4-9 September 2022, Bonn, Germany
Science Communication and media


The Commmunication and Media session will cover the following topics:
• TV weather forecasts including video clips
• media and climate change issue
• use of social media to convey weather and climate information
• ways to present climatological information in an appealing way for the media and general public
• effective communication of science, scientific ideas and concepts, and research results
• warnings in case of severe weather events, role of different media in the warning system, a single voice concept
• internet as efficient and popular media in meteorology
• monthly meteorological bulletins and annals
• radio as a traditional media for delivering weather data and forecasts
• development of new communication strategies and use of social media
• tips on how to interact with users and journalists
• perception of provided information among users
• use of new technologies
• role of press officers within the National weather services
• role of science journals and publishers
• communicating uncertainty in seasonal forecast and climate projections

Conveners: Gerald Fleming, Tanja Cegnar
| Thu, 08 Sep, 09:00–10:30 (CEST), 11:00–13:00 (CEST)|Room HS 2
| Attendance Thu, 08 Sep, 16:00–17:15 (CEST) | Display Thu, 08 Sep, 08:00–Fri, 09 Sep, 14:00|b-IT poster area

Session assets

Orals: Thu, 8 Sep | Room HS 2

Chairperson: Tanja Cegnar
Onsite presentation
Pamela Emch

By the late 1990s weather services in the U.S. had experienced decades of evolving policy along with large growth in the scope and diversity of weather and climate related services.  While this evolution and growth were coincident with exciting advances and opportunities, they also led to overlapping roles and occasional friction between the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service (NWS) and private sector service providers. In 2001 the NOAA/NWS requested that the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) form a committee to conduct a study and develop a report with recommendations for the community going forward. In 2001 the NRC Committee on Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services was formed and in 2003 the report “Fair Weather: Effective Partnerships in Weather and Climate Services” was published. 

The report focused on the provision of civilian weather and climate services, barriers to communication among the sectors involved (public, private, academic), and opportunities for improving the effectiveness of the weather and climate enterprise.  One recommendation in the report was that “The NWS and relevant academic, state, and private organizations should seek a neutral host, such as the American Meteorological Society, to provide a periodic dedicated venue for the weather enterprise as a whole to discuss issues related to the public-private-academic partnership.” The “enterprise” was defined as encompassing both providers and users of weather and climate data across all three sectors. In January 2005 the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Council established the first new AMS commission in several decades in response to this NRC recommendation.

The charter of the new commission was to 1) develop and implement programs that address the needs and concerns of all three sectors of the Weather and Climate Enterprise, 2) promote a sense of community among the sectors of the Enterprise, 3) foster synergistic links between and among Enterprise sectors, 4) inform and educate user communities on the value of weather and climate information, and 5) provide appropriate venues and opportunities for frank, open, and balanced discussion.

In the 15 years since its creation, this commission has become one of the largest entities within the AMS, organizing and producing a series of popular and useful events and products.  Its charter now includes water, which has been included in its name: The AMS Commission on the Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise (CWWCE). The CWWCE consists of ~200 volunteer members on four boards and sixteen committees. Chairs and members are drawn from across the enterprise, ensuring balanced representation from all three sectors. CWWCE activities revolve around four key areas: Internal (bringing together the community to discuss and approach consensus on issues of current interest), External (reaching out to the broader user community and identifying business opportunities), Strategic (longer-term enterprise topics), and Global/International.

The formation of the CWWCE has successfully provided the U.S. weather, water, and climate enterprise with increased opportunities for communication and collaboration across all three sectors. This presentation will give a history of the commission, its organization, and the goals and activities of each of its boards. Progress and changes in the commission over time, and examples of successes and lessons learned will be discussed.

How to cite: Emch, P.: Improving Communication in the Meteorology Community: The American Meteorological Society’s Commission on the Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-35, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-35, 2022.

Onsite presentation
David Schultz

Headlines from newspapers and websites scream out the soundbite that anthropogenic climate change is causing more extreme weather. 

  • “Climate change means more extreme weather – here’s what the UK can expect if emissions keep increasing.”
  • “Why extreme weather is the new normal.”
  • “Man-made climate change had role in some of 2015’s extreme weather.”

For better or worse, the potential and deadly serious effects of anthropogenic climate change are often communicated through this soundbite. This soundbite has become popular with scientists and the media, but neglects important caveats.  What do we mean by “extreme weather”?  Where does this extreme weather occur on Earth?  Will all types of extreme weather be affected equally?  Have we already witnessed changes in extreme weather?  Is anthropogenic climate change responsible? How will these changes affect society?  Thus, the seemingly simple question of how does climate change affect extreme weather becomes much more complicated upon further reflection.

No doubt these questions may be obscured or even unasked in the modern media landscape, but that does not mean that they aren’t important questions to ask.  In this talk, I will present the science behind how different extreme weather events may – or may not – change in the future as the global climate warms.  Specifically, I will present results from studies on tropical cyclones and tornadoes, and I will consider the factors that have affected, and will affect, their changes in intensity, frequency, and spatial distribution on Earth.  I will also discuss the relatively recent approach called climate-change attribution where the role of anthropogenic climate change in individual extreme weather events can be quantitatively addressed.  By the end of this talk, I hope to give the audience the tools to evaluate with a critical eye media stories about climate change and extreme weather.

How to cite: Schultz, D.: How Will Extreme Weather Events Change due to Climate Change?, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-36, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-36, 2022.

Onsite presentation
Rasmus E. Benestad

In 2021, the world started taking climate change adaptation seriously. The Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS2021) was held as a global virtual event, hosted by the prime ministers of Britain and the Netherlands. There had been conferences on climate change adaptation before, as the 5th European Climate Change Adaptation Conference took place in May-June of the same year (ECCA2021), but not on such a high level. A remarkable observation made from both these events was the lack of visibility of the scientific community on regional climate modelling, such as the CORDEX project under the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Climate projections and downscaling of global climate results often provide the basis for climate change adaptation, but the process of downscaling is haunted by notorious obstacles and uncertainties. Hence, there is a strong need for inclusive debates about how to find the best answers. In other words, it is important to use the best available information in the right way. So the lack of a discussion about these concerns may be a result of failed communication efforts. Here I will present some thoughts about what we can learn from that and how we can improve the situation in the future.

How to cite: Benestad, R. E.: Relevant and robust climate information and climate change adaptation, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-132, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-132, 2022.

Onsite presentation
Rozemien De Troch, Emilie Delhaye, Alex Dewalque, and Marc Christiaens

Climate change communication has only been for the last four years an important subject of the external communication at the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI). Generally, science communication at RMI happens along the traditional (information) deficit model.

In the context of climate change communication, the institute positions itself as the source of scientific knowledge to be disseminated to the Belgian population, who is constructed as a passive recipient who needs to be informed about the physical causes and consequences of climate change. The use of this deficit communication model aims to mainstream and depoliticize climate change in order to decrease disagreement and build widespread consent for climate action (Pepermans and Maeseele, 2017).

Nevertheless, several studies have demonstrated that the deficit model is often not fit for purpose for informing policy or effectively communicating science (Ballantyne, 2016). Hence, to improve the reach of RMI’s target audiences as well as the communication of the messages, ongoing climate change communication initiatives at RMI are assessed by means of the essential elements for effective (science) communication (Who?, To whom?, How? What?, Why?, How much?, When?). 

The external communication at RMI is organised along a so-called ‘antenna model’. In this organisational model, the communication is organised by a central communication service and several ‘communication antennae’ which are staff members of other services of the institute with expertise in specific scientific subjects and who also have good communication skills. Linked to the important need and increasing interest from the general public and news media for information on extreme weather and the role of climate change herein, recent assigned roles of ‘communication antennae’ or fixed contact points for these topics have been proven to be of a great added value for the climate change communication at the institute.

Other elements to assess the effectiveness of RMI’s climate change communication are based upon concrete examples and experiences, such as the warming stripes for Brussels which were presented on national television by the weather presenter during the #ShowYourStripes-day in 2021, a podcast by a well-known Belgian weather presenter and a climate scientist of RMI, a Climate Report which summarizes the important results on RMI’s climatological observations, and the past and possible future climate trends, and press releases and web articles on climate change which are mainly triggered by extreme weather events.

Overall, the assessment identifies to what extent the climate change communication at RMI happens in an efficient way, what are the priorities of the climate change communication, as well as what are the obstacles and challenges.

How to cite: De Troch, R., Delhaye, E., Dewalque, A., and Christiaens, M.: On the effectiveness of climate change communication at the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-256, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-256, 2022.

Coffee break
Chairperson: Gerald Fleming
Online presentation
Stanislava Tsalova

In my TV station in Bulgaria, when the war in Ukraine started, we started issuing weather forecasts for Ukraine as well. In the first days of the conflict, there were many war fugitives , including Bulgarian citizens. We had to cover weather in Ukraine, Roumania and Moldova as many people travelled that route to come to Bulgaria.

There were many questions then: what is classified in weather when there is war, when weather is helping a fight and when it prevents it.

I will tell you my experience.

How to cite: Tsalova, S.: Weather and War, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-131, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-131, 2022.

Onsite presentation
Stephen Moseley and Ben Ayliffe

IMPROVER (Integrated Model Post-Processing and Verification) has been developed by the Met Office as an open-source probability-based post-processing system to fully exploit our convection permitting, hourly cycling ensemble forecasts. Post-processed MOGREPS-UK model forecasts are blended with deterministic UKV model forecasts and data from the coarser resolution global ensemble, MOGREPS-G, to produce seamless probabilistic forecasts from now out to 7 days ahead. For precipitation, an extrapolation nowcast is also blended in at the start. Forecasts are converted to probabilities at the start, and all initial stages of post-processing are performed on gridded data, with site-specific forecasts extracted as a final step, helping to ensure consistency. Data are processed on a 10km global grid and on a 2km UK-centred grid. An overview of IMPROVER will be given in a separate talk.


Weather symbols provide the general public with a simple, pictorial view of the weather for a time of interest and include sun and cloud conditions, mist and fog, hail and lightning, and three phases of precipitation, both as showers or continuous, and light or heavy. This talk describes how a deterministic most-likely weather type code is generated using a decision tree approach from probabilistic multi model IMPROVER data for 1 hour, 3 hour and day time periods that are consistent with each other. Recent work to make these weather codes representative of a time-window, rather than an instant, will be discussed. We will present some verification, comparing IMPROVER weather symbols and the current operational Met Office symbols with SYNOP present weather reports.

How to cite: Moseley, S. and Ayliffe, B.: Generating weather symbol data in IMPROVER, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-258, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-258, 2022.

Onsite presentation
Andrea Taylor, Barbara Summers, Jenna Barnard, and Samuel Domingos


With climate change projected to lead to an increase in the frequency and severity of heatwaves in the United Kingdom, effectively communicating with the public about the need for heat protection behaviours during these events is becoming increasingly important. In this study we investigated public responses to a severe heat event on 25th July 2019, where forecast temperatures had triggered a Level 3 heat health warning (“heatwave action”) in multiple regions.


Between 7th-8th August 2019 a sample of 520 UK residents in Greater London and Yorkshire and Humberside were recruited through Qualtrics Panels to complete an online survey on their experience of high temperatures on July 25th. They were asked to indicate 1) whether they recalled receiving a heat health alert; 2) trust in the alert (if recalled); 3) perceived normality of the temperature; 4) perceived pleasantness of the temperature; and 5) engagement in heat protective (e.g. sunscreen, drinking water, opening windows at night) and heat avoidant (e.g. staying in the shade, avoiding midday sun, avoiding physical exertion) behaviours.


Of the participants, 293 (56.3%) reporting seeing or hearing a heat health warning. Using regression analyses we find that heat protective behaviours are associated with recalled exposure to heat health alerts as well as perceiving temperature to be less pleasant and warmer than usual. However, recalled exposure to heat health alerts was not a significant predictor of heat avoidant behaviours. Where heat health messaging was recalled, trust was a consistent predictor of both heat protective and heat avoidant behaviours.


While our findings suggest that while heat health messaging is associated with greater uptake of some heat protective behaviours, this may be contingent on trust in heat health messaging. Moreover, having positive feelings towards warm weather may attenuate willingness to engage in heat protective and avoidant behaviours. We discuss the implications of this for the communication of heat alerts and warnings by national meteorological services.

How to cite: Taylor, A., Summers, B., Barnard, J., and Domingos, S.: Public responses to heat health alerts in the United Kingdom, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-594, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-594, 2022.

Online presentation
Magdalena Mittermeier, Andrea Böhnisch, David Gampe, and Ralf Ludwig

Internal climate variability describes the natural random fluctuation of the climate system, which arise from non-linear dynamic processes in the atmosphere and ocean and are intrinsic to the climate system. It is one of the major sources of uncertainty in climate projections, besides model error and scenario uncertainty. The research branch of initial-condition large ensembles (SMILEs) investigates internal climate variability by employing large ensembles of dozens of climate simulations that are generated using the same model and scenario but slightly different initial conditions. With this, SMILEs enable to statistically capture the spread of internal variability of the climate system.

Regarding science communication with the general public, internal climate variability is an especially challenging topic. This is for one thing due to the large ensembles involved, which call for an adequate presentation format; for another, the possibilities to capture the concept of internal climate variability with real-life experiences are limited since observations represent only one realization of the climate state and, in the case of extreme events, deliver only a limited number of events that are insufficient to cover the spread of internal climate variability.

Here, we present three approaches to encounter the challenges in climate communication with respect to internal climate variability. The first approach involves a study on the extreme event of meteorological droughts in Europe and uses the intuitive drought index “percent-of-normal” to prepare the results of a regional SMILE over Europe for the purpose of science communication. “Drying stripes”, an illustration form inspired by the “warming stripes” by Ed Hawkins, are used to tailor the obtained results in an appealing way for the media (press releases, television and newspapers). The second study approach uses several global SMILEs from the Coupled Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6) to investigate climate change effects and the range of internal climate variability for important temperature- and precipitation-based climate indices. The concepts of time of emergence and global warming levels are used to derive concise statements about the degree of global warming at which the analyzed climate indices exceed the noise of internal climate variability. The third approach targets at the preparation of the results from the ClimEx project (“Climate Change and Hydrological Extremes”), which deals with internal climate variability over the study area of Bavaria. The results are presented in form of a flyer and a hydrological atlas, which has been used for communication purposes in cooperation with the Bavarian State Office for the Environment.

These three approaches are initiatives to facilitate a condensed and comprehensible communication of the uncertainty of internal climate variability in climate projections to the general public. The presented formats include analysis, figures, statements and flyers that are targeted for media presentation and agency-based science communication.

How to cite: Mittermeier, M., Böhnisch, A., Gampe, D., and Ludwig, R.: Communicating the uncertainties of internal climate variability to the general public, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-146, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-146, 2022.

Onsite presentation
David Hoffmann, David Holmes, and Ella Healy

The Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub (MCCCRH) is Australia’s leading research centre dedicated to improving public understanding of climate change. 

Utilising what is known as ‘non-persuasive communication,’ MCCCRH delivers simple, short, factual climate messages over longer-time frames, that are repeated often. The approach is large scale, evidence-based and non-partisan and is delivering the information that Australians are seeking to actively bridge deep divisions on climate change.

In this paper we present non-persuasive communication in action that is done by translating climate science into simple and engaging formats for two of MCCCRH’s major programs:

  • ‘Climate Communicators’, which is an innovative national climate education program that produces simple, long-term climate graphics for Australian television weather presenters and currently broadcasts in every state of Australia with more than 500+ broadcasts to date. It broadcasts to metropolitan and rural television audiences and harnesses the existing science communication capacity of weather presenters.


  • ‘Changing Climates’, which is a climate column in collaboration with Australia’s largest media organisation News Corp Australia that increases the visibility of climate science and scientists and has published 2000+ print and digital columns across 58 mastheads. 

Most up to date and accurate climate science and data is brokered from the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO and Monash University scientists. Easy-to-process data visualisations are continuously researched with leading science communications specialists to ensure clarity and shared with partners from the most visible and trusted forms of media including television weather presenters and community newspapers. The effectiveness of these strategies is routinely evaluated, ensuring their design and delivery are specifically tailored for maximum impact. 


Corresponding/presenting author: David Hoffmann, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; david.hoffmann@monash.edu


How to cite: Hoffmann, D., Holmes, D., and Healy, E.: Non-persuasive communication as a strategy to deliver climate information, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-348, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-348, 2022.

Online presentation
Juha A. Karhu, Hada Ajosenpää, Anna Luomaranta, Tiina Ervasti, and Hilppa Gregow

Finnish Meteorological Institute’s Climate Bulletin Research Letters is a recently established research-based publication that features short and easy-to-read research articles on climate and climate services. The issues are published as a supplement to the Climate Bulletin journal by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Even though the articles may be short, each one is peer-reviewed and citeable with a unique DOI. Research Letters is published in English once or twice a year. All issues and articles are open access. No publication fees are charged either.

The editorial and publication processes have been designed to facilitate swift publication. Couple of weeks review and revision times are imposed. Once approved for publication, an article is instantly published as online and preprint versions. After 7-8 articles have been published this way, they will be collected to a single issue and published online at ISSUU digital publication platform.

Research Letters is a publication channel for short reports, results of projects or case studies that may not be suitable for a full-scale peer reviewed publication. It was established to satisfy a clear need for short research publications. The themes of the series revolve around climate, climate services, climate change, marine research and results of research projects. From time to time, theme issues present extreme weather phenomena or maritime themes, among other topics. Special emphasis of the publication is in introducing new climate services and tools for different target groups, such as cities and agricultural, forestry, tourism and energy sectors.

Since the first issue in spring 2019, four regular issues and one special issue have been published with 39 articles in total. The first issue has now over 400 reads. It is possible to subscribe to receive email reminders when new issues of the Climate Bulletin (in Finnish with a short summary in English) or Research Letters are published. Subscribers will only receive reminders when new issues are published. Subscription data is not used for advertising or other purposes. Research Letters is available on the Climate Bulletin website: https://www.ilmastokatsaus.fi/category/research-letters/. Climate Bulletin editorial team can be reached via email: ilmastokatsaus@fmi.fi. The editor-in-chief of the Climate Bulletin is Hilppa Gregow, Head of Unit, Finnish Meteorological Institute, hilppa.gregow@fmi.fi.

How to cite: Karhu, J. A., Ajosenpää, H., Luomaranta, A., Ervasti, T., and Gregow, H.: Finnish Meteorological Institute’s Climate Bulletin Research Letters, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-545, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-545, 2022.

Onsite presentation
Tanja Cegnar

During the last two years, our meteorological society had to live with covid-19 measures restricting our in-person activities. The impact on society activities was significant. Of course, nowadays we have tools that facilitate work from home and virtual meetings, but one can be easily saturated with this kind of meetings and especially society activities suffered. In spite of this, Slovenian meteorological society increased the frequency and variety of activities. 

Zoom enabled us to carry out one scientific lecture per month and establishing a YouTube channel enabled us to reach a broader audience. Of course, most of our lectures are in Slovenian and this limits our audience. We took part in the national call for written contributions on climate change and severe weather in order to increase the outreach and awareness of weather and climate impacts on society among teenagers. There were some surprising outcomes of this initiative.  

While we were able to attract also members temporarily based out of country, we have lost interest of some colleagues who prefer in personal contact. The lesson learned is that the most effective way in future will be to combine virtual and in-person forms of activities.

How to cite: Cegnar, T.: Keeping momentum working remotely, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-145, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-145, 2022.

Display time: Thu, 8 Sep 08:00–Fri, 9 Sep 14:00

Posters: Thu, 8 Sep, 16:00–17:15 | b-IT poster area

Chairperson: Gerald Fleming
Onsite presentation
Gregor Skok

A visual graphic called Spiral strip is presented. It is loosely based on the warming stripes infographic designed and published by University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkings in 2019, which features a minimalistic rectangular design consisting of narrow color-coded vertical segments (stripes) arranged horizontally. The meaning of the graphic is very easy to grasp and can be intuitively understood by a casual observer. By contrast, the Spiral strip consists of color-coded segments arranged in an Archimedian spiral. With spiral geometry, the length of individual segments can be larger compared to the warming stripe, making it easier to display a longer series and provide more textual and numerical information along each segment. Also, the width and length of each individual segment can be different, which can be used to convey additional information (besides the color-coding). In order to avoid the large deformation of segments near the center (which is a typical problem for similarly looking graphics in spiral geometry), a customized coordinate system was used to define the shapes of individual segments, which in turn look less deformed near the center. Although the primary motivation for developing the new graphic was related to climate data, it can also be used with other types of data. Several examples based on climate, population size, and historical data are used to show the graphic's visual appearance and main properties. The examples also demonstrate how the meaning of the new graphics can be easy to grasp and intuitively understood by a casual observer. An easy-to-use python code package for drawing the Spiral strips was published in a public repository.

How to cite: Skok, G.: Spiral Strip Graphic, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-81, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-81, 2022.

Onsite presentation
Anders Doksæter Sivle and Jelmer Jeuring

At MET Norway, a small interdisciplinary team - the Sandbox - explores novel ways to improve the communication between the meteorologists and their audiences. At the moment the Sandbox consists of seven forecasters, researchers, and communication advisors with backgrounds from both natural and social sciences. Over the past six years, this has been a proven format to address interdisciplinary and cross-departmental challenges. 

In 2022, the Sandbox is focusing on warning communication. Strengthening weather warning communication is high on the agendas of meteorological institutes both in Europe and globally. WMO has dedicated its World Meteorological Day this year to early warning systems that facilitate early actions. Also in Norway, there is a demand for continuous improvement of the formal warning processes for hydrometeorological hazards. Over the last years, several quantitative studies have identified how members of the Norwegian public consume warning information, and how satisfied they are. Insights have guided improvements in the warning process, but have mainly focused on the average perceptions and needs. We are also interested in catering for groups that are potentially on the margins of public warning communication. 

Thus, following our proven ‘Sandbox methodology’ we attempted to map several understudied perceptions, perspectives and information preferences among the Norwegian general public, with specific attention for groups that may have above or below average experience with hazardous weather conditions and their impacts. As a first step, several participants were selected through a convenience sampling approach. These included first responders, tourist guides, and people that relatively recently have moved to Norway, such as international students and migrant workers. In this presentation, we share our preliminary findings, follow-up plans for the rest of 2022, as well as possible measures that may help MET Norway reach out with warning information that is tailored for an increasingly heterogeneous and mobile Norwegian population, with a wide spectrum of weather literacy.

How to cite: Sivle, A. D. and Jeuring, J.: Navigating overload and oblivion in weather warning communication - some insights from Norway, EMS Annual Meeting 2022, Bonn, Germany, 5–9 Sep 2022, EMS2022-150, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2022-150, 2022.

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