2000s: hottest decade on record; dangerous blizzard pounds Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:33 PM GMT on December 09, 2009

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The end of the decade is upon us, and this decade was the warmest decade on record, according to NOAA and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The decade of the 2000s was 0.17°C (0.31°F) warmer than the 1990s, according to NOAA. The "official" scientific assessments on climate change, the IPCC reports, have been predicting that Earth's temperature rise should average about 0.19°C per decade, due to human-caused global warming. Thus, the warming over the past decade is about 10% below predictions--well within the uncertainties that natural variation in the climate can bring. Of course, one can look at shorter time periods and say that no warming is occurring. The hottest year on record globally was 1998, according to the UK's HadCRUT3 data set, and was 2005, according to the data sets maintained by NASA and NOAA. It is apparent from the plot of global temperature anomalies (Figure 1) that the global temperature rise has flattened out since 2005. One can correctly say that global temperatures have not increased since 2005. However, climate is measured on time scales of decades, so it is incorrect to say that the climate has not warmed since 2005. It is meaningless to any statement about climate on any time scale less than ten years. Thirty years is better, since the atmosphere has natural multi-decadal oscillations, and the solar cycle of 11 years is also important. Global average temperature oscillates 0.1°C between the maximum and minimum of the solar cycle, and we are currently in an unusually long minimum.


Figure 1. Change in global surface temperature anomaly as computed by NOAA (NCDC Dataset), NASA (GISS data set) and combined Hadley Center and Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UK) (HadCRUT3 data set). Uncertainty in the HadCRUT3 data is shown in gray. Image credit: WMO.

Mass front-page climate change editorial published in 45 countries
An unprecedented joint editorial urging action on climate change appeared in 56 newspapers in 45 countries yesterday. Many of the papers carried the editorial on the front page. The editorial began: "Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year's inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world's response has been feeble and half-hearted.". According to Editor & Publisher, the editorial was published in 20 languages including Chinese, Arabic and Russian. The text was drafted by the UK newspaper, The Guardian, in conjunction with editors from more than 20 of the papers involved. A number of U.S. papers supported the project and agreed with everything in the editorial, but only one--the Miami Herald--was brave enough to publish it.

Posts on the hacked climate scientists' emails
If you haven't read my posts on the hacked email affair, my attitude on the matter can best be summed up by a highly amusing political cartoon by Houston Chronicle cartoonist Nick Anderson. While an investigation is needed into whether the scientific data involved was properly withheld from other scientists, there is nothing in the hacked emails that affects the validity of any of the published peer-reviewed science on climate change. "Climategate" is a manufactured scandal designed to take attention away from the scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is responsible for most of the observed warming in recent decades, and that this warming will increase dramatically in coming decades. My posts on the affair:

Don't shoot the messenger
Embattled UK climate scientist steps down
The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy
Is more CO2 beneficial for Earth's ecosystems?

Ricky Rood in Copenhagen
Our Climate Change expert, Dr. Ricky Rood, is in Copenhagen for the COP15 climate change summit. Check out his blog over the next two weeks to hear an insider's view of what's going on.

Major winter storm blasts the Plains and Western U.S.
It's a bad day to be in Iowa, unless you happen to be a polar bear. I'll back up that startling claim with some hard data: at 4:35 am CST, Carroll, Iowa reported heavy snow, sustained winds of 38 mph, gusting to 48, visibility 350 yards, a temperature of 9°F, and a windchill of -17°F. The mighty storm responsible was centered over Lake Michigan this morning, and is bringing blizzard conditions to Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern Michigan. The storm has brought very high winds to large portion of the country. Sustained winds of 53 mph, gusting to 77 mph were reported in Ruidiso, New Mexico yesterday afternoon, and hurricane-force wind gusts were reported in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas yesterday. A peak gust of 105 mph was reported in Texas' Guadeloupe Mountains. Heavy rain from the storm has also brought localized flooding to California, Arizona, and Louisiana.

Some snow amounts from the storm so far (with distances in miles from the city included, where appropriate):

...ARIZONA...
FLAGSTAFF 7.8 SSW 30.4
JACOB LAKE 24.0
WILLIAMS 0.4 SW 20.0
GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM 18.0

...CALIFORNIA...
KIRKWOOD SKI AREA 48.0
ALPINE MEADOWS 45.0
SODA SPRINGS 40.0
KINGVALE 1.3 WSW 37.0
NORTHSTAR 36.0
CISCO 5 ENE 35.0
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE 8 SSW 31.0
MAMMOTH LAKES 14.0

...COLORADO...
PAGOSA SPRINGS 9.1 NNW 33.0
CARBONDALE 8.2 S 24.8
CRESTED BUTTE 6.2 N 24.5
DURANGO 24.0
BAYFIELD 7 N 23.5
DOLORES 22 NE 23.0
GREELEY 2.3 SE 22.0
PAGOSA SPRINGS 3 SE 22.0

...IDAHO...
WESTON 4.0
POCATELLO AIRPORT 3.7
BOISE 6.7 SE 3.5

...KANSAS...
MARYSVILLE 14.0
LINCOLN 5 NE 12.0
CONCORDIA 5 SSE 11.0
HAYS 13 WNW 9.0
SALINA 8.0
ABILENE 5 SSW 7.0
MANHATTAN 7.0

...NEBRASKA...
TECUMSEH 13.5
ORD 12.0
OMAHA 3 N 8.6
KEARNEY 8.0
INDIANOLA 6.0

...NEW MEXICO...
LAS VEGAS 8.4 NW 8.0
SANTA FE 3.3 NE 5.5
TAOS PUEBLO 2.8 NW 5.2
GALLUP 8.1 NNW 4.8

...NEVADA...
HEAVENLY VALLEY 34.0
MT ROSE SKI AREA 23.0
CARSON CITY 1.3 NW 18.0
RENO 7.1 N 13.7
SUN VALLEY 0.9 N 10.5

...SOUTH DAKOTA...
SIOUX FALLS 6.0

...UTAH...
VERDUE 8 WNW 25.0
SPRINGDELL 23.0
ORDERVILLE 19.0
SPRINGVILLE 10.0

...WYOMING...
SAND LAKE 11.0
DIVIDE PEAK 9.0
LARAMIE 27.3 WSW 6.0
CHEYENNE 26.7 NE 4.3

Next post
I'll have a new post Thursday; there's a lot going on.

Jeff Masters

Snow in Angels Camp. (Isolino)
Woke up this morning to snow. We don't get snow in Angels Camp very often. It made for some difficult driving.
Snow in Angels Camp.
Frost (thebige)
More frost on our car. This photo wasn't cropped or edited.
Frost

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here is my updated garden hoe:

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
194. Skyepony (Mod)
I posted some peer reviewed published papers on the tar sands yesterday. Apparently the folks down stream are getting some new exotic cancers. The area they plan to open mine is the size of England.

~Atmo your constantly trying to bring doubt to any of the science around this argument that you can. You say you live green though yet you argue to continue the practice that supports..
the removal of the mountain tops in Appalachians


oils spills


open tar pit mining


Not to mention being a slave to opec, possible waring over oil in the Arctic now that it is melted enough during summers, the health costs from all the other pollutants in using natural resources like this. Is it cool too that Exxon gets 3 billion tax payer this week even though it had a 45bill profit last year? I really don't understand, as smart as you are, why you haggle like we should continue doing this to ourselves..
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Quoting Patrap:
Sugar Bowl here in NOLA Has Tebow in his last college game,Florida #5 vs Cincinnati


Gonna miss Tebow. :(
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188. yeah, i thought it was probably due to El Nino. it looked like the convection was situation over or near the warm pools...


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Quoting pearlandaggie:
183. then your team could have been in the Toilet Bowl Too! LOL


LOL oh yes, I would love to go to the Sugar Bowl
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
We may not be able to control rain (and certainly can't control the climate), but we can definitely affect rain. Controlled studies show that there are particular circumstances in which seeding clouds measurably increases rainfall. You might be able to argue from the example of rain that we can't reliably predict the effect our actions will have on the climate (that is, we won't know that any particular policy improves things unless we spend a few centuries randomly having it for a decade or not having it), but you can't reasonably argue that policies just don't matter.

It's like economics: people can't agree on what effect a policy will have, and whoever makes a policy is more likely to be surprised by what happens than not, but nobody sensible argues that policy doesn't have any effect, and there are plenty of possible policies that everybody agrees would be bad.
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184. i think that will be a neat game...i hope it ends up being close :)
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is it coming my way?
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183. then your team could have been in the Toilet Bowl Too! LOL
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Sugar Bowl here in NOLA Has Tebow in his last college game,Florida #5 vs Cincinnati
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
you were quick with that one! :)


lol yeah, we missed a bowl by one game
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
230 physicists, including a Nobel Laureate, sign petition on Climategate
Clarice Feldman

On December 6, I wrote that a number of distinguished physics professors, horrified by the revelations of Climategate have asked the American Physical Society


" to put the 2007 Statement on ice until the extent to which it is tainted [by the work of the East Anglian CRU] can be determined"


It now appears that 230 members of the society, a hardly insignificant number, have joined in this petition, according to Declan McCullagh of the CBS News blog Taking Liberties:


In the aftermath of the embarrassing data leaks, however, Princeton's Happer says that about half of the APS members they've contacted now support the petition (which, after all, is only asking for an independent analysis of the science involved).
Of the signatories so far, Happer says, 77 are fellows of major scientific societies, 14 members of the National Academies, one is a Nobel laureate, and there is a large number of authors of major scientific books and recipients of prizes and awards for scientific research. He adds: "Some have accepted a career risk by signing the petition. The 230 odd signatories can hardly be dismissed as lightweights compared to those who spread the message of impending climate disaster."

This has become a common refrain: Hans von Storch, director of the Institute for Coastal Research, calls the climate change axis a "cartel." A colleague, Eduardo Zorita, went further and said the scientists implicated in the e-mails "should be barred" from future United Nations proceedings and warned that "the scientific debate has been in many instances hijacked to advance other agendas." One estimate from a free-market group says that 12 of the 26 scientists who wrote the relevant section of a U.N. global warming report are "up to their necks in ClimateGate."


h/t:Rick Ballard

The fact the cbs is reporting this, if even only on its online blog also seems significant to me.

Clarice Feldman
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interesting convection in the Pacific...

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you were quick with that one! :)
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
174. well, at least we were invited to the Toilet Bowl...LOL :)


LOL it's a bowl :P
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
174. well, at least we were invited to the Toilet Bowl...LOL :)
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So, we are seriously supposed to lose our minds over 1.8oF? We need to disrupt the natural flow of innovaton and force expensive and unproven technologies on the world's population and tax the bejesus out of the American people over it being 37 instead of 35, even though we cannot really prove that our effect on the planet's temperature is anything more than, maybe, 5%?

The sun cools, the temperature drops. The sun warms, the temperature rises. Been going on for millenia.
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Quoting NRAamy:
Oregon Ducks are gonna stomp on Ohio State at the Rose Bowl!!!!!!!!!!


I hope so! we lost to them by 1 point lol
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Oregon Ducks are gonna stomp on Ohio State at the Rose Bowl!!!!!!!!!!
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Quoting pearlandaggie:


it helps to have a crappy team! LOL
Quoting pearlandaggie:


it helps to have a crappy team! LOL


mine went 5-7 LOL but we did beat Ohio State when they were ranked #7
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Quoting NRAamy:
pearl...it's Santa shaking his money maker....

:)


What? His ornaments?
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
An example of adjustment results :)

Darwin Airport



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Quoting jeffs713:
(kinda hard to boycott your alma mater)?


it helps to have a crappy team! LOL
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pearl...it's Santa shaking his money maker....

:)
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
163. Amy, what was the image you posted? (blocked by the corporate firewall)


A dancing Santa...
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Quoting Grothar:


Tyranny!!!!!!!!! The next thing you know, they might require the college football players to pass their exams. What is this world coming to!!!!!!! Will it never end.


LOL.

Its all about the money in college FB. The colleges don't want to change because the big conferences are making lots of money. The fans are stuck because they will watch whatever college FB puts out either way. (kinda hard to boycott your alma mater)

I'm just glad that they aren't using the argument of disrupting academic progress any more. (after all, they have Thursday night games that involve travel as is... not like that won't disrupt academics).

As for the weather.. something I've noticed is that this year, there are quite a few low pressure systems starting up right off the coast of TX and moving east. We didn't have that last year as much... is that a result of el nino?
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166. Skyepony (Mod)
Using natural resources for fuel is very harmful to us..it goes way beyond CO2 & to keep up the there's no problem to having more CO2 in the air then ever show a large lack of understanding.

U.S. consumers pay much less for their energy, per kilowatt, than consumers in most industrialized nations. Yet electricity and fuel prices typically fail to reflect the full cost of energy production and consumption, especially in terms of health effects.

The U.S. Congress requested a clarification of "hidden" energy costs as part of its 2005 energy bill. The result, released on Monday, concluded that the external effects of burning fossil fuels cost the United States more than $120 billion in 2005.

The National Research Council (NRC) study analyzed the damages from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter caused by powering every building, factory, car, and truck in the continental 48 states. It is the most comprehensive review of the effects of U.S. energy policy on human health, grain crops, timber yields, construction materials, and recreation, the study authors said.

Still, the costs from water pollution, climate change, and mercury exposure were not factored into the estimate. "Our results are rather conservative," said Maureen Cropper, vice chair of the study committee.

Coal-fired power plants are responsible for more than half of the estimated damages. Air pollution effects from burning coal for electricity costs U.S. residents, on average, an additional 3.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of energy produced, although a plant's size, age, and technology, as well as the sulfur content of its coal, determine its regional health impact.
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163. Amy, what was the image you posted? (blocked by the corporate firewall)
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Quoting Skyepony:
Canada's image lies in tatters. It is now to climate what Japan is to whaling


Damn. That was a surprise to me...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


http://environmentalchemistry.com/yogi/environmental/200611CO2globalwarming.html

Ok, let's fulfill the prophecy.
Too much water vapor can be deadly.
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155. i see they gave a name to the mystery plane i posted about a few days back! LOL

i guess a good picture of the secret plane has a way of forcing the issue! :)
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Charleston, SC
Wind Advisory
Statement as of 11:34 AM EST on December 09, 2009


... Wind Advisory remains in effect until 6 PM EST this evening...

A Wind Advisory remains in effect until 6 PM EST this evening.

Sustained southwest winds of 25 to 35 mph can be expected through
the afternoon ahead of an approaching cold front. Occasional gusts
could reach 40 mph... mainly during the early afternoon hours. Winds
will rapidly diminish toward dusk.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 35 mph are expected. Winds
this strong can make driving difficult... especially for high
profile vehicles. Use extra caution... especially on bridges and
overpasses.


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Thought i'd post CSU'S latest december 2010 seasonal forcast for the atlantic basin. Not a fan of long-range forcasts but regardless it will be interesting to see how things evolve ENSO wise in the coming months.

Named Storms=11-16
Hurricanes=6-8
Major Hurricanes=3-5


Abstract-

Information obtained through November 2009 indicates that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season will be somewhat more active than the average 1950-2000 season. We estimate that activity will return to levels more typical of years during an active era, such as what we have experienced since 1995. We expect to see approximately 11-16 named storms, 6-8 hurricanes and 3-5 major hurricanes occur during the 2010 hurricane season. These numbers are based on the average of our statistical model, our analog model and qualitative adjustments and insights. At this point, there is too much uncertainty in what large-scale parameters will be in August-October of next year to issue a forecast for specific numbers. However, we do feel that we are in a favorable position for issuing an early December forecast this year, since we believe the odds of a multi-year El Ni?vent are quite small. Because we are predicting an above-average hurricane season in 2010, the probability of U.S. and Caribbean major hurricane landfall is estimated to be above the long-period average. This forecast is based on a new extended-range early December statistical prediction scheme that utilizes 58 years of past data. The influences of El Ni?onditions are implicit in these predictor fields, and therefore we do not utilize a specific ENSO forecast as a predictor. We expect to see the moderate to strong El Nino event that is currently in progress diminish by the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

Visit link below to read complete forcast-PDF

http://hurricane.atm...009/dec2009.pdf
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And more modern science subjects that are at about the stage of "An expanding earth explains why the continents fit together"

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18524911.600-13-things-that-do-not-make-sense.html?full=true

http://www.newscientist.com/special/13-more-things
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Quoting pilotguy1:
Gasp! Choke! Cough! Help me I am choking on the .037% CO2. . No maybe it's all the hot air coming out of the GW crowd.


US Air Force confirms 'Beast of Kandahar' drone
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
"It is apparent from the plot of global temperature anomalies (Figure 1) that the global temperature rise has flattened out since 2005. One can correctly say that global temperatures have not increased since 2005. However, climate is measured on time scales of decades, so it is incorrect to say that the climate has not warmed since 2005.

It would, however, be correct to say that the CO2 concentrations saw no such "flattening" over the same time period. So how can increasing CO2 since 2005 cause a global temperature rise that has flattened out since 2005?
Member Since: May 18, 2007 Posts: 289 Comments: 1639
150. well, that's what adjustments and homogenization are for! :)

/sarc
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Here I go again as a skeptic on GW.

The NWS was first started as an army under the U.S. Army Signal Corp. in 1870. At that time, the thermometer was probably a mercury thermometer that had the degrees separated by about a 1/10 of an inch. With that spacing, it would be hard to accurately take a reading of a tenth of a degree. In addition to that, the training of the people making the measurements was probably limited. As far as I know, accurate thermometers that can read down to tenth of a degree have only been around for a few years.

My question, is how accurate were the readings that were taken during the last 150 years compared to the readings that are being taken today?
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Here I go again as a skeptic on GW.

The NWS was first started as an army under the U.S. Army Signal Corp. in 1870. At that time, the thermometer was probably a mercury thermometer that had the degrees separated by about a 1/10 of an inch. With that spacing, it would be hard to accurately take a reading of a tenth of a degree. In addition to that, the training of the people making the measurements was probably limited. As far as I know, accurate thermometers that can read down to tenth of a degree have only been around for a few years.

My question, is how accurate were the readings that were taken during the last 150 years compared to the readings that are being taken today?

Maybe it has been asked before, but if it was I missed it.
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Tornado Warning, eastern PA, Vernango Co. (sp?)

Blizzard Warnings, IA, MI, WI, lost count...
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Hey, we Vikings weren't pesky, just curious!

and smelly...and hairy....

;)
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Quoting Grothar:


I know what you mean Cane, probably the same bunch who thought that a pill called penicillin could kill a bacteria, or a crazy idea to give somebody small pox to prevent small pox, you know the disease that killed millions of people and disfigured them for life. Also the crazy Dr. Salk and Sabin who thought they could stop the polio epidemics with a sugar cube. Probably don't remember the polio epidemics, do you? You know, I think we should just sit back and do nothing. No discussion, no dialogue, no scientific advancement, just stagnation, deterioration, decline. It is just more fun to participate in character assassination than to care for the world around us.

OK, had to stick around for this one.

Gro, there are a lot of theories that were accepted by few and widely accepted as fact in our scientific history that turned out to be entirely false. Great minds that built our current body of basic math and physics were some of the participants in this. They range from an expanding earth to explain why S. American fits against Africa (accepted by few) to Newton's luminiferous aether as the medium in which light was transferred (generally accepted as fact) to some of us generally accepting that the north start was the source of magnetic pull seen on a compass.

A not exhaustive list: http://discovermagazine.com/photos/29-sciences-most-spectacular-fails/
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Quoting CaneWarning:


It does, using the same logic you used about, what about the flip side? Many prescription drugs have failed. Look at Fen Phen, Ephedra,
Vioxx, etc.


You forgot Thalidomide! That is what happens when there is not enough research into science, or restrictions set by people we hope will protect us from ourselves.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25369

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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