It's weather, not climate change, Governor Brown

Weather, not human-caused CO2-fueled global warming, is responsible for California wildfires

Guest essay by Robert W. Endlich

2017 featured incredibly intense, damaging wildfires in California: first the Wine Country fires of October, and later the massive Thomas Fire in December. Each destroyed hundreds of homes, the latter in many of the affluent suburbs and enclaves northwest of Los Angeles and Hollywood.

The Thomas Fire is the largest in modern California history, with over 1000 structures destroyed. The fires and subsequent mudslides killed over 60 people and left many others severely burned or injured.

California Governor Jerry Brown almost predictably blamed human-caused, carbon dioxide-fueled global warming and climate change, specifically droughts, as the cause of these conflagrations. During a December 9 visit to Ventura County, he again insisted that the drought conditions were the “new normal.” While acknowledging that California has experienced “very long droughts” throughout its history, he claimed that the returning dry spells of recent decades were “very bad” and would be “returning more often” because of manmade climate change.

It’s a nice attempt to deflect blame from his state’s ultra-green policies and poor forest management practices. Moreover, Governor Brown is just wrong about the alleged role of manmade climate change, as an examination of meteorological and climate data demonstrates. NOAA’s rainfall records for California show rainfall slightly increasing in California over the 125-year period since rainfall records began.

Meteorological conditions, as they develop over the course of a year, and during the multi-year El-Niño to La Niña cycles known as ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation), result in conditions that favor wildfires in California. Fire is a part of nature, much to the consternation of those who blame manmade climate change, and much to the dismay of those whose lives are disrupted by wildfire events such as these.

Of course, they can be – and are – worsened and even made catastrophic by failures to manage forests properly, especially when hundreds of homes are built near forests, and when weather and climate cycles intersect with those failures and incidents that start a wildfire.

In the United States, the “Sun Belt” from California to Florida receives that name because a feature of global circulation causes descending air about 30 degrees north and south of the equator. At the surface, this “Hadley cell” is evident in high pressure monthly and annual means (or averages); it’s also called the subtropical high and subtropical ridge.

In the northern hemisphere, the position and strength of the subtropical ridge changes over the course of the year, getting stronger and moving further north in the summertime.

In California that poleward migration of the subtropical ridge diverts rain-producing storm systems poleward to the north, resulting in an almost complete loss of rainfall in the summer. The annual Los Angeles climatology illustrated in Figure 1 helps tell the story of the California wildfire season.

With this information, if we think critically, the usual situation is for vegetation to sprout in wet winter months, grow – and then dry out because of the lack of summer rainfall, causing vegetation to be driest in late summer and early fall.

This is exactly the situation described in a recent article that mentions October as the worst month for wildfires and quotes University of California fire expert Max Moritz, who says “By the time you get to this season, right when you’re starting to anticipate some rain, it’s actually the most fire prone part of the year.” Power line and other management failures increase the likelihood of disaster.

Yet another factor is the failure or refusal of government agencies to permit the removal of dead, diseased and desiccated trees and brush from these woodlands – especially in the broad vicinity of these communities. In fact, California forests have 129 million dead trees, according to the US Forest Service. Together, these factors all but ensure recurrent conflagrations and tragic losses of property and lives.

As autumn sets in, the first cold frontal passages and cold air masses build into Nevada and adjacent states, and a northeasterly pressure gradient develops over California. Because of atmospheric physics, a process called adiabatic compression causes hot, dry winds to develop, often quickly and dramatically.

The Wine country fires of 2017 began suddenly during the evening of October 8, with development of the first fierce Diablo Winds of the season. Contemporary news accounts link the onset of ten fires within ninety minutes to PG&E power poles falling, many into dry trees. In one account, a Sonoma County resident said “trees were on fire like torches.”

The Mercury News carried a story saying that Governor Brown had vetoed a unanimously-passed 2016 bill to fund power line safety measures. But the governor wants to spend still more money combating manmade climate change and compelling a major and rapid shift from fossil fuels to expensive, unreliable, weather-dependent wind and solar power for electricity generation

There was a significant cooling of Pacific Ocean temperatures from the peak of the 2015-16 El Niño to December 2017, such that La Niña conditions have developed in recent months. This distinct pattern shift  brought distinctly drier conditions from southern California and Arizona to Florida and South Carolina.

This pattern shift is part of the evolution of temperature and precipitation change areas characteristic of the ENSO sequence of events. Contrary to Governor Brown’s politically inspired assertions, it clearly is not the result of human-caused, CO2-fueled global warming.

This brings us to the devastating Thomas Fire, which began on the evening of 4 December 2017, and was not completely contained by New Year’s Eve, 31 December. Behavior of this fire was controlled by a large-in-extent and long-in-duration Santa Ana Wind event, and like the previous Wine Country Fire, was dominated by high pressure over Nevada and persistent hot, dry, strong down-slope winds that commonly occur during such meteorological conditions.

In short, it is meteorological conditions which create the environment for the spread of such fires. This year’s changeover from wet El Niño to dry La Niña conditions played a significant part in the atmospheric set-up for the 2017 fires.

In Australia, it is widely accepted that fuel reduction actions are an accepted practice in fire management.

This is not the case in the USA, where considerable debate still rages over the issue, and where environmentalists, politicians, regulators and courts have united to block tree thinning, brush removal and harvesting of dead and dying trees. The resulting conditions are perfect for devastating wildfires, which denude hillsides and forest habitats, leaving barren soils that cannot absorb the heavy rains that frequently follow the fires – leading to equally devastating, equally deadly mudslides.

In fact, environmental regulations associated with ill-fated attempts to help the spotted owl have eliminated logging and clearing throughout California and most of the Mountain West – with catastrophic results. Special legislation has been drafted to begin to address this problem.

However, it is uncertain whether the legislation will be enacted and whether timber harvesting and/or fuel reduction strategies can be implemented in time to address the fuel excesses that exacerbate these dangerous conditions, setting the stage for yet another round of infernos and mudslides that wipe out wildlife habitats, destroy homes and communities, and leave hundreds of people dead, injured or burned horribly. When will the responsible parties be held accountable, and compelled to change their ways?

Robert W. Endlich has a bachelor’s degree in geology and a master’s in meteorology and served as US Air Force Weather Officer for 21 Years. He has provided toxic corridor and laser propagation support to the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range, published in the technical literature and worked as software test engineer at New Mexico State University.

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February 16, 2018 12:48 am

While acknowledging that California has experienced “very long droughts” throughout its history, he claimed that the returning dry spells of recent decades were “very bad” and would be “returning more often” because of manmade climate change.

I’ve heard this new-normal-drought has even a name, it is called a ‘flash drought’. Climate change makes serious flash droughts return more and more often.
(just where is logic?)

Reply to  Hugs
February 16, 2018 12:54 am

More seriously, the governor is utterly responsible of leading both adaptation and mitigation, but mostly not responsible of emissions that he thinks cause drought. So by saying CC did it, he’s basically saying he wasn’t prepared.

Reply to  Hugs
February 16, 2018 2:45 am

Where is logic? Rather simple. Logic is the first casualty when the prevailing discourse about any topic pits reason against faith — Or faith against reason, if you prefer. With something that has the physical complexity of the planet’s climate and weather, it is always for those who wish to to concoct a “faith-based” science-sounding explanation for just about any occurrence — especially when they are able to “doctor” the data to fit the desired diagnosis.

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 16, 2018 12:54 am

If I had lost my home to a fire caused by a power line failure and that failure was the result of the veto by the mad gouvernor, perhaps I would have a case for a lawsuit against him personally?

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 16, 2018 7:32 am

Two words: sovereign immunity.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
February 16, 2018 7:43 am

one word: dang

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 16, 2018 10:00 am

… or you would move … to, say, Texas.

February 16, 2018 1:48 am

More accurately, it’s the governor’s bad management.

Reply to  Hivemind
February 16, 2018 2:47 pm

Right. It is not climate and not even weather. It is governor Brown and his accomplices. There are wild fires in California every year. How did they put fires down in 1930’s without firefighting aircraft, bulldozers, drones etc.? I guess that mismanaged and underfunded firefighting services. And I cannot exclude intentional sabotage. Jerry Brown might have prevented fire fighters from responding quickly to boost his climate crusade.
The Thomas Fire began on the evening of 4 December 2017. Paris Climate Summit started on December 12 in Paris. Might be coincidence, of course.

February 16, 2018 2:10 am

What happened to the owls, then? Not too badly singed one hopes?

Gunga Din
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
February 16, 2018 4:08 pm

I saw a picture once (looked for it, couldn’t find it) of a spotted owl nest in a broken K-Mart sign.
It must have been an “old growth” sign. (Maybe that’s why it was broken?)

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
February 17, 2018 12:00 am

Don’t think the EPA was ever too concerned about the spotted owl. IMO, the West’s timber industry was an early trial run to see how far they could go using the “endangered” species act to “protect” say, an owl, which was perfectly capable of flying from one tree to nest in another. And historically had survived forest fires, bad winters, droughts just fine. For the EPA, shutting down the West’s timber industry and “saving the spotted owl” was a success. For the timber industry and the people who worked within it, and who were supported by it, it was a tragic, unmitigated, uncalled for disaster; one of the largest triggered by the EPA’s use of its carte blanche administrative “law”, aka known as rules and regulations (that did not require congressional approval), couched under the monikers of “endangered” and “threatened” whatever’s. The “endangered” owls were just a means to an end for the EPA to implement its real agenda of thinning businesses and people working the lands in the Western states–and later throughout the U.S.– using endangered kangaroo rats, fish, snail darters, tit mice, cactus, phantom lynx’s, turtles you name it. Spotted owls or other “endangered’s”, I don’t think, were ever very high on their agenda.

February 16, 2018 2:22 am

But California has had a carbon trading mechanism in place for several years, surely this should have fixed the weather by now.
What’s taking so long, Jerry?

February 16, 2018 2:23 am

Failure to clear undergrowth and dead trees is negligence. The presence of eucalyptus forests must surely be begging for disaster. Californians are merely reaping the rewards of years of bad government policy and green pressure.

February 16, 2018 2:29 am

Why is that mad green policies in California match mad green policies in Australia, with the same result? I can understand the same outcome but not the matching group think. Is this caused by the pollination of the same ideas at government conferences? eg COPnn. Its going to be cold in Poland.

Reply to  Geoff
February 16, 2018 8:52 pm

In regard to forestry management , they dont match at all. Nice correlation between South Australia and California though, both terminally stupid, both like to close working power stations and then have blackouts.

Barry Sheridan
February 16, 2018 3:15 am

I read a book years ago titled ‘The Cadillac Desert,’ this work quoted someone’s observation that 99% of mankind cannot admit to a mistake. The applies especially to politicians who think it is suicide to admit they are wrong. Governor Brown is a prime example of this phenomenon. An individual whose attraction to simplistic ideology prevents him being practical. Instead as Californians are growing to realise, their leaders are making matters worse and will continue to do so until they finally take responsibility and vote these idiots out.

February 16, 2018 3:19 am

Houses with flammable roofs built so close together had as much to do with the large housing destruction as anything else.

February 16, 2018 3:19 am

Willis and Anthony, that was a completely cheap trick you pulled on the ideal gas debate between Holmes and Willis and others.
I was going to post there and ask people to pipe up and say if they want the argument to move forward, lest WUWT close comments due to either
1) apparent lack of interest, or
2) the perception on the part of WUWT that the argument is going nowhere.
It seemed to be that if we had more than a few votes urging the discussion to continue, then that would preclude closing comments.
However, you beat me to it!
Willis was cornered and he knew it, and he took the easy way out.
I don’t give a crap if you ban me from your site for life, Willis can go jump in a lake. He has proved to me, at least, that he can dish it out but that he can’t take it, and that he’d rather evade the issue than face an argument head-on and honesty. He can’t think very clearly, either, and he’s contaminating others with his confusion. Junk thinking, Willis, junk thinking that employs cheap tricks to “win.”
Congratulations! I don’t think this has gone unnoticed. You “won.”

Reply to  Don132
February 16, 2018 5:17 am

I wonder what this ranting, emotionally immature hater is talking about? With logic like this on display, it probably doesn’t matter.

Reply to  arthur4563
February 16, 2018 5:29 am

Comments were apparently closed on another thread and he came to this one to complain about it.

Reply to  arthur4563
February 16, 2018 5:58 am

arthur4563, this post has been closed, despite that we were having a productive discussion on the ideal gas law that relates to a new paper by Robert Holmes. Willis is opposed to Holmes’ view; I participated heavily in the debate, my goal being to help both sides clarify the issue and sort things out. I’ve been fair: I set out a logical argument based on the science, asserted that Willis was wrong unless he could prove one of the minor premises was wrong, and then, when no one directly attacked the argument but instead pointed me to another way to consider it, I clearly and distinctly pointed out that one of the premises was in fact wrong, and that Willis was right. All agreed that I had soundly whipped “Badger’s argument,” even though I’d been rooting for Holmes from the start, and even though that was a key argument Holmes had used on WUWT.
But, that was only a small part of the debate, and as we moved on it was clear to me, and I suspect to many others, that Willis was being cornered, and that in a short time he would be forced to acknowledge one of Holmes’ key points and this would have forced him to seriously reconsider Holmes’ position. The solution: the debate was cut off.
I did not care if my complaint, above, was posted (I had my doubts it would be) and I’m sorry to interfere on the present blog topic, but I wanted to express to WUWT what a low and cheap blow that was, and if anyone cares to wade through the morass of that debate they can see for themselves. Yes, I could have used the “contact” form and probably should have, but at the time I didn’t search for it. On the other hand, it might be good for others to be aware of what’s going on in this supposedly open-minded forum.

Reply to  arthur4563
February 16, 2018 8:46 am

You’re a logician, therefore when you proclaim that you were winning, you were.
Even if others disagree.

Reply to  arthur4563
February 16, 2018 9:17 am

MarkW February 16, 2018 at 8:46 am:
“You’re a logician, therefore when you proclaim that you were winning, you were.
Even if others disagree.”
MarkW, I follow the logic of any argument that’s put before me. That’s why I myself pointed out how my own argument, which I distilled from Badger’s argument, was wrong. I thought I was right; I myself proved that a key premise was wrong. Once I did that, NO ONE disputed the conclusion– it was crystal clear. And I conceded.
That’s the beauty of logic. If you clarify your terms and set the argument out in a logical manner, it’s much, much easier to see if the argument is valid, and it’s much easier to test or attack. If the argument survives, it’s valid.
It’s not about my opinion. I don’t care if I “win” or “lose” an argument. For me “winning” means getting clear about exactly what we’re saying. “Losing” means leaving things in a morass of confusion where no one understands what anyone else is saying. In the ideal gas debate which was cut short, we all lost.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  arthur4563
February 16, 2018 10:02 am

Short version is that Anthony cut off another Sky Dragon argument, because he hates Sky Dragons. Long version is that I’m pretty sure Don132 and Richard Feynman are right about this, and Willis and RGBatduke are both wrong. A tall column of insulated non-IR-absorbing gas in a gravitational field at rest will exhibit both a pressure and a temperature gradient, and this does not violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, nor does it constitute “work” being mysteriously done. Just a distribution of kinetic and potential energy in a gravitational field.

Reply to  arthur4563
February 16, 2018 1:16 pm

Robert Holmes February 15, 2018 at 10:13 pm, at
“Did no-one read my paper?
This has been solved experimentally;
Graeff, R. W. (2007). Viewing The Controversy Loschmidt–Boltzmann/Maxwell Through Macroscopic Measurements Of The Temperature Gradients In Vertical Columns Of Water. Preprint. Additional Results Are on the Web Page.
A temperature gradient was found to form in vertical sealed tubes of both water and air.”

Reply to  Don132
February 16, 2018 6:32 am

Wow, you really do take things personally.

Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 6:58 am

I don’t take things personally in a logical debate. However, when someone is losing or it appears they’re about to lose and then plays their hand by closing the debate, that shows me they had no interest in honest debate and were only pretending to all along.
If you were playing chess and knew that in a few moves you were going to checkmate your opponent and then your opponent declared that the game was going nowhere and was done, would you take it personally? I think you might be a bit offended and a little “WTF?” That way he couldn’t lose; the game was simply “going nowhere”– for him!

Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 7:44 am

Who was losing is pretty subjective in this case.

Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 8:26 am

MarkW, no, it was not so subjective after all.
I’m a logician. I lay things out in logical arguments, and that’s what I was doing. In so doing, it becomes very clear to everyone what the arguments are– that’s the goal. In each of the premises of the argument we have to clarify terms and understand exactly what we’re saying– and this clarification, as Willis will attest, was my main thrust even though at times it might have seemed that I’m dense (which I am but it doesn’t matter; all that matters is that all of the terms are crystal clear to everyone.)
Once the argument is clarified there’s no subjectivity about what’s at stake, and as I mentioned earlier in the case of Badger’s argument there was absolutely no denying that the argument was ultimately proved false– even though I myself had first asserted (note: asserted, but not proved conclusively) that the argument was irrefutable– unless one refuted one of the minor premises. And that is what I did: instead of shutting up about it and letting the others hash out arguments in various side-threads with no clear resolution, I spoke up and pointed out how one of the premises COULD NOT be true (thanks to help from others who, however, did not connect their objections to the logical argument at stake.) It then became an irrefutably and unavoidably false argument; Badger’s argument was resolved once and for all. Willis won that argument. Note: I’m on the side that supports Holmes, who first set forward Badger’s argument.
So moving on from there to defining terms and clarifying additional arguments and figuring out exactly what Willis was saying, Willis was indeed cornered because whether he knew it or not he was headed for a massive and unavoidable logical contradiction by holding his position. I suspect he saw it coming– that’s why comments were closed. If he was not “losing” then I suggest they open the debate back up and prove it.

Reply to  Don132
February 16, 2018 10:12 am

The threads regularly time out after about a week, why not ask if they’ll start a continuation post?

Reply to  Phil.
February 16, 2018 12:48 pm

Thank you, Phil. I think Willis & co were/are well-aware of the importance of the discussion and of the turning point we were at. If you were the same “Phil” as at the discussion, then I owe much to Phil for helping me see the flaw in the “Badger argument.”
Willis really hates Holmes’ viewpoint. That’s OK, we were trying to work it out– or so I thought. His entire post began with a mockery of Holmes.
Now that I’ve vented I’m OK with dropping it– I have a life, too, and I’ve spent an awful lot of time the past days debating. If Willis wants to re-open the debate he knows where to find me. You can be sure that if/when this debate comes up again I’ll get straight to the core of the argument– and I will have boned up on some key concepts. And next time I won’t be assuming that the argument is in good-faith on all sides.
Once again, my apologies for interrupting.

Peta of Newark
February 16, 2018 4:10 am

Oh dear, the short-termism of it all, human politics esp…
There is of course a feedback system going on here and it is just about the one place in climate/weather science where one might actually say it is a positive feedback so, where to start?
With some nice pictures Willis showed us recently from his current favourite Sputnik – it was a picture of where clouds (hence rain) occur.
There was one thing that should have hit everyone smack between their eyes and it was that where-ever, anywhere ever, there is a lot of liquid water on this planet’s surface, there are lots of clouds and hence rain. Rain not being good stuff for people & places with an incendiary bent.
By short termism, my staring point is, at very least, is 2000 years= the time since those ever so clever and fervent agriculturists (seriously) The Romans turned Southern Europe (and Nth Africa) into a desert. A state it still effectively is. Why folks like to go on holiday there. Much like California. No?
And there is the positive feedback, once you’ve made a desert, it is damn near impossible to turn it around again.
So. Do rainforests burn. Does the Boreal Forest burn. Do the forests here in the UK burn.
Only when people burn them. (I drove past Drax last night. Have you ever seen that thing lit up at night. I genuinely felt sick to the stomach knowing what’s going on in there.)
So what is a forest if not an epic assemblage of carbon atoms each attended to by a water molecule. Not just the living trees, they’re only a tiny (10% maybe) part of it. All that junk on the floor is made of water and water begets water.
Enter Willis – water makes clouds and rain and rain puts out fires.
California is going to burn. Period.
10’s of thousands of years of cutting chopping clearing the forest by industrious little humans has left it in such a weakened state it cannot defend itself any more. It cannot accumulate the green growth and hence all the litter it needs to produce significant rain fall upon itself.
*There* is the actual positive feedback mechanism because the litter holds the (fertile) dirt together.
I know that bursts a lot of bubbles. Sadly plants do actually need just a little bit more than CO2 alone to grow – no matter what you imagine happens inside commercial greenhouses.
My remedy for California.
Its big. It has to be.
Gather up those dead trees and stuff, run ’em through a chipper and assemble into large, fairly squat piles. Ideally grind up some of the local rocks and mix that into the heaps you’re building.
While you’re working, pump as much water into those heaps as they will hold. It will be a lot.
Also, in some the entirely clear bits you’ve created, big some quite deep holes and fill them with water.
Any water. There’s an entire ocean just off shore, use some of that.
IOW – get some water into that landscape. Get as much water into there stored in those heaps of litter and those deep lakes as you possibly can.
At some point, you will break the positive feedback loop and another self-reinforcing loop will start – one that self-maintains the forest.
You’ll know when you’ve done enough because the weather will change and you can switch the pumps/grinders/chippers off then and go do some *really* important stuff like Bitcoin mining, Faerie Counting, squabbling on Facebork etc etc

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 16, 2018 4:26 am

Sadly replacing lawns with “desert gardens is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 16, 2018 5:28 am

Salt is poison to terrestrial plants, so using ocean water would be a good way to guarantee that nothing will grow there.
When the Romans defeated the Carthaginians, they not only razed Carthage to the ground, they also sowed salt in all of the fields. They did NOT want them coming back.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 16, 2018 6:35 am

California is a desert because the oceans are deep and cold.
Nothing man can do will change that.
The Romans didn’t turn southern Europe into a desert, changing climate did that.

Leo Smith
Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 6:44 am

“The deersts of North Africa and the Middle East are a tribute to 10,000 years of organic farming”

Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 7:44 am

No, they are a tribute to climate changing after the last ice age.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 16, 2018 7:56 am

You touched on an issue that would be a really good use in dry areas for all of that dead wood, and it wouldn’t require grinding it up – hugelculture. Just put it in a pile and cover it with dirt. Great moisture retainer.

February 16, 2018 4:35 am

Weather isn’t caused by CO2.
Isolating the Contribution of CO2 on Atmospheric Temperature
In any serious scientific experiment, efforts are made to “control” for as many exogenous factors as possible. The whole purpose is to isolate the impact of the independent variable on the dependent variable. ΔWeightloss = ΔCaloric Intake + ΔExercise + ΔBase Metabolism + error. To minimize the error of the model (maximize explanatory power), variables outside … Continue reading
Hey California!!!, Wind and Solar Don’t Work in a Flood
I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Climate realists like myself have been trying to call attention to how dangerous the misallocation of resources caused by this war on climate change truly is. Now California is finding out…too late. Live updates: Evacuations below Oroville Dam remain in effect as officials … Continue reading

Reply to  co2islife
February 16, 2018 5:24 am

Springboarding off your title… to the Arctic… but it’s funny. Extreme Greens just don’t have any sense to be able to solve real world problems.

Reply to  icisil
February 16, 2018 9:19 am

LOL this is what all of those PV panels and wind generators that they want to put in the Arctic would look like. Think of all the great job opportunities this would create. This is from the maiden voyage of the LNG carrier icebreaker.

Reply to  co2islife
February 16, 2018 6:38 am

What’s sad is that when you get that far north, the difference in reflectivity between ice and water is not very large. This has been well known for decades, but the activists have to have something to agitate over, so they ignore reality and try to waste even more of other people’s money in order to prove to themselves that they are people who care, and matter.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 7:49 am

When you consider also the angle of incidence, far more energy is being radiated away by the water than is being added by insolation. Eric can’t even get the fundamentals correct.

Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 8:30 am

Yet he calls himself a meteorologist. IMO he excels at g̶r̶e̶e̶n̶ yellow journalism. In one of his latest Chicken Little “the s̶k̶y̶ ice is f̶a̶l̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ melting” articles he stated that “a tanker ship completed the first wintertime crossing of the Arctic Ocean without the assistance of an icebreaker.” This gives the “oh no!” impression that the Arctic is melting. A brief search using the link he provided revealed that the tanker is a brand new Russian ice breaker built to carry LNG. Oops! Nothing to see here, though. Just keep on hyperventilating.

Reply to  MarkW
February 16, 2018 8:49 am

When sea water is uncovered, it also evaporates, which eventually results in more snow falling on the land surrounding the arctic ocean.
This snow actually does reflect a lot more light than the ground it covers, and being further south, there’s more light to reflect as well.

February 16, 2018 4:48 am

The Ferrel Cells have been especially strong this year. Is there something happening that is making this happen? The cool waters allowing less pressure and more convection?

February 16, 2018 5:18 am

The man accused of setting the California wildfires is Damian Anthony Pashilk, who has been arraigned on 17 counts of serial arson.
The Governor is correct. It’s man-made alright.

February 16, 2018 6:14 am

From the article: “Contemporary news accounts link the onset of ten fires within ninety minutes to PG&E power poles falling, many into dry trees.”
Really? Looks like a pattern.
Jerry Brown needs to put on his gloves and start clearing that fuel . Ship all those dead trees to England. They know what to do with them.

Tom Halla
February 16, 2018 6:25 am

Jerry Brown has been a bit erratic since his first term, when he appointed Adriana Gianturco head of CalTrans, the state roads agency. She made a comment that it was useless to build more roads as people would drive on them.
Jerry has not learned much, but his getting elected despite his record is one reason I left California.

Roger Knights
February 16, 2018 7:28 am

“environmental regulations associated with ill-fated attempts to help the spotted owl have eliminated logging and clearing throughout California and most of the Mountain West – with catastrophic results.”
Greenies don’t want dead trees cut down because the spotted owl prefers to nest in them. Meanwhile, the government is shooting barred owls, which are invading and displacing and/or mating with the spotted owls (their cousins). These facts should be publicized in California newspapers and media—and should have been in the article.

Reply to  Roger Knights
February 16, 2018 7:46 am

I thought spotted owls were in N. California, Oregon and Washington.

Roger Knights
Reply to  MarkW
February 19, 2018 10:04 am

You’re right. But there have been fires in prior years, and in 2017, in those states that would have been lesser if thinning had been permitted.

Steve Lohr
Reply to  Roger Knights
February 16, 2018 8:42 am

The march of the barred owls continues. Those suckers are turning up everywhere. It’s hard not to be cynical about the claims of those who would be “experts”. Spotted owl; RIP. For those who would reach out and take-control- of-nature good luck. I’ll hold your beer.

Reply to  Steve Lohr
February 16, 2018 8:51 am

Somebody wrote here a few months ago that the spotted owl and some other type of owl were genetically the same species. The different colorations were just different expressions of the same genes, based on environment when maturing.

Reply to  Steve Lohr
February 16, 2018 11:28 am

MarkW- Barred owl and Spotted owl are of the same family so can cross breed. Barred owls are from the east and have been moving west while the Spotted owl is a western bird that’s not moving east. What environmentalist did not want to admit to is that Barred owls either cross breed with Spotted owls or eat them depending on their personal preferences. This makes for a declining Spotted owl population and a growing Barred owl population. They didn’t admit to the issue until they asked for permission to start shooting those dastardly Barred owls.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Steve Lohr
February 16, 2018 1:33 pm

Darrin: Yeah – the ‘spotted owl’ – the bird that conservationists used to destroy logging in Oregon. Seemed like kind of a trial run for destroying other major industries.

February 16, 2018 7:30 am

It’s politics, positioning, distortions of convenience, and money maneuvers for Gov. Brown and his staff. Climate change for them is a mantra and not a fact-based exercise. All untestable claims are welcome.

February 16, 2018 8:02 am

So, here’s the logic:
Allow more and more people to live in California, which requires more and more housing to be built, which logic would indicate requires more and more land management to insure the safety of those living in those enlarging communities.
But no, we have to allow nature — EXCLUDING US — to run its natural course, returning all nutrients of dead trees and brush back to their Mother — this is Gaiya’s decree. But humans live here now and are SHARING with Gaiya, and are now PARTS of Gaiya. But since humans are evil for Gaiya, we cannot help to save Gaiya from burning by managing our sharing the land with Her.
We cannot cut Her branches to help Her better share either. We can crowd into Her body and rape Her land with our housing, but we cannot go any farther in any further effort to safely manage this. We are ashamed that we have invaded Her as we have, and we must limit this “invasion”, even if it means helping to kill part of Her, which part of Her we could have saved with better follow through and with a full vision of what we are doing. But no, Gaiya will understand our stupidity and will forgive us.
Great logic !

February 16, 2018 9:52 am

Nothing new here, Governor Brown. Same thing happened when CO2 levels were far lower:

February 16, 2018 10:42 am

Anthony, thanks for posting.
Folks, if you are interested in a longer version of this essay with several supporting graphs and diagrams, it is on line at Master Resource here:

Jim Steele
February 16, 2018 6:19 pm

Robert your analysis is spot on. I posted a similar analysis of Californias wildfires on WUWT
Gov Brown, Arnold and climate science provoceus like Kevin Trenberth shamelessly make the claim global warming as extended the fire seas. But real science shows.
In the linked 2017 paper researchers reported that across the USA from 1992 to 2012, “human-caused fire season was three times longer than the lightning-caused fire season and added an average of 40,000 wildfires per year across the United States. Human-started wildfires disproportionally occurred where fuel moisture was higher.” Furthermore “Human-started wildfires were dominant (>80% of ignitions) in over 5.1 million km2, the vast majority of the United States, whereas lightning-started fires were dominant in only 0.7 million km2.”

February 16, 2018 8:58 pm

“In Australia, it is widely accepted that fuel reduction actions are an accepted practice in fire management.”
Used to be conventional wisdom then for a long time the radical Greens held sway and fuel load expanded, eventually it exploded resulting in heavy losses of life and property. Investigations held and lessons allegedly learned. Things are more pragmatic now and communications to those in the path of these fires has greatly improved. Hopefully the cycle doesnt turn again.

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