JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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A miracle? CO2 at record highs but Australia’s risk of Megafire Summer reduced

Global carbon dioxide levels hit record highs in 2020. But through incredible luck, or perhaps a Pacific La Niña event, Australia is now less likely to get massive bushfires this summer.

Looks like carbon dioxide will now cause more floods and cyclones, not fires and droughts.

It’s just physics, you know.

La Niña set to bring cooler weather, more rain and cyclones to Australia

Lisa Cox, The Guardian

The last La Niña occurred from 2010-2012 and brought widespread flooding and record rainfall. The Bom said its modelling currently suggested the latest event would be strong but would not reach the same intensity.

[Andrew] Watkins said La Niña would likely bring increased rainfall in both northern and eastern Australia and increased risk of flooding. It also raises the chance of increased cyclone activity during the tropical cyclone season, with a typical season being nine to 11 cyclones.

He said an active La Niña would also reduce the bushfire risk this season slightly, but would not eliminate it.

Dr Joelle Griggs, a climate scientist at Australian National University, reminds us that even in La Niña years sometimes early rain produces bulk grass which, if [...]

They Know How to Prevent Megafires. Why Won’t Anybody Listen?

The sitation in California is just like the one in Australia

Tim Ingalsbee has been fighting fires or trying to prevent them since 1980. He founded Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology.

They know how to prevent megafires

Elizabeth Weil, ProRepublica

So what’s it like? “It’s just … well … it’s horrible. Horrible to see this happening when the science is so clear and has been clear for years. I suffer from Cassandra syndrome,” Ingalsbee said. “Every year I warn people: Disaster’s coming. We got to change. And no one listens. And then it happens.”

The pattern is a form of insanity: We keep doing overzealous fire suppression across California landscapes where the fire poses little risk to people and structures. As a result, wildland fuels keep building up.

This week we’ve seen both the second- and third-largest fires in California history. “The fire community, the progressives, are almost in a state of panic,” Ingalsbee said. There’s only one solution, the one we know yet still avoid. “We need to get good fire on the ground and whittle down some of that fuel load.”

Modern Californians are burning 0.1% of what [...]

Koalas extinct? Hardly. “Nearly everything you have read or heard about koalas is wrong”

Since Europeans arrived Koalas have been booming and busting

The calls were out this week saying that koalas will be extinct in New South Wales in 30 years. But they didn’t mention that Koalas thrive and multiply so fast that in the right conditions scientists talk of ‘plagues’. On Kangaroo Island last year, there were so many koalas, the South Australian government has been trying to sterilize or relocate thousands of them over the last twenty years. Periodically scientists even discuss whether we have to cull them (the horror!).

They’ve survived twenty megafires in 200 years. They can recover. Ponder that Koalas were only introduced to Kangaroo Island in the 1930′s but by the 1990′s there were 14,000 of them and even though they are considered a tourism asset they are also considered a problem and pest too.

“Nearly everything you have read or heard about koalas, is wrong” — Vic Jurskis

Koalas favorite snack | Photo by pen_ash

Vic Jurskis is a veteran forester and fire expert who studied them for years. He’s written The Great Koala Scam, Green propaganda, junk science government waste and cruelty.

Jurskis estimates that thanks to European settlers there are more [...]

Fire seasons don’t run around the country lighting fires

The advertising wing for Big Government is out claiming that our cars cause extended fire seasons. Since they can’t claim that CO2 causes droughts or controls rainfall, there’s not much else they can claim.

But Fire-seasons don’t create bigger fires. The longest fire season in the world is possibly in Marble Bar but that’s not where the pyroconvective monster firestorms are.

If fuel loads were managed, longer fire seasons might allow for more small fires, but they wouldn’t be big bad ones. Plus, there’s the thing that a high fuel load without lightning or an arsonist, is just a forest.

At one point 42% of fires last summer in NSW were man-made. 9% were “natural.

Fire season extends by almost four months in parts of Australia

The fire season in parts of eastern Australia has lengthened by almost four months since the 1950s, with climate change a prominent driver in the trend, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

Karl Braganza, head of the bureau’s climate monitoring, told the first day of public hearings for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements on Monday that the South Coast of NSW and eastern [...]

A history of droughts and flooding rains from 1782 – 1865 in Australia

Here’s one for all the history-deniers from 1885

Mr N Bartley understood Australias climate 134 years ago better than some climate scientists appear to now.

After the fire came the floods, Feb 2020.

Even then Australia already had a century-long rolling cycle of floods, fires and droughts. One natural disaster after another back when CO2 levels were perfect.

These go back to the earliest dates of European settlement. Wherever Captain Flinders landed in 1782 — 1792 he found “found traces of drought and bush fires invariably”. In 1839, the drought was so bad that fish “putrefied” in the big Murrumbidgee River even though there was not one coal fired power plant on Earth.

The author laments that the droughts “become forgotten in the flood intervals.”

In the modern Wifi era humans can forget even faster.

Below is my summary list of the events described in the story.

Below that, the full letter. From The Queenslander, Sept 19th, 1885.

*Since Captain Flinders was born in 1774 I assume those dates were wrong and he wasn’t commanding a ship when he was 8 years old. Any other suggestions welcome.(thanks Gee Aye, SteveD, James West and Peter Fitzroy)

(1795 onwards?)* [...]

CSIRO forgets to mention: No study explicitly shows climate change caused bushfires

Who needs studies? CSIRO doesn’t need any evidence to tell Australians how things work

Senator Matt Canavan asks Dr Peter Mayfield of CSIRO why an explainer document they put out about the bushfires didn’t include a sentence he found in another CSIRO study.

“No studies explicitly attributing the Australian increase in fire weather to climate change have been performed at this time.”

A record breaking ten long seconds of silence in Senate estimates this week.

The CSIRO only needed to say There are no studies showing man-made climate change has increased either droughts or bush fires. (References at the link).

Matt Canavan has recently given up his role as a Cabinet Minister to support a leadership challenge by Barnaby Joyce in the Nationals party. Unleashed!

Amazing what people can achieve from the back bench. Make this man PM!