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SPOTLIGHT

1. SCIENCE:

Researchers find links between Arctic melting and summer floods and fires

A new weather pattern that sends blasts of warm southern air into the Arctic each June has fueled the recent, dramatic decline of the region's sea ice, according to a new government-funded study. But that is not all it has done, the analysis suggests, linking the shifting summer winds to record thaws of the Greenland ice sheet, unusually wet European summers and Rocky Mountain wildfires. Researchers say the switch from light, variable east-west winds to stronger, warmer blasts of southern air appears to have strengthened a climate feedback loop they call "Arctic amplification."

2. TRADE:

U.S. Commerce Dept. levies stiff tariffs on China's solar panel imports

The Commerce Department yesterday levied stiff tariff rates on imported Chinese crystalline silicon cells in one of the final steps of a high-profile trade case that pits U.S. solar manufacturers against the Chinese government. But SolarWorld Industries America and the half-dozen other U.S. manufacturers that joined the trade action were unsuccessful yesterday in a push to Commerce to expand the scope of the case to close what they argue is a major loophole that allows Chinese manufacturers to avoid U.S. trade remedies.

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