From WUWT: Guest post by Jim Steele, director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, SFSU and author of Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism.
MSN’s climate fearmongers dishonestly claim “Australia has experienced steadily worse droughts.” Climate fearmongers argue warmer temperatures will evaporate surface moisture more quickly and exacerbate droughts. But they have the tail wagging the dog. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology’s illustration (Figure 3) shows the 1920s and 30s had experienced much worse droughts than recent decades. Furthermore, during periods of low precipitation, drought conditions CAUSE higher temperatures. Without normal soil moisture to evaporate, solar radiation is no longer consumed as latent heat of evaporation, but instead, rapidly raises land temperatures.
Figure 3 Australia average annual precipitation from 1900-2018. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/history/rainfall/
Previous NTR posts from the trading forum on this topic:
10 responses |
Started by cliff-e - Jan. 2, 2020, 8:40 a.m.
Possibly a NTR subject but we can't ignore what it's done to wheat and feedgrain production in Austrailia. Also picking up news of greatly reduced Russian grain production.
By patrick - Jan. 2, 2020, 10:46 a.m.
Can't really tell from that how the crop will be affected, since it's winter wheat & the last crop is in and the next one not planted, but Australia is #6 in wheat
Happy New Decade to you Patrick! Great to read you!
Let's put it into proper, scientific perspective.
Note Australia in the bottom right. Blue is less burned area.
"Globally, the total acreage burned by fires each year declined by 24 percent between 1998 and 2015, according to a new paper in Science that analyzes NASA’s satellite data, as well as population and socioeconomic information."
metmike: The current fire season is possibly going to be the worst ever for Australia. This is a very bad thing. How do we explain that? Thankfully, we have data to offset scary words about how this is unprecented from the climate emergency and will keep getting worse and worse.
First of all, if you look at the graph of fires in Australia the past 50 year from this link (can't be copied here) https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/25/factcheck-why-australias-monster-2019-bushfires-are-unprecedented
, you will NOT see a trend higher. In fact, before this year, the past 2 decades featured a LOWER trend. What we do see is isolated, really bad years.........like 1984 and even worse, 1974. This is called random variation which has been happening since long before humans could measure it. With extreme weather. With wildfires. With volcanoes. With all natural disasters and many other events.
Every single year on this planet there are numerous places setting all time records for something. It's always been that way and always will be that way but extreme weather is not getting worse overall. Sure, the heat waves are a tiny bit hotter in some places in the Summer because of the global increase in temp of 1 deg C(and we hear all about every record heat wave) and cold waves not as cold but we are experiencing the best weather/climate in the last 1,000 years.
Most life on this greening planet would prefer a global temperature up to 4 deg. C warmer than this. Only at that point would negatives outweigh the many positives.
Every year, widespread droughts develop somewhere and go away somewhere else. It's always been that way and is called weather. Today, we only hear about the drought prone locations when the inevitable droughts hit.........Australia and California for instance.
We hear they are caused by the climate crisis and will get worse and worse but then, when they go away it's not news any more and we are never told about the past extreme weather/droughts because that would not make today's weather unprecedented anymore.
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But the data here shows it..........the authentic facts vs scary words to convince people of the fake climate emergency to use as ammo for imposing the political, anti science agenda(pretending to be science).
By metmike - Jan. 2, 2020, 4:51 p.m.
Temperatures have warmed around 1 deg. C in Australia over the last 100 years, especially because the surrounding ocean temperatures have warmed that much:
Is this current record heat unprecedented?
Looky here from 1896.
Photo: Jo Nova
Post by: Lance Pidgeon with assistance from Chris Gillham and others.
It is as if history is being erased. For all that we hear about recent record-breaking climate extremes, records that are equally extreme, and sometimes even more so, are ignored.
By patrick - Jan. 2, 2020, 8:41 p.m.
Yes, this horrible fire season in Australia is not entirely unprecedented. It's more likely under modern conditions, but there's no particular reason to think it will be a regular event. The 2C warming of the sea off the southeast - and its effects on the traditional sea life, 95% kelp die off, southward fish migration, and coral bleaching, is clearly more long term and harder to reverse.
In trading terms, we're talking about how Australia will react. Fire, particularly blasting through the most populated part of the country, gets people's attention.
See the new posts here:
"With people deliberately lighting almost half the bushfires this season, experts are calling for more research to better understand arsonists – and stop them before their ideas catch alight.
For every 1000 people you pass on the street, one of them probably wants to light a fire and see the world burn, according to Melbourne University bushfire expert Janet Stanley."
Big rains hitting Australia finally!!!!
More than a hundred fires are still burning across Australia, with flare-ups on Kangaroo Island leaving residents without power
Heavy rains forecast for this week are unlikely to end Australia’s long-running bushfire threat, despite pockets expected in bushfire-affected areas.
An Inferno of Incompetence and Obfuscation
17th January 2020
The most frequent question I have received over the last month is “who is to blame for the bushfire mess up and down the east coast?” There is a school of thought, mostly put about by state premiers, that the blame game is bad form. We should put the whole bushfire business behind us and move on, they say. Forget the past, the future will be wonderful. I reject this concept, because in any disaster situation lessons must be learned (or rather re-learned) and those lessons applied to improving the way things are done. I also believe those who need to be accountable for the current mess must be identified and the ways they have let us down highlighted.
The trouble with side-stepping accountability is that mistakes are perpetuated. The same people go back to business as usual, and the same disasters re-occur. If nobody has done anything wrong, as the premiers maintain, no changes need to be made.
This, of course, is the beauty of the “blame it all on climate change” position. If climate change caused the bushfires, no individual can be pinned, not even those “fire chiefs” who were in charge during the entire time the current disaster was incubating and who now suddenly know what was the problem.
I reject the ‘blame it on climate change” position because it has two killer flaws: firstly, it ignores fuels, which are the main contributor to uncontrollable fires during a drought; secondly, it provides no practical solutions to the immediate problem. Both of these factors render the climate change argument utterly unsustainable, indeed ridiculous.
It is very obvious who the people are who should be held accountable for the current mess.
At the top of the list are the premiers and ministers responsible for land management, such as it is, and bushfire policy, and the public servants in their departments with jurisdiction over forests and national parks. State governments in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have palpably failed to do the most important job they were elected to do: protect the lives and livelihoods of their citizens and the health of their environment. And their public servants have failed to do the job they are being paid to do: serve the public.
Local government authorities are also high on the list of those accountable — and here again state governments bear responsibility, as they should never have allowed them to get away with the nonsenses we have seen coming out of town halls over recent years with respect to vegetation clearing and building approvals. Some premier or minister should have cracked down hard on this foolishness, and cracked down hard.
Roger Underwood is a former district an regional forester in Western Australia with over 60 years experience in bushfire science, planning and operationsRead more: https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2020/01/an-inferno-of-incompetence-and-obfuscation/
Boxall found that all of California’s 20 most destructive wildfires were human-related, with half due to power line or electrical problems. She also noted that a study of US records from 1992 to 2012 found that human activity (power lines, carelessness and arson) was responsible for 84% of wildfires and 44% of acreage burned nationwide. That’s the ignition factor. Two other factors are equally important.
Even if there is ignition, if there is insufficient fuel, there will still be no wildfire – at least not monstrous, deadly conflagrations. Thin the forests, remove dead trees, control brush and grass levels, especially in dry seasons and arid regions. It’s basic, intelligent land management; the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.
Preparation also means maintaining fire breaks and access roads into forest, brush and grass lands; building and maintaining sufficient escape routes and warning systems, and making people aware of them; ensuring that each family and community has an escape plan; and having enough trucks, airplanes, helicopters, other equipment and personnel to respond to average fires and worst-case scenarios. It means educating children and adults about how to prevent fires, put them out, and get out of their path.
(California public schools offer multiple courses on climate change. Cool California lists even more. But as long as politicians and even industry leaders keep spreading the false gospel of climate change as the principal cause of wildfires, the need for personal and political responsibility will be ignored.)
Bushfires: Firebugs fuelling crisis as arson arrest toll hits 183
Queensland police say 101 people have been picked up for setting fires in the bush, 32 adults and 69 juveniles.
Swinburne University professor James Ogloff said about 50 per cent of bushfires were lit by firebugs and impending fire seasons excited them. “They’re interested in seeing fire, interested in setting fire and quite often the information around how fires burn and accelerate excites them,” the director of the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science said.
January 8th, 2020 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
1) Global wildfire activity has decreased in recent decades, making any localized increase (or decrease) in wildfire activity difficult to attribute to ‘global climate change’.
2) Like California, Australia is prone to bushfires every year during the dry season. Ample fuel and dry weather exists for devastating fires each year, even without excessive heat or drought, as illustrated by the record number of hectares burned (over 100 million) during 1974-75 when above-average precipitation and below-average temperatures existed.
3) Australian average temperatures in 2019 were well above what global warming theory can explain, illustrating the importance of natural year-to-year variability in weather patterns (e.g. drought and excessively high temperatures).
4) Australia precipitation was at a record low in 2019, but climate models predict no long-term trend in Australia precipitation, while the observed trend has been upward, not downward. This again highlights the importance of natural climate variability to fire weather conditions, as opposed to human-induced climate change.
5) While reductions in prescribed burning have probably contributed to the irregular increase in the number of years with large bush fires, a five-fold increase in population in the last 100 years has greatly increased potential ignition sources, both accidental and purposeful.
But the wave of settlement during the 19th century by European pastoralists, who did not understand their new environment, changed all that very fundamentally: ‘sheep were cheap, water was available and graziers relied on saltbush and scrub to provide quality feed when overgrazing had destroyed the perennial grass [link] Rabbits, naively introduced in 1859, were in plague numbers over most of southeast Australia by the end of the century – busily digging out the roots of native vegetation, and ring-barking shrubs. After logging, the regenerating eucalypt woodlands lacked (and much still lacks) a closed canopy, a condition which encourages dry, shrubby ground cover and the propagation of fire.
In short, settlement was disastrous for the original drought-adapted environment of the interior of Australia and it was not long before the inevitable occurred, even without the help of rabbits. Since reliable records began to be kept, a ‘severe’ drought has been recorded on average every 18 years, since that of 1803 which caused crop failures in New South Wales: each was accompanied by widespread bushfires.
The years 1871, 1895-1902, 1926, 1928, 1931, 1939, 1982 and 2009 each have their own Black day-of-the-week and notable high temperatures: the Black Friday fire of February 1931 burned 5 million ha. or 25% of the state of Victoria, claiming 12 lives, plus a million sheep and many cattle.
Images of dead stock and advancing dust-storms abound from those years, local newspapers headlined maximum temperatures and wrote of hardship and abandoned farms; trains were immobilised by dust storms having updrafts so strong that they emitted ball lightning. Conditions during the Federation drought of 1895-1903 were very severe indeed, and a land surveyor recorded that he feared the heat would cause the mercury bulb of his thermometer to burst.
Today, it is widely believed in Australia that the drought and fire-storms of 2019 were the consequence of CO2-driven anomalously high air temperature; long forgotten is the fact that very high temperatures were reliably recorded during earlier droughts. During the Millennium drought of south-eastern regions from 1996 to 2010, the highest temperature recorded at Melbourne was 46.4oC in February 2009 – but on Black Thursday of 1851 Melbourne recorded 117oF (47oC) and on Black Friday of 1939 the same place recorded 45oC.