Well, I warned everybody yesterday. That briefing was put together by Climate Nexus, an advocacy and communications group. An accompanying report on heat waves and climate change was released simultaneously at climatecommunication.org
The usual suspects put that document together. See below.
- Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research
- Jerry Meehl, National Center for Atmospheric Research
- Jeff Masters, Weather Underground
- Richard Somerville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
Now with a telephone press conference, Climate Nexus seer Michael Oppenheimer says he knows “what global warming looks like”, and it apparently is a hazy yellow-orange.
“It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster… this provides vivid images of what we can expect to see more of in the future.”
In Colorado, wildfires that have raged for weeks have killed four people, displaced thousands and destroyed hundreds of homes.
Because winter snowpack was lighter than usual and melted sooner, fire season started earlier in the US, with wildfires out of control in Colorado, Montana and Utah.
The high temperatures that are helping drive these fires are consistent with projections by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which said this kind of extreme heat, with little cooling overnight, is one kind of damaging impact of global warming.
Others include more severe storms, floods and droughts, Oppenheimer said.
The stage was set for these fires when winter snowpack was lighter than usual, said Steven Running, a forest ecologist at the University of Montana.
Full article here h/t to reader Alwyn Poole.
I wonder, did global warming look like this same yellow-orange hazy hellfire back in 1988 before Jim Hansen turned it into a cause?
Above – The Fires at Yellowstone National Park, 1988 when CO2 was at the “safe level” of approximately 350 parts per million according to Dr. James Hansen in this non peer reviewed declaration. Image from yellowstonecountry.org
The NPS talks about fire history of the region in the context on 1988:
Such wildfires occurred across much of the ecosystem in the 1700s. But that, of course, was prior to the arrival of European explorers, to the designation of the park, and the pattern established by its early caretakers to battle all blazes in the belief that fire suppression was good stewardship. Throughout much of the 20th century, park managers and visitors alike have continued to view fire as a destructive force, one to be mastered, or at least tempered to a tamer, more controlled entity. By the 1940s, ecologists recognized that fire was a primary agent of change in many ecosystems, including the arid mountainous western United States. In the 1950s and 1960s, national parks and forests began to experiment with controlled burns, and by the 1970s Yellowstone and other parks had instituted a natural fire management plan to allow the process of lightning-caused fire to continue influencing wildland succession.
We are living in the age of crazy.
UPDATE: Here is some important data to counter these crazy claims. From SOS Forests who writes:
The founder and purveyor of Watts Up With That, the premier climate realist website and blog (twice the winner of the Best Science Blog), the estimable Anthony Watts, has posted some of our fire graphs [here].
But they are outdated (my fault). Here are the latest:
Data are from the National Interagency Fire Center.
There are some evident trends.
1. Total acres burned has increased from the 1960’s to this Century, from an average of 4.6 million acres per year to 6.8 million acres per year.
2. Average acres per fire has also increased, from a low in the 1970’s of 21 acres per fire to 83 acres per fire in this Century.
3. Number of fires per year has decreased from a high (1975-1984) of nearly 190,000 fires per year to 83,000 fires per year this Century.
Fewer but larger fires this Century, and more acres burned in total.
To me this suggests a legacy of poor fuel management rather than “global warming”.