Events (Upcoming & Past)

Upcoming MMM Events

Nedjelika Žagar
University of Ljubljana
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Many studies of the forecast error growth focused on the extra-tropical quasi-geostrophic dynamics and often considered the error-free large-scale initial state.  In contrast, the operational global numerical weather prediction and ensemble prediction systems are characterized by uncertainties in the initial state at all scales, especially in the tropics.  In this seminar the evidence will be discussed about the dominant role of the large-scale error growth early in the forecasts in comparison with the errors cascades from the smaller scales.   A new parametric model for the representation of the error growth will be derived.  In contrast to the commonly used models, the new model does not involve computation of the time derivatives of the empirical data. The asymptotic error is not a fitting parameter, but it is computed from the model constants. 

Simulated forecast errors by the operational ensemble prediction system of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts are decomposed into scales and the new model is applied independently to every zonal wavenumber.  A combination of hyperbolic tangent functions in the parametrization of the error growth proves robust to reliably model complex growth dynamics across many scales.  The range of useful prediction skill, estimated as a scale where forecast errors exceeds 60% of their asymptotic values is around 7 days on large scales and 2-3 days at 1000 km scale.  The new model is easily transformed to the widely used model of Dalcher and Kalnay (1987) to discuss the scale-dependent growth as a sum of two terms, the so-called a and b terms.  Their comparison shows that at planetary scales their contributions to the growth in the first 2 days are similar whereas at small scales the b term describes most of a rapid exponential growth of errors towards saturation. 

Refreshments: 3:15pm


First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1022
Host lab/program/group:
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

James Done 
NCAR/MMM

As populations increase in hazard-prone regions, the human, cultural and economic costs rise, and will continue to rise in the future. The likely scenario of the weather and climate hazards themselves changing in the future will compound the problem. A transformation of how weather and climate risk is assessed and integrated with risk management practice is needed for society to confront this new era of weather and climate risk. Bringing physics to bear on risk assessment has the potential to transform our understanding of weather and climate risk. Furthermore, physically based risk assessments that are informed by risk management practice are a potentially powerful component of climate resilience. Three recent examples will be presented to illustrate the flow between physically based weather and climate risk assessments and community action.

The first example is the development of a terrain-aware tropical cyclone wind probability assessment at the global scale. In collaboration with a reinsurance broker, an approach to modeling tropical cyclone wind footprints is developed by fitting a parametric wind field model to historical and synthetic cyclone track data, and bringing the winds down to the surface using a 3-dimensional numerical boundary model, accounting for terrain and surface roughness effects. The new wind probability assessments are being used to understand inland wind risk in regions of complex topography, and assess public and private risk management strategies in regions of sparse historical data. The second example explores how the relationship between residential losses and hurricane winds is modified through building codes. Adherence to the Florida building code drives down losses by up to 70%, and the code is cost-effective with a return on investment after 12 years under current climate. The final example explores the role of decadal climate predictions in water resource and flood risk management. The multi-disciplinary UDECIDE (Understanding Decision-Climate Interactions on Decadal Scales) project combines statistical and physical assessments of climate prediction skill with data from interviews with managers to identify intersections at the decadal scale in support of effective management.

Refreshments:  3:15pm

First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1001 (Note Location)
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

The triennial IUFRO conference on the effect of wind and trees will take place at the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s (NCAR) Mesa Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, from 17 July to 21 July 2017 

Call for Abstracts 

This conference encourages scientists from all backgrounds with an interest in the interaction between wind and trees to present a paper. The broad theme of the conference targets understanding the interaction of the wind on trees at scales ranging from the leaf to entire forests and forested landscapes. We are interested in how trees adapt to wind, how they acclimate during their lives, and the physical mechanisms of wind damage. Presentations discussing the atmospheric processes producing damaging near-surface winds and climatological controls on their likelihood are also encouraged.  We are keenly interested in the impact of forest disturbance on carbon budgets and ecosystem functioning in forests and management strategies to mitigate the impact of damage in all types of forestry.   

The deadline for submitting an abstract is 17 February 2017. 

https://www.regonline.com/IUFROWT

First Name: 
Kris
Last Name: 
Marwitz
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8198
Email: 
kmarwitz@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
132 - Main Seminar Room
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Repeats every day 5 times.
Monday, July 17, 2017 - 8:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 8:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 8:00am to 5:00pm
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 8:00am to 5:00pm
Friday, July 21, 2017 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

Lotte Bierdel
Ludwig Maximilians University
Munich, Germany 

The current literature discussing predictability of atmospheric flow and the nature of the underlying scale interactions considers the problem from two main perspectives. One approach is based on statistical closure models in a homogeneous and isotropic turbulent flow, where the predictability time is determined solely by the background kinetic energy spectrum and not by the underlying dynamical model. An alternative approach is based on results from numerical weather prediction models that suggest that latent heat release associated with deep moist convection is a primary mechanism for small-scale error growth. From this point of view error growth in the atmosphere is an initially localized, highly intermittent phenomenon that expands upscale, leading to a complete loss of predictability on scales below 100 km within a few hours. The error growth process then depends on the underlying dynamics of the respective scale range and the errors in particular have to transition from geostrophically unbalanced to balanced motion while propagating through the mesoscale. In this talk a study will be presented that examines the geostrophic adjustment process as possibly underlying this transition. To that end, an analytical framework for the geostrophic adjustment of an initial pointlike pulse of heat (modeling a convective cloud or an error within the prediction of a cloud) is developed. Spatial and temporal scales of the geostrophic adjustment mechanism are deduced and three characteristics of the solution are shown to be potentially useful for identifying the geostrophic adjustment process in numerical simulations. These three predictions are then tested in the framework of error growth experiments in idealized numerical simulations of a convective cloud field. Three different rotation rates are employed in order to identify the geostrophic adjustment mechanism and allow a quantitative comparison with the predictions of the analytical model. As will be shown, the numerical simulations agree well with the predictions developed from the analytical model. Based on these findings it is suggested that the geostrophic adjustment process governs upscale error growth through the atmospheric mesoscales.

Refreshments: 3:15 PM

First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1001 (Note Location)
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Past MMM Events

Lotte Bierdel
Ludwig Maximilians University
Munich, Germany 

The current literature discussing predictability of atmospheric flow and the nature of the underlying scale interactions considers the problem from two main perspectives. One approach is based on statistical closure models in a homogeneous and isotropic turbulent flow, where the predictability time is determined solely by the background kinetic energy spectrum and not by the underlying dynamical model. An alternative approach is based on results from numerical weather prediction models that suggest that latent heat release associated with deep moist convection is a primary mechanism for small-scale error growth. From this point of view error growth in the atmosphere is an initially localized, highly intermittent phenomenon that expands upscale, leading to a complete loss of predictability on scales below 100 km within a few hours. The error growth process then depends on the underlying dynamics of the respective scale range and the errors in particular have to transition from geostrophically unbalanced to balanced motion while propagating through the mesoscale. In this talk a study will be presented that examines the geostrophic adjustment process as possibly underlying this transition. To that end, an analytical framework for the geostrophic adjustment of an initial pointlike pulse of heat (modeling a convective cloud or an error within the prediction of a cloud) is developed. Spatial and temporal scales of the geostrophic adjustment mechanism are deduced and three characteristics of the solution are shown to be potentially useful for identifying the geostrophic adjustment process in numerical simulations. These three predictions are then tested in the framework of error growth experiments in idealized numerical simulations of a convective cloud field. Three different rotation rates are employed in order to identify the geostrophic adjustment mechanism and allow a quantitative comparison with the predictions of the analytical model. As will be shown, the numerical simulations agree well with the predictions developed from the analytical model. Based on these findings it is suggested that the geostrophic adjustment process governs upscale error growth through the atmospheric mesoscales.

Refreshments: 3:15 PM

First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1001 (Note Location)
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Stipo Sentic
New Mexico Tech

Tropical convective organization is the process in which disorganized convection organizes into regions of intense convective activity surrounded by dry, convectively inactive regions. Well known examples are tropical cyclones and the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)—they affect atmospheric energetics, and the MJO affects virtually all weather on our planet. Recent advances in idealized modelling of tropical convection, namely the weak temperature gradient (WTG) approximation, enable us to study convective organization in idealized settings. The WTG approximation parameterizes the effects of the large-scale on local convection, and can be used in idealized sensitivity studies of convection to changes in large-scale convective environment. To model organized convection in the context of the MJO, we used observations from the Dynamics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (DYNAMO) field campaign to force WTG simulations in a cloud resolving model, and test how well the WTG approximation reproduces variations in convective diagnostics: precipitation rate, stability, moisture content, and large-scale transport (gross moist stability). We find that the WTG approximation reproduces variations in these diagnostics, and relationships between them.  The ability of WTG approximation to reproduce important observed diagnostics provides confidence that this is a good strategy for exploring tropical phenomena.  An example that I'll talk about is the behavior of convective organization at different SSTs.

(Special Date) Tuesday, 30 May 2017, 3:30 PM
Refreshments: 3:15 PM 
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory 
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg. 2, Small Seminar Room 1001 (Note Location)


First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1001 (Please note location)
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Michael Tjernström
Department of Meteorology & Bolin Centre for Climate Research
Stockholm University, Sweden

Arctic climate is ultimately determined by a balance between meridional heat transport into the area, and radiation heat loss at the top of the atmosphere over the same area. Since the net radiation loss is due to small-scale processes parameterized in models, and the meridional heat flux is due to larger scale atmospheric dynamics resolved by the models, the two has usually been studied separately. In this seminar this concept will be called into question.

In an episode during the Arctic Clouds in Summer Experiment (ACSE) in the summer of 2014, warm air from the Siberian mainland flowed in over melting sea-ice in the East-Siberian Sea for over a week. As the ~25 °C warm air flowed over the melting surface, maintained at the melting point, a strong surface inversion formed in which dense fog also formed. This resulted in a positive net longwave radiation while the sensible heat flux was downward. Although solar radiation was attenuated by the fog, this led to an additional 10-20 Wm-2 energy to the surface. This led us to hypothesize a zone from the ice edge where the surface will receive enhanced energy when the atmospheric flow is northward onto the ice. 

To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the observation from the entire ACSE expedition. All temperature profiles taken over sea ice were categorized into cases with or without a surface inversion; the inversion cases where further divided into two categories using the humidity profiles. When projecting other observations onto these three classes, many are systematically different. Surface inversion with increasing moisture with height systematically added 10-20 Wm-2 energy to the surface energy budget, indicating that meridional heat flux must be considered together with the small-scale processes caused by the air mass transformation.

Please note the location change.

Thursday, 1 June 2017, 3:30 PM
Refreshments:  3:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg. 2, Small Seminar Room 1001 

First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1001 (Please note location change)
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Sharon Sessions
Department of Physics, New Mexico Tech
Socorro, New Mexico

Tropical convection is difficult to understand and even more difficult to predict, in part because of the interplay between the convection itself and the large scale circulations.  Predictability is possible, however, if the  scales of convective disturbances are large enough that they are influenced by voriticity anomalies in the environment.  Ooyama, in 1982, discussed this idea in the context of mature tropical cyclones, in a process he refered to as "cooperative intensification".  Recently, Raymond et al. (2015) revisted Ooyama's ideas and addressed the question of whether other less extreme types of tropical disturbances could be a response to a nonlinear form of "balanced dynamics".  If so, they argued that these types of disturbances would have potential for predictability (and therefore would also be parameterizable).  In terms of time scales, disturbances which occur on scales longer than the time to establish balance, are candidates for predictability based on the potential for moist convection to evolve as a balanced response to large scale vorticity anomalies.  

In this talk, I'll revisit some of Ooyama's and Raymond's ideas regarding balance dynamics, and discuss how we would look for signatures of balanced dynamics in convective systems.  I'll also discuss the mechanism by which a vorticity anomaly can modulate and strengthen a developing convective system, and address the question of whether the Madden-Julian Oscillation is a candidate for a convective disturbance under the influence of balanced dynamics.  Finally, I discuss how these concepts can potentially be used to evaluate and diagnose global models that have varying degrees of skill in simulating tropical disturbances (and the MJO in particular).  

Special Wednesday Date--Rescheduled from 18 May 2017 Due to Weather

Wednesday, 24 May 2017, 3:30 PM
Refreshments 3:15 PM
NCAR--Foothills Laboratory
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg. 2, Main Auditorium, Room 1022 

 

 

First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1022
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Anders Sivle
Norwegian Meteorological Institute
Oslo, Norway 

Different people in different occupations depend on weather forecasts to plan their work and recreational schedules. People with no expertise in meteorology frequently interpret weather forecasts and uncertainty information. These non-experts apply their prior knowledge and experiences in a variety of fields to synthesize different types of information to interpret forecasts. In this PhD study, situations of typical users were simulated when examining how different user groups interpret, integrate, and use information from an online weather report (www.Yr.no) in their everyday decision-making. First, qualitative interviews of twenty-one Norwegians (farmers, exterior painters, tour guides, teachers and students) were conducted. Second, sixteen students participated in an eye-tracking study.

The study found that nuances such as color and the number of drops were important in the interpretations of the weather symbols and forecast uncertainty, which were sometimes interpreted differently than intended by the forecast provider. Prior knowledge and the integration of information from different representations affected the participants’ interpretations. The decision-making process influenced the selections of representations in different situations; their selection was dependent on the importance of the envisaged activity and the weather conditions for the day. Additionally, in situations in which the participants had a lack of experiences, this lack provides a possible explanation for why part of the information was occasionally not understood and used.

Some implications of the findings for communication and future research will be discussed in the presentation. For example, it appears that some users should be supported to facilitate the interpretation and use of information in situations where they lack experiences. One possibility to support persons that lack experiences and have low situation awareness might be to provide consequences and impacts of forecast weather. 

Thursday, 8 June 2017, 3:30 PM
Refreshments 3:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory
3450 Mitchell Lane
(Location Change) Bldg. 2, Room 1001

First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1001 (Please note location change)
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Sharon Sessions
Department of Physics, New Mexico Tech
Socorro, New Mexico 

Tropical convection is difficult to understand and even more difficult to predict, in part because of the interplay between the convection itself and the large scale circulations.  Predictability is possible, however, if the  scales of convective disturbances are large enough that they are influenced by voriticity anomalies in the environment.  Ooyama, in 1982, discussed this idea in the context of mature tropical cyclones, in a process he refered to as "cooperative intensification".  Recently, Raymond et al. (2015) revisted Ooyama's ideas and addressed the question of whether other less extreme types of tropical disturbances could be a response to a nonlinear form of "balanced dynamics".  If so, they argued that these types of disturbances would have potential for predictability (and therefore would also be parameterizable).  In terms of time scales, disturbances which occur on scales longer than the time to establish balance, are candidates for predictability based on the potential for moist convection to evolve as a balanced response to large scale vorticity anomalies.  

In this talk, I'll revisit some of Ooyama's and Raymond's ideas regarding balance dynamics, and discuss how we would look for signatures of balanced dynamics in convective systems.  I'll also discuss the mechanism by which a vorticity anomaly can modulate and strengthen a developing convective system, and address the question of whether the Madden-Julian Oscillation is a candidate for a convective disturbance under the influence of balanced dynamics.  Finally, I discuss how these concepts can potentially be used to evaluate and diagnose global models that have varying degrees of skill in simulating tropical disturbances (and the MJO in particular).  

Thursday, 18 May 2017, 3:30 PM
Refreshments 3:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg. 2, Main Auditorium, Room 1022 

First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1022
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Joseph Sedlar
Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
Norrkoping, Sweden 

Over the Arctic, persistent cloudiness and variable boundary layer structure pose serious problems for accurate numerical simulation of these phenomena. The issue is generally compounded by insufficient observational data, which are necessary for understanding processes and improvement of physical parameterizations.

In this presentation, observations spanning a broad range of spatial and temporal scales, including cloud-turbulence scales and up to pan-Arctic scales, are explored. Statistics and decomposition techniques are applied to understand the role of cloud-driven dynamics versus larger meso- and synoptic-scale forcings during the Arctic summer, to quantify their relative importance on the lower tropospheric structure. A particular focus of this presentation is devoted to highlighting the mechanisms supporting the decoupled nature between near-surface turbulence and mixed-phase cloud-driven mixing. The impact of poleward advection on components of the atmospheric energy budget is also analyzed.

Special Day and Time:

Tuesday, 18 April 2017, 1:30 PM
Refreshments 1:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg. 2, Main Auditorium, Room 1022

First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1022
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Mathew Stiller-Reeve
Climate and The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research
Bergen, Norway

If we want climate services to produce useable information for users, then the way scientists and users define events need to be comparable. In this talk, I will present some novel yet simple methods to compare beliefs of timing of recurrent climatic events with empirical evidence from multiple historical time series. We test the methods by applying them to the onset date of the monsoon in Bangladesh, where several scientific monsoon definitions can be applied. Time series from eight different scientific monsoon definitions in six regions are compared with respondent beliefs from a previously completed survey concerning the monsoon onset.

Beliefs about the timing of the monsoon onset are represented probabilistically for each respondent by constructing a probability mass function from elicited responses about the earliest, normal, and latest dates for the event. We use these dates to construct a circular modified triangular distribution (CMTD). These CMTD distributions are then compared to the historical time series using two approaches: likelihood scores, and the mean and standard deviation of time series of dates simulated from each belief distribution.

This work has developed from my previous PhD research and the more recent TRACKS project (Transforming Climate Knowledge with and for Society) funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The methods are initially based on the monsoon onset, but I would like to discuss the possibility of applying them to other meteorological or climatological events.

Thursday, 6 April 2017, 3:30 PM
Refreshments 3:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg. 2, Main Auditorium, Room 1022

First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1022
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Social Vulnerability Mapping: Approaches, Problems, and Recent Advances
Walter Peacock
Texas A&M University, Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center
College Station, Texas

Traditionally vulnerability analysis combined information on the potential physical properties and extent of various hazards, such as extreme wind, flooding, and surge, with the data on the spatial distribution and nature of the built environment and population to assess a community’s vulnerability to various natural disasters. The emergence of social vulnerability perspectives in hazard science has resulted in an increasing call for the inclusion of social as well as physical vulnerability assessments when undertaking community vulnerability analysis. Social vulnerability mapping is a critical element in these types of analysis. This presentation will review the basic logic and approaches to social vulnerability mapping. Problems and issues related to unit of analysis, data quality, and spatial resolution will be addressed. Recent advances and approaches for addressing data quality and spatial resolution will also be discussed. 

Thursday, 23 March 2017, 3:30 PM
Refreshments 3:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg. 2, Main Auditorium, Room 1022

First Name: 
Bobbie
Last Name: 
Weaver
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8946
Email: 
weaver@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1022
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Mesoscale Aggregation of Shallow Cumulus Convection
Over The Oceans

Christopher S. Bretherton
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington
Seattle, WA

 Over the oceans, shallow cumulus convection, often mixed with patchy stratocumulus, is a common cloud type.  It is usually 'aggregated' into mesoscale patches or polygons of deeper cumuli, with possible consequences for the mean vertical structure of cloud cover and cloud-precipitation-aerosol interaction.  Large-eddy simulations (LES) covering domains 50 km or more across also exhibit mesoscale aggregation of shallow cumulus convection, but it is not fundamentally well understood.   To further that understanding, we analyze the development of convective aggregation in multiday LES of a 108x108 km doubly periodic domain simulating mean summertime conditions at a location east of Hawaii.  The simulated convection aggregates within 12 hours.  Vertically resolved heat and moisture budgets on mesoscale subdomains elucidate this process.  Shallow cumulus deepen preferentially in more humid regions of the boundary layer, stimulating net moisture convergence into those regions.  Sensitivity studies show that the aggregation does not require precipitation.  Aggregation is weakened but not prevented if radiative cooling and surface fluxes are horizontally homogenized.  A unifying conceptual model explains these findings.

Thursday, 9 March 2017, 3:30 PM
Refreshments 3:15 PM
NCAR-Foothills Laboratory
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg. 2, Main Auditorium, Room 1022

First Name: 
Caroline
Last Name: 
Haws
Phone Extension (4 digits): 
8189
Email: 
haws@ucar.edu
Building:
Room Number: 
1022
Host lab/program/group:
Type of event:
Calendar Timing: 
Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

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