early 1900 99% of Eastern Deciduous forests in the USA where deforested. How many extinctions were the result? I know the answer to that. Do you? How is this bioregion fairing today?

What happens to natural ecosystems after the human footprint on the planet recedes. That qualitative answer puts your graphs in a completely new perspective and refutes pretty much your claim that 97% of natural habitats are already dead. They are not. They are on the sidelines, biding their time. More than you can imagine.

Did you never see any images of Palenque in Mexico when the Archeologists first found these pyramids? Those pyramids where buried under small hills of old growth lowland rainforest.

In the 2009 housing crisis in the USA there was an exurb development in Nevada that was half completed and abandoned. Half built McMansions. A photographer published a photograph of a pair of Bobcats perched on the foundation of one of the half built homes, less than one year after the developer abandoned the project.

Have you seen the documentary of Chernobyl 40 years later? The vegetation growing on cracked foundations, foxes roaming abandoned decaying cement structures? Do not underestimate the resiliency of natural ecosystems.

I could go on and on. Your quantitative graphs are mostly meaningless when considering the qualitative attributes of natural ecosystems to one day recolonize former human landscapes. It will happen.
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Re: Wildfires 2019 Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 29 Jun 2019, 21:08:00

Plantagenet wrote:I know its hard to accept, but a cogent scientific argument can be made that global heating is going to alter the earth to such an extent that human civilization is going to collapse over the next several decades and many natural ecosystems are going to be severely damaged or destroyed.


Don't worry Dohboi, I owe you some answers. I just had to comment on Plantagent's post whose timing could not have been better to illustrate my 2nd major point of dispute with some of you and that is the
disproportionate vulnerability of Homo Sapiens to the upcoming consequences of climate change.

I read the summary of the book. It seems spot on regarding the potential threats that will cause the earth to become largely uninhabitable for Homo sapiens......

You guys never really appreciated my early comments a couple years ago to embrace climate change as the solution to human overshoot rather than a threat we need to mitigate. The book seems to clearly detail those very solutions, both external of human agency in the forms of natural consequences and also the contribution of human agency in the instability this will cause to civilization.

I agree Plantagent, it is not foolish to forecast severe threats to modern human civilization. Quite prescient actually.
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