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February 23, 2016
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The Earth is exiting a long period of stable ocean and climate levels during which human civilization grew and flourished, and it's almost certainly due to human activity, scientists in the U.S. and Germany said in a pair of papers published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. One study, led by Rutgers climate scientist Robert Kopp, mapped out changes in sea levels around the globe over the past 2,800 years; oceans rose or fell no more than 1.5 inches a century from ancient Rome's founding until the Industrial Age in the 1800s, the study found, but rose 5.5 inches in the 20th century alone, accelerating to a rate of 12 inches a century by 1993.

The researchers blamed the increasing sea levels on rising global temperatures they and almost all other scientists attribute to the burning of fossil fuels. "Physics tells us that sea-level change and temperature change should go hand-in-hand," Kopp said. "This new geological record confirms it." Kopp and his team estimate that sea levels will rise 22 to 52 inches by 2100 at the current rate, or 11 to 22 inches if nations fully enact the global climate change treaty negotiated in Paris last year.

The second paper, led by Matthias Mengel of Germany's Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, similarly estimated that sea levels will rise three to four feet by 2100 if humans don't curb carbon emissions — roughly the same range predicted in 2013 by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Both papers acknowledged that there were significant unknowns in their analyses, but not in a way that should make humanity in general and coastal dwellers in particular feel any safer: If the massive ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica melt, as seems likely, most bets are off.

If that seems distant and theoretical, a third, unpublished study released Monday found that rising temperatures are responsible for a sharp increase in "nuisance floods" in seaside towns along the southern U.S. East Coast over the past 50 years, causing millions of dollars of damage due to incursions of a few feet of saltwater. Most of those floods wouldn't have happened without manmade global warming, the team, from Climate Central, reported. "I think we need a new way to think about most coastal flooding," said lead author Benjamin Strauss. "It's not the tide. It's not the wind. It's us. That's true for most of the coastal floods we now experience." Peter Weber

4:36 p.m. ET

The Democratic National Convention began Monday in Philadelphia, amid the inner turmoil plaguing the Democrats after a trove of internal party emails was leaked late last week. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation Sunday, after the emails implicated her in seemingly biased actions against Bernie Sanders during the primary race — but she had initially planned to retain her role opening and closing the party's proceedings, until, after being heavily booed by her own constituents Monday morning, she relinquished the honor.

Instead, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had the honor of banging the gavel. Only she forgot to do so:

With Democrats eager to cast their convention in contrast to the chaos of the Republican gathering last week, they should hope Rawlings-Blake's slip-up was not a harbinger of mistakes to come. Kimberly Alters

4:11 p.m. ET

Donald Trump didn't exactly have the smoothest Republican convention, but now that he's out of the hot seat, he can safely gloat over the spontaneous combustion that is the current Democratic National Convention. He weighed in on the Debbie Wasserman Schultz scandal on Monday using the catch phrase from his reality TV show, The Apprentice.

"They said Debbie, you're fired," Trump said, making a finger gun. "Get out, Debbie. Out. Boom."

It's nice to warm your hands over a dumpster fire, rather than, you know, be that dumpster fire, isn't it, Trump? Watch it all, below. Jeva Lange

3:34 p.m. ET

Al Gore must've had the words "better late than never" in mind when he finally got around to endorsing Hillary Clinton on Monday. The former vice president's endorsement arrived a whopping 49 days after Clinton clinched enough delegates to claim the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and on the very day that the Democratic National Convention begins:

Gore, who served as Bill Clinton's vice president for eight years, had said he was waiting until a nominee was officially selected before offering his opinion — though he didn't exactly speak up when Clinton secured the nomination in the beginning of June. When Gore finally endorsed Monday, he was "one of the last Democratic heavyweights" to do so, Politico reported.

Though Gore is a superdelegate, he'd already announced he won't be at the convention this week because of "obligations in Tennessee." Becca Stanek

3:18 p.m. ET
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Nobody is claiming Hillary Clinton's nomination isn't a historic moment for women, but some in her campaign are concerned that all the "ra ra feminism" might be alienating another important group of voters: men.

For the length of her campaign, Clinton has struggled to make inroads with men; male support of Clinton lagged in a recent New York Times/CBS News poll by 13 percentage points (women, on the other hand, supported Clinton by that same margin). And at the Democratic convention, her campaign has attempted to find a balance between celebrating her historic moment and sidelining those to whom the gender of a candidate is less of a motivating factor, including younger women. As campaign spokesman Brian Fallon dryly told The New York Times before declining to comment, "It will not be lost on anyone that she is a woman."

Already the tricky navigation has begun, with Clinton's campaign launching from New York City, as opposed to the modern women's rights epicenter of Seneca Falls — a location that had been kicked around by some of Clinton's advisers. Likewise, just as Clinton's story is inevitably tied up in the women's movement, at the convention organizers have aimed to address more universal experiences too, such as Clinton's work with the Children's Defense Fund.

That might not be enough for some people, still. "She drives me crazy with this woman thing," said Misty Leach, 43, a Sanders supporter. "'I'm going to be the first woman president' to me just feels like she's entitled." Jeva Lange

3:12 p.m. ET
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In a heated discussion Monday at an event sponsored by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) compared Jewish Israelis' settlement of the West Bank to termites' quiet destruction of homes. "There has been a steady [stream] — almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you've been eaten up, and you fall in on yourself — there has been settlement activity that has marched forward with impunity and at an ever-increasing rate to the point where it has become alarming," Johnson reportedly told the group. The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation advocates boycotting Israel.

Johnson also suggested "'Jewish people' routinely steal land and property from Palestinians," The Washington Free Beacon wrote. "You see one home after another being appropriated by Jewish people who come in to claim that land just because somebody did not spend the night there," Johnson said. "The home their [Palestinian] ancestors lived in for generations becomes an Israeli home and a flag goes up."

Head over to The Washington Free Beacon for the full story — including Johnson's comparison of the Israeli defense minister to Donald Trump. Becca Stanek

2:28 p.m. ET

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz probably could've benefited from the foresight one snarky Twitter user had before she fired off a tweet last week chuckling at the woes of her counterpart, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. One week after taunting Priebus with a tweet saying she was available if he needed assistance handling his own convention, the leak of thousands of internal DNC emails implicated Wasserman Schultz in potentially biased actions against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the primary race and prompted her to announce her resignation Sunday. "Regret" is probably a good word for what she might be feeling about this tweet:

With the convention not yet underway, Wasserman Schultz has already been booed by her Florida delegation at a Monday morning breakfast and relinquished her role gaveling the convention to order.

Priebus — probably wisely — has yet to volunteer to help keep the Democratic National Convention "in order." Becca Stanek

1:44 p.m. ET

Bernie Sanders was loudly booed and heckled by his delegates and supporters in Philadelphia on Monday as he addressed them ahead of the Democratic National Convention. "We have got to defeat Donald Trump. We have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine," Sanders said as the crowd broke out in jeers and chants of "we want Bernie."

"Brothers and sisters!" Sanders yelled over the boos, trying to calm the crowd. "Brothers and sisters! This is the real world that we live in. Trump is a bully and a demagogue. Trump has made bigotry and hatred the cornerstone of his campaign."

The crowd finally quieted enough for Sanders to finish speaking, although his supporters have been in a riotous mood all day in Philadelphia, particularly in the wake of the DNC email leak that revealed some officials had wanted to tip the scales during the primary for Hillary Clinton. Earlier Monday, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was booed into silence by crowds waving "Bernie Sanders" and "Emails" signs.

Sanders himself appeared nothing but grateful when speaking to his delegates, though. "This campaign has been a fantastic beginning," he said. "And from today onward, we continue the fight." Jeva Lange

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