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Blame climate change for fewer fires, shorter droughts, slower winds

Thanks to the Californian conflagration, Global Climate Superstition is here again to tell us that fires in coal plants cause fires in forests.  Scientists, on the other hand, find that as emissions got higher there was a fall in wildfires globally, droughts didn’t get worse and winds have slowed.

The witchdoctors play on the Back in the days when people rowed their battleships to war, the megadroughts were really mega. Despite all the mechanization (or probably because of it) global biomass burning was lower in the last century than anytime since Julius Caesar.

If CO2 is the driving force behind fires apparently we need more of it.

When it comes to fire, temperature is not as important as wind speed, fuel load, and the density of arsonists.

Last we heard, winds were slowing globally at a rate of 0.5km/hour. The great Global Stilling can’t be bad for fires (though it can’t be good for wind farms). Perhaps a slightly slower wind is irrelevant. But then if half a kilometer per hour of wind doesn’t matter, why does half a degree of warming? Judging by the actual area burned by fires, not.

As Willis Eschenbach points out California is only warming by 0.02°C per decade, and the rain has only declined “by a totally meaningless five-hundredths of an inch (1.1 mm) per decade.”

Global warming means less wildfires

The area being burnt around the globe has been … shrinking.

Incidence and Area of fires burned globally, annually, graph. 2018.

Figure 2. Wildfire occurrence (a) and corresponding area burnt (b) in the European Mediterranean region for the period 1980 – 2010. Source: San-Miguel-Ayanz et al. [37].

As Doerr and Santini say, it’s not just the recent past, but the long term trend too:

Analysis of charcoal records in sediments (Marlon et al) and isotope-ratio records in ice cores (Wang et al) suggest that global biomass burning during the past century has been lower than at any time in the past 2000 years.

Could this be a coincidence? Perhaps fossil fuel powered trucks, bulldozers, helicopters and chainsaws, plus fossil-fuel-launched satellites are better at making firebreaks, identifying spot fires, and stopping fires from spreading?

Global warming means less droughts

There’s been no change in global drought in the last 60 years. (Sheffield et al).

Droughts are not getting worse in the US either.

PAlmer Drought Severity Index, USA, Graph.

Droughts in USA 1895 – 2018  Source NNDC CDO

Back in the good old days Megadroughts lasted 242 years. California has not even been a state that long.

Medieval droughts were worse, megadroughts, graph.

Graph from Cook et al, adapted by The Mercury News, and made funny and interesting by Tony Heller.

Call me in 2,260AD if the drought hasn’t broken.

Best wishes to Anthony Watts and everyone near the fires in California.

See Climate Depot for more information and updates.

 REFERENCES

[1^] Cook, et al (2015) Old World megadroughts and pluvials during the Common Era, Science Advances 06 Nov 2015: Vol. 1, no. 10, e1500561    DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500561

 Sheffield, Wood & Roderick (2012) Little change in global drought over the past 60 years, Letter Nature, vol 491, 437

Doerr and Santin (2017) Global trends in wildfire and its impacts: perceptions versus realities in a changing world. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2016 Jun 5;371(1696). pii: 20150345. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0345.

Marlon JR, Bartlein PJ, Carcaillet C, Gavin DG, Harrison SP, Higuera PE, Joos F, Power MJ, Prentice IC. 2008. Climate and human influences on global biomass burning over the past two millennia. Nat. Geosci. 1, 697–702. (doi:10.1038/ngeo313)

Wang Z, Chappellaz J, Park K, Mak JE. 2010. Large variations in southern hemisphere biomass burning during the last 650 years. Science330, 1663–1666. (doi:10.1126/science.1197257) [PubMed]
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Blame climate change for fewer fires, shorter droughts, slower winds, 10.0 out of 10 based on 44 ratings

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69 comments to Blame climate change for fewer fires, shorter droughts, slower winds

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    If nothing is natural evrything has to be explained.
    If you believe in the omnipotence of government, the government either caused the problem,
    failed in fighting the forces that created the problem, or missed the problem.
    Blame Global Warming, the Military Industrial complex, and the trilateral commission.
    Don’t look and forest and water management, fuel density, population in rural areas, etc.

    I am especially pi**ed off that the liberal elites that chide me for living on the coast in Florida,
    and castigate our codes, zoning, and common sense from afar, are the same folks who build in remote wooded canyons,
    limit the access, and prohibit harvesting the trees. I do feel for their loss, especially the loss of life, but a
    little voice inside of me wants to say “Karma”. Hurricanes do more and more property damage because the areas they
    kit are more densely populated, but in recent times they have killed fewer people. Coastal cities are managing their risks better.

    I think the Cal government play a role in managing an area of known risk.

    190

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Speaking of liberals….( sligtly O/T ) – liberal Canadian poster boy Trudeau claims the media as the 5th column.

      Is this as close an admission as we will publically get that the media are the offically protected govt mouthpiece…..? Has Trudeau has cleared that up once and for all….?

      The blowtorch of open-ness and the exposing of fake news is having its effect…the bugs are scuttling out of the woodpile as it smoulders under the heat of long overdue required heat being applied…

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-press-freedom-sunday-1.4901226

      “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a press freedom event in Paris Sunday that one of the bulwarks protecting democratic governments from being undermined is also an institution under stress — a free-thinking, robust media.

      “If a democracy is to function you need an educated populace, and you need to have an informed populace, ready to make judicious decisions about who to grant power to and when to take it away,” Trudeau said.

      “When citizens cannot have rigorous analysis of the exercise of the power that is in their name and they have granted, the rest of the foundation of our democracies start to erode at the same time as cynicism arises.”

      Notice what appears to be the classic leftists appeal to victimhood, turning those at fault, intot he victims….er…..anyone noticed any fake news recently?

      “When it was his turn to speak, Trudeau acknowledged that throughout history the powerful have tried to silence their critics.”

      50

  • #

    The boneheads here in California get bent out of shape and blame CO2 for recent wildfires and droughts. Perspective is clearly lacking as both were far more damaging long before man started emitting CO2 on an industrial scale. The reason nature is ignored is that blaming natural processes doesn’t have the fear factor required to coerce the gullible into accepting the UNFCCC and its repressive agenda of equalizing the developed world with the developing world by dragging the developed world down.

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    • #
      Another Ian

      Willis E on that subject

      “Forest Fires in the Golden State”

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/11/12/forest-fires-in-the-golden-state/

      30

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Well, CA is the home to weird cults, I’d expect some sort of rain dance of sacrificing goats to appease the pagan weather gods…..

      40

    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      As I live in a rural area, and at the end of a longish access road I’m keenlt aware of the potentail to be in the line of a bushfire. So I’ve read up a bit about them in an attempt at self preservation. The three requireme ts for fire are dry fuel, temperature and oxygen. The only one I can control is fuel. So I keep my immediate surrounding fuel levels as low as possible. Particularly since fire intensity increases with the square of fuel load.
      (“The complete bushfire safety book” Joan Webster Random House Australia, 1986, my version 2000, p43)
      At least.
      A few years back I read an article saying that the intensity actually increases with the cube of fuel load. Sorry, no reference for that.
      The rate of increase in fuel load is variable, but 1 tonne per hectare per year is reasonable in unmaintained forest areas. So if the fire intensity one year after the last fire is taken as 1, after 10 years it’s 100, or 1000 if my later memory is accurate.
      Nasty.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

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      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        A couple of typos in the above:
        keenly instead of keenlt;
        potential instead of potenail
        requirements instead of requirem nts
        Hope that’s all.
        D

        30

        • #
          William

          I am always reminded of the Green Council that prosecuted a fellow for clearing trees from around his house and reducing the fuel load. When the fires came through, his house was the only one to survive, and yet the council continued to prosecute him. Idiots.

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          • #
            ivan

            Rather different to here in Rural France. If you don’t clear your property of brush and long dead grass you can be fined and the village will do it for you and charge about three times the going rate.

            30

            • #
              Kinky Keith

              C’est merveilleux!!

              Mais le Macaroon, ce n’est pas bon.

              KK

              20

            • #
              Kinky Keith

              The important thing in your comment about France is that it is a local decision made by those who stand to lose if they don’t act correctly.

              Too often decisions in Australia are made by politicians with no practical experience.
              A wrong decision doesn’t worry them.

              KK

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Perspective is clearly lacking as both were far more damaging long before man started emitting CO2 on an industrial scale.

      Oh, c’mon now. Surely you don’t believe Moonbeam Jerry Brown is wrong when he says climate change done it? What other s’cuse could he possibly offer for failure to take prudent steps we all once so foolishly thought were useful in controlling wildfires. ;-)

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  • #
    Mark M

    “It’s not rocket science.
    You warm up the atmosphere, it’s gonna hold more moisture, you get larger flooding events, YOU GET MORE RAINFALL.”

    Michael Mann, PBS via twitter: https://twitter.com/tan123/status/1061985559915192320

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    • #
      TdeF

      Michael Mann misses the obvious point. Combustion produces both CO2 and H2O as steam. Obviously more cars mean there will be much more rain. Rockets also produce vast quantities of H2O. That’s rocket science, but he is more of a Noble tree ring statistician.

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      • #

        The other obvious point he missed is that it’s not the amount of water that the atmosphere can hold that determines how much rain falls, but it’s the rate of evaporation that determines the rate of precipitation. Most evaporation occurs in the tropics whose temperature is least affected by planetary warming, especially over the ocean whose temperature is otherwise limited to about 300K by evaporative cooling.

        It’s not surprising that he missed this, as he also doesn’t seem to understand how the average surface emissions are similarly limited by the energy flux arriving from the Sun. For some reason, the IPCC’s self serving consensus fails to acknowledge (i.e. denies) basic conservation laws. How else can they justify the 3.3 W/m^2 of power in excess of the forcing that’s required to offset the increased emissions from the 0.8C increase claimed to arise from only 1 W/m^2 of incremental input. Perhaps because to acknowledge the basic laws of physics undermines their position. Instead, they prefer fake science like massive amplification from unspecified positive feedback to justify their conflation of coincidence and causation.

        110

        • #
          Kinky Keith

          You could not propose the;

          “massive amplification from unspecified positive feedback”

          without knowing that the idea was a deliberately constructed falsehood.

          It is also my understanding that this “amplification” only came into being After the basic CO2 Heating, Trapping etc mechanism was shown by real scientists to have no basis in science.

          What we have all through this scam, is the Appearance of Science applied for the sole purpose of misleading people.

          KK

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  • #
    TdeF

    All of Hollywood knows Donald Trump is responsible for the bushfires in California. Without his withdrawal from Paris they could enjoy their democratic right to build their homes in the middle of the bush or on a clifftop at Malibu.

    What is amazing is how quickly the wildfires followed Trump’s election and the withdrawal from Paris. Obviously God is a Democrat, dresses in a white suit (Bruce Almighty, the Matrix) and is played by Morgan Freeman (The Story of God). You do not have to be a Christian to know that God is very angry with Trump. So is Jim Carrey.

    171

    • #
      glen Michel

      The Climate Council or whatever they’re called has its latest report out. Same old. The go-to bloke is Will Steffen.

      50

  • #
    el gordo

    Karoly et al put out a paper last year which claimed the top end of Australia is getting wetter, while the southern part of the continent has become more droughty.

    https://theconversation.com/recent-australian-droughts-may-be-the-worst-in-800-years-94292

    I don’t have much confidence in the Klimatariat’s world view, so monsoon failure during the LIA needs to be discussed.

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  • #

    Every time that I’ve driven past the windmills at Inverloch (Vic), they have been standing mute along the foreshore. Totem poles erected by the gullible for the gullible on the orders of witch doctors.

    130

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Did you see anyone dancing around them with flowers in their hair? Its about all thats missing….that and a pile of burning taxpayers money nearby…..

      80

    • #
      TdeF

      With our money. If they turn, they get paid for turning. It doesn’t matter if they sell the electricity, they get cash anyway. Our cash.

      70

    • #
      Bodge it an scarpa

      Much the same story at Gellibrand wind farm near Colac Vic, according to my partner who drives past 5 days a week on way to her work.

      10

  • #
    PeterW

    I’m wondering if the methodology allows for the difference between historical cool burning, and modern, high-intensity fires.

    Ask yourself how our ancestors would have dealt with living in fire-prone environments without tankers, bulldozers and the ability to pack the family into something faster than an ox-cart when the need arise to get out of Dodge.

    The obvious thing to do is to set fire to drying vegetation as soon as it will carry the mildest of fires, so that by the time summer gets hot and dry, there is less fuel and refuge areas are common. Rocket-science is not required.

    It’s not a matter of more or fewer arsonists. Fire is inevitable in such landscapes. The choice facing humans living in them is only whether we have them when it is safe, or not.

    50

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Meanwhile in Australia, NSW Forestry research shows that more than 90% of all bushfires have a human component, like cigarette butts, transformer sparks, arson and so on. Forestry has a vested interest in reducing crowning fires (these destroy trees, not low intensity burns which reduce fuel loads on the forest floor). So to just compare fires with one other variable like drought may not be the best way of describing the problem.

    120

  • #
    robert rosicka

    We could stop all these bushfires tomorrow if only we put a price on CARBON !

    The Boss of Woodside Petroleum says-

    “”We need a price on carbon, we need to ensure that the most effective energy gets into the system,” he said.”"

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-14/woodside-ceo-peter-coleman-argues-for-carbon-price/10494026

    30

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Is this a form of late-in-the-day Corporate altruism, or have big business been given a leave pass on carbon tax costs?

      60

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Oil companies love global warming.
        They can help push coal out of the picture and sell more diesel to places like Southern Australia.

        KK

        30

    • #
      Ken Stewart

      These companies have two things in common: vested interest in gas; and cynicism.

      90

  • #
    Mark M

    Cue the BoM’s purveyor of failed permanent droughts

    Bad fire seasons are becoming the norm

    Bureau of Meteorology climate services manager David Jones said the impacts of climate change were already being felt in Australia.

    Dr Jones said the changing climate was not just impacting fires — the ice is melting and the warming ocean is expanding, impacting on flooding.

    “What we’re seeing is a quite general increase in sea level. It’s about 4 millimetres a year at the moment, 3–4 millimetres, and it’s going on year on year. It’s actually starting to add up,” he said.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-13/how-emergency-services-are-battling-changing-climate-conditions/10255856

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    • #
      robert rosicka

      Bad bushfires will become the norm if fuel reduction burns get too far behind ,it would be interesting to see if this information was available .
      While we don’t have the same mountain of paper work as they do overseas to do a burn , the guidelines and red tape etc is getting more onerous and complex which is reducing the allowable window for fuel reduction burning .

      60

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        I have been wondering about this also..Low intensity cool burns reduce the fuel load and thus the incidence of huge bush fires…

        But quite a few greenist types do not understand this connection..And do not want any cool burns in the Spring….

        the immediate aftermath of a huge wild fire in California is maybe not the time to ask.But I do wonder whether they have a cool burn program in the forests of California. Especially as eucalypts trees are very common there..

        50

        • #
          ivan

          The thing the green ecoloons don’t understand is that if you don’t manage nature and the forests they will manage you with very bad consequences for you.

          50

        • #
          Bill In Oz

          I live in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia.. It’s a very high fire prone area..So cool burns are essential every Spring to reduce the fuel load.

          But it’s not just the Greenists..Every year there are complaints about folks who claim to get asthma from the smoke…And want the cool burns restricted….

          50

      • #
        Bill In Oz

        I have been wondering about this also..Low intensity cool burns reduce the fuel load and thus the incidence of huge bush fires…

        But quite a few greenist types do not understand this connection..And do not want any cool burns in the Spring….

        the immediate aftermath of a huge wild fire in California is maybe not the time to ask.But I do wonder whether they have a cool burn program in the forests of California. Especially as eucalypt trees are very common there..

        20

        • #
          robert rosicka

          Not 100% sure of California requirements but Canada has the most restrictive requirements that I’ve heard of making fuel reduction burns almost impossible .

          20

        • #

          Comment @ Chiefio post ‘Camp_Fire Jumps Lake Oroville…

          p.g.sharrow says:13 November 2018 at 7:28 pm.

          ‘A few years ago they outlawed all burning in BUTTe county
          without special permission, In Paradise/Megalia you had to
          get special permission to remove trees and brush. The local
          Ecoloons created the roots of this disaster, by their constant
          demands of Preservation and Return to Wilderness Conditions.
          The land MUST be periodically burned off, many little fires
          or one big one. take your choice, but it MUST happen. after
          over a hundred years of accumulation it was over due. One
          area that the fire is approaching to the south east has not
          been burned in 120 years.The fire crews are being warned to
          be specially cautious in that area….pg.’

          100

      • #
        peter

        Funny you should mention fuel reduction burns Robert.

        Today on PBS Hour (SBS 1 -Australia) they discussed for some 10 minutes the fire reduction issue in California and the west of US in general. From forestry research (forestry staff are all for fire reduction burning) the natural big-fire incidence is every 7 years. Because of environmental activism (in part) much of California forest was experiencing a major fire only every 100 years. This allowed huge build-up of forest litter and undergrowth which fuelled fires. Work done in some selected areas to clear, thin-out diseased/dying trees and reduction burning led to a healthier forest and far less fire risk. Locals living in forest areas hated this fire reduction activity because it was intrusive, ugly and unnatural. They aggressively oppose any extension of fire reduction to other forest areas. PBS noted that the cost of applying fire reduction programs to all of America would be prohibitively expensive.

        40

  • #
    Peter C

    Dr Jones (if a doctor he is) should visit the RAAF Airbase, Point Cook, Vic. The base was established in 1913 and is only 6 feet above MSL. According to Dr Jones it should have been submerged by now.

    71

    • #
      Peter C

      Response to Mark M @#9

      “What we’re seeing is a quite general increase in sea level. It’s about 4 millimetres a year at the moment, 3–4 millimetres, and it’s going on year on year. It’s actually starting to add up,” he said.

      30

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Peter,

        It’s hard to dig out non adjusted or selective reference point data on sea level change.

        Hard data points like Sydney Fort Dennison, show a rise rate of under 1mm per year with most of the result coming from subsidence of the “fort”.

        The actual sea level rise was about 0.2 mm annually.

        So much of the newer Satellite data has been processed to within an inch of its life and is sadly much like the temperature record, more of a political statement than a scientific one.

        Given the recent ferocious winters in northern Europe and the American continent it seems more of the oceans contents will be deposited and “trapped” as landfill over Greenland and the Arctic. If that is the case then sea level rise will be non existent.

        KK

        30

  • #
    Jeff

    The media reporting of disasters becomes ever more instantaneous and sensationalized.
    I wonder what they would have made of the Peshtigo forest fire of 1871.
    It was the deadliest wildfire in American history, with estimated deaths of around 1,500 people, possibly as many as 2,500, with 1,200,000 acres burned.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peshtigo_Fire

    Yes, there are so many factors at play, its just silly to blame a slight temperature increase.

    50

  • #
    Jl

    Those who blame Trump and “deniers” forget that US emissions have decreased. But then again, we’re not dealing with rocket scientists here

    50

  • #
    Jeff

    I know a lot of people are saying forest management controlled burn offs are the what is needed.
    But I have my doubts.
    Burning forests actually encourages fire tolerant vegetation like eucalypts, which burn more intensely.
    Rain forest type trees do not burn well, but are killed by fire.
    These less flammable, fire intolerant trees will proliferate if there is no fire.
    So I would not be surprised if forest that has not been burned for a hundred years, burns less intensely than forest that was controlled burned 2 years ago.
    So controlled burns becomes like a never ending addiction.

    And the financial costs of controlled burns is large and the areas involved huge,
    not to mention the pollution.
    I think it could be more cost effective to spend that money on fire proofing homes and infrastructure and clear the immediate area around them, if the resident agrees.
    Just my 2 cents.

    10

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      No. Allowing build up is dangerous from the point of intensity and length of burn time.

      No. Fireproofing may be alright if only relied on to save the house from moderate fire after evacuation. Unfortunately greenism nominates it as an alternative to proper management of the accumulation and growth of combustible materials.

      Yes. Clear the area around them and especially exit roads. Too many roads in the last big Victorian bushfire had cute looking arches of growth over the complete road width. Yes, it costs to maintain the correct setup but once done maintenance is about the same. Lives matter.

      KK

      20

    • #
      robert rosicka

      If your a regular to the bush you notice how much the canopy opens up and the thick regrowth disappears after a regular burning cycle .
      Our bush can handle regular burns but can’t handle years of regrowth and massive fuel loads .
      The aborigines understood this and burned off regular but we have now cow towed to the greens and are just a match away from a disaster , not helping is the occasional burn that gets away which results in litigation.
      Basically they are too scared to burn in case something goes wrong with weather forecasts that are totally inadequate these days by the BOM who have homogenised the bejesus out of their data and are just incapable of anything approaching a realistic forecast .

      11

    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Jeff the bush was managed this way by Aboriginal people across most of the continent for 40,000 years…The bush is adapted to it now after that long period of time…
      So stopping cool burns to reduce fuel loads, means allowing the build up of fuel loads and when fire comes, as it inevitably will, means massive destruction…& deaths

      Very Dopey mate !

      10

    • #
      PeterW

      Jeff….
      Two problems with your theory.
      The first is that we have droughts, and rainforest flora do burn during drought.
      What is more, when you get a fire during a drought, there are no natural barriers to fire and the organic matter in the soil combusts, reducing it to so much beach sand and clay.

      I’ve seen this first hand.

      The second – backed up by a LOT of historical evidence – is that when you burn with sufficient frequency, the eucalyptus forest becomes a lot more open, with a grassy, rather than a scrubby understory. Without ladder fuels and extreme fuel leadings, you do not get intense crown fires and complete kills of mature eucalyptus forests as we have seen since the 1930s.

      Your error shows the problem in applying theories without practical experience.

      30

      • #
        Jeff

        “Without ladder fuels and extreme fuel leadings, you do not get intense crown fires”

        I don’t agree, controlled burns do not affect the crowns, which burn under intense fire conditions.

        Many researchers question whether prescribed burns significantly improves bushfire outcomes under ‘extreme’ fire danger conditions,
        Fernandes and Botelho (2003), Tolhurst (2007), Boer and Bradstock (2011), Gibbons et al. (2012), and amongst others, prominent ENGOs (Taylor 2009), believe that fuel modifications have little effect under ‘extreme’ conditions as fire behaviour is then driven by the prevailing weather. This is supported by simulation modelling which indicates that weather is more influential than fuel loads in determining the extent of unplanned bushfire (Cary et al. 2009; Penman et al. 2011).
        Bushfires that are burning as crown fires under extreme conditions consume the entire fuel profile including elevated live fuels thus increasing the total available fuel.
        Fires, both planned and unplanned, under milder conditions consume mostly surface and near surface dead fuels.
        These are the fuels that can be removed by prescribed burning.

        https://knowledge.aidr.org.au/media/4893/overview-of-prescribed-burning-in-australasia.pdf

        00

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    The phrase “density of arsonists” is misleading.

    In the USA, there is a phrase “Wildland Urban Interface” (WUI), pronounced Woo-e.
    The density of houses in the WUI has increased, and importantly the properties are almost impossible to protect once a fire enters the neighborhood.
    For example, go to this location in Google Earth: 39.778902, -121.617021
    Zoom in and out to get a sense of the landscape. Then do a 360° “street view.”
    This is very dangerous territory during a fire. Work on this a little — there are hundreds of houses with this much and more vegetation right up against the structures.

    A study a few years ago showed >80 percent of fires are linked to people — some directly caused such as arson, others like burning brush are also direct. Others are removed 2 or 3 steps — example: a car catches fire and the driver pulls to the side of the road where dry grass catches fire. Sometimes folks use an extension cord and it heats. Many of these things.
    More people mean more fires, more damage, more death.

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    • #
      Kinky Keith

      Sounds like the WUI, as defined, needs to be moved away from the U towards the W to maintain a sensible I.

      KK

      30

  • #
    pat

    unattributed; no link to report:

    13 Nov: ABC Rural: Deluge and Drought: Climate Council issues grim warning on looming water security crisis
    The Climate Council has released a new report linking climate change with worsening droughts, including the current one, extreme weather events such as bushfires and floods, and identifying water security as a source of grave concern.
    The report, Deluge and Drought: Australia’s Water Security in a Changing Climate, stated that if the effects of climate change were left unchecked the results for the agriculture sector and beyond will be devastating…
    These grim figures were all related, the publicly-funded council found, to rainfall patterns thrown badly out of whack by climate change…

    “Most of our [rainfall] comes from the ocean, so we are exposed to big-scale changes, and the tropics are expanding,” Professor Will Steffen, one of the report’s seven co-authors, said.
    “That is the ultimate explanation for why these fronts in the Southern Ocean are now being pushed a bit further south, and so that means that we are getting less rainfall across the southern part of Australia.
    “We’re getting fewer good autumn breaks than we did before, due to the warming of the Indian Ocean.”…

    The authors cited the Australian Capital Territory “megafires” of 2003 (during which the world’s first-known “fire tornado” was observed) as an example of the disastrous one-two punch of climate change…
    The report identified climate change as a “threat multiplier”, with myriad knock-on effects stemming from water insecurity that extended beyond the environmental and economic all the way to social disharmony, poverty, and the prospect of future waves of “climate refugees”…

    Council urges immediate action
    “Solutions are available.
    “We need to accelerate the transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewables and storage technologies and ramp up other climate solutions in the water, transport, agriculture and other sectors.”
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-11-13/climate-change-report-and-drought-policy/10493812

    Climate Council: Deluge & Drought: Water Security in a Changing Climate
    DOWNLOAD THE REPORT
    https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/water-security-report/

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    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Pat you quote the Climate Council as saying ” We’re getting fewer good autumn breaks than we did before, due to the warming of the Indian Ocean.”

      Duhhhhh ?

      If the Indian ocean is warming then there is more evaporation of sea water and that moisture in the shy has to come down somewhere…

      Often that moisture is brought by the jet stream South East across the Australian continent to South Australia & Victoria and Southern NSW…Where it interacts with a cold front and then rains…

      Also the Indian ocean goes through phases where the warm surface water moves from off the coast of Eastern Africa to off the coast of Indonesia and North Western Australia..When the warm water is off the coast of North Western Australia, we get more rain in SA..( For obscure reasons this is called a negative phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole.

      But at the moment the IOD in in a positive phase with cooler waters of Indonesia & North Western Australia..And reduced evaporation and thus reduced moisture being brought South East on the jet stream winds to SA & Victoria and Southern NSW..

      We do not get a lot of rain from the Southern Ocean either..It’s too bloody cold on average to provide much evaporation…

      Now having established the facts, what exactly was this Climate Council yabbering on about ?

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    David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

    G’day Pat,
    One would think that a professor of such long standing as Steffan would have considered for his study a time interval to cover at least one complete period of one of the two cycles Professor Weiss identified as necessary and sufficient to explain all the (relatively) short term variations in the Earth’s climate. His (Steffan’s) starting point of the 1990s gives just under half the shorter which is 60 years, while the other is 200 in round numbers. And Weiss tested his ideas over several of both.
    (The 1990 figure comes from the ABC reference you gave.)
    I would have hoped, but not expected, that the ABC rural reporter might have picked that up.
    Cheers,
    Dave B

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    theRealUniverse

    The graphs in the thread speak for them selves.
    I read the Cali fires are most likely to be man made as in started. i.e. Not started naturally.

    I saw earlier today, cant find the article that NASA has announced that the down turn in solar activity (solar minimum) is causing the upper atmosphere too cool, and therefore ..wait for it!! Colder lower troposphere therefore we are in for colder winters – ! yes they admit the sun affects the climate – cold. OH NO!
    Is this ab about turn?

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    robert rosicka

    Remember that during our winter firefighters were called to a fire started by lightning in the Alpine national park , the area was surrounded by snow and in difficult terrain but powers that be wanted it put out .

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    theRealUniverse

    I see the modern journalistic use of ‘less’ instead of ‘fewer’ to refer to amounts of discreet nature. Just a note on modern language, not what I was taught 45 years ago!

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    PeterW

    Blaming arsonists and human causes is a red herring, and should be treated as such.

    The issue is not about HOW fires are started, but WHEN.

    Historically, humans were one of the greatest causes of fires, but it didn’t matter because the humans in question deliberately started fires in periods of low risk. They did this because fire was the only tool they had to prevent dangerous, high-intensity, damaging fires.

    If we had not discarded the best tool we have available, we would not have to worry about arson, lightning or any other cause of fire …. at least not to the same extent.

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