Thongchai Thailand

TBGY Does Australian Bushfires

Posted on: February 2, 2020

SAVANNA FIRES

 

AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS CONTROL BURNS

 

[LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

[LIST OF TBGY POSTS]

 

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A TBGY VIDEO: [LINK TO YOUTUBE VIDEO]

HE EXPLAINS THAT CLIMATE CHANGE CAUSED THE AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRES OF THE 2019-2020 BUSHFIRE SEASON.

THIS POST IS PRESENTED IN TWO PARTS. PART-1 IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE TBGY YOUTUBE LECTURE & PART-2 IS A CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON THE CLAIMS MADE BY TBGY IN THE VIDEO LECTURE.

A RELATED POST CONTAINS THE RELEVANT BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES [LINK] 

 

ozmap

 

 

 

PART-1: TRANSCRIPT OF THE YOUTUBE VIDEO LECTURE

  1.  Right now as I am making this program, the eastern side of Australia from Queensland down to New South Wales is experiencing some much needed rainfall helping to ease the fires that have continued to burn there. This summer’s wildfires have been pretty much uncontrollable. As they have torn across great swathes of the country, they’ve tragically killed at least 25 people and torched about 11 million hectares of land – an area similar in size to the US State of Virginia or the European country of Bulgaria. Two thousand homes have been destroyed – an estimated cost of 700 million Australian Dollars, and more than a billion animals are thought to have been killed either directly by burning in the flames or by the loss of their natural habitat and food sources. bandicam 2020-02-02 17-32-56-060
  2. Like you, I am keen to understand what’s driven the extent of this year’s fires and whether climate change has had a real impact on their severity. So this week I’ve been having a look at what the SCIENTISTS are telling us; and it turns out that they’ve got quite a lot to say. When it comes to our planet’s climate, research over many years have shown that there is a multitude of influencing factors that combine in very complex and chaotic ways. And the factors determining timing, location, longevity, and severity of wildfires in Australia, and for that matter all the other geographical areas of the world, are no exception {??????} bandicam 2020-02-02 17-44-30-599
  3. Most folks know that bushfires are a naturally occurring event that happens each year in Australia. This is a paper on fire conditions in South Africa written by Sally Archibald and her research team in 2009  {This is a reference to Archibald, Sally, “What limits fire? An examination of drivers of burnt area in Southern Africa.” Global Change Biology 15.3 (2009): 613-630 included in the bibliography below paragraph#11}. It outlines the four main requirements for wildfires to get going, none of which will come as a great surprise. They are: (1) Hot and dry ambient weather, (2) The availability of fuel, (3) The fuel to be dry and combustible, (4) An ignition source. bandicam 2020-02-02 18-54-30-240
  4. So how has recent human induced climate change had a bearing on any of those factors? Well, there is plenty of research showing how our planet’s average atmospheric temperature is on the rise. The NOAA in the United States released this report on the 15th of January, 2020 showing that 2019 was the second hottest year for our planet just behind 2016 which was a strong El Nino year. bandicam 2020-02-02 19-00-13-047
  5. And in fact the government Bureau of Meteorology over in Australia released their own climate statement on the 9th of January 2020 showing that 2019 was the hottest Australian year on record with temperatures of 1.5C to 2C above the 1961-1990 average. bandicam 2020-02-02 19-05-10-124
  6. This chart released by the bureau shows the areas affected with white areas denoting average temperature, yellow areas being above average, light orange areas very much above average, and the dark orange bit experiencing the highest temperatures on record. You can clearly see how New South Wales was severely impacted. In fact it recorded 2019 average temperatures some 1.95C above the 1961-1990 average breaking the previous 2018 record by 0.27C. bandicam 2020-02-02 19-10-58-394
  7. The overwhelming scientific evidence is that human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are by far the main drivers of increased global average atmospheric temperatures since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution – the planet’s average temperature now standing at 1.05C warmer than 1860 levels. bandicam 2020-02-02 19-20-43-773
  8. But other research is showing that those increased CO2 levels are also exacerbating the second criterion outlined in Sally Archibald’s research – availability of fuel. This is a paper written in 2013 by Professor Andy Pitman (see bibliography below paragraph #19) of the Australian government’s research center for “Climate System Science”. It explains how increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere act as a fertilizer for the plants and trees of the native Australian bush. And that causes an increase in the net {green leaf?} productivity. An increase in greenery sounds like it might be a good thing for out planet but the “paper” (the Pitman manuscrpt) points out that in this case the increase isn’t sustainable over the long term because it is limited by the availability of nutrients. Farmers very successfully use very high levels of CO2 in their greenhouses to promote strong plant growth but they can only achieve that because in that controlled environment they provide the right amount of water and fertilizer into the mix to ????? crops. No such water or fertilizer is available in the Australian bush. Pitman makes the observation that when vegetation takes up CO2 it fixes it as carbon in leaves, woody matter, and ??????. If our planet’s biosphere takes up the high level of carbon dioxide now available in the atmosphere, Pitman argues, it’s inevitable the biosphere will also be fixing more carbon. More carbon fixed or locked up in woody matter means more fuel for fire. And if the green vegetation also uses the additional carbon to produce more leaves, when those leaves drop you’ve got even more potential fire fuel lying around on the ground. While the paper points out that more fuel on the ground doesn’t in itself lead to more fires, it does mean that whenever a fire breaks out, it’s got much more fuel available to keep on burning. bandicam 2020-02-02 21-11-11-624
  9. That fuel has to be dry of course as our original list of criteria points out. So how’s that been working out down under? Well, let’s go back to that 2019 climate statement from the Aussie Bureau of Meteorology. It sounds as if 2019 was the driest year on record there with rainfall 40% lower than average based on records going back to 1900. Much of Australia was hit by drought in 2019 with New South Wales and Queensland both affected particularly severely. Most of us would instinctively expect that those warmer temperatures we just looked at would probably play a big part in causing the surface of the land to become drier through evaporation and warm air circulation. Fair enough! bandicam 2020-02-03 10-22-19-730
  10. But researchers have been discovering some less obvious factors that are also contributing to the excessive dryness of the region. The Bureau of Meteorology tells us that as our human greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, that increase isn’t just resulting in higher levels of CO2 fixing that we looked at earlier, it is also causing the length of the growing season to extend in many parts of Australia. This chart shows the 30-year trend in growing season length between 1971 and 2011. bandicam 2020-02-03 10-29-34-704
  11. The size of the red bubbles shows the increased length of the growing season in that location with some parts of the continent experiencing increases in growing season extended by 20 days or more each decade. Professor Pitman’s 2013 paper explains that these longer growing seasons means more moisture is being sucked from the ground by trees and vegetation. And that moisture is then transferred back into the atmosphere as those plants transpire – which inevitable leads to drier earth. And as an added further irony there is also strong evidence that the huge amount of carbon dioxide currently being released by the bushfires are unlikely to get re-absorbed back into the ground through re-growth of forest the way they used to do in the balanced Australian climate systems of the past. bandicam 2020-02-03 10-41-10-430
  12. So that’s a whole load of CO2 now up in the atmosphere causing more warming. And the globally interconnected nature of our whole planet’s climate system brings a couple of other elements into play too as the Met Bureau goes on to highlight. Firstly, there is something called the Indian Ocean Dipole. The Dipole is an irregular movement of sea surface temperatures which, according to science speak, can have phases that are positive, negative, or neutral. In 2019, the Dipole was in a positive phase which meant that the Indian Ocean off Australia’s Northwest Coast was cooler than normal. Positive Dipole events like this tend to draw moisture away from Australia and deliver less rainfall. But surely that’s a natural random event that’s always been there and there’s nothing we humans can do about something like that. We just have to put it down to bad timing on this occasion, right? bandicam 2020-02-03 18-19-37-543
  13. And …. NO! Because, once again, climate scientists are discovering increasingly strong evidence that those pesky human induced greenhouse gas emissions are having an impact on the Indian Ocean Dipole as well. This 2018 study in the journal Nature Communications found that if our planet does reach the global average temperature of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, which is highly likely in the next couple of decades, then the frequency of extreme positive phase dipoles in the Indian Ocean looks set to double as a result. The full explanation of how and why that happens is outside the scope of this program. bandicam 2020-02-03 18-49-45-622
  14. But I’ll link that study and the papers and reports in the comments section below. So if you want to delve into the details you can grab everything you need from there. I did say there were a couple of extra elements highlighted by the Met Bureau and the second element is the Southern Annular Mode or SAM. The SAM is a north-south cyclical movement of strong westerly winds that blow almost continuously in the mid to high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. The winds cause storms and cold fronts that bring rainfall to southern Australia. Just like the Indian Ocean Dipole, the SAM has three phases – neutral, positive, and negative. As the Australian ???? November and December of 2019, a sudden warming event in the stratosphere above Antarctica nudged the SAM into a negative phase which caused those winds to track further north blowing hot air across the country fanning the flames and increasing the intensity of the fires. That unexpected negative phase of the SAM provided an extremely unhelpful short-term further boost to the bushfire crisis. bandicam 2020-02-03 18-53-47-440
  15. This paper by Professor Nerilie Abram, a climate scientists at the Australian National University, finds evidence actually suggesting that climate change generally appears to be pushing SAM toward more positive phases. But when those positive phases are prominent during Australia’s winter time, the ensuing winds have the effect of increasing the levels of dryness across the continent. And a kind of metaphorical macabre icing on the combustible cake is this 2019 paper by Andrew Dowdy finds evidence that global warming is causing more favorable conditions for a self re-enforcing phenomenon known as pyrocumulonimbus or pyrocb ?perform? as extreme bushfires can become coupled with the atmosphere generating their own lightning and gusty, violent and unpredictable winds. bandicam 2020-02-03 21-51-17-209
  16. These horrendous meteorological events replace rainfall with blackened hail and embers that can be shot over distances of 30 km making wildfire events much more dangerous. And as to the ignition source, well, earlier this month which I am sure many of you have no doubt seen, Twitter lit up with claims of a big wave of arson driving the bushfires this year. Even the President of the United States of America and his best budd Sean Hannity got into the hashtag arson emergency push, both re-tweeting allegations that close to 200 people in Australia have been charged with arson for deliberately lighting fires. It’s almost as if they were trying o suggest that the fires had nothing to do with climate change and was entirely cooked up by a group of pyromaniacs. Well there’s no doubt that some arsonists have been active in the current bushfire season as they apparently are every year in Australia. New South Wales police say they actually only charged 24 people with deliberately lighting bushfires this season. {According to BBC News [LINK] “The widely circulated figure of nearly 200 people arrested for deliberately starting fires is inaccurate. Police in New South Wales said in January 183 people had been charged since November 2019 over “bushfire-related offences”. Of those, 24 were accused of deliberately lighting fires. The rest were over failures to comply with total fire bans such as lighting a campfire or things such as discarding cigarettes or matches. Queensland Police say of the 1,068 bushfires in the state since September, 114 (about 10%) have been “deliberately or maliciously lit through human involvement”} bandicam 2020-02-04 10-41-55-939
  17. And officials in the State of Victoria have also refuted arson as a major cause of bushfires. A police spokesman said, “Police are aware of a number of posts circulating in relation to the current bushfire situation, however, currently there is no intelligence to indicate that the fires in East Gippsland and Northeast Victoria have been caused by arson or by any other suspicious behavior. Of course all sorts of things can get a fire started during hot weather when the ground is tinder dry. Clumsy human error and accidents certainly play their parts, but according to Dale Dominey Howes, Professor of “Hazard and Disaster Risk Sciences” at the University of Sydney, the main cause of fire ignition in Australia’s bushfires is dry lightning – essentially lightning from thunderstorms that don’t produce rain. bandicam 2020-02-04 11-00-28-133
  18. Whatever the source of ignition may be though, it does appear that our rapidly changing climate is playing a significant role in producing the perfect conditions for Australian wildfires to become progressively longer lasting and more severe in the coming years. Australia’s National Environmental Science Program was very clear in its view when it published this advice back in November of 2019 stating “Human caused climate change has resulted in more dangerous weather conditions for bushfires in recent decades for many regions of Australia. Observations show a trend towards more dangerous conditions during summer, and an earlier start to the fire season, particularly in parts of Southern and Eastern Australia. These trends are very likely to increase into the future, with climate models showing more dangerous weather conditions for bushfires throughout Australia due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions.  bandicam 2020-02-04 11-05-42-710
  19. The President of the Australian Academy of Sciences, Professor John Shine, said Australia must take stronger action as part of the worldwide commitment to limit global warming to 1.5C above the long term average to reduce the worst impacts of climate change. And Nerilie Abram, who did that research on the Southern Annular mode, said “Even from my perspective, I’m surprised by just how bad 1C of warming is looking. It’s worrying that we are talking about this as a new normal because we are actually on an upward trajectory. Currently, the pledges in the Paris Agreement are not enough to limit us to 1.5C. We are looking more like 3C.

 

 

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

  1. CLAIM: When it comes to our planet’s climate, research over many years have shown that there is a multitude of influencing factors that combine in very complex and chaotic ways. And the factors determining timing, location, longevity, and severity of wildfires in Australia, and for that matter all the other geographical areas of the world, are no exception. RESPONSE: That “a multitude of factors determine timing, location, and longevity of wildfires in Australia in complex and chaotic ways” does not imply that we understand these relationships in a deterministic way to be able to use them ether to relate the bushfires to AGW or to formulate out policy objectives and appropriate response to the bushfires. It means that we don’t really know because the relationship is complex and chaotic. If it is chaotic, it is not deterministic.
  2. CLAIM: This is a paper on fire conditions in South Africa written by Sally Archibald and her research team in 2009. It outlines the four main requirements for wildfires to get going, none of which will come as a great surprise. They are: (1) Hot and dry ambient weather, (2) The availability of fuel, (3) The fuel to be dry and combustible, (4) An ignition source.   RESPONSE: The Archibald 2009 paper is listed in the bibliography post [LINK] . It does not outline “the four main requirements for wildfires to get going“. It studies burned areas to estimate the factors that determine the burned area fraction. Her model explained 68% of the variance in burned fraction implying that there are other factors possibly the amount of grazing, roads per unit area, population density, and cultivation fraction. In a 2010 paper she presents a further test for burned area fraction determinants and finds that burned fraction is associated with the occurrence of large fires, and large fires are only found in areas with low human impact. The more wilderness you have, the larger the burned fraction.
  3. CLAIM: So how has recent human induced climate change had a bearing on any of those factors? Well, there is plenty of research showing how our planet’s average atmospheric temperature is on the rise. The NOAA in the United States released this report on the 15th of January, 2020 showing that 2019 was the second hottest year for our planet just behind 2016 which was a strong El Nino year. And in fact the government Bureau of Meteorology over in Australia released their own climate statement on the 9th of January 2020 showing that 2019 was the hottest Australian year on record with temperatures of 1.5C to 2C above the 1961-1990 average. RESPONSE: The presumption that AGW  had a role in he fires is a confirmation bias that distorts research in this area as well as the management of forest areas. Besides, the citation of temperature extremes as evidence of AGW reflects a gross misunderstanding of AGW theory which relates only to long term trends in global mean temperature and not to temperature events. Temperature events are probably more dramatic and make for better fear mongering but they do not contain relevant or useful AGW information. They are used only for dramatic effect by climate activists.
  4. CLAIM: This chart released by the Bureau shows the areas affected with white areas denoting average temperature, yellow areas being above average, light orange areas very much above average, and the dark orange bit experiencing the highest temperatures on record. You can clearly see how New South Wales was severely impacted. In fact it recorded 2019 average temperatures some 1.95C above the 1961-1990 average breaking the previous 2018 record by 0.27C.
  5. RESPONSE: What we “clearly see” here is that there are hot areas, very hot areas, and not so hot areas in Australia and that is what we would expect to see as a uniform continental temperature would be an extremely rare event. And indeed some hot and very hot areas occur in New South Wales along with some not so hot areas. This temperature graphic does not show that New South Wales was “severely impacted” or that it was impacted at all. Impacted by what? If you mean that it was “impacted” by climate change you would have to provide empirical evidence of such impact – not just a claim of convenience. Also, that the average NSW temperature was 1.95C above the 1961-1990 average doesn’t have any interpretation in terms of the effect of AGW warming on bushfires. In long term warming since pre-industrial times, short term warming often fluctuates wildly around the mean as seen in the chart below where mean Southern Hemisphere land temperatures are used. The difference would be even more dramatic for smaller regions within the Southern Hemisphere. CRUTEM-SH
  6. CLAIM: The overwhelming scientific evidence is that human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are by far the main drivers of increased global average atmospheric temperatures since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution – the planet’s average temperature now standing at 1.05C warmer than 1860 levels. RESPONSE: Why is warming computed from the year 1860? Is the overwhelming scientific evidence that human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases began driving up the temperature in 1860? Exactly when did this process begin? What does the overwhelming scientific evidence say about that? I can tell you that NASA and James Hansen will not agree as they claim that human caused warming began in 1950. The very first AGW paper published was Callendar 1938 where he writes that human caused global warming began in 1900 and warmed steadily from there until 1938. But Callendar’s was was mostly set aside when the 1940s-1970s cooling took hold and the research emphasis shifted to the cooling effect of the aerosols of the industrial economy. Modern climate scientists therefore take two different positions on the sensitive matter of when AGW began. The Americans (James Hansen and NASA) go to the depth of the 1940s-1970s cooling and begin their AGW in 1950. The British (Peter Cox for example) take the more rational approach and begin when the 1940s-1970s cooling had ended in the late 1970s. Neither group reaches back to 1860. Another consideration is the work of Colin Morice of CRU who found an unacceptable level of uncertainty in the early part of the HadCRU temperature dataset.
  7. CLAIM: Professor Andy Pitman of the Australian government’s research center for “Climate System Science”. It explains how increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere act as a fertilizer for the plants and trees of the native Australian bush. And that causes an increase in the net green leaf productivity; but in this case the increase isn’t sustainable over the long term because it is limited by the availability of nutrients. Farmers very successfully use very high levels of CO2 in their greenhouses to promote strong plant growth but they can only achieve that because in that controlled environment they provide the right amount of water and fertilizer into the mix.  RESPONSE: It is true that in Greenhouses with high levels of CO2 must add the proportional amount of water and nutrient to the soil to avoid the production of agricultural products that are deficient in nutrient. However, greenhouses operate at 2000 ppm CO2 and higher. It is this radical change from atmospheric conditions that requires special attention to soil properties to match CO2 levels that are driving the plant’s photosynthesis operation. However, in the Mauna Loa era, with at atmospheric CO2 increase from 315 to 415 ppm the difference is not large enough to be a factor in the context of natural variability in soil conditions.
  8. CLAIM:  It sounds as if 2019 was the driest year on record in Australia with rainfall 40% lower than average based on records going back to 1900. Much of Australia was hit by drought in 2019 with New South Wales and Queensland both affected particularly severely. Most of us would instinctively expect that those warmer temperatures we just looked at would probably play a big part in causing the surface of the land to become drier through evaporation and warm air circulation. Fair enough!  RESPONSE: Australia is a semi arid place known for periodic hot and hot dry spells. The implication of the attribution to AGW is that since 2019 was the hottest year on record and since AGW causes temperatures to rise, therefore the 2019 dry year must have been caused by AGW. This kind of attribution of convenience to serve the activism needs of the climate movement is not science. It is a form of naked activism driven by an inner confirmation bias so deeply entrenched that it appears to be logical to the activist.
  9. CLAIM: The Bureau of Meteorology tells us that as our human greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, that increase is causing the length of the growing season to extend in many parts of Australia. The 30-year trend in growing season length between 1971 and 2011 shows a dramatic increase growing by 20 days or more per decade. In the longer growing seasons more moisture is being sucked up from the ground by trees and vegetation and that moisture is then transferred back into the atmosphere as those plants transpire – which inevitable leads to drier earth. RESPONSE: The higher level of atmospheric CO2 doesn’t drive plants crazy such that they go overboard with photosynthesis and suck up all the water from the ground to cause dryness. Plants balance their photosynthesis activity with water availability. When running short of water, they close the stomata and conserve water and take in less carbon dioxide and slow down photosynthesis even in the presence of higher atmospheric CO2.
  10. CLAIM: And as an added further irony there is also strong evidence that the huge amount of carbon dioxide currently being released by the bushfires are unlikely to get re-absorbed back into the ground through re-growth of forest the way they used to do in the balanced Australian climate systems of the pastRESPONSE: AGW climate change is not a theory about whether the carbon cycle or temporary and natural changes in the carbon cycle cause warming. It is very specific about fossil fuels as the driver of AGW because it represents EXTERNAL carbon that had been sequestered from the carbon cycle for millions of years. It is thought that when this external carbon that does not belong in the current account of the carbon cycle is injected into the delicately balanced current account of the carbon cycle and climate system, it can destabilize the carbon cycle and  cause CO2 accumulation and thereby destabilize the climate system. CO2 emissions of forest fires are part of the current account of the carbon cycle and therefore have no role in AGW theory.
  11. CLAIM: The balanced Australian climate systems of the past.  RESPONSE: There is a tendency among climate activists to paint a climate history of the world or any part thereof in terms of a stable “balanced” climate system of the past before fossil fuels came along and a wild and crazy unbalanced climate system of the present that is a creation of fossil fuel emissions. Paleo data do not support this view. For example the data show that the whole of the Holocene has been cycling through violent and chaotic warming and cooling cycles at centennial and millennial time scales [LINK] . In Verdon etal 2006 we find that in the last 400 years climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO and ENSO have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. In his 2007 paper he writes “the long-term behaviour of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) and the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is used to develop a stochastic framework for generating rainfall replicates to be used in assessing long-term hydrologic drought risk for water resource management in NSW. The rainfall replicates demonstrate that this region may have experienced meteorological droughts of longer duration than has been recorded by the instrumental record. [LINK]
  12. CLAIM: So that’s a whole load of CO2 now up in the atmosphere causing more warming.  RESPONSE: This irrational fear of carbon cycle carbon is the likely reason for the decline and fall of proper forest management methods that involve prescribed control burns. The resultant failure to manage forests may be a big part of the problem in Australia where climate sensibility has overcome common sense. It may be time for the white man to learn from the Indigenous people of Australia who have been using control burns to manage bushfires for ages.indi-1
  13. CLAIM: Firstly, there is something called the Indian Ocean Dipole. The Dipole is an irregular movement of sea surface temperatures which, according to science speak, can have phases that are positive, negative, or neutral. In 2019, the Dipole was in a positive phase which meant that the Indian Ocean off Australia’s Northwest Coast was cooler than normal. Positive Dipole events like this tend to draw moisture away from Australia and deliver less rainfall. But surely that’s a natural random event that’s always been there and there’s nothing we humans can do about something like that. We just have to put it down to bad timing on this occasion, right? And …. NO! Because, once again, climate scientists are discovering increasingly strong evidence that those pesky human induced greenhouse gas emissions are having an impact on the Indian Ocean Dipole as well. This 2018 study in the journal Nature Communications found that if our planet does reach the global average temperature of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, which is highly likely in the next couple of decades, then the frequency of extreme positive phase dipoles in the Indian Ocean looks set to double as a result. RESPONSE: This is a reference to the Wenju Cai 2018 paper [LINK] in which he found that climate models show that the frequency of extreme positive Indian Ocean Dipole will double at 1.5 °C warming.  This climate model projection has not been tested with data and therefore no empirical evidence exists to verify such a causal relationship between warming and the IOD. This proposition therefore stands as a theoretical curiosity and not as a finding that can be used to make policy decisions.
  14. CLAIM: This paper by Professor Nerilie Abram finds evidence suggesting that climate change is pushing SAM toward more positive phases. A 2019 paper by Andrew Dowdy finds evidence that global warming is causing more favorable conditions for a self re-enforcing phenomenon known as pyrocumulonimbus. Extreme bushfires can become coupled with the atmosphere generating their own lightning and gusty, violent and unpredictable winds. RESPONSE: Nerilie Abram did not find evidence that climate change is pushing SAM toward more positive values. In her 2014 paper she writes that “Predictions of further greenhouse-driven increases in the SAM over the coming century need to account for the possibility of opposing effects from tropical Pacific climate changes“.  Andrew Dowdy simply describes the physics and the horror of the pyrocumulonimbus event on Black Saturday in the 2009 Australian bushfire season {Pyro (fire) cumulo (flat and puffy clouds) nimbus (high clouds that produce rain}. In an intense and large fire the large convective air and fire flow upwards can consume cumulus and nimbus clouds into one large fire-cloud system that can create lightning, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes by the sheer force and energy of the fire driven convection – as seen in the video below. These things form naturally in large and intense fires in open savanna regions and are  not a product of AGW climate change. 
  15. CLAIM:  Well, earlier this month which I am sure many of you have no doubt seen, Twitter lit up with claims of a big wave of arson driving the bushfires this year. Even the President of the United States of America and his best buddy Sean Hannity got into the hashtag arson emergency push, both re-tweeting allegations that close to 200 people in Australia have been charged with arson for deliberately lighting fires. It’s almost as if they were trying o suggest that the fires had nothing to do with climate change and was entirely cooked up by a group of pyromaniacs. Well there’s no doubt that some arsonists have been active in the current bushfire season as they apparently are every year in Australia. New South Wales police say they actually only charged 24 people with deliberately lighting bushfires this season. RESPONSEAccording to BBC News [LINK] “The widely circulated figure of nearly 200 people arrested for deliberately starting fires is inaccurate. Police in New South Wales said in January 183 people had been charged since November 2019 over “bushfire-related offences”. Of those, 24 were accused of deliberately lighting fires. The rest were over failures to comply with total fire bans such as lighting a campfire or things such as discarding cigarettes or matches. Queensland Police say of the 1,068 bushfires in the state since September, 114 (about 10%) have been “deliberately or maliciously lit through human involvement”
  16. CLAIM: It appears that our rapidly changing climate is playing a significant role in producing the perfect conditions for Australian wildfires to become progressively longer lasting and more severe in the coming years. Australia’s National Environmental Science Program was very clear in its view when it published this advice back in November of 2019 stating “Human caused climate change has resulted in more dangerous weather conditions for bushfires in recent decades for many regions of Australia. Observations show a trend towards more dangerous conditions during summer, and an earlier start to the fire season, particularly in parts of Southern and Eastern Australia. These trends are very likely to increase into the future, with climate models showing more dangerous weather conditions for bushfires throughout Australia due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions. RESPONSE: How was it determined that AGW climate change is playing a significant role in producing the perfect conditions for Australian wildfires to become progressively longer lasting and more severe in the coming years? No evidence for this relationship is provided or cited. It appears instead, that all bad things are instinctively assumed to be related to AGW and with a trend going from bad to worse. This kind of confirmation bias is not science but superstition. 
  17. SUMMARY: No evidence is found in the TBGY video that AGW causes Australian bushfires to become more extreme and destructive but rather the presentation appears to show that climate activism against CO2 emissions does so by opposing prescribed control burns. Also, if natural disasters really are more tragic and damaging than they were before the AGW era, then a possible reason for that is that AGW climate change activism for climate action needs them to be. What follows from that is knee-jerk attribution of the horror to AGW and then a call for climate action to save the planet from such horrors. 

 

 

EXTRACTS FROM THE “BUSHFIRES AND GLOBAL WARMING” PAGE  [LINK]

  1. Decades of research and experience has demonstrated that fuel reduction by prescribed burning under mild conditions is the only proven, practical method to enable safe and efficient control of high-intensity forest fires.
  2. Two myths have emerged about climate change and bushfire management and are beginning to circulate in the media and to be adopted as fact by some scientists. They are (1) “Because of global warming, Australia will be increasingly subject to uncontrollable holocaust-like “megafires” and (2) Fuel reduction by prescribed burning must cease because it releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus exacerbating global warming and the occurrence of megafires.
  3. Both statements are incorrect. However they represent the sort of plausible-sounding assertions which, if repeated often enough, can take on a life of their own and lead eventually to damaging policy change.
  4. The full text of this excellent blog post by professionals in Australia is available online [LINK] .

 

EXTRACTS FROM THE “WHAT FIREFIGHTERS SAY” PAGE [LINK] 

  1. Ask any fire-fighter : prescribed burning mitigates bushfire losses.
  2. The purpose of a fuel-reduction burning program is not to stop bushfires, but to assist with their safe suppression.
  3. Prescribed burning, done properly, is highly effective at mitigating the bushfire threat, and assists with the control of fires even under severe weather conditions.
  4. Reducing fuel loads and simplifying fuel structures by regular burning reduces the speed of a bushfire, its intensity, the size of the flames and its ember and spotting potential and that makes bushfires easier to put out and less damaging.
  5. In the AGW era, the effects of bad fire management can be attributed to climate change and thus releasing managers from accountability.

 

 

COMMENT BY GREG LUCKIE ON YOUTUBE   [LINK]

Highlighting by blog author

A cleverly orchestrated and contrived presentation. But not entirely accurate. Gippsland fire was deliberately lit. Also there were in excess of a 100 people in NSW charged with deliberately, carelessly, recklessly, mischievously lighting fiers. In the Northern Territory, one man charged with lighting 17 fires, another person is being investigated. IOD & SAM are not the only climate drivers in play, MJO & ENSO also come in to play. They all are driven by the sun, not AGW. The sun is in solar minimum affecting the jet-stream. 2019, the driest year, and yet floods in QLD and Lake Eyre filled with water, go figure. Poor land management, not AGW is the reason for the fire intensity. The effects of the drought were exacerbated by government failure to properly manage existing water resources. This resulted in megalitres of usable water being flushed in to the southern ocean. This is still happening. 2008, 2015 and again 2019 David Packham, former CSIRO bushfire scientist, issued the following warning, forget global warming. It’s the reckless failure to burn-off fuel loads that have turned parts of Australia into death traps. When will we learn? Yet no one listened. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/bushfire-scientist-david-packham-warns-of-huge-blaze-threat-urges-increase-in-fuel-reduction-burns-20150312-14259h.html. 2008 report on Bushfires, Prescribed Burning and Global Warming. https://www.bushfirefront.org.au/resources-2/further-reading/bushfires-and-global-warming/

 

 

 

 

 

PYROCUMULONIMBUS VIDEO

7 Responses to "TBGY Does Australian Bushfires"

TBGY = The Bald Guy on Youtube

[…] AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRES 2019-2020: [LINK] […]

[…] anyone who is not bushfired out yet, check the later part of this post for critical rejoinders to claims about climate change and the recent […]

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  • chaamjamal: Thank you Paul. This is a 50-year study at a decadal time scale. The effective sample size is about 5. There can't be a lot of statistical power in th
  • chaamjamal: Autocorrelation refers to correlations among different time spans of the same time series.
  • chaamjamal: The correlations reported are those between different time series over the same time span.
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