Do You Suffer From "Winter Weather Amnesia"?
My wife once told me that women suffer from a kind of chronic, collective amnesia. "If we couldn't train our brains to forget the pain of childbirth nobody in their right mind would consider having a second or third child" she said.
So it goes with the icy, snow-encrusted near-death experience we politely refer to as winter. Observations: 32F feels so much worse in October than March. It takes a couple of snow events before we relearn how to navigate on snow and ice; more "controlled surfing" than driving.
No problems today or Thursday; 50s with fading sun. A cold front changes rain over to wet, sloppy snow Friday, and a slushy coating is possible late Friday into Saturday morning - possibly enough snow to whiten lawns. Temperatures dip below 32F late Friday night and roads could get slushed up. Whatever falls should melt by Saturday afternoon. Consider it a nudge, a tap on the shoulder from Old Man Winter.
Slush may come about 6 days earlier than normal; earlier than it has the last 4 autumns.
Good news: Halloween looks dry with temperatures in the 40s. Yes, it could be much worse.
Tuesday Satellite. This is one of the more compelling images I've seen; Suomi NPP VIIRS True Color, courtesy of UW-Madison CIMSS. Outstanding.
First Smack. The worst travel conditions are forecast to come over eastern North Dakota and Minnesota's Red River Valley Thursday into Friday as colder air surges south. High winds may create near-blizzard conditions, and that's why the NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch.
Evolution of Coming Rain/Snow Event. The Twin Cities National Weather Service time sequence above shows an atmosphere warm enough for rain in the Twin Cities into midday Friday, then a rapid changeover to snow, tapering to flurries by Saturday morning.
Snowfall Potential: NAM. NOAA's 12km NAM suggests the best chance of a few inches of snow over far northern and western Minnesota; little or no accumulation for the Twin Cities - but a few inches for Fargo, Detroit Lakes and Bemidji. Map: Tropicaltidbits.com.
Snowfall Potential: European Model. Tuesday's 12z ECMWF shows the best chance of a few inches of slush over far southwestern and southeastern Minnesota. I just love it when the models agree. Ugh.
Looks Like November. We'll see more 50s, even a few more 60s can't be ruled out by mid-November, but next week will be jacket-worthy with highs in the 40s. Twin Cities ECMWF data: WeatherBell.
Tracking the Trends. In the last 365 days the USA has experienced a total of 34,582 record maximum temperatures and 31,375 record warm minimum temperatures - compared with 14,798 record cold maximum temperatures and 8,987 record cold minimum temperatures, according to NOAA NCDC.
First Flakes. The Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service helpfully reminds all of us that the first coating (1/10th of an inch) of snow falls, on average, on November 2.
Halloween Climatology in the Twin Cities. The last time we had measurable snow on Halloween? 1995. In spite of 1991, the risk of significant snow on October 31 is fairly slim, according to the Minnesota DNR: "...In spite of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard, measurable snow on Halloween is about as rare as getting a full sized candy bar in your trick or treat bag. Since 1872 there's been enough snow to measure only six times: .6 in 1884, .2 in 1885, 1.4 in 1932, .4 in 1954, .5 in 1995 and of course 8.2 inches with the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. Thus there has been measurable snow on only 4% of the days..."
Extreme Weather, Climate Change Costing Taxpayers Billions. Here's an excerpt of a summary of a new government (GAO) report highlighted at NBC News: "Climate change is costing taxpayers billions of dollars in disaster relief and the tab will only increase as extreme weather events become more common, according to a new government study. The federal government has spent an estimated $350 billion over the past decade responding to extreme weather and fire events, which are exacerbated by climate change, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. It comes as Congress moves to approve billions of dollars in extra funding for hurricane relief. "Climate change impacts are already costing the federal government money, and these costs will likely increase over time as the climate continues to change," the report found..."
2017 Could Tie Record for Billion-Dollar Disasters in a Year. Here's Why. A story at USA TODAY caught my eye: "And the year's not over yet. This year's devastating hurricane season is largely to blame. Hurricane Harvey will likely end up topping all of this year's disasters with an estimated price tag of $190 billion. The official death toll, now at 48, in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria could rise into the hundreds, according to a report Wednesday from Vox. Hurricane Irma ravaged the Caribbean island of Dominica as Category 5 monster, destroying most of the island's structures and leaving the infrastructure in ruins. It then took aim on the U.S. Virgin Islands and eventually the U.S. mainland. It was also was a Category 5 storm for longer than all other Atlantic hurricanes on record except Ivan in 2004..."
NYC Looking at a Flooded Future: From Climate Nexus Hot News: "Catastrophic flooding levels considered once-in-500-year events when New York City was founded could hit the city once every five years within a few decades, according to new research. A study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science finds that while a warmer climate may cause more storms to swerve away from the city in the future, the storms that do hit New York will bring devastating floods due to rising sea levels. Researchers say that 7.5-foot flooding in New York, a rarity before 1800, now occurs once every 25 years, and could rise to once every five years by 2030. The study also projects that a once-in-500-year flood event by 2100 could possibly flood parts of the city by up to 17 feet, dependent on the state of the Antarctic ice shelf. Superstorm Sandy, which hit the city five years ago this week, brought 9.2-foot floods that inundated thousands of buildings, knocked out power and decimated the subway system." (AP, Washington Post $, The Atlantic, InsideClimate News)
5 Years After Superstorm Sandy, the Lessons Haven't Sunk In. The Washington Post explains: "...While billions have been spent to repair the damage, protecting vulnerable infrastructure, people and property across the nation from the more extreme weather that climate change could bring is going to require investment on a staggering scale, easily costing hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions. Some coastal protection projects are moving forward, but the most ambitious ideas spurred by Sandy’s onslaught are still in the design stage, with questions about whether they will ever be built. Some wonder whether the nation has the will to undertake such ventures, even after this past season brought more catastrophic storms, including Hurricane Harvey, which swamped Houston, and Hurricane Maria, which laid waste to Puerto Rico’s electrical grid..."
Photo credit: "
study published Monday. Using computer projections to simulate thousands of storms in potential future climates, researchers found that storms would be more likely to swerve away from the city. The trouble is the storms that do approach will, on average, be more powerful. And all storms that hit New York, regardless of their power, will start at a higher baseline, as they’ll be traveling on seas that have risen due to climate change. The result is that the risk of a storm similar to Hurricane Sandy, albeit with a slightly smaller storm surge, has gone from a one-in-500-years event in 1800 to a one-in-25-years event today. By the period between 2030 and 2045, such storms could become a one-in-five-years event, according to the projections..."New York City’s ability to withstand hurricanes could hinge on the state of the Antarctic ice sheet some 8,000 miles away, according to a
File photo: "
How Cities Are Defending Themselves from Sea Level Rise. AP and The Washington Post have the story: "Superstorm Sandy and a series of lesser coastal storms since that 2012 disaster compelled some coastal communities to defend themselves by elevating homes and critical infrastructure, building sand dunes, widening beaches and erecting or raising sea walls. But as sea levels continue to rise around the world, that’s not an option in large cities, where skyscrapers can’t be elevated and subway and train tunnels act as turbocharged flumes when millions of gallons of stormwater rush through them. The answer, some cities have decided, is a mixture of hard and soft barriers; green infrastructure to capture rain and absorb storm water; temporary storage space for runoff; and drastically increased pumping measures..."
File photo: Matt Merrifield, AP.
The Boomtown That Shouldn't Exist. POLITICO Magazine takes a look at the growth of Cape Coral, Florida: "...The thing is, the hucksters were right, and so were the suckers. Cape Coral is now the largest city in America’s fastest-growing metropolitan area. Its population has soared from fewer than 200 when the Rasos arrived to 180,000 today. Its low-lying swamps have been drained, thanks to an astonishing 400 miles of canals—the most of any city on earth—that serve not only as the city’s stormwater management system but also its defining real estate amenity. Those ditches were an ecological disaster, ravaging wetlands, estuaries and aquifers. Cape Coral was a planning disaster, too, designed without water or sewer pipes, shops or offices, or almost anything but pre-platted residential lots. But people flocked here anyway. The title of a memoir by a Gulf American secretary captured the essence of Cape Coral: Lies That Came True..."
Forest Fires Stoke Record Loss in World Tree Cover: Monitor. Reuters has the details: "Forest fires in Brazil and Indonesia contributed to a record loss in global tree cover in 2016, equivalent to the size of New Zealand, that could accelerate deforestation blamed for climate change, an independent forest monitoring network said on Monday. Man-made global warming increased the risks of wildfires by adding to extreme heat and droughts in some regions, according to Global Forest Watch (GFW). This year, California and Portugal have been among places suffering deadly blazes. The combination of forest fires with land use change and climate change could speed destruction in areas like the Amazon and contribute to emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the gases that contribute to global warming, the report said..."
File photo credit: "
The Only California County That Sent a Warning to Residents' Cellphones Has No Reported Fatalities. Coincidence? Here's a clip from The Washington Post: "...Five years after it was launched by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the use of the nation’s alert system remains uneven. And despite a campaign by FEMA to encourage local governments to participate, most U.S. counties could not order an alert today if they faced an emergency. More than 65 percent of the nation’s 3,500 counties do not have agreements in place with FEMA to send alerts through the Wireless Emergency Alert system, as it is known, the agency said. The alerts are sent to all phones in the targeted area, often accompanied by a vibration and a unique sound that FEMA says is “designed to get your attention.” The majority of alerts sent over the system since 2012 — more than 25,000 — have been related to flash floods, tornadoes and other weather events, FEMA records show..."
Image credit: "Sue Fellbaum returns to her home of 28 years that has been burned to the ground by the wildfires in Santa Rosa, Calif." (Whitney Shefte, Elyse Samuels/The Washington Post).
* More on weather alerts issued during the recent California wildfires from HuffPost.
Is Weather Control a Dream or Nightmare? Science News for Students separates out the science from the conspiracy theories: "...There’s a lot of natural variability,” explains Jeffrey French. He’s an atmospheric scientist at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. In time, money for cloud-seeding research dwindled. More effort was put into improving weather prediction. Weather modification did not, however, disappear. More than 50 nations now have cloud-seeding programs, according to the World Meteorological Organization. China, for instance, set off hundreds of rockets to seed clouds in 2008. Its goal was to ensure clear skies for the opening ceremonies of the summer Olympics in Beijing. There also are dozens of private weather-modification companies. And many other companies pay for cloud seeding. What they achieve, today, is much more subtle than the grand visions that had once been proposed..."
Image credit: "Weather control is the stuff of science fiction, but scientists have made it at least a little bit real. Whether people should be controlling their weather, though, is another matter." Nastco/iStockphoto.
Pollution's Annual Price Tag? 4.6 Trillion and 9 Million Dead. Air pollution claims more lives than water pollution, especially in developing countries, including India and China. Bloomberg reports: "...Pollution in all its forms killed 9 million people in 2015 and, by one measure, led to economic damage of $4.6 trillion, according to a new estimate by researchers who hope to put the health costs of toxic air, water and soil higher on the global agenda. In less-developed nations, pollution-linked illness and death drag down productivity, reducing economic output by 1 percent to 2 percent annually, according to the tally by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, published Thursday by the U.K. medical journal. The report is intended to illuminate the hidden health and economic consequences of harmful substances introduced into the environment by human activity. Diseases caused by pollution account for about one in six deaths worldwide..."
* Access to the paper referenced above is available at The Lancet.
Subsidizing Coal is Far From Conservative. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Bloomberg: "...In addition, let's recognize that Perry is pushing for coal to be rewarded for one positive attribute, "resilience," even as the administration downplays a glaring negative one, carbon emissions. Maximilian Auffhammer, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, captured this inconsistency in a recent blog post:
Subsidizing coal for its reliability attributes is like subsidizing bacon for its nutritional content.
Ignoring the problem of climate change, or setting irrational thresholds for action, is to just roll the dice. Jerry Taylor, founder of the libertarian think tank Niskanen Center, put it this way in a detailed paper stating the case for a carbon tax, published in 2015:
Risks from climate change are real and a policy of ignoring those risks and hoping for the best is inconsistent with risk management practices conservatives embrace in other, non-climate contexts..."
Solar Costs Set to Fall Further: From Climate Nexus Hot News: The already-plummeting costs of installing solar power could fall an additional 60 percent over the next decade, the head of the International Renewable Energy Association said Monday. IRENA director general Adnan Amin told Reuters that the organization expects an additional 80 to 90 GW of solar capacity will be added worldwide each year for the next five to six years, and that improvements in technology, including batteries, will help drive down costs. Earlier this month, a new solar project in Saudi Arabia set a record for the lowest bid prices ever recorded for solar energy at 1.79 cents/kWh. A report from the International Energy Organization earlier this month hailed a "new era" for solar, naming it the fastest-growing source of new energy in 2016. (Irena: Reuters, PV Magazine. Saudi Arabia: Bloomberg. IEA: Reuters, CNBC, The Guardian, Bloomberg, Mashable. Commentary: ThinkProgress, Joe Romm column)
Future of Tech and Media: Waging a War For People's Time. Welcome to the "attention economy". Here's an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal: "...The most fertile ground is the digital voice assistant found in smart speakers and smartphones. Between Amazon’s Alexa, Alphabet’s Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, the internet giants are rushing to make more advanced products that could prove crucial to controlling consumers’ searches, their homes and habits, and even how they buy products. Sales of smart speakers, though, will likely peak in 2019, Mr. Wolf said, as the voice interface breaks free of the devices. “The real war is about who gets to win the digital assistant and the voice interface,” Mr. Wolf said. “It’s an existential threat to each of the major technology companies...”
Over 40% of Tech Workers Worried About Losing Their Jobs to Ageism. Bizjournals.com has the details: "More than 40 percent of tech workers polled are worried they will lose their jobs because of ageism, a new study from job listing site Indeed, with almost 20 percent saying they worry “all the time” about becoming too old for their jobs. Indeed polled 1,000 tech workers in September 2017 for its study, which found that 46 percent of the tech sector is comprised of millennials, with a much smaller minority of 26 percent made up of baby boomers and Gen Xers. The average tech worker polled had been in tech for 15 years and 9 months, with 36 percent saying the average age at their company is between 31 to 35..."
A Bike-Sharing War Is Coming to the USA. A story at Recode talks about what's coming: "Forget the ride-sharing wars. Transportation has a new battleground: Bike-sharing. After seeing great success in places like China and Europe, dockless or free-floating bike-sharing has started to expand aggressively into the U.S. — but with that comes staunch opposition from incumbent players and, in some cases, the very cities they’re trying to court. For the uninitiated, dockless bike-sharing works a lot like today’s bike-sharing systems, except you can, in theory, park the bikes anywhere, locking and unlocking them by scanning a QR code with an app. That differs from current bike-sharing programs in places like New York and San Francisco, where bikes are docked to fixed locations. Dockless bikes are also GPS enabled, allowing companies to easily track and move them around to places of high demand..."
The Art of Forming an Informed Opinion. A short article at Farnam Street caught my eye: "...People who can't change their minds never move forward. Worse still, they see themselves as heroes. And I mean “heroes” in the Hollywood sense. They hold opinions that have been proven wrong over and over again. And they pay a dear price. They stop getting promoted. Their work colleagues avoid them. Their friends call less often. Their disagreeable dispositions mean that people don't want them around. They are prisoners of their beliefs. They want everyone to see that they're right. If they persist long enough, the only people they have in their circles are people who have the same (incorrect) worldview. If you insist on having an opinion, carry a mental scorecard. Start it with 50/50 on all subjects and adjust it based on outcomes..."
In a Distracted World, Solitude is a Competitive Advantage. A story at Harvard Business Review is worth your time: "...A significant volume of research has outlined the problem with this onslaught of information. Research by the University of London reveals that our IQ drops by five to 15 points when we are multitasking. In his book, Your Brain at Work, David Rock explains that performance can decrease by up to 50% when a person focuses on two mental tasks at once. And research led by legendary Stanford University professor Clifford Nass concluded that distractions reduce the brain’s ability to filter out irrelevancy in its working memory. There is no silver bullet to solving the complex problems ushered in by the information age. But there are some good places to start, and one of them is counterintuitive: solitude. Having the discipline to step back from the noise of the world is essential to staying focused..."
File image: NASA.
Now We Have to Worry About Dog-Doping? Is no sport immune? Here's a blurb from a story at The Washington Post: "A doping scandal has rocked yet another sport — this time, the competition that calls itself the “Last Great Race on Earth” — the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Officials with the 1,000-mile race through Alaska’s treacherous wilderness, two weeks ago announced that several dogs from one musher’s team tested positive for the opioid pain reliever Tramadol. It is the first time in the history of the world-famous race that dogs have tested positive for a banned drug. But the governing board declined to name the musher, leading to weeks of speculation. On Monday, race officials revealed that the musher whose dogs tested positive was a four-time Iditarod champion, Dallas Seavey..."
Image credit: "The Iditarod Trail Committee identified four-time champion Dallas Seavey as the musher whose dogs tested positive for a banned substance in this year’s race." (Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)
Men Photographed in Crocodile Trap Dubbed "Idiots of the Century". Yes, but will it get me more Twitter followers. The Guardian reports: "A group of men photographed swimming into a baited croc trap near the scene of a fatal attack in Queensland appear to be vying for the “idiots of the century award”, a local mayor has said. Photos of the men swimming around and even climbing into the trap at the Port Douglas Marina have surfaced online, leaving the mayor of Douglas Shire, Julia Leu, stunned...Queensland’s environment minister, Steven Miles, also expressed disbelief, tweeting the image with the message: “Srsly? The meat we put in these traps is bait. For crocodiles. Don’t swim in them! It’s stupid and illegal...”
51 F. maximum temperature yesterday in the Twin Cities.
54 F. average high on October 24.
56 F. high on October 24, 2016.
October 25, 1887: Albert Lea sets a record low of -6 degrees F.
October 25, 1830: A 'heat wave' hits Ft. Snelling. The high temperature reached 80.
TODAY: Partly sunny, less wind. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 57
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 44
THURSDAY: Clouds and winds increase. Winds: SW 10-20. High: 56
FRIDAY: Rain changes to wet snow. Winds: N 15-25. Wake-up: 40. High: 43 (falling)
SATURDAY: Slushy start? Flurries taper off. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 30. High: 39
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, feels like fall again. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 28. High: 45
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, colder breeze kicks in. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 29. High: 43
HALLOWEEN: Cool sun. Dry for trick or treating. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 30. High: 44
Climate Change Will Bring Major Flooding to New York Every 5 Years. The Atlantic reports on new research highlighting The Big Apple's vulnerabiliity to rising seas: "New York is a city on the water. For hundreds of years, its rivers and harbor have worked to its advantage, bringing it speedy transportation and pleasant temperatures. The next couple hundred years may not be as smooth sailing. Global warming, caused by the release of carbon-dioxide pollution into the atmosphere, will cause the seas to rise and the storms to intensify around the city. A new study from an all-star list of climate scientists attempts to estimate how a few of climate change’s symptoms—higher seas, large storm surge, and more intense hurricanes—will intersect in New York over the next 300 years..."
Photo credit: "Mike Segar / Reuters."
Murkowski's Message at AFN: "Climate Change is Real". Alaska Public Media reports: "On stage at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention Saturday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski did not mince words. “Climate change is real,” Murkowski told the audience firmly. “Climate change is real.” Murkowski wasn’t the only one delivering that message. Climate change was very much on the agenda this year, as delegates passed a resolution asking the federal government to make climate impacts in rural villages eligible for disaster relief. Murkowski opened her speech Saturday with a discussion of healthcare, but quickly pivoted. “While healthcare has been the issue that has been dominating our days, it isn’t the issue that is defining our time,” Murkowski said. “Our world is changing. The world around us is changing: socially, economically, and ecologically. And we all know that climate change is at the heart of this change...”
Seeing God's Hand in the Deadly Floods, Yet Wondering About Climate Change. InsideClimate News takes a look at flood victims in West Virginia attempting to connect the dots: "...There will always be weather disasters that will spark the emergence of these heroes. There will always be room for sweet sympathies for storm victims, the outpouring of donations, the arrival of strangers ready to shovel mud out of houses and hand out blankets. But the other storyline, the scientific one, proffers the possibility of prevention. Can we halt the warming of the Earth and the seas by ratcheting back the amount of greenhouse gases we produce, so less water rises up to later fall as rain, heavier and harder than we've experienced before? So NOAA doesn't have to come up with new colors on rain charts that signal feet rather than inches? So a good heavy rain is really just good for the garden, and you can wake from your afternoon nap and head to a day at work that will sift into a blur of other indistinguishable rainy days?..."
On Climate Issues, House GOP Warms Gradually. Here's an excerpt from Roll Call: "When a Republican congressman in July tried to strip the 2018 defense spending bill of its requirement to plan for global warming and rising sea level threats, a group of House GOP lawmakers joined Democrats to kill the effort. It was a rare win in the fight to slow climate change, in a Congress where the Republican majority consistently votes against climate action. Almost every Republican who crossed the aisle that day belongs to the growing House Climate Solutions Caucus. All but one caucus member voted against the amendment, which was proposed by GOP Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. “The Perry amendment was really the first test” that called on the group to vote as a bloc, said Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican who co-founded the caucus. “There will be more tests in the future...”
Photo credit: "Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo has joined 20 Republican colleagues on a resolution that calls conservation a “conservative principle.” (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo).
Sea Level Rise Could Flood 1.9 Million U.S. Homes by 2100. Yale E360 reports: "An estimated 1.9 million U.S. homes could be flooded by 2100 if seas rise 6 feet in response to climate change, according to a new analysis by the real estate company Zillow. The affected properties are valued at $916 billion dollars and represent 1.8 percent of the country’s housing stock. The report, published last week, finds that without climate resiliency measures such as sea walls, the majority of flooded homes will be moderate- or lower-priced properties. High-end real estate accounts for 39 percent of at-risk houses. “While the damage caused by recent hurricanes is a devastating reminder of how quickly the weather can undo people’s lives and destroy their homes, the potential for damage from a slower-moving phenomenon could be even more destructive,” the report says..."
An Evangelical Christian Took Her Climate Change Message to the Heart of Conservative Iowa. Here's a clip from a story at The Des Moines Register: "...She began to see the connection to her faith. The church helps poor people with missions around the world, and climate change affects the poor more than most, she discovered. She read the Bible and kept coming back to Genesis 2:15, which says that God put man on the Earth to work it and care for it. The Hebrew word “shamar” stuck with her — it means "to protect." She went back to Sioux Center inflamed with passion. “I had to do this,” she said. Mouw changed her major to environmental science, despite her parent’s initial objections. She began a campus organization called Eco Defenders, which pushed for recycling bins on campus. It wasn’t super popular at first, she said, but it eventually increased recycling by 50 percent. A national organization took notice. “She had all this new information rocking her worldview, and we gave her ways to practice these new passions,” said Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, national organizer for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action. “A lot of what we are trying to do is push back against the idea that evangelicals are all politically conservative and that political conservatives don’t care about the climate. Both are untrue...”
Photo credit: "Lindsay Mouw, 23, of Sioux Center has taken her message of acting against global climate change to fellow church members and the conservative northwest Iowa community." Mike Kilen.
Global Warming Could Make This Lurking Climate Threat Even Worse. Forbes explains: "...Like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide (yes, the same stuff as laughing gas) traps heat in Earth’s atmosphere. Although it’s thought to account for only about 6% of the greenhouse effect today, it is about 300 times worse for the climate than CO2. One major source is runoff from farms and fields. Bacteria breaking down nitrogen compounds from manure and synthetic fertilizers generate nitrous oxide as a waste product. Climate scientists and policy makers have tried to include nitrous oxide in their models of climate change. But until now we haven’t had a good idea about whether nitrous oxide emissions will get worse or better as global temperatures increase..."
File photo: iStock.