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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Massive Fires: far worse 4,000 years ago in Northern Australia

Kenneth Richard at NoTricksZone, found some studies showing Fires are less common today than in the past — including a ripper of an Australian study.

Emma Rehn et al went to a small lake in far North Australia and dug up about 6m of sediment core from the bottom. They looked at charcoal deposits and a bunch of different minerals. They discovered that the top most recent layers had the worst fires for a thousand years. It had all the makings of a Great Climate Change advert. But to their absolute credit, they kept going down and further back and uncovered a story of four thousand long years of wild blazes.

Despite millennia of prehistoric infernos, no media outlets in Australia have shown any interest in this study which came out a month ago — showing Sensationalism is not all its cracked up to be, and not as much fun as Confirmation Bias.

Look at the current blip (left hand side) since European settlement, compared to the fires of 4,000 years ago (right hand side). As Mr Dundee would say, “That’s not a fire…. ”

Carbon Flux showing the intensity of fires in Arnhem land for […]

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!

9.7 out of 10 based on 72 ratings

Royal Commission on Fires based on Myth of Hotter-Drier Summer

More lies by omission from the Bureau of Misinformation

When a PM gets it totally wrong, where is the BOM…

“What this royal commission is looking at are the practical things that must be done to keep Australians safer and safe in longer, hotter, drier summers.” — Scott Morrison. — ABC

The BoM, like Prof Andy Pitman of UNSW, and all other climate scientists know that “climate change” will make the world a hotter wetter place. Who are the evaporation deniers among us? Yet, apart from one momentary candid admission from Professor Andy Pitman, which of our paid public servants will correct the PM when he says things that are flagrantly, 100% wrong? Will a Royal Commission really be forced to accept a complete myth?

Looks like extra CO2 “causes” Summer rainfall in Australia to increase

Apparently, we should burn fossil fuels to stop fires. You know it makes sense…

Australian rainfall trends, Bureau of Meteorology,

But wait, what about Southern Australia?

To cover every last caveat, it’s possible that “climate change” could change where rain falls, or when rain falls — so lets look at the BoM’s own rainfall records.

CO2 apparently makes summers wetter across […]

On average bushfires burn an amazing 50 million ha every year in Australia

From the other side of the world comes this extraordinary collection of data that few in Australia seem aware of.

File this fact away: Satellite datasets show that in an average year 50 million hectares burns around Australia. In a quiet year, it’s only 20 million hectares, but in a busy year it gets close to 100 million hectares. A lot of this land area is in the far north and western part of the continent, which is hot and often arid. It’s not the same as the cool wet corner of South East Australia which has some of the tallest trees in the world. The fuel loads in the north are much lower (like the trees).

Some parts of the top end burn nearly 100%, year after year. It’s no accident that the awful devastation this year was not in the red hot firezone on the map below, but in the South East corner where less than 5% of the area burns each year. The rarely burnt is the risky zone where there is a 20 year build up of fuel. Some areas are on a 1 in 100 year rotation or even slower. There were places this year […]

Off the charts: Bushfires may be 20 times more intense than the largest fires humans can control

Ten times the fuel means 100 times the intensity

Hardly anyone is talking about these numbers yet they show just how far beyond our control the pyroconvective firestorms are and why we need to be so much smarter at preventing them. They also show how irrelevant temperatures onsite are, compared to fuel load and wind speed.

Controllable fires are 3MW per meter, but we now have loads of 70MW/m

Not only are these fires obscenely, catastrophically intense, it doesn’t matter how much fire fighting equipment we buy, how many dams we empty, they are a man-made disaster, and we’ve known for years how to prevent them. (Some would say, thousands of years). The message in here is that cool controllable burns are tiny, less damaging, and far less intense. The pyroconvective monsters are totally different creatures.

Andrew Bolt interviewed fire expert David Packham in November:

Top fire expert David Packham says forget global warming. It’s the reckless failure to burn-off fuel loads that have turned parts of Australia into death traps. Near Melbourne “we’re looking down the barrel in these areas at 1000 deaths”.

His key point is that if we increase the fuel by ten, […]