One benefit of the Australian heat wave

Story submitted by Eric Worrall

At least one Australian is not unhappy at the country’s recent hot spell. The following is a picture of something I pulled off a private part of my anatomy earlier this year.



Yes, it’s a paralysis tick, Ixodes Holocyclus

But I haven’t been bitten since, despite living in the Australian bush. Why? Because the recent hot spell has killed most of the ticks.

Ticks can’t survive long dry spells which are hotter than 32c:

Humid conditions are essential for survival of the paralysis tick. Dry conditions, relatively high (32°C) and low (7°C) temperatures will kill all stages after a few days. An ambient temperature of 27°C and high relative humidity is thought to be optimal for rapid development (Clunies-Ross, 1935).

Source: http://www.animaloptions.com.au/index.php?page=paralysis-ticks

The recent week or so of dry 40°C+ temperatures in Australia has disrupted their breeding cycle.

An added benefit, apart from the yuck factor, is the reduced risk this year, of myself and my fellow Australians catching one of the awful diseases associated with tick bites, such as Queensland Tick Typhus.

Global warming? Bring it on.

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148 thoughts on “One benefit of the Australian heat wave

  1. I had a full Anaphylactic reaction to my first tick bite – within seconds my whole body was covered with blister welts, I eliminated everything from my body from both ends at once and I couldn’t breathe – thought I was going to die.

    The second time was less of an event fortunately.

    So this is good news :)

  2. The picture is of the ventral surface, showing the anus, suggesting the anal groove, showing the genital groove and suggesting the genital pore.

    There are studies from Palearctic Eurasia suggesting that Ixodes in general are not so affected by temperature. It is known that dessication is the major abiotic stressor and that Ixodes have evolved strategies to maintain hydration. Starvation is the major biotic stress. It may be that the increase in Growing Degree Days will increase the subsequent prevalence.

    The effect of diapause is significant.

    The spread of Ixodes north and west in the Nearctic is attributed to climate change moderating the conditions for long distance transport vectors. Locally, Ixodes prevalence is rapidly increasing despite our -30°C – +30°C (-22°F – +86°F) temperature range.

    Our local Ixodes scapularis, Blacklegged Deer Tick is known be a biological vector and tick paralysis from toxins is just starting to be reported. In the local population of 700 souls there have been a half-dozen recent cases of Lyme Disease from Ixodes tick bites.

  3. I was bitten twice in Kings Park in Perth last December (they leave a permanent scar), but fortunately i suffered no side effects, not even a tic

  4. @JPP: No, tick paralysis is not similar to Lyme Disease. LD is caused by a spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, while TP is due to a neurotoxin that appears common to ticks and apparently particularly to Ixodes, the hard-body ticks. I. scapularis carries a number of other diseases. I. holocyclus may also be discovered to do so.

    The great resource that Mr. Worall’s story brings is the illustration and comparison of the sizes of I. holocyclus, the Paralysis Tick, as at the Wikipedia article. Ticks are TINY, but the typical FedGov illustration magnifies them to where they might be seen crawling up ones leg. Not so! I say that the characteristic dimensions of egg and larva are ½mm, nymph is 1mm and unfed adult is 2mm. Consider that a gravid female lays ~3,000 eggs (limits their size due to spherical packing considerations), a larva has not yet fed, only as the larva matures to nymph is there a doubling and from nymph to adult.

  5. This is not a heatwave, not in an Aussie summer! The media can spin it all they want, but its not a heatwave, hot yes, but that is all!

  6. That explains why our cats and dogs kept bringing in ticks all through the summer, and even have the occasional one now. We didn’t have a particularly hot summer and this winter has been fairly mild and very wet. Of course the fact that we are surrounded by sheep doesn’t help much either!

  7. We’ve been having wet conditions for five years, last summer being very cool as well as moist. When I’ve been working my bamboo grove’s fringe to expand it, I’ve come back with heaps of ticks from contact with lantana, tea tree etc. With the drought since last autumn, it will be interesting to see if the tick population is down. Trouble is, there’s hardly any new bamboo, so no reason to work in there. I must say, I’ve had no ticks just from getting about the paddocks – not a single one for months, now you mention it.

  8. Great. Makes up for the deaths from extreme heat, more deaths and damage from catastrophic bushfires, fires, the drying out of Australias food bowl -the Murray-Darling river system, etc etc. Of course we can always move to sunny Siberia.

  9. The size of the Ixodes population depends mainly on the possibility of getting the bloodmeal. Every stage need a bloodmeal but Ixodes ricinus can have a lifecycle of 4-6 years and an individual can survive one year without blood. The female of Ixodes ricinus lays 2000 eggs before she dies. If 2 survives to adult the population is stable, if 4 survives the population is doubled. The huge increase of roe deer and white-tailed deer populations in Finland has caused an increase in the number of ticks. Bambi is a good blood restaurant for ticks.
    I have made experiments with washing of ticks in washing machines. They survive washing programs with +40°C with different washing powder.
    The funny thing is that in Sweden Ixodes ricinus is reported to react on global warming. This happens, however, only along the Swedish coast of the Gulf of Bothnia. On the Finnish side of the coast there have been tick populations much further to the North already in the 1970’s when a surwey was done.

  10. J. Philip Peterson says:
    January 17, 2013 at 4:17 am
    Is that similar to Lime Disease which we have from deer ticks in Pennsylvania?
    ================================================================
    Don’t think so, totally different virus. And it is called Lyme disease, after Lyme in Connecticut. However, I think I did have lime disease once, after drinking too many daiquiris….

  11. Philip Shehan says:
    January 17, 2013 at 5:56 am
    Great. Makes up for the deaths from extreme heat, more deaths and damage from catastrophic bushfires, fires, the drying out of Australias food bowl -the Murray-Darling river system, etc etc. …

    The fires might have been less severe, if over zealous Australian authorities stopped putting people in jail when they try to cut a few firebreaks on their own land.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/in-australia-if-you-try-to-clear-a-firebreak-on-your-land-you-could-go-to-gaol/

  12. oebele bruinsma says:
    January 17, 2013 at 4:19 am
    Every disadvantage has its advantage
    =======
    yin-yang
    the teachings of buddha.
    every reaction has an equal and opposite reaction.
    the law of unintended consequences.

  13. DaveA says: January 17, 2013 at 3:49 am
    Another species threatened by climate change.
    _______________________________________

    Every second TV ad in Holland is a ‘save the animals’ ad. Normally involving lovable seals, cute kittens, and darling donkeys. Somehow, I don’t think they will start a new campaign with ‘save the ticks and parasites’.

    But this observation goes to the root of the Green Environmental con-trick. It is all about emotional manipulation and emotional blackmail, and nothing to do with science.

    .

  14. Please, neither Lyme Disease not Tick Paralysis have anything to do with viruses (virii). Lyme Disease is caused by a spirochete bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is arguably curable. Tick Paralysis is caused by a neurotoxic chemical that is ‘cured’ by removal of the tick source.

  15. I imagine the mosquito population may be a bit diminished as well, and the benefits of that may be incalculable. But I’m sure these nasty little blood-sucking species have survived many hot and cold spells, and will bounce back quickly. If they didn’t have such survival strategies, they’d be extinct already.

    The main point here should be that when we’re talking about a variable climate, it’s unfair to count only up the negative effects (and here I mean the actual effects, not the exaggerated fear-mongering propaganda peddled by so many in the field of climate “science”) of any change, while completely discounting the positive.

  16. It is correct that laundering clothes has little effect on Ixodes, beyond mere dilution. Sun drying laundry, as on a clothesline is very effective due to the low humidity dessicating the tick with no ability to rehydrate.

    Permethrin impregnated clothing is de-ticked by laying it out on pavement, killing the ticks and avoiding a washing that limits the effective lifetime of Permethrin.

  17. Philip Shehan says: January 17, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Great. Makes up for the deaths from extreme heat, more deaths and damage from catastrophic bushfires, fires, the drying out of Australias food bowl -the Murray-Darling river system, etc etc. Of course we can always move to sunny Siberia.
    ==========================
    Don’t get yourself all in a tizzy over nothing. Another hot Australian summer, and what else is new under the sun. The fact is, global warming is entirely beneficial, bringing milder winters rather than hotter summers, and and higher humidity with higher rates of precipitation.

    How do we know this? Well, the GCM’s tell us so. I’m sure that you know about GCM’s.
    But we have a better source of information than the GCM’s. We have the Climatic Optimum, aka Holocene Optimum, which shows all of this to be true.

    By the way, I hear that Australia is going to get a new Government this year. Good for Australia.

  18. We had some severe fires here in Northern Nebraska this summer. The government will pay you to cut fire-breaks on private land. Thinning projects are encouraged because you can’t put the fires out once they get started in our canyons. The cedars create all this ladder fuel – the whole forest burns, its unstoppable. Our extreme dryness and heat this summer facilitated an explosion of deer mites (midges) and we lost 30% of our deer herd. Hit the older males the hardest.

  19. Small question according to the UK Met a hotter climate means more rain because the Air holds more moisture.
    So if its hotter in Australia has there been more Rain in Australia then?

  20. “…extreme heat, more deaths and damage from catastrophic bushfires, fires, the drying out of Australias food bowl…”

    I don’t get it. Where do these people live? I’ve experienced three relatively wet, fire-free periods {longer than a couple of years) in Eastern Oz, the latest being from 2007 to 2012. Where or when was this theoretical Australia where the climate was “stable” and co-operative? Certainly no time in the half century between the Fed drought and the Big Wet of 1950. So where or when was this theoretical Australia? Essentially, we live in the jaws of drought. Those jaws stopped moving during the 1970s, but there have been very few such extended periods of good rainfall.

    What place or period are these people talking about?

  21. Nearctic Ixodes prefers edge lands, the transitions from perhaps manicured lawn to un-manicured and from un-manicured to low brush, high bush and then to scrub. The female needs a littered surface for her larva to survive. The new larva prefer shorter grass/weeds, 50mm-100mm for questing, the nymphs quest a bit higher and the adults as high as a meter.

    These heights represent a significant energy drain as the tick must retreat to the humid litter to rehydrate and back up to questing height. Most of a tick’s lifetime travel is up and down for questing and rehydration. Horizontal transport is almost entirely by hosts, at the extreme by incidental host birds.

    Ceteribus paribus, each stage dies after about 100 days without feeding unless it can escape into diapause (which is NOT hibernation). Death is due to starvation or dessication. There are no significant predators.

  22. Some details were probably a bit more than I needed to know. Still it was informative. And I have made a mental note for future reference. Never discuss the weather with an Australian before dinner.

  23. Here in western Colorado, I usually see 3-4 ticks per week on my clothes or skin, in the late spring/early summer. By mid-June they are usually scarce, since it stops raining by the end of May. I have seen zero ticks since 2010, I assume due to dry spring conditions. Don’t miss them, it’s just interesting.

  24. Depending on the particular species, ticks have two integrated peak activity times. Integrated over the three feeding stages. One in spring and another in the fall. The scarcity is not due to lack of rainfall. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    I. scapularis, the Blacklegged Deer Tick requires significant time attached and feeding to transfer the spirochetes from the midgut, where they reside, to the mouth parts for injection with the excess fluid returned from a blood meal. A tick process vastly more fluid than just the good parts that it consumes. The attached time rate of infection is typically insignificant until 24 hours have elapsed and, again typically, not high at 48 hours.

  25. Philip Shehan says:
    January 17, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Great. Makes up for the deaths from extreme heat, more deaths and damage from catastrophic bushfires, fires, the drying out of Australias food bowl -the Murray-Darling river system, etc etc. …

    There is nothing like doing a little research and your comment was nothing like doing a little research.

    The 1967 Tasmanian fires
    In 1967 southern Australian was experiencing drought conditions. On 7 February, 264,270 hectares were burnt in southern Tasmania in just five hours. Of the 110 fires burning that morning, the worst was the Hobart fire . The fire made its way over Mt Wellington and encroached on the city’s western suburbs. Sixty-two people died, and 1,400 homes and other buildings were destroyed. At the time, it was the largest loss of life and property in Australia from fire on any single day in Australia’s history.

    http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/natural-disasters

    _________________________________________________

    A different perspective on bush fires in Australia. Watch the regrowth of vegetation after the fires.

    http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/history-of-bushfires-in-australia.htm

    AS ANOTHER BUSHFIRE SEASON begins across Australia, it is all too easy to see fire as a dangerous force, something to be avoided at all costs. But as a recent NASA animation featuring Australian bushfires over the last decade illustrates, fire is a consistent feature of the Australian landscape.

    “In all Australian landscapes, fire has an integral role to play in organising vegetation, biodiversity, and other functions of the landscape,” says Professor Ross Bradstock, a fire ecologist who directs the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires at the University of Wollongong. “It’s part of the furniture.”
    _________________________________________________

    Let’s tell the burning truth about bushfires and the ALP-Greens coalition

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/lets-tell-the-burning-truth/story-e6frezz0-1226552629947

    SYDNEY COOLS

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/sydney_cools/

  26. Jim south London says:
    January 17, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Small question according to the UK Met a hotter climate means more rain because the Air holds more moisture.
    So if its hotter in Australia has there been more Rain in Australia then?

    —————————————————————————————————————
    Well our CSIRO in Oz says hotter temperature due to warming will therefore create dryer conditions. Would seem both agencies make up things on the run.

    Interesting though is that after the CSIRO pronounced dryer conditions during the naughties drought it rained and rained with wide spread flooding. They then changed to say dryer some parts and wet in other parts. Now the heatwave is on there back to the dryer prediction. They really don’t have a clue in my opinion on the climate issue.

    But to be fair the CSIRO do have some brilliant minds and do a lot of good work – well they did invent Wi-Fi didn’t they. But as far as “climate change” is concerned its just government propaganda.

  27. On this side of the pond, about the “tickiest” place I’ve ever lived is northeastern MN. Worst time of the year is early summer and, as apparently opposed to our Australian cousins, dry conditions were correlated with higher tick numbers. Grassy areas were the worst. I could take a walk through a particular area for 15-20 minutes, and emerge with 50+ ticks adhering to my pants, socks, and boots. Despite brushing them off before entering my truck, I would be picking ticks the entire 45 minute ride back to the office, the rest of the day in the office, and that evening at home.

  28. A brief Ixodes bibliography. My go to guy is Howard S. Ginsberg (then) of University of Rhode Island and author of my favorite Ecology and Environmental Management of Lyme Disease. From his extensive bibliography I learned of V. Belozerov on ‘Diapause and biological rhythms in ticks’. D. E. Sonenshine shines too.

    i also learned to hate paywalled academic publications.

  29. Doug Huffman.

    Obviously you are very knowledgeable about ticks, and I daresay, other insects.

    Thank you for taking the time to educate us a little on them.

  30. Doug Huffman says:
    January 17, 2013 at 9:21 am

    ….i also learned to hate paywalled academic publications.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes nothing like a really tantalizing Abstract and then finding the paper is paywalled! GRRRRrrrrr

  31. For what it’s worth this heat is unbearable with or without ticks. That doesn’t make it extreme. Nor does it make it partially or wholly caused by AGW. It just makes it unbearable.

  32. Philip Shehan says:
    January 17, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Great. Makes up for the deaths from extreme heat, more deaths and damage from catastrophic bushfires, fires, the drying out of Australias food bowl -the Murray-Darling river system, etc etc. Of course we can always move to sunny Siberia.
    ————————————————————————————————————————-

    OHMYGOD!

    WE’RE ALL DOOMED, I SAY, DOOMED! IN LESS THAN A HUNDRED YEARS FROM NOW, ABOUT EVERY LIVING SOUL ON EARTH TODAY WILL BE DEAD!

    /sarc

  33. ColdOldMan says: January 17, 2013 at 8:03 am
    =============================
    Good post. This is what’s needed when the global warmers start their panic-peddling

  34. In re Guinea fowl; a retort, no better. “Guineafowl May Spread, Not Halt, Fever-Bearing Ticks in Turkey – Nov. 29, 2012 — The country Turkey raises and releases thousands of non-native guineafowl to eat ticks that carry the deadly Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus. Yet research suggests guineafowl eat few ticks, but carry the parasites on their feathers, possibly spreading the disease they were meant to stop, says a Turkish biologist working at the University of Utah.(http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129232542.htm)

    A neighbor made his chickens as effective as his Guinea fowl when I gently asked about their tick predation.

    Chapter 7 of Ginsberg’s ‘Ecology’, Vector Management to Reduce the Risk of Lyme Disease, has a section on ‘Predators, Parasitoids, and Pathogens’ that includes, “Whether these birds [domestic gallinaceous] might serve as spatially focal predators of engorged or questing adult Ixodes, or might themselves serve as hosts to the ticks, similarly must be evaluated.” I suggest that Guinea fowl predation on ticks is anecdotal.

    The demonstrated best Ixodes scapularis tick control are Tick Tubes by Damminix. They are paper tubes stuffed with Permethrin soaked batting and distributed as Peromyscus leucopus nesting material. They are expensive, costing from ~$5 each in small quantities to $2.50 by the thousand.

  35. Now that the land is burned, do Australians get carbon credits for replanting?

    Sounds like a no-brainer ….

  36. mogambogaru:

    Excuse me if I don’t laugh to much. I had the experience of sheltering people in my house oned day as 75 people died in a firestorm that swept across 2 states, lukily for us the wind changed direction when the fire front was about a mile away.

    And Eric Worrall: neither that catastrophe, nor the fires of 2009 which killed 173 people here in the state of Victoria had anything to do with a lack of fire breaks. The winds were so ferocious the fires jumped multilane highways and embers were carried for kilometres.

  37. No benefit for Sydney’s tick infested spots. Our much hyped “heat wave” only yielded a single 40+ day, on Jan 8 (42.3) then a mere 31.2 on 12th. Record set in 1994 at 45.3.
    It hasn’t stopped the ticks, nor has it stopped the alarmists claiming this summer is “proof” of global warming.

  38. I’ve never had an up-close and pesonal encounter with a tick (except on the dog), but man…they creep me out. From Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to Lyme Disease, I’ll pass.

  39. Australian fauna.
    Reminds me of the Terry Pratchett snippet. Those who know it will recall the scene in the Library at Unseen University, when Ridcully enquired about Australian fauna.
    For those who don’t – read Pratchett. [Possibly “The Last Continent” – a nod to Bryson? – and ROTFL!].

  40. The value of a post such as ColdOldMan is that it puts the wailings and breastbeatings of the global warmers in perspective. The global warmers like to pretend that there have never been natural disasters before and that all present day natural disasters are due to global warming.

    The fact is that they cherish their panic-peddling even more than they do their junk science.

  41. Talking about ticks and Lyme disease. Here in Australia the Government Health Department state that there is no Lyme disease here in Oz. So when somebody gets the symptoms of Lyme disease after being nibbled on by a tick, doctors won’t diagnose it and even when they send blood samples to America and it comes back “Lyme Disease” the patient still doesn’t have Lyme disease because it doesn’t exist here in Oz according the the Health Department. LOL.
    It is that pathetic that Pathology labs can’t screen for Lyme and there are no stocks of antibiotics. So much for precautionary principle. However non damaging climate change gets the precautionary principle treatment.

    But that’s Oz for you.

  42. Just had a tick case half an hour ago.But it is true that dry conditions reduce the amount of saliva, their venom,according to a lecture I went to.Unfortunately unpublished, not even a paywall.

  43. in my part of australia – south-east queensland – there have been very few mosquitoes, which i figure may also be connected to less rainfall this summer (farmers around here say we’ll get our rains in march – time will tell). meanwhile,

    17 Jan: UK Daily Mail: Panic buyers strip shelves after Met Office issues blizzard alert for Wales as Britain braces for blanket of up to 12in of snow tomorrow
    Temperatures plunged to -9C overnight and sub-zero conditions forecast to continue

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2263837/UK-weather-Snow-forecast-UK-motorists-told-travel-avoid-it.html

  44. @Jenn Oates,
    Lucky you!
    A couple of years ago, i had to take around 270 ticks off my son, who had been wandering through bracken on the Northwest of Scotland, in Assynt. On his clothes, underclothes, skin, and a few that had attached themselves. That was a fun evening !

  45. An adult female tick increases her mass by a factor of ten on feeding to repletion. From roughly 4 milligrams to 40 milligrams. That is the mass of 10^9 red blood cells. There are 5 x 10^6 RBC/milliliter^3 of human blood.

    If I didn’t lose track of my naughts and x’s, the tick must process 200 milliliters of blood to filter out the mass of RBC equivalent to her increase in mass. It’s kind’a like surviving on a watery soup but without coxal glands through which to eliminate the excess fluid.

  46. A few years back when I was just a fifty-something kid, I used to hike once or twice every month and never once picked up a tick, thanks to Bayticol aerosol.

  47. Philip Shehan says:
    January 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

    & mogambogaru:; fire breaks; & winds

    Actually there can be truth to both of these. Without cleared spaces around your buildings there is little to be done to save them. When you have that space then there are things. It is also true that fire can race up a tree and send glowing embers into the wind to cause a new fire where they come down. My local area east of the Cascades in Washington State is a case history for this sort of stuff. Search — Taylor Bridge Fire — for images and follow the links.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Jim south London says:
    January 17, 2013 at 6:56 am
    “So if its hotter in Australia has there been more Rain in Australia then?

    Virga! It existed before CAGW.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virga

    As air comes over the Cascade Mountains we see the clouds and the precipitation evaporate as the air slides downslope toward the Columbia Basin. That’s why it is dry here – see above “Taylor Bridge Fire” !

  48. ‘Now that the land is burned, do Australians get carbon credits for replanting?’

    Both the serious fires here in southern Tasmania were anthropogenic (one from a campfire and the worse from a tree stump that had been left to smoulder). Should they be counted as debits?

    Wildfires (lightening strikes) are clearly ‘natural’, just as methane emissions from wild ruminants are, but farmed ruminants are not. What about managed populations of wild ruminants? All gets a bit dodgy, carbon accounting!

    The heat in Hobart had a similar effect to ticks on the pear and cherry slug population that was just commencing its annual assault on our prunus and hawthorns. They didn’t seem to do too well in 41.8°C, so there will be fewer to introduce to my friend Pyrethrum.

    On another point, I wonder what the contribution of the fires to the record maximum temperature might have been? The temperature in the city was (rather unusually) higher that day than at the airport. The former is in the Derwent Valley and the latter in the Coal River Valley. There was a large fire burning in the Derwent Valley directly up wind. Given that the hot weather was the result of that same wind bringing to ground hot air from the Australian mainland heated by the absence of cloud (late onset of the monsoon), does any one know what the effect of the heat from the fire might have been?

    I ask, because the serious fire that devastated the town of Dunalley that day reportedly pushed the temperature there to around 50°C as it approached. (There is an automatic station there, but the records on the BofM website only show the 3pm temperature that afternoon).

    Anyone have any expertise on the localised warming effect of bushfires?

  49. If you think that dinky tick is something come up to the Ozark Mountains. We have ‘Moby Tick’… frightening for my beagle. They eat rattlesnake for breakfast.

  50. Steve B says:
    January 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Talking about ticks and Lyme disease. Here in Australia the Government Health Department state that there is no Lyme disease here in Oz. So when somebody gets the symptoms of Lyme disease after being nibbled on by a tick, doctors won’t diagnose it and even when they send blood samples to America and it comes back “Lyme Disease” the patient still doesn’t have Lyme disease because it doesn’t exist here in Oz according the the Health Department. LOL.
    It is that pathetic that Pathology labs can’t screen for Lyme and there are no stocks of antibiotics. So much for precautionary principle. However non damaging climate change gets the precautionary principle treatment.

    But that’s Oz for you.

    ——————————————————————————————————————
    That’s not entirely true anymore. My trouble and strife had Lyme D that was diagnosed here in Oz and she was put on antibiotics after which she recovered. Its true there was disbelief some years ago amongst some Doctors because they had never heard of it and neither had the Health authorities. It was only after my wife showed her Doc articles from the internet that action was taken that succeeded.

  51. Well, Eric, that is wonderful. You are safe from ticks! I am just so pleased for you.

    The owners of the 150+ houses who have been burnt out in Tasmania and New South Wales, the folks at Seaton who have been burnt out of their homes overnight, and the thousands of other East Gippslanders who are either in refuges, having fled their homes, or who are getting ready to defend their homes, will no doubt be soooo pleased to know that there is a silver lining to their personal misery. As for the farmers who have had their livelihoods go up in smoke, they will be able to sleep soundly now that they know that at least they are safe from the tiny beasties.

    As will the thousands of fireys who are battling the fires. They will all be able to rest in the shade of their fire trucks knowing they are safe from those nasty ticks.

    No doubt the Sussex Inlanders on the New South Wales south coast will be conflicted, though. Should they hope for hot weather and dead ticks, or should they hope for cool weather and a stop to the fire that is burning in their vicinity?

    BTW, those who carry on so about control burns (which I support – we are going to need all the weapons in our armoury as AGW progresses) might care to give some thought to the fact that the current fires in East Gippsland are in country burnt bare in the 2007 fires and that at least some of that country was burnt to the ground the year before that. The country is a mix of national parks, production forests running down into pastoral lands with some irrigation cropping and dairying at lower elevations and along the valleys.

    The reality is that the only thing that will stop eucalypt crown fires after prolonged dry periods, record heat, and strong winds is the absence of eucalypt crowns ot burn. US readers may not be aware but eucalypt leaves contain volatile oils which vaporize during extreme heat, turning eucalypt crowns into gaseous bombs during very hot wild fires. The resulting fires can be so hot that they create local ‘weather’ including strong winds.

    Obviously, our production forests and national parks have to be chopped down to save them from wild fires.

  52. Aynsley Kellow

    ‘…does any one know what the effect of the heat from the fire might have been?’

    Closer to the fire front you get radiant heat.

    IThe wind consists of air moving sideways. Fire action will heat that air. If there is a differential temperature between the heated air and the cooler air, the heated air will rise. In doing so, it will pull in cooler air at ground level.

    In terms of temperatures measured at ground levels, the temperature outcomes would be hotter near the fire front and possibly cooler, but more probably the same temperature, away from the fire front.

    The recent record hot temperature in Hobart is highly unlikely to have been affected.

  53. More good news from warmer weather – according to a story in The Advertiser this week, the white wine vintage this year will be great, so not all bad news.

  54. Climate Ace says:
    January 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm
    ==================
    Gaia will win in the end.
    Ask the dinosaurs.
    It seems, She suffers no fools.

  55. Another well thought out post from the climate troll, Climate Ace.

    Bushfires have occurred before white man hit these shores so please explain to us what the AGW part of these recent bushfires would be?
    You obviously don’t live in the Blue Mountains where there have been many huge bushfires in the past.

    Aussies love their bush settings but they figure there will be no bushfires where they build so then they get a surprise when one happens.

  56. Doug Proctor says:
    January 17, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Now that the land is burned, do Australians get carbon credits for replanting?

    Sounds like a no-brainer ….

    It is a no-brainer.

    The overwhelming majority of eucalypt species are fire-adapted. In fact some of them can best be described as fire-promoting. (They have volatile oils in their leaves, they typicaly have large pieces of bark hanging from their branches which turn into spot-fire starting embers in firestorms, they produce very deep layers of forest litter, etc, etc).

    For most eucalypt species (there are more than 500 different eucalpyt species) the standing trees resprout by way of epicormic shoots or from lignotubers after the fire has gone through. While there are some carbon flows, the main carbon remains as a stock stored in the forest.

    For species that die in fires, in particular Mountain Ash, there is no need to replant because the Mountain Ash is also fire adapted. A Mountain Ash forest will release a massive seed shower that falls into the fire ash bed, thereby regenerating the forest. A Mountain Ash forest will typically last 3-500 years, provided no fires intervene. (A hectare of veneer-quality Mountain Ash is worth over $300,000.)

    I am not aware of any Australian system whereby you get carbon credits twice for the same area of forest.

  57. Reports have just come in of a fire track which was trapped in one of our current fire fronts and the fire passed over the top of it. In earlier years the truck would have been incinerated and the fire crew killed. As I know from personal experience one of the great fears during the fire season is for the safety of the firies – particularly when they are family members.

    Learning from these experiences, governments have added self-protecting sprinkler systems to fire trucks. This was activated by a crew today. The truck got some damage, the crew escaped unscathed, and they are back on the job.

    It is a great good news story. And the best thing is that their mates will probably shout them a beer when it is all over.

  58. Clearly, Australia was not carved out by literal-minded finger-waggers and bed-wetters. When Lake George dried out and the Darling stopped flowing in the late 1820s, people didn’t see secular trends. They just saw drought and kept slogging. In 1888 you couldn’t buy a drop of rain over most of Oz. After three floods in Black February of 1893, you needed a row-boat to get around Brisbane.

    I love Australia. I’m in awe of the practical genius of people like Liz Macarthur, Goyder and Kidman, who could consult the aborigine and their own stupendous commonsense, and actually make a bit of sense of this bizarre continent.

    I had no idea that last summer would be freakishly cool. I suspected a dry spring this year, but had no idea there’d be drought right into January. I have no idea what next season will be like. Because I spend time in the bush, I may have a slightly better idea, but only slightly.

    Our Green Betters claim to know about future climate. Their technique is to talk about climate extremes until one comes along. In Australia, that’s a bit like betting that a horse will win the Melbourne Cup – and maybe even the Cox Plate.

    Fortunately, Our Green Betters are having a hard time fooling one another, let alone the rest of us.

  59. Climate Deuce, what record heat are you talking about? If you refer to the newly minted and entirely unbelievable ‘national temperature average’ spruiked for the the first time this year by the BOM (to prop up their increasingly shaky CAGW meme), then it is irrelevant. The only thing that might be relevant is possible record temps in the places where there actually are fires, and you have produced no evidence for this – because there isn’t any.

    As for the Gippsland fires, you contradict yourself. Unless you suggest that full grown, fuel-laden eucalypt forest can regenerate in a year, or six years, your claim is nonsense. Which means, your claim is nonsense.

    Today is the tenth anniversary of the Canberra fires which destroyed 500 houses in an afternoon, and seriously damaged the Mt Stromlo observatory. Sadly, four people died. There were incalculable losses of native wildlife as well as significant stock losses. I was here, and the temperatures were not record-breaking, it was just typical hot, windy January weather – just as it is today – currently 39 degrees with a westerly wind. Happens every year.

    As I said in another thread, your use of people’s personal suffering to push the CAGW meme is disgraceful and inaccurate.Please stop doing it.

  60. John Trigge (in Oz) says:
    January 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    More good news from warmer weather – according to a story in The Advertiser this week, the white wine vintage this year will be great, so not all bad news.

    Excellent news.

  61. Johanna

    As for the Gippsland fires, you contradict yourself. Unless you suggest that full grown, fuel-laden eucalypt forest can regenerate in a year, or six years, your claim is nonsense. Which means, your claim is nonsense.

    I am claiming nothing of the sort.

    Just as some of the Canberra fires burnt in areas that had been burned the year before, the currrent Gippsland wildfires are burning in areas that were burned in 2006 and 2007.

    The obvious point is that fuel reduction burns will not stop eucalypt crown wildfires in record heat, strong winds and periods of very low rainfall.

  62. mosomoso
    Having dissed data as so many ‘factoids’, having claimed personal satisfaction with your bit of the holocone, and having cynically declared your belief that the Oppositions’s climate policies are there only to be broken after the election…where is your credibility?

  63. Climate Ace, see my comment above –

    In Australia, if you try to cut a firebreak on your land, without spending half your life waiting on the pleasure of bureaucrats, you go to jail. If you do go through the process, chances are you’ll still be refused permission.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/in-australia-if-you-try-to-clear-a-firebreak-on-your-land-you-could-go-to-gaol/

    Better to lose your property to a preventable fire, than end up sharing a cell with Big Bubba.

    The severity of this year’s fires are nothing to do with global warming, the blame lies squarely with the ignorance and prejudice of incompetent city politicians who actively punish people who try to do the right thing, for the sake of their trendy green ideals about how the world should be.

  64. Climate Deuce, you are slipping and sliding. You said:

    “BTW, those who carry on so about control burns (which I support – we are going to need all the weapons in our armoury as AGW progresses) might care to give some thought to the fact that the current fires in East Gippsland are in country burnt bare in the 2007 fires and that at least some of that country was burnt to the ground the year before that.”

    Later, you claim you said:

    “the currrent Gippsland wildfires are burning in areas that were burned in 2006 and 2007.

    The obvious point is that fuel reduction burns will not stop eucalypt crown wildfires in record heat, strong winds and periods of very low rainfall.”

    I repeat, how can you have eucalypt crown fires a year, or six years, after the ground has been burned bare? Trying to pretend you really meant fuel reduction burns after you explicitly said the opposite won’t work here.

    Again, I deplore your tactic of turning an interesting thread about ticks and weather into a soapbox for your “CAGW causes human misery” meme, using examples of people whose houses are still smoking. It’s disgusting.

  65. Steve B

    Bushfires have occurred before white man hit these shores…

    True

    …so please explain to us what the AGW part of these recent bushfires would be?

    The bushfire context is a record heat wave and record national temperatures.

    You obviously don’t live in the Blue Mountains… True.

    ..where there have been many huge bushfires in the past. True.

    Aussies love their bush settings but they figure there will be no bushfires where they build so then they get a surprise when one happens.

    But hang on. There were fires before whites arrived (Captain Cook recorded smoke pretty well every day he was able to see land on his trip up the east coast). There have been many, many fires since. And people are surprised there are fires?

    If all these fires are so ‘normal’ because there is no climate signal in the fires, why do our fire insurance premiums keep rising above the rate of inflation? We have some farmland with some stock on it. If fires, and fire risks are normal because there is no change in climate, why have our LG rates jumped well ahead of inflation because of what the local shire reckons is dealing with fire-related issues?

    It would be nice if local governments did some fire rating overlays over their plans, and then enforced them. But I imagine the BAU boosters would start screeching that that would be an infringement of people’s private property rights to build where they want, when they want. Until they get burnt out, when they rush to the government for disaster relief.

  66. Eric

    Climate Ace, see my comment above –

    In Australia, if you try to cut a firebreak on your land, without spending half your life waiting on the pleasure of bureaucrats, you go to jail. If you do go through the process, chances are you’ll still be refused permission.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/in-australia-if-you-try-to-clear-a-firebreak-on-your-land-you-could-go-to-gaol/

    Better to lose your property to a preventable fire, than end up sharing a cell with Big Bubba.

    The severity of this year’s fires are nothing to do with global warming, the blame lies squarely with the ignorance and prejudice of incompetent city politicians who actively punish people who try to do the right thing, for the sake of their trendy green ideals about how the world should be.

    I am glad we have got beyond ticks. BTW, your name rings a bell… are you the snake expert Eric Worrall who used to do shows? If so I take this opportunity to say that I appreciated them.

    1. I support the use of fire breaks and control burns to protect property and lives. Some extinctions will ensue, but hey, we have had plenty already, and there are lots more on the way. I also support the idea of stopping idiots from building expensive homes among the gum trees and then expecting the rest of us to building huge fire breaks in the bush they purport to love, pay higher insurance premiums, risk our lives getting them out, and paying taxes for disaster relief. I am not sure if such idiots are ‘trendy greens’ or your ignorant city nouveau riche BAU boosting McMansion builders who just don’t get either AGW or the Aussie bush.

    2. Some dirty rotten scoundrel the other day called me a Marxist, another a Nazi, another has called me a nit, several others have used various other terms of abuse, but then someone went completely over the top and accused me of being a bureaucrat. What lower form of life could there possibly be?

    3. Believe me, it doesn’t take a city politician to be ignorant, prejudiced or incompetent. We had one prominent fool in Queensland who thought you could measure sea level change by looking at his yacht or something like that. We had another incompetent fool who thought that CO2 was ‘weightless’ even when his party had a policy to reduce CO2 emissions by tens of millions of tons. You probably know who I am talking about. We had another idiot who drove his vehicle (paid for by taxpayers) into a flooded creek. You know how it goes with politicians.

  67. Climate Ace, as I said before, I diss out factoids knowing that there is very little to be concluded from them. You do the same – mixed with a lot of moralising and faux-indignation – and hope to build a case for something. It is frivolous in the extreme.

    As for my belief that the Opposition will adjust, fudge, delay or cancel its policies: Abbott is something of a practical conservationist (contrast him with the arch-polluter, Garnaut) but he is clearly not an adherent to the religion of Our Green Betters. While he sacrifices much spare time to safeguard our beaches and bushland (he has been active with his local fire brigade in the present emergency), it’s pretty clear that he thinks CAGW is bunk. On the other hand, both his party and institutions all over the world are infested with climate alarmism. He, like Kelly and others, will need to give something to the super-powerful climate lobbies, just as he will have to cater to the interests of other powerful lobbies, such as the miners, the luvvies and supermarket duoply. Sadly, that is always so. One hopes that he will be shrewd like Merkel and turn climate/environmental spending to our national advantage. Sorry if all that seems cynical, but anything is better than a Whyalla Wipeout – the song or the actual event.

    I think nothing is more cynical than the way Our Green Betters jump on any climate or weather disaster and manipulate it to fit a script. God knows what they would do with something like a 1955 Maitland flood, when an inland sea formed in NSW that was the size of England and Wales. Really! Or another Cyclone Mahina of 1899…

    But I’d better be quiet about all that. The New Man at Year Zero has so much trouble spinning away history. If only he could abolish it!

  68. Johanna

    I repeat, how can you have eucalypt crown fires a year, or six years, after the ground has been burned bare? Trying to pretend you really meant fuel reduction burns after you explicitly said the opposite won’t work here.

    Sorry, I did not understand the point you were trying to make. The important distinction is that control burns rarely burn tree canopies or leaves and usually burn only the ground layer and sometimes the shrub layer. There is a sort of ‘good’ reason for this. If a control burn turns into a canopy fire you don’t have a control burn anymore. You have a bushfire.

    Eucalypt forests can burn twice in two years because the forest may be burnt bare but not ‘destroyed’ in a fire. Stringybarks and Ironbarks, for example, have fire-resistant bark which protects the tree from extremely hot temperatures.

    After a fires such trees will still be standing and they commence regenerating their leaf cover within days of a fire by way of epicormic shoots. The ash bed consists of released nutrients that are newly available to the trees. Provided there are good rains, and the rains do not come in torrential bursts that erode the ash into the valleys, regrowth can be quite vigorous.

  69. Sydney current temperature at 2.50 PM is 44 C deg. The ABC will no doubt have a ball tonite with their ‘see we told you so’. But a ‘southerly buster’ as we call it (cold front) will hit at 9.00 pm and cause the temp to drop by at least 15 C with tomorrow at 25C max. Pachuri’s Entourage in Tasmania must be enjoying the much milder weather at the Governments expense no doubt than the brass monkey conditions in Europe.

    Bit off topic but with the 44C we had today hopefully will have wiped out most of the tick nymphs before our humid weather in Februrary.

    • Delicious irony in the use of ‘bit off topic’ to actually discuss ticks.The paralysis tick of the Australian Eastern seaboard is the most potent in the world of Ixodes species.It would have been great to have had a conversation on this blog actually about this most potent vector of disease.
      We have been graced by gratuitous discussion of firebreaks and global warming and weather variation over short time periods despite the now recognised pause in global warming and the failure to find a significant CO2 anthropogenic footprint other than perhaps in a short time period.
      I smell an Australian Federal election on hand.Looks like we will not be able to escape it on this site.
      Hopefully we Australian taxpayers will be freed from the burden of having to pay for green lobbyists and the escalation of green taxes.Hopefully we will diselect politicians that fantasize they may control climate.

  70. mosomoso

    You left out the complete destruction of the coal industry and weightless CO2, but apart from that, you appear to have covered your ethical bases pretty well.

    BTW, you mention Kelly in your post. He might have to revise his post. Sydney has just posted its all-time hot temperature record. If not quite an inconvenient truth, we are certainly looking at what might be called inconvenient timing. What a goose.

  71. Frank, Alarmists won’t be pleased … Sydney recorded 45.1 today, 0.2 below the record set long before the current magnitude of UHI effects, in 1939.
    It’s been much cooler on the coast all day although coast weather stations are off the air.

  72. Deuce, please stop making stuff up. Sydney official highest recorded temperature on the coast (not out in the western suburbs) is 45.3C (113F) on 14 January 1939. Where is your evidence that this was exceeded on the coast today?

    I’m also still waiting for the evidence is asked for earlier to back your spurious and offensive claim that there is a relationship between record breaking temperatures at the location of the current bushfires and those fires. Waiting, waiting …

  73. Your first paragraph was apparently satire, which I’ll leave to the hipsters and relishers of such irony.

    Climate Ace, my region had its hottest single day temp in 2004, and its hottest January day in 1994. If some other place sets a record (which now has to be dated from the mid-sixties in most areas) I will take note. Just as I took note of the extraordinarily cool summer of last year. I took note of the North American heatwave, one of its worst, and probably its worst since the thirties, and I took note of the Central and Eastern Europe coldwave some months before, which was truly terrible.

    You have a record hot day for an area of coastal NSW? Up here we’re way off any record, but it’s hot, and I’ll take note.

    Brisbane recorded its coldest ever temp in 2007, but that’s only so far. It recorded its hottest ever temp in 1940, but that’s only so far. Do I think Brisbane is moving into an Ice Age? Do you? These are factoids. They tell very little.

    I hope you can see the futility of this exercise. I have no idea of Sydney’s wind patterns right now, so I have no idea if this heat is anything like what occurred in 1791-1792, or 1960.

    Lastly, we are all aware of a present fire emergency and many of us have to be at the ready, like Tony Abbott, possibly. By all means offer any advice which may be useful. I don’t live in a crown fire region, but I live around serious fire danger. I’m interested in any insights you may have about areas and species with which I am not familiar. But don’t appear to be cheering it on, like it was some kind of final comeuppance for conservatives and people of whom you disapprove.

    It’s a bad heatwave, and somewhere records will be broken. It’s a grave fire emergency, although, thanks to wind patterns, not so bad here just now. Lives and property will be lost. It’s not new. It’s just terrible, like it was terrible in 1851 and 1839 and 1983 and 2009.

  74. Dr Burns

    The Sydney temperature would not have mattered at all, one way or another, except that Craig Kelly MP chose to draw everyone’s attention to it by writing a guest post about it on WUWT. You might recall the heading of his post – it was put fair and square in the context of global warming.

    Fox 603 Weather Channel has just reported that the Observatory Station in Sydney a record temperature: 45.8 degrees. The Sydney Basin is getting a heat hammering as well. There was also a bit of talk about records being broken not by .1 or by .2 of a degree, but by .5 of a degree. And we all know that Fox is very, very reliable on these matters.

    No doubt a Brick Yarder will come along and cool everyone right down.

    Which is correct, I wonder? According to your logic, will BAU boosters be disappointed that there is yet another maxium record broken?

    IMHO, anyone who gets attacked by a tick in Sydney over the next little while ought to buy themselves a tick-et in Tatts.

  75. johanna

    Deuce, please stop making stuff up. Sydney official highest recorded temperature on the coast (not out in the western suburbs) is 45.3C (113F) on 14 January 1939. Where is your evidence that this was exceeded on the coast today?

    It wasn’t me who made it up. It was the Fox Weather Channel. If I misheard it, I will freely apologize for hearing it incorrectly.

    I’m also still waiting for the evidence is asked for earlier to back your spurious and offensive claim that there is a relationship between record breaking temperatures at the location of the current bushfires and those fires. Waiting, waiting …

    Years ago, when I was a volunteer firey, we were taught about the famous fire triangle which has three elements: fuel, heat and oxidizing agent.

    Inter alia, there is a direct relationship between fire behaviour (including the likelihood of ignition, fire speed, fire intensity) and ambient temperature. As a general principle this is not, as they say, rocket science. The implication is that, in general, when ambient temperatures are higher, fires are more likely to start, more difficult to control and more destructive.

    As you are aware, we have been having record hot temperatures at the national level and in many localities. OK, so, record temperatures and hundreds of fires in four or five states.

    (Indeed, I must go off to check to see whether Canberra really has just had a record hot temperature for January – I just went outside and it certainly <ifeels very hot. But, I might have misheard that one as well.

    BTW, you might want to check your personal bushfire plan. An out-of-control situation has developed at Booroowa – probably well over 60 k away – but with record temperatures, strong gusty winds, and tinder dry fuel, you are probably well-advised to be safe than to be sorry. The firies were certainly sounding a bit worried about the rate of speed of the firefront.

  76. Climate Ace @7.42pm:
    You commented that “Captain Cook recorded smoke pretty well every day he was able to see land on his trip up the east coast”, with the implication that this indicated uncontrolled fire of some sort. Rather, I have always understood his meaning to be that such fires were camp fires of the many, but scattered Aboriginal groups along the coast. This is particularly likely since it was in the context of his comments on the native peoples he saw from time to time.

    However, you are very right about the modern day “controlled burn” that characteristically reduces the forest litter and low shrubs and small trees, but leaves taller trees, complete with high canopies, intact.

  77. I was confused for a bit, but the official Sydney temp today is now 46, and the old 1939 mark was 45.3. (Sydney records still stand pre-1965.)

    It’s interesting checking out these Observatory Hill records. People with a point to prove will find anything they want. If your’e a New Dalton fan, the hottest month since 1858 remains January 1896. The driest year was 1888, which appears to have been a drought nightmare over much of the continent.

    As for me, I haven’t a clue what the climate will do. The early 1900s sucked where I live, but they had a huge timber industry so they weren’t entirely dependent on rainfall. When we got rain in 1949 and 1950 it nearly lifted us off the map. What a country!

    Don’t want all that back – but Gaia’s a nasty old hag. She’ll do it all again, and worse.

  78. mosomoso says:
    January 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Your first paragraph was apparently satire, which I’ll leave to the hipsters and relishers of such irony.

    Your leader has declared CO2 to be weightless, has declared his intention of mis-spending $10 billion or our taxes on reducing emissions of it by tens of millions of tons, and has declared the coal industry destroyed. Plus, more than half the population of Australia have signalled their intention of voting him in. Where is the satire? Where is the irony?

    As for your factoids there is a piece of research floating around somewhere, maybe several pieces of research (and puhlease don’t ask me for a link, I hate work) that purports to show that hot records are outstripping cold records by a wide margin. I haven’t seen contrarian rebuttals on WUWT thereof, so there may well be some substance to it.

    That being the case, it can’t possibly hurt for people to develop some useful associations between record hot temperatures, fire behaviour, and the consequences thereof. At the very least it might encourage them to skedaddle before it is too late. The signal lack of deaths in our recent and current fires seems to indicate that people are smartening up in this regard.

  79. …so please explain to us what the AGW part of these recent bushfires would be?

    The bushfire context is a record heat wave and record national temperatures.

    Sorry Climate Troll – not true. Even the Sydney temps were below a 1939 record and here in Newcastle they were not the highest so you fail. Do some research – always helps.

    Oodnadatta and Marble Bar records still not broken.

  80. Vicki Sanderson says:
    January 17, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Climate Ace @7.42pm:
    You commented that “Captain Cook recorded smoke pretty well every day he was able to see land on his trip up the east coast”, with the implication that this indicated uncontrolled fire of some sort. Rather, I have always understood his meaning to be that such fires were camp fires of the many, but scattered Aboriginal groups along the coast. This is particularly likely since it was in the context of his comments on the native peoples he saw from time to time.

    I wll agree that I have over-generalised what was, continent-wide, an extremely complex set of fire regimes ignited by both Indigenous people and by natural causes. I would also say that the former tended to reduce the fuel available for the latter.

    • Climate Ace @9.35pm:
      Well, no, the fire management , (“fire stick burning”) that many people ascribe to the Australian Aborigines, was in many cases intended to flush out game, rather than deliberately reduce fuel to prevent bushfires. There is much misunderstanding of the relationship of of these people to their environment.

      Cook reports many thin spirals of smoke, which almost certainly is indicative of cooking fires which were kept burning whilst a family group were camped within an area.

  81. FrankK says:
    January 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Steve B says:
    January 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    That’s not entirely true anymore. My trouble and strife had Lyme D that was diagnosed here in Oz and she was put on antibiotics after which she recovered. Its true there was disbelief some years ago amongst some Doctors because they had never heard of it and neither had the Health authorities. It was only after my wife showed her Doc articles from the internet that action was taken that succeeded.
    *********************************************************************************************
    Watching one of our esteemed current affairs programs (cough cough) about 3 months ago, the head of the Department of Health (a doctor) told us that Lyme Disease doesn’t exist in Australia. Yu must have got a doctor who ignores the Health Department then. (smilie)

  82. Climate Ace sounds like our Red Witch Jooliar Gillard. Sounds like he is trying to save his job at the Climate Change Department. When I become Prime Minister it will be the first department to get axed.

  83. Steve B says:
    January 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    …so please explain to us what the AGW part of these recent bushfires would be?

    The bushfire context is a record heat wave and record national temperatures.

    See my response to Johanna on the fire triangle.

    Sorry Climate Troll – not true. Even the Sydney temps were below a 1939 record and here in Newcastle they were not the highest so you fail. Do some research – always helps.

    Well, I would call that sentence simple bad luck as to timing and will not criticize you for it, even if you did call me something nasty, and you did tell me I failed, and even if you did imply that I don’t research stuff when occasionally I do some research.

    The Sydney maximum temperature record was smashed today.

    Oodnadatta and Marble Bar records still not broken.

    So?

  84. No irony, Climate Ace? Great. Yes, I remember the “weightless” comment. His declaration that the coal industry is destroyed I don’t recall. As for the rest, I’d only be repeating myself. He needs to do a Merkel. The US are the new Saudis, and the Congo River is about to bring serious Chinese backed power to Africa. We have to use our own superb resources, and stop playing at being Green Euro-sophisticates when the Europeans themselves are bailing out of that fetishistic nonsense. Indonesia has now passed us as a coal exporter, by the way, and neither the Indonesians nor their customers are using that coal for art installations. They are burning it.

    A new coal power station can indeed be 30% more efficient than the clunkers we use now, and which we will continue to depend on, all enviro-waffle aside. Who wants to drive a 30-40 year old Falcon? If McTernan is looking for a job, Abbott can get him to sell the world on our New Coal as a planet saver. If the guy can sell Gillard, he can sell anything.

    Since I’m a believer in global warming and sea level rise, I’m not surprised if more warming than cooling records are being broken. If there’s some chill soon, and a Tambora style eruption to go with it, I’m really going to miss these years. By the look of that Northern Hemisphere weather map, it’s already too late to invade Russia.

  85. Steve B says:
    January 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Climate Ace sounds like our Red Witch Jooliar Gillard. Sounds like he is trying to save his job at the Climate Change Department. When I become Prime Minister it will be the first department to get axed.

    Steve B, all I can say, with some appreciation, is that you may well be an improvement on the likely next prime minister.

  86. John F. Hultquist;

    I entirely agree that firebreaks and cleared spaces around houses are entirely necessary to combat bushfires. What I was pointing out is that in truly catastrophic fires, such defensive measures can be overwhelmed.

    After the Black Saturday fires of February 2007 when 173 people died, the official advice for people facing fires in there are changed. Formerly the advice had been to make up your mind early “Stay or Go” Stay if you were well prepared to defend your property, if not go early. The thinking was that most people die when they decide to leave at the last minute and are caught on the roads or in the open trying to escape. Now the advice is if you have the least doubt about conditions in your area, get out early.

    In my experience on Ash Wednesday 1983, when 75 people died, we were actually trapped in a seaside resort town (Lorne) on the famous Great Ocean Road where I had been attending a conference and I had colleagues staying with me. It was an extreme heat and wind day and a fire that started at a sawmill raced down to the coast with extreme speed. Getting out early was not an option.

    The conference had ended that morning and people who left at about midday got out through the single coastal road fine. Then smoke papered over the hills. Then fires were down to the beach on the north side of town, and houses were burning. I was doing the usual defensive measures on my parents’ beach house at the south end of town, but I knew no amount of wetting the walls and filling the gutters with water and watching for spot fires caused by embers and no firebreak would have stopped that fire. Luckily there was a plan B. If the fires bore down on the house head for the ocean. Then our lucky break but misfortune others. The wind changed and took the fire northeast up the coast.

    Those here commenting on the fact that we have had extreme heat conditions and bushfires in Australia before are missing the point. It is the frequency of extreme heat conditions that have increased the risk and occurrence of fires.

    Certainly records will be broken with time. But the significant fact is that as the planet warms, heat records in Australia are being broken with much higher frequency than cold records, so that catastrophic fires will become more frequent.

  87. mpainter says:
    January 17, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Well Climate Ace, did you ever figure out your ocean chemistry problem?

    I have been working on it. According to your good self, marine life (including whales, which are marine life) is ‘composed of’ CO2.

    Now, a whale might weigh 20 ton (four or five times that if a Blue Whale). What sort of volume would a 20 ton whale occupy were it to be composed of CO2?

    You have set me a difficult challenge.

  88. 41.6 at Canberra today. Our hottest January day on record.

    I thought it was hot when I went outside. But I couldn’t smell the Booroowa fire smoke, which really calmed me down a bit, to tell the truth.

  89. Steve B says: January 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Climate Ace sounds like our Red Witch Jooliar Gillard. Sounds like he is trying to save his job at the Climate Change Department. When I become Prime Minister it will be the first department to get axed.
    =============================
    I understand that a record sweep at the polls is forecast. And I agree that Climate Ace shows desperation.

  90. An update. As I type I am watching the 6 pm news report on fires threatening towns along broad front north east of Melbourne. It brings back memories.

  91. I think the Piers Akerman article says it best.
    The extreme heat of Sydney’s summer of 1790/91 is detailed by Watkins Tench (1758 –1833) in his book ‘A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson’ published in 1793. (Available to download from the internet for free).

    Watkins Tench was British marine officer whom accompanied 88 male and 20 female convicts on the First Fleet ship the Charlotte which arrived in Botany Bay 20th January 1788.
    Of Sydney’s weather of 27th December 1790, when the mercury hit 42.8 C (109 F), half a degree Celsius higher than last Tuesday, Tench wrote: ‘it felt like the blast of a heated oven’. But the extreme heat wasn’t restricted to the 27th Dec 1790. The following day the temperature again surpassed the old 100 Fahrenheit mark, hitting 40.3C (104.5 F) at 12.30pm. And later that same summer, in February 1791, the temperature in Sydney was recorded at 42.2 C (108 F). Tench commented;

    ‘But even this heat (of 27th Dec 1790) was judged to be far exceeded in the latter end of the following February, when the north-west wind again set in, and blew with great violence for three days. At Sydney, it [the temperature] fell short by one degree of what I have just recorded [109F]: but at Rose Hill, [modern day Parramatta] it was allowed, by every person, to surpass all that they had before felt, either there, or in any other part of the world. Unluckily they had no thermometer to ascertain its precise height.’

    Tench also speculated on the cause of the extreme heat of the summer of 1790/91, and he didn’t blame global warming, coal mining, or failure to pay homage to a pagan god. Tench deduced: ‘Were I asked the cause of this intolerable heat, I should not hesitate to pronounce, that it was occasioned by the wind blowing over immense deserts, which, I doubt not, exist in a north-west direction from Port Jackson, and not from fires kindled by the natives.’
    However, Tench’s meteorological recordings were undertaken following strict scientific procedure using a ‘large thermometer’ made by Ramsden, England’s leading scientific instrument maker of the day. Tench also left a message for those that might seek to question the accuracy of the records: ‘This remark I feel necessary, as there were methods used by some persons in the colony, both for estimating the degree of heat, and for ascertaining the cause of its production, which I deem equally unfair and unphilosophical. The thermometer, whence my observations were constantly made, was hung in the open air, in a southern aspect, never reached by the rays of the sun, at the distance of several feet above the ground.’

    It also worth noting that in 1790, Sydney (population 1,715) was still surrounded by mostly natural bushland, where modern day Observatory Hill in Sydney (population 4,627,000) is now surrounded by the concrete, steel and glass of a modern city, not to mention the tens of thousands of air-conditioners pumping out hot air into the surrounding streets, nor the 160,000 cars & trucks that cross the Sydney Harbor Bridge daily and pass within 100 meters of Observatory Hill.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/piersakerman/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/heatwave_it_was_hotter_in_1790/

  92. If all these fires are so ‘normal’ because there is no climate signal in the fires, why do our fire insurance premiums keep rising above the rate of inflation?

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    What political constituency has members coming onto international forums admitting

    (1) they don't understand insurance rates,

    (2) suspect conspiracy,

    and

    (3)wonder frankly why you aren't alarmed too?

    Then tell you

    (4) the fact you understand insurance is proof that

    (5) you're guilty

    of not understanding about the

    (6) great conspiracy of

    (7) oil day traders to

    trick you into living the safest, longest, most comfortable, profitable, educated, life span

    ever dreamed?

    Answer:
    The mentally ill.

  93. Philip Shehan

    My brother and his wife got burnt out in those fires. They lost literally everything. They ended up holed up in the Mt Macedon pub and their car, with all their precious possessions, popped into flame along with a whole row of other cars outside the pub.

    But, IMHO, it is possible to design and build houses that would not cost very much extra but which would be largely fire proof. CSIRO has had a go at it.

    One example – planes stay aloft because of the vacuum above the wings, caused by the aerodynamic shape of the wings.

    Houses with cambered rooves can create much the same vacuum inside the roof space. This vacuum, literally, sucks in embers. A roof that is flush with the wall, has no gutters, and has no gaps between roof and wall-top, reduces very, very significantly the chance of a house being burnt by embers. Etc, etc.

  94. Noelene says:
    January 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    I think the Piers Akerman article says it best.

    Piers Akerman, OBE. Overtaken By Events. Akerman is anothery whose timing is just plain bad. His whole article is rubbish because today Sydney had its highest ever recorded maxium temperature.

  95. Vicki Sanderson says:
    January 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Climate Ace @9.35pm:
    Well, no, the fire management , (“fire stick burning”) that many people ascribe to the Australian Aborigines, was in many cases intended to flush out game, rather than deliberately reduce fuel to prevent bushfires. There is much misunderstanding of the relationship of of these people to their environment.

    Cook reports many thin spirals of smoke, which almost certainly is indicative of cooking fires which were kept burning whilst a family group were camped within an area.

    My bad. I didn’t intend to imply that Indigenous igniters intended to reduce fuel to control potential wildfires.

    Nevertheless, lots of little patch burns would have had this as a possibly unintended byproduct. As I said, and maintain, the fire regimes were complex. For example, IMHO, fires in tropical Australia were lit in such a way as to reduce fuel on the margins of riparian monsoon forests and rainforests to protect relatively scarce and particularly high food-value ecoystems.

    • Climate Ace @10.33pm:
      Mate, you can speculate all you like, as you like. But actual understanding of cultural and social practice beats speculation every time.

  96. Climate Ace says:
    January 17, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    41.6 at Canberra today. Our hottest January day on record.

    I thought it was hot when I went outside. But I couldn’t smell the Booroowa fire smoke, which really calmed me down a bit, to tell the truth.
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    Nothing nauseates like a pedant confessing every quiver of his climate-anxious bowel to strangers, except maybe having that accompany confession that a lot of it stems from not understanding insurance.

  97. mpainter says:
    January 17, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Steve B says: January 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Climate Ace sounds like our Red Witch Jooliar Gillard. Sounds like he is trying to save his job at the Climate Change Department. When I become Prime Minister it will be the first department to get axed.
    =============================
    I understand that a record sweep at the polls is forecast. And I agree that Climate Ace shows desperation.

    You appear to know a lot about ocean chemistry.. perhaps you could advise me of the size of a 20 ton whale, in your own terms, composed of CO2?

    Or have you finally figured out that you are a WUWT embarrassment?

  98. Noelene :

    Sydney had a record high temperature today of 45.8 C.

    To repeat the point made in my post above:

    “Those here commenting on the fact that we have had extreme heat conditions and bushfires in Australia before are missing the point. It is the frequency of extreme heat conditions that have increased the risk and occurrence of fires.

    Certainly records will be broken with time. But the significant fact is that as the planet warms, heat records in Australia are being broken with much higher frequency than cold records, so that catastrophic fires will become more frequent.”

  99. “Those here commenting on the fact that we have had extreme heat conditions and bushfires in Australia before are missing the point. It is the frequency of extreme heat conditions that have increased the risk and occurrence of fires.”

    Philip, there is far greater population penetration, far more population and communication and hence far more reportage. Not all was known and reported in the past. The fires which were observed and reported in the past were enormous. 5 million hectares in 1851, 2 million 1939, and 1.8 in WA in 1961. Once can spin forever, but they are our biggest areas of fire damage. It would take extraordinary conditions to do that, just as Chicago/Peshtigo in the 1870s needed the most freakish mid-autumn weather. I’m not saying we should compare apples and oranges, and pronounce the climate of past years to be generally “worse”. I’m saying those fires are enormities. Consider how dry Australia was by 1888. We have the records for that period. If that was happening now, it’d be pronounced climate Armageddon on the ABC and in the Age. Look at Sydney’s current dam levels and tell me what climate phase you’d rather be in.

    On another topic, with the disappearance of aboriginal hunting, the undergrowth was not burnt methodically, which in northern regions especially, makes all the difference. Dawes, Tench, Clark etc moved freely through bush that we would now find impenetrable. The big obstacles for them were mud flats and marshes, not plants. Just something else we need to know a lot more about.

    But please, tell me of this era when “dirty” weather was less frequent, when climate was more stable. When was that? Where was that?

  100. Allen B. Eltor says:
    January 17, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Climate Ace says:
    January 17, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    41.6 at Canberra today. Our hottest January day on record.

    I thought it was hot when I went outside. But I couldn’t smell the Booroowa fire smoke, which really calmed me down a bit, to tell the truth.
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    Nothing nauseates like a pedant confessing every quiver of his climate-anxious bowel to strangers, except maybe having that accompany confession that a lot of it stems from not understanding insurance.

    Nothing nauseates like a fool exposing every quiver of his climate-insensate bowels to strangers, except maybe having that accompany an implicit confession that a lot of it stems from not understanding the impact of record temperatures on his fire-related insurance premiums.

    There. Fixed.

  101. Allen B. Eltor says:
    January 17, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    If all these fires are so ‘normal’ because there is no climate signal in the fires, why do our fire insurance premiums keep rising above the rate of inflation?

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    What political constituency has members coming onto international forums admitting

    (1) they don't understand insurance rates,

    (2) suspect conspiracy,

    and

    (3)wonder frankly why you aren't alarmed too?

    Then tell you

    (4) the fact you understand insurance is proof that

    (5) you're guilty

    of not understanding about the

    (6) great conspiracy of

    (7) oil day traders to

    trick you into living the safest, longest, most comfortable, profitable, educated, life span

    ever dreamed?

    Answer:
    The mentally ill.

    The fire-related component of my bush fire premiums, and the fire-related elements of my local government taxes, are rising faster than the rate of inflation because I am mentally-ill?

    Sure, sure.

  102. Vicki Sanderson says:
    January 18, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Climate Ace @10.33pm:
    Mate, you can speculate all you like, as you like. But actual understanding of cultural and social practice beats speculation every time.

    True. Over to you?

  103. Friends:

    I had to copy this in case anybody overlooked it and so missed the laugh.

    In attempt to avoid justifying some of his/her/its twaddle, at January 17, 2013 at 11:57 pm Climate Ace wrote:

    Or have you finally figured out that you are a WUWT embarrassment?

    Yes! Climate Ace wrote that!
    Funny? I laughed so much I had to wipe tears from my eyes.
    You could not make it up.

    Richard

  104. Climate Ace says:
    January 18, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Nothing nauseates like a fool exposing every quiver of his climate-insensate bowels to strangers, except maybe having that accompany an implicit confession that a lot of it stems from not understanding the impact of record temperatures on his fire-related insurance premiums.

    There. Fixed.
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    You haven't 'fixed' anything except your own evil eye, on your neighbor's property, and freedoms.

  105. Climate Ace:

    ‘The wind consists of air moving sideways. Fire action will heat that air. If there is a differential temperature between the heated air and the cooler air, the heated air will rise. In doing so, it will pull in cooler air at ground level.

    In terms of temperatures measured at ground levels, the temperature outcomes would be hotter near the fire front and possibly cooler, but more probably the same temperature, away from the fire front.

    The recent record hot temperature in Hobart is highly unlikely to have been affected.’

    I’m sorry Climate Ace, but I don’t follow your physics.

    The air mass bringing the high temperatures in Hobart was generated over the Australian mainland. According to your account, it would simply rise and draw in cold air. The fact is, the strong north-westerly winds bring this hot air from the Australian outback and bring it down to sea level. (Or are you suggesting the heat was generated in Tasmania rather than by the late onset of the monsoon and the absence of cloud?) The winds brought smoke and ash from the Lake Repulse fire to sea level in Hobart. Are you saying that all the heat from the fires passed up through the hot air but the smoke stayed at ground level?

    The Sorell temperatures rose well into the forties well before the fire arrived. I don’t think radiant heat was a factor until the fires arrived. I should note that there were similar conditions during the last similar temperature (1981? 1982?) when I first lived in Hobart for a few years. The mercury hit about 40.8 and the ash dropping from the sky was somewhat more dramatic: substantial identifiable leaf-shaped ash dropping from the sky. Presumably they were below 40.8°C and contributing nothing to the temperature.

  106. There are many unusual factors that need to come together in a very short time to cause a rash of bush fires. Certainly, one of them is a high air temperature – but high when?
    We are hearing stories of record daily maximum temperatures in Sydney and Canberra today, 18 Jan 2013. The regional fire season started a few days before this. So we tend to talk about preparing the scene for many fires on a hot day among a line of hot days. We talk in terms of heat waves.
    Perhaps history tells a story. Here is a graph showing the heat waves, defined over any 5 successive days in Januaries, for Sydney and Melbourne, going back 150 years.

    http://www.geoffstuff.com/HEAT%20WAVES.pdf

    By this definition, heat waves are becoming cooler in recent times – if you want to split hairs.

    For 2013, Sydney and Melbourne, are way off the bottom of the chart if we take rough figures forecast for the next 4 days, or actual temps for the past 4 days. We have merely a hot system over central Australia, possibly because of a short monsoon disruption near the continental north coast. Some of this heat dribbled east, over to Sydney and Canberra.

    As for daily records, think UHI. The temp max for Sydney at 45.8 degrees today, was taken from the Observatory, slap bang in the middle of 4 million people who were not there for the older record of 45.3 deg C on 14 Jan 1939 when the population and development was smaller by far.

    Also from history 13 Jan 1939, the bushfires of Black Friday killed 70 people in Victoria, This was the day before Sydney’s hottest day – after UHI is reasonably taken off.

    Moral – one swallow doth not a summer make.

  107. What happened to Climate Ace when we had record low temperatures approx 6 months ago?
    That would be the “weather is not climate” meme. Guess what Ace – weather is not climate.

  108. Steve B says: January 18, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Guess what Ace – weather is not climate.
    ==============================
    No, but what a wonderful opportunity weather presents for panic-peddling, and that is their compulsion and their comfort. See how frantically the Ace squawks and screeches. As the elections approach, the screeching will increase.What these nitwits don’t understand is that nobody believes them. What will they do when cool weather gets here? Makes one smile to think of it.

    So, sit back and enjoy. Each screech signals a welter of pain.

  109. Ticks aren’t insects, but arachnids, like mites, spiders & scorpions. They have eight legs, the better with which to quest. (Horseshoe crabs also have eight legs, but aren’t arachnids, although related.)

    The first land animal was a scorpion-like sea creature that kept its gills moist with a borrowed mollusk shell, similar to the protective practice of hermit crabs. Some 500 million years ago this adventurous, resourceful pioneering Cambrian arthropod equipped itself with the equivalent of a space suit to exploit by night algal mats covering land that would become Wisconsin.

  110. PS: Cambrian CO2 concentration has been estimated at around 7000 parts per million, versus present (possibly) ~400 ppm of dry air. Climate then was generally balmy, but well within the normal Phanerozoic Eon average upper limit of 25 degrees C, maintained with perhaps at most two brief excursions for the past 543 million years. Earth’s climate is under homeostatic control.

    During the following Ordovician Period, with carbon dioxide levels about the same as in the preceding Cambrian, Earth experienced its first Phanerozoic glaciation. Warmunistas jump through some amusing hoops in trying to explain that fact. (Very extensive glaciations had occurred during the previous few billion years, especially in the Snowball Earth phase preceding the Phanerozoic Eon.)

  111. I am interested in the comments by CAce on deliberate firing of riparian monsoon rainforests to protect scare and valuable food resources.

    My understanding of the history of the patchwork fire/caring for country story written about Australian Aboriginal people was this story began in Central Australia around the late 1970s. Spinifex and mulga country. The story was later taken up by the Centre for Appropriate Technology (or such), which later was taken up by CRC Desert Knowledge, extensively funded by partners. This was at a time when economic development became essential. 30-40 years of welfare had decimated entire groups of human beings. Additionally a new form of pseudo-employment in the absence of adequate education levels as rangers, tourist guides, caring for country and so on could be envisaged and enacted into industrial awards. And profitable training and research monies.

    Imagining the Past for eg

    http://tasmaniantimes.com/index.php/article/indigenous-burn-control-a-myth-study

    and Chapter 3 which states …’These practices contain cultural references to fire that inform contemporary understandings and as a result are not translated to people outside of that culture.’

    http://www.desertknowledgecrc.com.au/resource/DKCRC-Report-37-Desert-Fire_fire-and-regional-land-management-in-the-arid-landscapes-of-Australia.pdf

    The only cultural references I could briefly find on riparian monsoonal pathways (aka cleared areas) was this:-

    http://www.biodiversity.ox.ac.uk/researchthemes/biodiversity-beyond-protected-areas/riparian-forest-strips-as-a-conservation-strategy/

  112. As they in the place where I come from: Every disadvantage has its advantage, or mutatis mutandis depending whether you are an optimist or a pessimist.

  113. “Climate Ace says:
    January 17, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    …IMHO, it is possible to design and build houses that would not cost very much extra but which would be largely fire proof. CSIRO has had a go at it.”

    Yes indeed. Many of these are being constructed, as I saw in a recent newspaper article.

    Where reconstruction of established houses is not an option, survival bunkers could be built very cheaply. It could be as simple as a modern version of the old WW2 backyard Anderson shelters – a semicircular roofed corregated iron structure with a metre of earth on the top. I told a friend of mine that he should install one at his mountain house at Sawmill settlement at the base of the ski resort at Mount Buller. His place was threatened during some fiires a few years ago. Some locals there were staying to defend their properties, but it was thick wooded country with only a single narrow access road going up to the mountain, anyone staying and caught would be toast.

    During those fires a couple of guys survived by crawling into a culvert under a road, sharing it with a frightened kangaroo while the fire front swept past and over them. That is what made me think of Anderson shelters.

  114. mosomoso:

    Yes I am certainly aware of the history of severe fires here in Victoria, in particular in 1851 and on Black Friday 1939. I am aware that the loss of life in 1939 was far less than in 2009 (70 compared to 173) precisely because there were fewer people around then. It is not true that catastrophic fires in the past, like 1851, escaped notice.

    As I wrote above, the issue is the increasing frequency of such events and the fact that hot weather records are being broken at a much higher rate than cold weather records.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/rising-temperatures-make-mockery-of-rising-scepticism-20130114-2cpnz.html

    Anecdotally, this assertion is supported by the fires we have discussed:

    1851 to 1939 – 88 years
    1939 to 1983 – 44 years
    1983 to 2009 – 26 years
    2009 to 2013 – 4 years.

    And with regard to the role my aboriginal ancestors played in changing the landscape, ironically, it is the same Tim Flannery, head of the Climate Commision who wrote the above link who incurred the wrath of the politically correct by pointing out the role that the aborigines had in wiping out the megafauna and changing the landscape that existed prior to their arrival in his book “The Future Eaters”.

    It is he who edited and provided the introduction to my copy of Watkin Tench’s accounts of the earliest years of European settlement that we have been discussing.
    .

  115. Climate Ace,

    It occurs to me in our swapping stories that people who do not live in Victoria, the most bushfire prone state in the world, do not appreciate that these events are not just news stories we read about or watch on the television. They are regular parts of our lived experience. We all have our stores to tell of our own or friends or relatives experiences of threats to, or actual losses of, lives and property.

  116. Philip Shehan, I lived in Victoria until I was 27, my brother lives just outside Ballarat in Victoria – one of the fire fronts came within a mile of his property, which given the speed Australian fires travel, is way too close for comfort.

    But unlike you, I don’t seek to lay the blame on a half degree rise in global temperature. I prefer to focus on very real problems with countryside management policies, which are contributing to the severity of fires – such as the relatively recent move to embrace insane green zealotry, which is preventing Australian landowners from cutting proper firebreaks on their own properties.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/in-australia-if-you-try-to-clear-a-firebreak-on-your-land-you-could-go-to-gaol/

    Its all very well to say that it wouldn’t have made a difference in this case – in severe enough conditions firebreaks don’t work. But there is no doubt firebreaks can save lives. Australian bureaucrats and their political masters must share culpability for some of the deaths which are occurring because of their mismanagement and prejudice, rather than trying to blame everything on the climate hobgoblin.

  117. Eric Worral:

    I have no argument with you on the necessity of firebreaks.

    The premise of this thread is that a warming Australia is good news because ticks don’t like it.

    I have pointed out that there is a downside to a warming Australia.

  118. “The premise of this thread is that a warming Australia is good news because ticks don’t like it.”
    Go to top of page. Read Eric’s words. Clearly, the premise is that the recent hot spell has killed ticks, which is something Eric likes.

    As to there being a downside to a warming Australia, I’m with you on that, Philip. I feel lucky to had my first thirty years from 1949 to 1979, as opposed to the half century preceding that period. I didn’t like the period 1980 to 2006. Too many westerlies, too many El Ninos or whatever. Was that the warm PDO doing that to us?

    However, the period 2007 to 2012 has been my favourite of all. A couple of dry and hot early springs, a couple of cold winters in 2007 and 2008, some floods, but otherwise nice, with strong oceanic influence and mild summers. And no fires! Summer 2011 to 2012 was far too cool for holidayers and beach lovers, but I liked it. And we now get thunder in winter again, with stronger southerlies and weaker westerlies. Hope this present crappy summer is just a blip in my favourite climatic phase.

    Can’t hope for too much, of course. This is Australia. The last five or six years haven’t been as great elsewhere on this vast continent. (Spotting those variations is how Kidman made his money!) Though Eastern Australia started to get much wetter again in the fifties, drought was already creeping back by the end of that decade. But then the stormy seventies! Who knew? At the end of the decade, the hydrologists were thinking only about flood mitigation…and then all the floods stopped. Australia. Gawd.

    What is amazing to me is that the people who talk most earnestly about climate change never seem to notice when a marked climate change actually happens.

  119. Philip Shehan says:
    January 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Climate Ace,

    It occurs to me in our swapping stories that people who do not live in Victoria, the most bushfire prone state in the world, do not appreciate that these events are not just news stories we read about or watch on the television. They are regular parts of our lived experience. We all have our stores to tell of our own or friends or relatives experiences of threats to, or actual losses of, lives and property.

    Certainly if you have lived in the Victorian country, bushfires are part and parcel of your extended family histories. They are integral. If you have lived in inner urbia without country relatives, bushfires are santized by the MSM and you are unlikely to have much of an idea at all about the reality that you cannot control a eucalypt crown fire in certain conditions.

    No control at all.

  120. Jessie says:
    January 18, 2013 at 7:07 am

    I am interested in the comments by CAce on deliberate firing of riparian monsoon rainforests to protect scare and valuable food resources.

    My understanding of the history of the patchwork fire/caring for country story written about Australian Aboriginal people was this story began in Central Australia around the late 1970s. Spinifex and mulga country. The story was later taken up by the Centre for Appropriate Technology (or such), which later was taken up by CRC Desert Knowledge, extensively funded by partners. This was at a time when economic development became essential. 30-40 years of welfare had decimated entire groups of human beings. Additionally a new form of pseudo-employment in the absence of adequate education levels as rangers, tourist guides, caring for country and so on could be envisaged and enacted into industrial awards. And profitable training and research monies.

    Monsoon patches along the Top End Coast, and rainforest-type riparian strips, and rainforest patches in sandstone canyons in Arnhem, unlike eucalypt forests tend to be fire-sensitive. (This is, inter alia, one of the reasons why Australia is now covered mostly be eucalypt forests and not by rainforests, as it once way.

    These patches also tend to have disprorportionately high variety and volumes of things like tubers… aka traditional gathered foods. I can’t provide links but you might want to start with the Kakadu National Park Plan of Management which probably has links to the relevant research.

  121. Climate Ace:

    In your post at January 20, 2013 at 2:14 am you say

    I can’t provide links

    Yes, everybody has noticed that.
    You fail to provide anything to substantiate any of the nonsense you post on WUWT even when pressed to do it.

    Richard

  122. Global warming my ass!!! Indigenous plants here in Australia RELY on there being fires in order to shed their seeds and bark.

Comments are closed.