85,980 results

  • What are the barriers to establishing effective wastewater management in Antarctica?

    Cunningham-Hales, Peggy (2017)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Antarctica is often presented as earth’s ‘last untouched wilderness’, however human induced impacts have been progressively transforming aspects of the environment since our arrival on the continent. Wastewater discharge from research stations is a significant vector of non-native microorganisms, high nutrients loads and a range of contaminants, and has been shown adversely affect the receiving environment in a variety of ways. Effective treatment technology now exists for cold environments and implementing wastewater treatment at all research stations would help reduce the potential suite of effects. Despite this, the management of wastewater in Antarctica is varied, with some stations still employing rudimentary treatment facilities or disposing raw sewage to the environment. In this review, the barriers to establishing effective wastewater management in Antarctica have been explored. The literature suggests that the environmental values of each country, the logistical/financial challenges of installing and operating treatment stations, and an outdated environmental protocol are the primary barriers to effective treatment systems being installed at all stations. It is likely that further advanced treatment plants will be installed at some stations in the future, given a growing awareness of the impacts of untreated wastewater in Antarctica. However, this is likely to be the result a country’s values rather than regulatory requirements.

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  • Do Antarctic Specially Protected Areas Provide Further Entrenchment of a Sovereign Claim?

    Martin, Jonathan Andrew (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Antarctic Specially Protected Areas (ASPA) are the main designation bestowed onto areas deemed to have values that need protection. There has been an inconsistent method by which party states have selected areas to be put forward as ASPA. No overriding framework has been confirmed and applied universally across the management of protected areas. Neither has there been a concerted effort to create a network of ASPA that are representative of the diverse eco-systems in Antarctica. The locations of existing ASPA are within the confines of sectors subject to a sovereign claim. There is a correlation between the party responsible for the management of an ASPA and the location of the ASPA. The consequence of this correlation is evidence of an effort by claimant parties to further entrench their sovereign claims and exercise a degree of control over areas within their claim.

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  • The Winners and Losers of Climate Change: A Case of the Gentoo Penguins and Adelie Penguins

    Riley, Madalyn A. (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The aim of this review is to assess the scientific literature on the effects of climate change on Antarctic fauna with a focus on two pygoscelid penguins, the Adelie (Pygoscelis adeliae) and Gentoo (Pygoscelis papua) Penguins which are arguably, both affected by changes in the sea ice extent (Forcada et al. 2006). It will hope to discover whether or not the Gentoo penguin species will, in fact, displace the Adelie penguin species habitat based on the changing climates and differing physiological and habitat preferences. Based on the evidence put forward, there is still a large amount of research that needs to be completed in order to have a good understanding of the population dynamics of both species, and therefore, how they interact with each other. The increases in climate warming will continue to get worse and therefore, action needs to be taken now to address the impacts on Antarctic wildlife before it is too late and extinctions will begin causing massive alterations in the food chains and shifting the entire Antarctic ecosystem.

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  • Accurate Measurement of the Reforming of the Ozone Layer above Antarctica

    Eason, Jo (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Montreal Protocol was accepted almost universally and successfully gained global cooperation to reduce the production and release of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). When Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are released the free chlorine molecules that become available in the atmosphere are able to deplete the O₃ ozone molecule in a catalytic reaction allowing Ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation to enter the atmosphere. This deletion of the ozone layer was quickly acknowledged to be detrimental to human health and measures were taken. There is some concern that there are ODSs still being released from some sources and that there are residual ODSs in equipment yet to deteriorate. This review examines the present measurements of the ozone levels in the Antarctic stratosphere, how the increased use of modelling has improved the accuracy of the measurements and led to a clearer understanding of the dynamic mechanisms that reform the ozone hole each year. The polar vortex formation and the dynamically induced changes in the troposphere are the main drivers in the appearance of the ozone hole each year above the Antarctic. Mt Erebus has recently been found to be a significant source of ozone destroying gases. As these dynamic systems are more clearly understood and accounted for the variable annular ozone levels are able to be accurately assessed for the possible future recovery of the ozone hole to pre-1980 levels.

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  • Protected Area Management: A Framework for Managing Cumulative Impacts in the Antarctic

    Harding, Belinda (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Antarctic Treaty System is challenged with developing a strategic conservation approach for protected area management and with determining how cumulative impacts are addressed under the current regulatory framework. Key scientific and environmental values benefit from general protection under the Antarctic Treaty and a further system for designating protected areas was established under the Agreed Measures for Flora and Fauna 1964. With increasing human presence across the Antarctic the need for consistent implementation of environmental protection measures to minimise impacts is required. All visitors to the Antarctic, including tourists, scientific and support personnel of National Antarctic Programs and non-governmental organisations, have an obligation under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty 1991 to manage all environmental impacts, including those that are cumulative. The current protected area management system provides an existing framework in conjunction with the Environmental Impact Assessment process for managing cumulative impacts, but it has not yet been explicitly used for this purpose by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties. This review will consider the established system for terrestrial protected area management in the Antarctic and examine whether this can facilitate improved management of cumulative impacts.

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  • The ecological importance of Antarctic Silverfish

    Rodgers, Rata Pryor (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Antarctic marine ecosystem is very unique. It supports a fast range of species ranging from phytoplankton to blue whales. Many of these species are endemic, including the Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarcticum which is abundant throughout the Antarctic marine ecosystem. P. antarcticum are the only truly pelagic fish in the Antarctic waters, and have an interesting life cycle that moves through the water column. Because of its high abundance and wide distribution, it is a key species in the in the Antarctic food web. This review aims to understand what the ecological importance of Antarctic silverfish and the role that they play in the Antarctic food web. Leading on from this it is important to understand what the potential threats to their population are. Such as climate change which threatens vulnerable life stages habitats and fishing which does not impact P. antarcticum directly but indirectly through its predators and prey species.

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  • Approaches to Wilderness and Aesthetic Values in a Domestic and International Context

    Strachan, Kathryn (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Within the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty 1991 (“the Madrid Protocol”) there are a number of key terms which are not adequately defined. This deliberate “constructive ambiguity” is useful in the process of reaching agreement between states with diverse cultural and political values but less helpful when it comes to implementing its terms. Within the context of the Madrid Protocol, two such undefined terms are “wilderness” and “aesthetic values” which must be taken into account and protected from adverse impacts. Across the different treaty party states there are differing levels of engagement with the matter of both “wilderness” and “aesthetic values” both domestically and in an Antarctic context. Looking at New Zealand, the United States of America and China’s approaches to “wilderness” shows three different levels of interaction with the concept domestically and three different interpretations of the term within an Antarctic context. The same can be seen in other state’s approaches, though it is beyond the scope of this paper to address this. In terms of “aesthetic values”, different methodologies for quantifying the visual worth of a landscape are employed by different states but with an emerging theme of public consultation. Both terms have not yet been actively engaged with on a wide scale within the Antarctic Treaty System, but certain themes can be ascertained across the approaches of the various states.

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  • How will habitat changes arising from climate change impact the Emperor penguin population?

    Pointon, Olivia (2017)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Climate change is rapidly changing the environment of Antarctica through warmer air and ocean temperatures, changes in sea-ice distribution, and associated cascades in the food web. Emperor penguins need the marine ecosystem and sea-ice for survival, hence are extremely sensitive to habitat changes. The climatic changes occurring will alter the predictability of their habitat and have a range of effects on the survival of emperor penguin populations. Environmental change is complex, and its impacts on organisms are difficult to predict but numerous studies have identified sea-ice as a main critical factor in the future survival of the emperor penguin. Sea-ice has flow on effects in a variety of life aspects. These include loss of suitable habitat at latitudes lower than 70°S which will force populations to move southward, alterations in primary production that will shift food web dynamics, and impacts on reproductive success. A lack of long term population data limits the accuracy of predictions and more research is needed in order to better understand how the population will change.

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  • Alien Invasions of the Antarctic Mainland: current knowledge and lessons from the wider Antarctic region and beyond

    Chambers, Claire (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Two species of invasive alien grass species have established themselves on the Antarctic Peninsular. The Antarctic mainland is expected to undergo further spread of these species and introductions of new species as a result of warming caused by climate change and by increased human activity in the area. This report considers the properties and behaviours of invasive species, together with the means by which they reach and establish themselves in new and vulnerable areas, such as ice-free areas of the Antarctic mainland. Specific pathways relating to human activity in the Antarctic are reviewed, alongside some effective controls for reducing the introduction of new plant material into the region by these routes. Consideration is given to control, containment and eradication strategies, including suitable methods of plant removal within the Antarctic context. The existence of seed banks and the likelihood of reinvasion due to local changes which persist after alien populations have been eradicated are discussed. These, together with climate change and increased propagule pressure, point to the importance of ongoing monitoring programmes. Finally, suggestions are made for allocating responsibility for monitoring and responding to current and future non-native plant populations and their timely removal.

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  • China and Antarctica: Hot ambitions in an icy climate

    Herbert, Andrea (2017)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Chinese presence is becoming increasingly conspicuous in Antarctica. With four established bases and plans for further bases on the continent, China appears intent to become a leader on the ice. A full consultative party (CP) since 1985, China has, within a relatively short amount of time, become an AT member that seems especially eager to grow and consolidate its presence on the ice. China’s Antarctic engagement appears to reflect its general foreign policy and economic intentions (i.e. economic expansion and growth of socio- or geopolitical presence and resulting power). This critical review explores China’s history, developments, and ambitions in Antarctica as part of a global commons environment. The hypothesis is brought forward that developments are indicative of an international development towards militarization and spatial expansion in Antarctica, in the context of ‘the Asian century’. In terms of international cooperation and co-existence in Antarctica, China’s scramble for increased presence and geopolitical reach could lead to increasing suspicion and tension among Treaty members and an elevated need for the ATS to monitor, secure, and govern international adherence to its basic principles and ambitions. Suggestions for further research are given.

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  • How Successful is CCAMLR in Meeting its Objective in the Southern Ocean?

    Laubscher, Laetitia (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (“CCAMLR”) was praised upon its adoption for being a trailblazing, international ecosystem-based fishery management regime achieving much over the years including: the development of a precautionary approach to the establishment of catch limits for target species; the development of a management regime for Antarctic krill which takes into account the impact of fishing on dependent species; the establishment of an ecosystem monitoring program; the development of specific policies to manage new and exploratory fisheries; the adoption of effective seabird by-catch mitigation rules and other gear restrictions to minimise the ecosystem impact of fishing; and the collection of data on by-catch and ecosystem impacts through the CCAMLR Scheme of International Observation. (CCAMLR, 1995) While it has achieved much since its formation, the pioneering Commission must continue to develop and seek new means of ensuring compliance by member states with CCAMLR’s objective in the present day and well into the future.

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  • How is Antarctica represented in juvenile fiction in the English language?

    Smith, Karla (2017)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    This literature review samples the English-language juvenile fiction involving Antarctica, and looks at the representation of the continent in that fiction. It discovers that picture books largely have a simplistic representation of the continent, and generally portray it as a home for anthropomorphised penguins. As the readingage of the books increases, the depiction gets more complex, and more human-oriented. The children’s and young adult fiction have fairly wide-ranging depictions of Antarctica, showing it as a continent for adventure, science, tourism, or exploration. They also explore both historical and modern representations of the continent. It is interesting that very few of the books portray Antarctica as a continent for both science and peace (the two stated goals of the Antarctic Treaty (AT)), nor is environmentalism significant in the majority of the books (an important facet of the modern Antarctic Treaty System). It is also interesting to see the change in attitudes towards Antarctica, as reflected in works of fiction. Earlier books represent the continent as somewhere for exploration and/or exploitation. As time passes, the attitudes towards the Antarctic change. In the recent books it is mostly depicted as a place for tourism and science.

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  • Reducing New Zealand’s Antarctic Carbon-Based Fuel Usage

    Morten, Peter (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    New Zealand’s Scott Base and the USA’s McMurdo stations share their logistical operations, with Christchurch as the gateway city. Fuel and other supplies arrive in the late summer by ship. People and supplies are delivered throughout the year by air, mainly in spring, when large wheeled aircraft can land. Liquid transport fuel, heating needs and electricity generation are mainly supplied by AN8 aircraft diesel fuel. This is expensive, produces carbon dioxide when burned and has environmental consequences if spilled. Considerable progress has been made at Scott Base in terms of fuel efficiency, heat conservation and renewable electricity generation from wind. However, more can be done. This review considers possibilities described in the literature and on the web with respect to: 1. Liquid transport fuel savings, especially for flying to and from Christchurch. Replacing New Zealand’s fifty year old Hercules C-130H turboprops with modern technology offers the greatest step forward. An extended aircraft range could wholly or partially avoid the need to refuel in Antarctica, with significant safety benefits as a bonus. 2. More wind-powered electricity generation. This would benefit McMurdo more than Scott Base. It would be a valuable contribution overall to the joint logistical pool. 3. The use of small-scale geothermal energy for heat pumps, if this is cost-effective. 4. Further passive energy saving measures at Scott Base, together with improvements in the efficiency with which diesel fuel is converted into useful heat and power there. 5. The use of solar energy at the base and in the field. This is relatively minor, as solar energy cannot be used for base-load needs, but the technology is advancing quickly. Small ‘demonstration’ investments, as a test-bed for new technologies, may also have merit. Although there are zero carbon dioxide emission summer-only stations elsewhere in Antarctica, this is not feasible for the year-round Scott Base and McMurdo stations. The best that can realistically be achieved is to improve fuel and other efficiencies, and to use renewable energy substitutes which are cost-effective, environmentally acceptable, robust and reliable in the harsh Antarctic conditions.

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  • Antarctica’s new Marine Area – Why did it take so long?

    Holder, Kay (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) announced the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA) in October 2016. This was after some years of debate and discussion. During this time there was some disquiet amongst non-government organisations (NGOs) and the science community that they were losing faith in the ability of CCAMLR to progress the Ross Sea MPA. The MPA establishment is discussed in this review to provide an understanding as to why it took so long. The background and composition of CCAMLR is reviewed. Given the complexities of geopolitics, the compromises required of member states with different viewpoints to reach consensus on the Ross Sea MPA it is understandable that the original Ross Sea MPA proposal was modified and took years to be announced. Further research is needed to ascertain if the compromises needed to achieve the MPA adversely affect the Ross Sea region’s rich ecosystem.

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  • Antarctic Lithodids (King Crabs): Climate Change and Threats to Antarctic Marine Ecosystems

    Innes, Rachel (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Anthropogenic climate change resulting in warming of global oceanic temperatures will likely allow the entry of previously temperature-limited taxa onto the Antarctic shelf. Indigenous Antarctic shelf benthos have evolved in isolation for millennia with the absence of durophagous (shell crushing) predators a significant factor in their ‘archaic’ Paleozoic character. The potential consequences of an invasion by lithodids could have a devastating effect on the Antarctic shelf benthos, homogenising the ecosystem, contributing to the diminished global diversity of marine ecosystems. 14 species of invasive crab have already been recorded in Antarctic waters in previously unknown locations. Polar regions are considered particularly vulnerable in a changing climate and at risk from potential invasive species.

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  • Astronomy in Antarctica, current projects, future goals and challenges

    Skinner, Richard (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    If you were to ask an astronomer to define the perfect place to locate a telescope, they’d tell you to have it somewhere cold, dark, at high-altitude, with a local climate that contained dry stable air. In short, Antarctica. In New Zealand for example adverse effects, such as the movement air in our atmosphere, can cause images to wiggle and warp, such as the observable twinkling of a star in the night sky. Antarctic astronomy, including the operation of the South Pole Telescope, located at Amundsen Station, can largely overcome these problems. In taking advantage of the cold dark skies, these telescopes are able to probe the deep reaches of space, in order to answer some of the fundamental questions related to the universe, including the search for theoretical dark matter and dark energy. Other less conventional astronomy related projects in Antarctica include the ‘Ice Cube array’. This uses ultrasensitive light detectors, buried over a mile deep in the Antarctic ice sheet, to detect high-energy neutrinos that were created by the most violent events in the universe, which allow astronomers to visualize distant cosmic events by detecting the neutrinos they create. Other scoping studies have have identified several high altitude sites in East Antarctica such as those at Dome A and ‘Dome C’ where there is the potential to locate a very large optical or Infra-Red telescope for the search of earth-like planets in other solar systems. Housing such complex equipment in these remote areas, as well as keeping the stations supplied and maintained, is not a simple task and this review will examine the science produced, technical challenges that have to be overcome, potential environmental impacts, as well as examining whether the science produced is worth the costs and resources involved.

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  • A genetic perspective of the recovery and future conservation of the Antarctic blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus intermedia) following 20th century exploitation.

    Crean, Penny (2017)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Antarctic blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus intermedia, at over 30 metres long and 150 – 200 tonnes, is considered to be the largest animal to ever have existed. During 20th Century whaling activities in the Southern Ocean, its sheers size made the Antarctic blue whale a prime target. During this period, Antarctic blue whales were reduced to 0.15% of the estimated unexploited population size. In biological terms, such an event is known as a bottleneck, and is considered to have long lasting negative effects on the genetic diversity of the population. In the present study, recent genetic research is reviewed with regards to the genetic status of Antarctic blue whale populations following the 20th Century bottleneck event. The future of Antarctic blue whale conservation and the potential incorporation of genetic information into conservation management and policy decisions is also reviewed.

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  • Alternative Routes for a Proposed Nigerian Superhighway to Limit Damage to Rare Ecosystems and Wildlife

    Mahmoud MI; Sloan S; Campbell MJ; Alamgir M; Imong I; Odigha O; Chapman HM; Dunn A; Laurance WF (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Canterbury Library

    The Cross River State Government in Nigeria is proposing to construct a ‘‘Cross River Superhighway’’ that would bisect critical remaining areas of tropical rainforest in south eastern Nigeria. We offer and evaluate two alternative routes to the superhighway that would be less damaging to forests, protected areas, and biological diversity. The first alternative we identified avoids intact forests entirely while seeking to benefit agriculture and existing settlements. The second alternative also avoids intact forests while incorporating existing paved and unpaved roads to limit construction costs. As currently proposed, the superhighway would be 260 km long, would intersect 115 km of intact forests or protected areas, and would cost an estimated ~US$2.5 billion to construct. Alternative Routes 1 and 2 are only slightly longer (~290 and ~353 km, respectively) and have markedly lower estimated construction costs (~US$0.92 billion). Furthermore, the alternative routes would have negligible impacts on forests and protected areas and would be better aligned to benefit local communities and agriculture. We argue that alternative routings such as those we examined here could markedly reduce the economic and environmental costs, and potentially increase the socioeconomic benefits, for the proposed Cross River Superhighway.

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  • My White Infinity: Constructions of post-heroic Antarctica in a selection of first-hand narratives by women.

    Glenny, Alison (2017)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    The ‘Heroic Era’ of Antarctic exploration is usually situated in the first quarter of the 20th century, or from around 1895 until the First World War. During this period the economic focus of exploration shifted to one of “geographic and scientific discovery”, typically by “national land based exploring expeditions” (Ferguson 1995: 5). For women, however, it could be argued that their ‘Heroic Era’ did not begin until the end of the 1940s, and continued into the 1970s. This is the era of female ‘firsts’: the first women to work in Antartica, to visit the South Pole, to traverse the continent on foot, and to travel as tourists. Unlike the first ‘Heroic Era’, this one is characterised less by the physical challenges posed by the natural environment than by the man-made barriers of masculine and institutional resistance to women’s presence. Beginning with Jennie Darlington’s 1957 account of her year on the Antarctic Peninsula with the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition, and ending with the 2015 The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning, this review discusses the ways in which the selected narratives both unmake and remake the legacy of the Heroic Era as they represent Antarctica’s changing human landscape, and the authors’ presence within it.

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  • Possibility of Japanese Antarctica Sovereignty?

    Lee, Kyungho (2016)

    Postgraduate Certificate thesis
    University of Canterbury Library

    Unlike the Artic, the Antarctica is a 5th largest continent and no indigenous people on ice. Therefore the sovereignty issue has been controversial and inevitable among some states. In general, people might recognize that there is no sovereignty in Antarctica but it is actually frozen by the treaty. The main purpose of the Antarctica Treaty was both promoting international scientific cooperation and securing the scientific purpose only. Yet the significant factor is that the Article 4 imposed the concept of frozen territorial sovereignty on Antarctica. My question is what are the reasons to give 7 claimant states to insist their sovereignty in Antarctica? What if the discovery variable supported the sovereignty, how about Japanese historical expedition and their claims? First, the existence of Japanese territorial sovereignty is important. The ‘Treaty of Peace with Japan signed at San Francisco, 1951’ exactly illustrated the renunciation of Japanese territory. And the Article II section (e) clearly mentioned that the Japan’s renunciation of all claims related to Antarctica. Next, the historical record of first Japanese Antarctica journey is important. The first Japanese Antarctica expedition was led by Lieutenant Shirase Nobu and it was privately supported. There are several books and documents to verify his journey to Antarctica but only few of them illustrated the Japan Antarctica territory. I will critically review the book ‘Open Antarctica’(Kim, 2015) and an article ‘One Man’s Dream Japan’s Antarctic History’(Wouters, 1999) to question about Japanese Antarctica territory comparing with reasons of 7 claimant states and international law

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