Remember when we were told that wildfires would increase due to global warming? Never mind.

This paper was just published in the Royal Society Biological Sciences journal. The takeaways:

“Global area burned appears to have overall declined over past decades, and there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago.”

Global trends in wildfire and its impacts: perceptions versus realities in a changing world

Figure 2. Wildfire occurrence (a) and corresponding area burnt (b) in the European Mediterranean region for the period 1980–2010. Source: San-Miguel-Ayanz et al. [37].

Abstract

Wildfire has been an important process affecting the Earth’s surface and atmosphere for over 350 million years and human societies have coexisted with fire since their emergence. Yet many consider wildfire as an accelerating problem, with widely held perceptions both in the media and scientific papers of increasing fire occurrence, severity and resulting losses. However, important exceptions aside, the quantitative evidence available does not support these perceived overall trends.

Instead, global area burned appears to have overall declined over past decades, and there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago. Regarding fire severity, limited data are available. For the western USA, they indicate little change overall, and also that area burned at high severity has overall declined compared to pre-European settlement. Direct fatalities from fire and economic losses also show no clear trends over the past three decades. Trends in indirect impacts, such as health problems from smoke or disruption to social functioning, remain insufficiently quantified to be examined. Global predictions for increased fire under a warming climate highlight the already urgent need for a more sustainable coexistence with fire. The data evaluation presented here aims to contribute to this by reducing misconceptions and facilitating a more informed understanding of the realities of global fire.This article is part of themed issue ‘The interaction of fire and mankind’.

The paper: Global trends in wildfire and its impacts: perceptions versus realities in a changing world.  2016 Jun 5;371(1696). pii: 20150345. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0345.

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/371/1696/20150345

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Joe - the non climate scientist

There will also be an increase in cancer due to global warming

there will also be an increase in deaths from cold weather because people will forget how to cope with the cold during those rare cold spells

R. Shearer

Also, more people will die from old age. It’s insidious.

rocketscientist

Well…if you live long enough you’ll die from something.

John F. Hultquist

Why?

saveenergy

The mistery of life !!

MarkW

mist-ery? Is that why it’s so hard to see?

ripshin

MarkW,

“Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Basically, it’s made up of two separate words — “mank” and “ind.” What do these words mean? It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.”

-Deeper Thoughts, Jack Handy

rip

Killer Marmot

No one dies from old age.

Bryan A

I once thought I would die from crossing the river but I got over it.

Henning Nielsen

That’s right. Remember the malaria scare some time ago? More of that was to come because of CAGW. But it is not mentioned anymore now.

commieBob

Global area burned appears to have overall declined over past decades, and there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago.

We have the technology and wealth to control fires much better than we did before.

It’s not necessarily better to have fewer fires. Some kinds of forest need fire.

R. Shearer

It’s down by an order of magnitude from the 1930’s, at least in the U.S.

ozspeaksup

apart from eucy forest is there anything else that likes fire and regenerates?

MarkW

There are several types of pine who’s cones don’t open to drop the seeds unless they are heated. The only natural way to get the cones hot enough is a forest fire.

Fires also clear the underbrush which gives young trees a chance to get started.

Kristi Silber

This paper has no bearing whatsoever on whether wildfires will increase due to global warming. It addresses the relationship people have with fire, both in its use and suppression.

Once again, a misleading title representing a misunderstanding of the research.

[Moderator edit: In order to prevent needless meandering along a dead end, the mods would like to point out that this commenter has walked back the initial claim that the paper has nothing to do with GW. See here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/25/remember-when-we-were-told-that-global-wildfires-would-increase-due-to-global-warming-never-mind/#comment-2414051. Thus, we can all get back to more relevant discussions and let this particular kerfluffle die. Thank you. That is all. -mod]

David Crowe

Not really a fair criticism because if there was a strong upward trend it would make international headlines and become ‘proof’ of global warming. You are correct that man has been both starting and stopping fires at different rates over time. I don’t see how you could correct for those factors therefore the research was never going to be able to answer the question of whether there is a trend in fires related to climate change.

Kristi Silber

My criticism is about Anthony’s interpretation of the paper, and the resulting title of the post. My comment has absolutely nothing to do with the actual relationship between climate change an wildfire, or my ideas about it. I agree with you.

ATheoK

Ah!
It’s all about your ‘Anthony derangement syndrome’.

[The mods note that this comment is not conducive to furthering the conversation. -mod]

comment image

Kristi Silber

Ahhh, now I get it! “Derangement” is the skeptic term for “reason”!

Just teasing y’all.

AGW says lots of stuff, both implied and actual.

Ah! The quickness with which AGW forgets or out right denies that they said anything.

Bryan A

And the Lamestream Media’s biased reporting which generally tends to make the connections between the report and climate change. Hence the fires in Greece originally reported with a Climate Twist then brought to light the Arson Aspect

Joe - the non climate scientist

Nor does any peer reviewed paper support the theory that wildfires will increase due to global warming – at least not based on empirical evidence – maybe based on climate models – but not based on empirical evidence.

clipe

This paper has no bearing whatsoever on whether wildfires will increase due to global warming

That’s because there is no evidence “whatsoever on whether wildfires will increase due to global warming”.

Edwin

Kristi, Do you have any hypothesis as to why wildfires, those NOT caused by humans, would increase due to global warming. I cannot think of any “wildfire” natural or anthropogenic in the last decade that could possibly be linked to a warming climate. All were either caused by very poor land management, arson, and/ or long years of fire suppression. We have had prescribe burns that were grossly mismanaged that became wildfires but again no connection to global warming.

Kristi Silber

Edwin, no I don’t, not really. Haven’t thought about it much. Increased temps can lead to drought, and they have apparently led to an increase in the outbreaks of bark boring beetles that have destroyed enormous swathes of forest in the Rockies. But that could be counteracted by effects of increased moisture in other parts of the world. So I don’t know what the net global effects might be, and I haven’t read anything about it.

“All were either caused by very poor land management, arson, and/ or long years of fire suppression.” I don’t know where you get that idea. Some, yes, but the impacts of drought and temps shouldn’t be discounted.

rocketscientist

Bark boring beetles are neither new nor rare. I believe the issue with bark boring beetles is not any increase in prevalence or numbers, but their parasitic behavior combined with the stress from drought was more than some trees could sustain.

Roger Knights

I read here that the forests the beetles devoured recently consisted of a monoculture of lodgepole pines all planted at the same time (after a fire?) and reaching senescence together, making them more vulnerable to the beetles.

Kristi Silber

That may be true in some cases, but the damage certainly wasn’t restricted to those conditions.

‘There are 17 native species of bark beetles in the family Dendroctonus and Ips that are known to occur in RMNP [Rocky Mountain National Park]. Periodic outbreaks of native bark beetles have occurred throughout the history of the park. However, none have been as severe as the recent outbreak. Though bark beetles cause a substantial loss of trees, they are recognized as part of “natural conditions.” Several species of bark beetles are presently killing lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, limber pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir and Colorado blue spruce.

“Hard winters with cold temperatures can kill beetle eggs and larvae wintering under a tree’s outer bark. Related to general climate warming, average winter temperatures in the Rocky Mountains have been higher than normal over the /past ten years. Trees have also been weakened by a prolonged period of low precipitation. The combination of milder temperatures and low precipitation has aided a vast outbreak of beetles.”
https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/nature/mtn_pine_beetle_background.htm

See also comment above.

Kristi Silber

It’s true that they are neither new nor rare, and their abundance is cyclic, but there’s evidence suggesting that warmer winters increased their numbers. And their destruction has been exceptionally high for a while – in CO alone about 5 million acres have been killed in the last two decades by just two beetle species (https://csfs.colostate.edu/media/sites/22/2017/02/CSU_304464_ForestReport-2016-www.pdf). Have you seen the forests in Wyoming and Colorado? I’ve been to a few areas of the Rockies, and the extent of the damage is absolutely astounding. Entire mountainsides, and many of them, flat brown.

It’s also true that drought (from a tree’s perspective) can influence susceptibility, and that in turn can be the result of lower snow pack and higher temperatures during the growing season – or higher variability in either even if the average doesn’t change – all potential effects of climate change.

Bryan A

Perhaps the fertilization effect of CO2 will cause the pines to lose nutritional value causing the bark beetle populace to die from starvation.

Parts of Colorado should be flat brown. It’s a semi arid environment. In recent times there was more rain that allowed the trees to grow. Rain is a hit or miss. They probably shouldn’t be there. Some years there is more rain and some years not so much.
You are making an assumptions that 1. CO2 is causing warming, it is not co2 follows temperature ( how many ppm/v does it take to raise the temp 1 C ? ) . 2. Warming or cooling is not normal, both are normal and sometimes extreme in short periods of time. That is well recorded in historical documents.
You are also assuming that lower snow packs is a result of global warming caused by anthropogentic co2. You have no memory Kristi. California has had a lot of snow the last 2 winters when ‘concerned climate scientists’ were attributing the loss of snow to warming. If less snow is a result of warming, what is more snow? A result of warming too? Increased water vapor? Or the rains in Australia, fear inducing panic, it wasn’t suppose to rain.
We have pine beetles that have wrecked our pines. I suspect something else. Too many trees.
The trees all compete for the same water lowering the amount of water in the soil during times of drought. With fewer trees the moisture content increases and the fewer trees are healthier, more resistant to fires, and the spacing helps stop wildfires. Not that fires don’t happen, there is less fuel to burn.

Kristi Silber

“Parts of Colorado should be flat brown.”

Yes, but generally not huge swathes of evergreen forests.

1. Yes, AGW makes the assumption that increased CO2 causes warming – but it’s more than an assumption. That’s the whole theory, first posited over 100 years ago and confirmed since. To dispute that increased atmospheric CO2 causes global temperatures to rise (except when natural variations such as solar and oceanic cycles are strong enough to overcome the effect, at least temporarily), you’d have to disprove the physics behind the theory. You’d need more than a graph of CO2 vs. temps to do that. The graphs of glaciation cycles over the last 400,000 years in which CO2 appears to follow temperature change can be interpreted other ways. Scientists have hypothesized that changes in solar radiation initiated switches at temperature peaks and troughs, causing initial reversal, after which the effects of decreases and increases (respectively) in CO2 caused temperature trends to continue. The hypothesis accounts for both regular solar cycles and the effects of atmospheric CO2. There may differences in the way that N and S hemispheres responded that muddy the interpretation of the graphs. Solar cycles alone don’t appear to account for the long-term changes or for the patterns we are now seeing. Going back tens of millions of years ago, it’s much harder to point to causes, since geological factors such as continental drift and large-scale volcanic events could play such an important role.

2. Of course periods of warming and cooling are normal, no one disputes that. The point is that AGW overlays the natural variation. It is a forcing in the planetary energy budget.

Actually, it is extremes in weather that is predicted, both more intense precipitation and drought events.

There is evidence that you are right that tree density was a factor in the explosions in beetle abundance. However, there are several interacting causes, and climate appears to be one of them.

These two sources discuss the issue in depth:
https://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2009_bentz_b001.pdf
https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/58/6/501/235938#i0006-3568-58-6-501-box1

100% of this conversation is whether co2 causes warming.

The graph that is pandered out is one that shows temperature anomalies with total co2 amounts. It should show the yearly co2 anomalies with the temperature anomalies. It quite clearly shows that when temperatures decline, co2 ppm/v for that year decline as well. For the last 60 years it has done so. Further in the long term historical ice cores what they didn’t make public was that co2 lagged, not led temps by 800 years in 2001. There is additional proof of temperature determining co2 levels in the earth’s orbit around the sun. The earth’s orbit is out 3%, small for a planet, big on Kelper’s law and the inverse power formula. For example, changes in TSI are calculated to be 0.13%, so 3 % distance in the change of orbit is huge.

How many co2 ppm/v causes 1 C of warming. Since the Industrial Revolution which was pegged at 285 ppm/v the amount now is 411 ppm/v which is 126 ppm/v. Evidently 126 isn’t enough as the satellite data says that from the ideal temp at 285 ppm/v should be 59 F or 15 C, it is only 0.2 C above the ideal temp of 59 F. In fact back in the late 1950’s and 1960’s co2 levels had risen by 10 to 20% above the 285 ppm/v level yet temperatures were below the 59 F. Whether we added co2 or not the temperature had to warm up based on the math. The fact that there was that much co2 should have made the temps much warmer then.

The other thing that has me concerned is the rate at which co2 is sinking. Taking into account the land, ocean, and increased plant uptake the amount of co2 that is unaccounted for is enormous. Since 1998 when 2.98 ppm/v was added for that year no other year until last year, an El Nino year, did co2 levels exceed 1998, and then barely at 3.01 ppm/v. That is in spite of a Billion metric tons added year upon year.

I don’t provide links and I don’t open them. I do look at government reports. More than once have I opened a link, and Surprise!! a hidden Trojan in it. You are free however to download the data from NOAA and do the analysis yourself. Both the co2 monthly levels as well as the temperature by month are available free.

Jeff Alberts

Kristi, do you expect climate anywhere to be ever static and non-changing? Can you point to ANY changes that have occurred in the last 100 years that haven’t happened before on a much larger or more aggressive scale?

Kristi Silber

“Kristi, do you expect climate anywhere to be ever static and non-changing? ”

Of course not.

” Can you point to ANY changes that have occurred in the last 100 years that haven’t happened before on a much larger or more aggressive scale?” Well, I haven’t been around since the birth of the planet, but to me that’s not the relevant issue anyway. I’m more concerned about the fact that a single species is changing the climate and we don’t know when it will end or what will happen in the meantime.

Bryan A

It probably won’t end. Such is the very nature of Evolution and niche populations. Every species has some effect on the world and while some changes are for the better, some are not. Those species that can’t adapt tend to vanish and those that can tend to both thrive and become progenitors for future evolutionary alterations in subsequent subspecies.

If this wasn’t the case, we would still have Tyrannosaurs roaming wild animal parks and Megalodons starring in movies instead of Great Whites..(Oh Wait)

MarkW

The biggest reason for the increase in pine borer infestation is previous efforts to fight forest fires.
As a result many pine forests are more dense than is healthy for the trees. Due to that stress, the trees became vulnerable to the beetle.
The fact that the increase in infestation has nothing to do with climate change has been well known for years. It’s not surprising to me that you didn’t know about it.

Edwin

Kristi, Once upon a time I was the administrator over more environmental land than any other government agency in our state. Most if these lands were fire driven habitat. After reviewing the management plans for each piece of land I sent ALL land management staff to fire school. We also reviewed and revised our required land management plans and up dated them to state of the art fire management. Land managers were rated by how well they implemented their plans. While our state went through two periods of catastrophic wildfires, none of the lands we managed were subject to wildfire. Our staff also were required to keep up with prescribed fire literature and to review land management plans created by other states and agencies. At least at that time, states like California, had some good plans but which were seldom implemented properly especially as it related to fire. I also dealt with land managers in another division responsible for state parks. They were required as we were to have land management plans which they often failed to follow, especially when it came to prescribed burns. In duties outside our agency I dealt with USFWS refuge managers who had expensive land management plans, which included prescribe fire schedules but who again often failed to follow their plans. Why? both the park staff and USFWS hated dealing with the public (e.g., holding public hearings for affected citizens) prior to a burn so they just didn’t burn. Since the chances were they wouldn’t get fired after a catastrophic wildfire they just never bothered to do prescribe burns. Yet it some tough public relations and political problems with catastrophic wildfires begin on state owned environmental lands which have management plans which haven’t been implemented. There was a belief, even among a few of my staff when we started, that wildfires “just happen” and there is little we can do to mitigate them.

Kristi Silber

Edwin-
Interesting! What state were you in, just out of curiosity, and when was this? Were invasive plants an issue then?

Are you Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posting under a nom de plume?

Chris

Edwin, from what I have read, one factor in fires starting/ fire size is soil moisture content, and, by association, the dryness of grasses, timber and brush. The longer a place has drought conditions or below average rain, the drier the soil gets, and the more easily a fire can grow quickly once started. A fire that may have grown slowly in the past will increase in size more rapidly now, due to tinderbox conditions. So a lightning strike that may not have triggered a fire in the past will more readily do so now, and that fire, once started, will spread more rapidly.

NorwegianSceptic

Wow! What amazing insight! /s

A veritable Smokey Bear-worthy insight.

Chris

I gave an answer to Edwin’s question above as to possible causes. You, NWS, did nothing, zero value added. And David as well.

Edwin

Our state goes through a drought cycle averaging about 11 years plus or minus a few. About every third drought is prolonged. So droughts should be of no surprise to any land manager. In just ten years a lot of fuel can build up. So if the manager has skipped prescribed burns for say 20 years or depending on the vegetation just since the last drought if a fire happens it came easily become a wildfire. More fuel the greater the destruction. Certainly humidity, wind, etc, etc all play a role for any fire but the driver is controlling fuel. When I began the game decades ago we had been given land, fire driven habitat, where fires had been suppressed for nearly forty years.

MarkW

There you go again. Nobody said that the paper was about global warming.
As the title alludes, we have been told for years by various global warming advocates that global warming was going to increase the number of wild fires. It was proven, the models said so.

Now here is a paper that shows that despite global warming, there is no increase in wild fires.

That is the global warming tie in that you are trying so hard to ignore.

Kristi Silber

Wrong again, Mark. The paper is not about global warming and doesn’t address the effects – there is no “shows that despite global warming.”

EDIT: Sorry, it does address climate change. My bad.

MarkW

There you go again.
I explained to you how it wasn’t necessary for the paper itself to not say one single word about global warming for the headline to be completely correct.

The claim is that global warming is real, is happening and will cause forest fires to increase.
The paper show that forest fires aren’t increasing.
Therefore despite what the warmists have been claiming, forest fires have not increased.

It really is simple.

Kristi Silber

No, it’s not simple at all, you just don’t understand that multiple factors play a role in forest fire intensity and frequency. Climate change could be making the potential for fire more frequent, but humans could be getting better at managing forest to prevent fire or be quicker at putting them out (I’m not arguing this is the case, I’m illustrating a logical point.) Or there’s less forest to burn than there once was, due to changes in land use. Or Smoky the Bear made an impression, and people are putting their camp fires out.

“The claim is that global warming is real, is happening and will cause forest fires to increase” all other things being equal, which they are not.

But such reasoning is lost on you.

TonyL

Kristi, simply put, the claim of the Global Warming proponents, and we all have heard it a million times, is this:
Global Warming is real, it is here now, it is happening now, we can see its effects now, and it is only going to get worse in the future.

Yet whenever we look at those supposedly current effects, they disappear like a morning mist in the bright sunshine. If we cannot find the effects of current Global Warming, we cannot rationally argue that those effects are going to get worse.
Things claimed to be due to Global Warming, happening here and now:
1) More hurricanes. Nope, also ACE the Accumulated Cyclone Energy metric is at just a bit *below* its long term average.
2) Fewer, but more intense hurricanes. Again, not even close.
3) More tornadoes. No, tornado counts are, again, at or slightly below long term averages.
4) More droughts. No, consult the PMDI, the Palmer Modified Drought index. Again, very near its historical average.
5) More floods. *sigh*
6) Sea Level Rise is going to flood our coastal cities.
Don’t even start with us at WUWT about SLR. Over the years we have beaten this one to death and pummeled the dead corpse until there is nothing left but a greasy splotch on the ground.

All these indexes, which can be argued to be a piece of the overall climate picture, are all in fairly neutral territory. This is a fairly strong indication that nothing really new or unusual is happening. Indeed, some people argue, with good reason, that the current temperatures are not significantly different from the hot years of the mid to late 1930s and early 1940s. This, of course, was followed by 3 decades of cooling from the mid 1940s to the mid 1970s. Now, we see temperatures on the upswing again and all hell breaks loose.

Kristi, I have seen you around here and read your comments with some interest. I appreciate the opportunity to engage with you and explain why some of us think the way we do on some of these issues.

Kristi Silber

Sorry, Tony, your comment deserved a more thoughtful reply. I don’t have time at the moment, but I will try to get back to it.

“Kristi, I have seen you around here and read your comments with some interest. I appreciate the opportunity to engage with you and explain why some of us think the way we do on some of these issues.”

Comments like this are a very good way to get me to engage.

The plural of index is, strictly, indices…

Kristi Silber

1) More hurricanes. Nope, also ACE the Accumulated Cyclone Energy metric is at just a bit *below* its long term average.
2) Fewer, but more intense hurricanes. Again, not even close.
<<Hurricanes are relatively infrequent and naturally variable from year to year, so that it's hard to get a good climate change signal if it's there. There is some indication that intense hurricanes are getting more common in the Atlantic, but it's hard to say for sure (see, for example the first table here, and sort by date https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_cyclone_energy)
3) More tornadoes. No, tornado counts are, again, at or slightly below long term averages.
<<Was there ever a whole lot of confidence that this would happen?
4) More droughts. No, consult the PMDI, the Palmer Modified Drought index. Again, very near its historical average.
<<Droughts are hard to document well. One doesn't recognize them until they've set in, and it's hard to go back to see when they started. The PMDI has not been universally used, and there are problems with it. I read a paper a while ago that used a modified Modified that the author claimed was a better measure. (One doesn't "consult" an index, anyway.)
5) More floods. *sigh*
<<There is substantial evidence for an increase in intense precipitation episodes.
6) Sea Level Rise is going to flood our coastal cities.
Don’t even start with us at WUWT about SLR.
<<Fine. And don't bring it up with those along the East Coast from NJ to FL or in Hawaii who get flooded by king tides.

How about increased ocean temps, melting glaciers, change in season length, thawing permafrost, change in phenology, ecology and range of organisms?

The Earth had a peak temp around 1940, and cooled for a few years, not for decades. Recent temps are far higher than in their '40s peak. The supposed cooling scare in the 1970s was mostly a media phenomenon, not supported by the majority of scientists.
(nice visual: https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/)

Record highs are also more common, Scottish ice cream truck notwithstanding.

I believe there is empirical evidence. There is also theory, which has been around for 125 years and not been disproved. Plenty of people here argue against it ("not enough CO2 to make a difference!"), but as far as I know they are not atmospheric physicists. "Not enough" is a very weak argument.

There's theory. There's evidence. "Natural variation" is not a null hypothesis, it, too, needs to be demonstrated; something needs to explain the changes we've been seeing.

In statistical models of the historical data including the effects of solar variation there is no way to account for the change we are seeing without including increased CO2. (There is nothing wrong with models, per se; they are the basis of most science. Even a simple correlation is a model.)

There is also this: I trust 1000s of scientists around the world who spend their careers working on this stuff more than I trust the ideas of laymen, geologists, meteorologists, engineers, etc., many of whom are very focused on the policy side of things. Many contrarian scientists are also dedicated to fossil fuel use and against renewables. Some AGW scientists are the opposite, true, but you find proportionally few actively promoting their political/policy ideas.

And this: I tend to distrust the reasoning of those who allow others to misinterpret quotes, evidence and research without calling them on it, and often believing them. Many of the "climategate" emails are good examples. I also distrust the reasoning of those who habitually make insulting, false assumptions about other groups or individuals – and I know for a fact there are plenty of those around. I distrust the reasoning of anyone who thinks Christopher Monckton has any integrity.

Actually, I distrust human reasoning in general, mine included. I know I reason falsely at times. I know I'm biased. It's normal. Being aware of it is the only way to try to counteract it. In being aware of it in oneself, it becomes easier to see it in others – especially those one disagrees with! But I've always been a devil's advocate, even in college with my liberal friends. I get tired of liberalism, self-righteousness, intolerance, lack of understanding. And I fear for my country, and the direction it's taking, with an ever-widening partisan divide. Obama didn't help, Hillary is deplorable, Trump…well, I won't go there. 'Nuff said.

R. Shearer

Other than a few wildfires caused by lightning in Colorado, the biggest this year was arson carried out by an illegal immigrant. Then there were accidental fires from homeless “camping,” shooters firing tracer rounds and the ever present fires caused from cigarette butts being thrown out of cars.

Unless Japanese pine beetles take up smoking marijuana, there is no reason for natural wildfire frequency to increase.

Kristi Silber

OK EVERYONE, I MADE A MISTAKE! The paper does address climate change. Sorry, folks.

I still think that it’s very hard to make any conclusions about whether climate change has already influenced wildfire rates because of the huge impacts of humans that have been unrelated to climate – and the paper suggests this is true. It doesn’t claim to be able to predict whether wildfire will increase due to climate change, though it does state that “The warming climate, which is predicted to result in more severe fire weather in many regions of the globe in this century [53] will probably contribute further to both perceived and actual risks to lives, health and infrastructure,” so to that extent my criticism is still warranted.

I still think that it’s very hard to make any conclusions about whether climate change has already influenced wildfire rates because of the huge impacts of humans that have been unrelated to climate – and the paper suggests this is true. It doesn’t claim to be able to predict whether wildfire will increase due to climate change, though it does state that “The warming climate, which is predicted to result in more severe fire weather in many regions of the globe in this century [53] will probably contribute further to both perceived and actual risks to lives, health and infrastructure,” so to that extent my criticism is still warranted.

I still think that it’s very hard to make any conclusions about whether climate change has already influenced carbon dioxide levels because of the huge impacts of humans that have been unrelated to climate – and papers suggests this is true. They don’t claim to be able to predict whether CO2 will increase due to climate change, though some state that “The warming climate, which is predicted to result in more CO2 in this century will probably contribute further to perceived but not actual risks to lives, health and infrastructure,”

Or am I just describing a world view that you personally do not believe in?

To the Marxist, the world can ONLY be understood as a conflict between those that have, and those that have not.

To the Alarmist, climate can ONLY be understood, as an example of the struggle between Nature, and Man…with his propensity for releasing Natural CO2 into the environment from which it came a few billion years ago.

Kristi: The world is, what it is.

But what it ain’t, is pictures in your head. That’s just your way of dealing with it.

Beware of people putting pictures there, not so as you can deal with it, but because they want something from you.

Chris

“To the Alarmist, climate can ONLY be understood, as an example of the struggle between Nature, and Man…with his propensity for releasing Natural CO2 into the environment from which it came a few billion years ago.”

That is false, AGW believers fully acknowledge the role of naturally occurring factors such as volanoes, variations in solar irradiance, etc. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWarming/page4.php

cerescokid

Whether it addressed climate change or not was irrelevant to the post title. There is a world wide insane practice of using every day, normal events to substantiate global warming, both by scientists, who should know better, and by zealots in the media who are on a mission to save the planet. It runs from gruesome pictures of dying polar bears, to photos of annual effects of monsoons. to large icebergs calving, to garden variety droughts, to devastation of massive tornadoes. If someone has been around for 6 or 7 decades and has done some reading about the last few hundred years, they know stuff happens. Apparently, some in the MSM lie awake at night itching for an event the next day, so they can run another hysterical report about boiling Mother earth.

If everyone would step back and take a deep breath and improve the best practices in climate science and engage, really hard, in some critical thinking, then maybe titles such as this one would not be necessary.

Kristi Silber

cerescokid,

“Apparently, some in the MSM lie awake at night itching for an event the next day, so they can run another hysterical report about boiling Mother earth.”

The same kind of thing might be said about the titles (and often the original content) of the posts on WUWT – writers take every opportunity to try to claim that CAGW is wrong.

Critical thinking is exactly what I am in favor of. It’s why I, too, despise the MSM when they attribute every odd weather event to climate change alone. And it is why I criticize those at WUWT when they do the comparable thing by denying that AGW has anything whatever to do with extreme events, or when they practice poor reasoning in general. Some try to use “scientific” means to demonstrate a point without understanding the assumptions underlying the statistics they use, or oversimplify relationships between variables, resulting in erroneous conclusions.

Science is not that easy.

Without expertise, it is hard to evaluate how often ‘best practices in climate science” are not being practiced. Few who post here have that kind of expertise. Few have an in-depth knowledge of the literature. I don’t. However, unlike many here, I have trust in the climate science community overall to self-monitor: to engage in debate, correct errors (even if it takes a few years), and over time improve understanding. I know not all scientists behave professionally, but I think that the great majority are dedicated to scientific integrity. This is based on my reading of the original research as well as personal experience in my own field. No one goes into science with the intention of getting rich. No one gets a PhD expecting that it will lead to easy success. It’s competitive, and it’s hard work. Generally speaking, scientists find their reward in the practice of science and the pursuit of truth. There are some fields that are better than others in this respect – the sciences that study people (e.g. medical science, psychology and sociology) are notorious for drawing conclusions based on poor statistical support, for a few reasons, and scientists employed by industry sometimes are under a lot of pressure to come up with particular results – but I have seen no evidence to conclude that climate science is generally poorly done. I suspect that climate modelers are far more aware of the limitations and uncertainty in their work than the media or the general public, but most who post here don’t give them credit for it, and many don’t appear to have a good understanding of how the models are constructed, tuned and validated. For example, it’s not true that a model is tuned to simulate a past time period, then validated by hindcasting the same time period.

…Anyway, there’s a long comment in response to a short passage.

Giles Bointon

Kristi
When you have time, I think it would be helpful if you could, in a nutshell, outline your views regarding global warming in general terms. I don’t mean with lots of links to the Guardian etc. just a précis really. You write often arguing against anything that suggests AGW might not be a disaster. It would be interesting as you have a platform.

Kristi Silber

Giles, I very rarely link to the Guardian. That’s a little insulting. I more often write about failures in reasoning, dismissal of science and rejections of evidence than specific claims that AGW might not be a “disaster.” The costs of AGW depend to a large degree on how quickly it happens. I reject claims that catastrophe is imminent and despise alarmism along the lines of Al Gore’s nonsense and media hype.

It’s also useful to keep in mind that I’m a devil’s advocate by nature, and I’m much more liable to say something when I disagree with a comment than when I agree with it.

Sometimes I think I should write an article for WUWT in order to address your request and others like it so I don’t waste a lot of time repeating myself, and so that people stop making a lot of false assumptions about my stance. I don’t have time to answer you right now in the depth I’d like, and won’t for a while, and in the meantime the post will slip off the page and be forgotten. For all I know, you won’t even see this comment.

In a very small nutshell:

– The theoretical support for CO2 acting as a GHG even at low concentrations is well-established.
– Its effects on climate overlay natural variation.
– Some of the effects (drought frequency/intensity, hurricane intensity) are variable enough that any signal from warming is not yet conclusively evident, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future.
– Other effects are well-supported by evidence, including effects that aren’t usually discussed, such as the timing of bud break and altered ecological interactions
– It’s hard to predict the net positive/negative effect, but if the warming rate is fast enough I believe there is a high risk that many organisms (including humans) won’t be able to adapt without significant cost
– Most skeptics don’t appreciate the complexity of ecological and evolutionary interactions well enough to be able to imagine the array of consequences of rapid global warming (“the Earth is greening” and “warmer is better” are EXTREME oversimplifications!) – and even 1 C/century is rapid from a climatological standpoint if the direction of the trend is sustained
– I’m probably biased in my fears precisely because I can imagine some of the complex negative consequences – but then again, maybe not! No one really knows all the potential consequences.
– The idea that a single species has the ability to change the Earth’s climate is itself a concern, as is the fact that so many people think it shouldn’t be a concern, to the point where they are unwilling to do anything to slow the change even though we are only beginning to see and understand its potential effects. What would it take? By the time the negative effects become so obvious that even they are willing to mitigate the warming, it will be very difficult to stop the momentum, especially because there is a lag between increased CO2 and its most obvious effects (especially if we see a few decades of moderation/cooling due to the approaching decrease in solar radiation).

That’s just a beginning. A very complex subject, hard to summarize. Sorry, but I don’t have time for more right now. Thanks for asking!

+42. You clearly are not Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posting under a nom de plume.

Solsten

My kids relationship with fire gets them off their iPads.

On the contrary, it demonstrates that if global warming has been happening, more wildfires are not a sure-fire (sic!) result, as there have been less.

Of course, its possible there hasn’t been any global warming anyway. Just a lot of city building round thermometers..

Or for whatever other reasons wildfires are less.

Strange how the alarmists always jump up and down when they find a correlation that ‘proves’ AGW and instantly go into denial when the correlation breaks down.

The phrase you are looking for is ‘hoist with your own petard’

Henning Nielsen

In Scandinavia, there are many wildfires at the moment. And the usual alarmists trot out the well-worn claim that this is due to global warming (man-made of course). People then naturally think that a slightly warmer climate must needs result in more wildfires. It is therefore important to note that this is not the case. The headline is correct.

NorwegianSceptic

Yes, Norway is having the hottest and dryest summer EVER! (Actually only since 1947, but let’s not let facts destroy great scaring news).

PeterW

Anthony’s response is entirely valid.

For years, we have been told that “global warming” was causing an increase in certain climate-related events, including wildfires.

There is no need for the paper to address AGW and it’s effects on fire. All that is required to validate Anthony’s comment is that the results published in this paper do not match alarmist predictions.

It’s one of the most basic tests of both prophecy and theory, determining whether that which was predicted has come to pass. The prediction is “more and bigger fires”. The observation is NOT more and bigger fires.

Jeff Alberts

The governor of Washington State is constantly whingeing about how wildfires in the last several years have gotten worse due to climate change.

Washington is called the Evergreen State, because we have a LOT of evergreens. Apparently Gov Inslee isn’t familiar with how evergreens take advantage of fires, and thus how the state got its name.

TimG56

The Gov of Washington is an idiot. But he fits right in with a sizable portion of the state’s population residing west of the Cascades when it comes to economics and the environment.

Chris

Haha, the west side of the state is where most of the state’s GDP is. It’s not remotely close.

Kristi Silber

Anthony’s phrase is “wildfires would increase due to global warming,” not that they have increased due to global warming. There is a difference. The paper in question suggests that there could be an increase in wildfires due to global warming – but of course, that depends on human interactions with forests and fires. Anthony has no reason to imply that the paper disproves a future increase.

“Remember when we were told that wildfires would increase due to global warming? Never mind.”

Global warming since 1600 AD…

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[M]any consider wildfire as an accelerating problem, with widely held perceptions both in the media and scientific papers of increasing fire occurrence, severity and resulting losses. However, important exceptions aside, the quantitative evidence available does not support these perceived overall trends.

Instead, global area burned appears to have overall declined over past decades, and there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago.

What’s up with that?

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Philip Schaeffer

David Middleton said:

“Global warming since 1600 AD…”

And then you show a graph of northern hemisphere only……

“READING IS FUNDAMENTAL”

Yes, it is.

That’s where the most of the temperature data, reconstructions, wildfires and land masses are…

Reconstructions for the Northern Hemisphere are more common because the number of proxy records available from the Southern Hemisphere is limited.

https://www.nap.edu/read/11676/chapter/3#12

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Mann’s Northern Hemisphere hockey stick was unquestioningly accepted as proof of Gorebal Warming, even though it was flat-out wrong…

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All Northern Hemisphere reconstructions, including Mann’s less flat-out wrong newer hockey stick, indicate global warming since about 1600 AD.

comment image

Yet… Here’s the reading bit…

[M]any consider wildfire as an accelerating problem, with widely held perceptions both in the media and scientific papers of increasing fire occurrence, severity and resulting losses. However, important exceptions aside, the quantitative evidence available does not support these perceived overall trends.

Instead, global area burned appears to have overall declined over past decades, and there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago.

Kristi Silber

“The warming climate, which is predicted to result in more severe fire weather in many regions of the globe in this century [53] will probably contribute further to both perceived and actual risks to lives, health and infrastructure.”

That’s reading, too.

The past is not necessarily a predictor of the future.

This is not a prediction that warming will cause more wildfires…

“The warming climate, which is predicted to result in more severe fire weather in many regions of the globe in this century [53] will probably contribute further to both perceived and actual risks to lives, health and infrastructure.”

It’s a statement that people might think that it “will probably contribute further to both perceived and actual risks to lives, health and infrastructure.”

There is absolutely no evidence that the warming that has occurred over the past 500 years has caused any increase in the severity or frequency of wildfires. Nor, is there any scientific basis to predict that additional warming will cause any increase in the severity or frequency of wildfires.

Over the Phanerozoic Eon (past ~550 million years), the severity and frequency of wildfires has been dictated by three variables:

1) Oxygen content of the atmosphere.
2) Supply of fuel (like wood).
3) Soil moisture.

Oxygen content has declined since at least the Pleistocene. Globally avereaged soil mousture has increased slightly since 1950. The supply of fuel can be easily regulated by clearing undergrowth.

If warming causes increased humidity, it will also cause increased soil moisture.

Increased atmospheric CO2 actually decreases the risk of fire.

Kristi Silber

“The supply of fuel can be easily regulated by clearing undergrowth.”

You must be kidding. Around people’s houses, yes. In millions of square miles of forest on the globe, not so easy.

“If warming causes increased humidity, it will also cause increased soil moisture.”

Huge oversimplification. Depends on how much warming, how high the humidity, and soil moisture content (not to mention whether it’s shaded, the soil type, wind speed…).

“Increased atmospheric CO2 actually decreases the risk of fire.”

Not at the levels of CO2 we’re talking about.

TimG56

Then you didn’t read the paper.

Does the paper say that global warming is not leading to more wildfires or more intense wildfires – no.

What it did say is there is little evidence that fires are increasing in frequency, extent or severity when looked at on a global scale and up to a millennial time scale. It also said that there is not enough evidence to support claims that global warming is causing any changes in the factors above.

In other words Kristi claims of global warming resulting in more or more intense wildfires are not (yet anyway) supported by the science. Which should result in an intelligent person, who is not infected by the green virus, dismissing such claims out of hand.

Kristi Silber

Everyone here seems to forget that there is a difference between past and future, and to forget that the actual incidence of wildfire is not governed by climate alone – that doesn’t mean that climate change will not increase the risk of wildfire.

But you know what? I’m not even arguing that. As I told Edwin, I don’t know if there will be a net increase, on a global scale, of the incidence of wildfire apart from human (non-AGW) effects.

I’m arguing that Anthony is in error if he is implying that we have reason to say “nevermind” concerning FUTURE increase in wildfires DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE.

To borrow from your rhetoric, funny how those infected by the skeptic virus have such a hard time understanding my point.

The only way to understand how the Earth works is to study how it worked in the past and how it works now.

Predictions that it will work differently in the future are IDIOTIC.

Everyone here seems to forget that there is a difference between past and future…

Abject nonsense. The past 550 million years tell us how the Earth works. Observations over recorded human history are 100% consistent with how Earth has worked over the Phanerozoic Eon. There is absolutely no scientific basis to assert that it will behave differently in the future.

Kristi Silber

” Observations over recorded human history are 100% consistent with how Earth has worked over the Phanerozoic Eon.”

Are you suggesting that human impacts have had no effect on wildfire frequency? Or any other measure of how the Earth “works”?

Latitude

Just once….let me see some paper that don’t have this asskiss in it

“Global predictions for increased fire under a warming climate highlight the already urgent need for a more sustainable coexistence with fire”

…and at the same time….their paper invalidates that very statement they put in their paper

Crispin in Waterloo

What do you suppose they mean by a ‘sustainable coexistence with fire’? How does a forest fire coexist with a dozen cabins in the woods?

How does Athens coexist with the arsonists who lit up the forest on both sides of the city killing dozens?

More people, more farms, less forest, fewer fires. Quite simple, really.

rocketscientist

‘Sustainable coexistence with fire’ means the fire stays in the furnace where it belongs, providing heat to the boilers

commieBob

More people, more farms, less forest, fewer fires.

That’s part of it. Current global forest cover is around 4 billion hectares. In pre-industrial times it was 6 billion. The change is substantial but not sufficient to explain the decrease in fire loss.

Here’s a shocker: Europe has more forest area than any other area of the world and it appears to be growing. link

On the other hand, this link seriously contradicts the numbers in the other link.

MarkW

Forest area in the US has been expanding over the last 100 years or so as agriculture becomes more efficient.

Kristi Silber

That is weird. Wikipedia only included EU countries. I wonder if the FAO included part of Russia – doesn’t the European continent technically extend to the Urals?

What do you suppose they mean by a ‘sustainable coexistence with fire’?

I am not sure why you would expect it to mean anything.

‘sustainable’ today means as much or as little as ‘nice’ does. Its a hand-wavey term used to indicate some unspecified virtue.

It’s just part of the little green book of virtue signalling.

Personally I think it remiss of God to have not constructed a Sustainable Universe, but who am I to complain?

Take your entropy and shove it up your supernova, I say.

TimG56

Crispin, see Edwin’s comment above. One meaning involves land management plans.

Mais oui, naturellement.

At my alma mater, the dons laugh about the necessity to hat tip ‘climate change’ to get funding.

In fact taking the Michael out of the whole process is now incorporated right into the papers. The challenge is to get the phrase ‘climate change’ or ‘renewable energy’ into the paper in the most unlikely way.

“Study into the possible change in the carbon boron bond energy due to climate change was undertaken. No change was discernible

Kristi Silber

Future vs. past. Get it?

You clearly don’t.

Kristi Silber

Anthony suggests the paper shows that there will be no effect of climate change on wildfires in the future. The paper does not show that. It is about the past, with a bit thrown in about predictions of the future effects of global warming. The past does not equal the future. Humans change things in all sorts of ways, and the way they change things changes over time.

Evidently you disagree. Fine.

Simon

Isn’t the timing of this rather thoughtless given the deaths in Greece?

clipe

Concern troll?

MarkW

It’s not like he has anything relevant to add.

Chris

What did you add of relevance here?

MarkW

More than you did.

John F. Hultquist

Simon,
No. People die every week from fires.
Should such papers never see print?
The follow on: Don’t report on …
car accident research,
suicide research,
falling down stairs research,
Ebola or flu research,
others.

Trenberth and Gov Brown falsely pushed the idea of an expanded fire season due to climate change, but the evidence is human ignited fires have expanded the fire season 3 times longer than the natural fire season. Human ignitions can start fires that are more moist than natural. Brown vetoed a bipartisan bill to secure power lines, that most now agree ignited the Wine Country fires

PGE is now trying to blame climate change for the wine country fires.

Bad climate scientists like Trenberth push bad analyses eagerly glommed on t by stupid politicians. Bad analyses result in bad remedies and jeopardize public safety.

http://landscapesandcycles.net/wine-country-fires-and-climate-demogoguery.html

TonyL

Climate Change is the one indispensable tool of politicians everywhere. It allows them to evade the consequences of their incompetence and mismanagement. Gov Brown halted the construction of all reservoir and flood control projects during his first terms as Cal. Gov. Now, all recurring droughts and recurring floods are caused by Climate Change. Brown and the Cal. legislature put a stop to reasonable and prudent land management practices, and now wildfires are due to Climate Change.
So predictable.

John F. Hultquist

Upwards of 80% ( 84% ? ) of fires in the USA are human ignited fires.
That doesn’t mean arson. A car accident might start one, or an electrical short, or construction work.
See: Taylor Bridge Fire, WA

Jeff Alberts

“A car accident might start one, or an electrical short, or construction work.”

Or kids throwing illegal fireworks.

Haverwilde

Well, we have some terrible forest fires in the Western U.S. Of course, there not due to global warming, but due to federal incompetence in forest management. It will probably not surprise anyone to learn that the best managed forests are privately owned. From there it is a hierarchy, the smaller the government ownership the better the forest health, counties do better than states, and states due better than the feds. Many of the worst fires in recent years, started on federal land and than swept into other forests. The one that hit Winatchee, Wa, a couple of years back swept right into the city. Even the some of congress critters we talked to recognized that the Feds are just too big to manage forests well. Time to divest!

R. Shearer

That reminded me of the Forest Service Employee who caused one of the largest fires in Colorado history and who was actually punished for it.

http://wildfiretoday.com/2008/03/27/terry-barton-re-sentenced-today-for-starting-hayman-fire/

John F. Hultquist

Haverwilde,
mental health issue = cause of Sleepy Hollow Fire

Wenatchee’s Broadview subdivision was poorly designed and constructed to be able to withstand fire. Homeowners contributed by the landscaping, throwing brush over their back fences, and having houses with cedar roofs.
There is more, but that’s the idea of it.

“. . .federal incompetence in forest management.
It is not incompetence. Neither desire nor funds are made available.
Wilderness areas are not managed to prevent fires, and not allowed to be. The USFS has lands that are nearly impossible to get to except on foot or by jumping from a plane.
The US is wasting money on wind turbines and batteries while bridges and roads crumble.
Society won’t admit it, but society wants the forests to grow old, for the trees to die, and (being a carbon based fuel) to burn.
Expect large fires in the coming years.

Jeff Alberts

Forests don’t need to be managed. If they ignite, letting them burn is the best recourse.

Kristi Silber

Although it may be true that the best managed forests are privately owned, I doubt it is also true that the privately owned forests are always the best managed.

The fact that many of the worst fires started on federal lands could just be a matter of probability since vast areas are federally owned and are more likely to have recreational facilities, so have more people entering them. The fact that forest fires have decreased in most areas of the west could indicate improvement in management, particularly in prescribed burning.

Does anyone know of private forest owners that have their own fire-fighting crews?

I contracted for a year with the MN DNR Forestry Division developing a manual for control of invasive plants. I heard again and again that they were understaffed. Perhaps if government forestry operations were provided with budgets commensurate with the areas they had to oversee, mismanagement wouldn’t be such a problem.

Fire and productivity are only two of the many things foresters have to deal with. Then there are construction and maintenance of infrastructure; management and security of recreation areas; storm damage; preservation of water resources, culturally significant areas, rare and endangered habitats and species, and old growth; and, of course, management of invasive species. The last is a very significant and growing problem that many private owners/operators know little about.

Without government oversight, privately owned forest lands can develop problems that spread into lands owned by others (public or private). It’s not a clear-cut issue (so to speak).

ripshin

Kristi,

Do you think the problem with publicly owned forests is that their mandate is too broad? Sounds like from your description that they have much more than merely the health of the forest to worry about. I wonder if we’re not asking our governments to do more than they’re designed to do. (I also tend towards the belief that too much land is publicly owned, but that’s a separate, if tangential, subject.)

But I’m also curious if your experience led you to see a difference between locally managed (state) and federally managed lands? Part of my “worldview” is that our country was founded upon the idea that the smaller the governmental entity, the more efficient/effective it is. Curious how that belief holds up in this specific situation…

Respectfully,

rip

Kristi Silber

“Sounds like from your description that they have much more than merely the health of the forest to worry about. ” True, but they interact. For example, facilitating recreation in forested areas makes the public more likely to support measures to manage them sustainably.

I learned very little about the differences between the way federal and state lands were managed, apart from the fact that in MN state resources were spread across many small offices, which meant that it was sometimes difficult to organize sharing of things like machinery, chemicals and knowledge; even finding contractors was hard for some just because there was no good, up-to-date list shared by everyone. The state is going through a time of high turnover, and new foresters are often overwhelmed by all they have to learn, which is exacerbated by the small staff at each facility. Having many small state forests vs. a few federal ones itself made things more complex. The IT is being redeveloped, but it should have happened long ago and should be more complete; the amount of repetitive paperwork is a hardship. I believe if funding were better things could be run more efficiently, with more empirically-based management strategies. With federal programs this kind of thing may be less of an issue, since there would be less duplication of efforts across states.

Wisconsin seems to have a better forestry program – certainly insofar as invasive plant management is concerned.

RACookPE1978

Kristi Silber

True, but they interact. For example, facilitating recreation in forested areas makes the public more likely to support measures to manage them sustainably.

Exactly the opposite. (as usual ?) “Advertising” a forest as a pristine “recreation” area with “beautiful views” and “pretty wildlife”
and “green landscapes” almost REQUIRES that Smokey Bear “stop all wildfires” and “never clear cut ANY area” philosophy that is the fundamental cause of the government/Park Service/ecologist/socialist/enviro attitudes today. Now, while I do NOT like the Euro “plant trees in orderly rows and columns” that I see over there”, managed forest lands REQUIRE that areas be burned out, be clear cut, and be replanted efficiently, practically, and profitably. All of which are hated by enviro’s.

Kristi Silber

“…REQUIRES that Smokey Bear “stop all wildfires” and “never clear cut ANY area” philosophy that is the fundamental cause of the government/Park Service/ecologist/socialist/enviro attitudes today. ”

Wow, that’s a lot of people you’re talkin’. Patent false generalization, totally erroneous comment from start to finish. That way of thinking is so foreign to me, it boggles my mind. Don’t you have any idea how it leaves you wide open to being wrong? You evidently don’t even know how forestry is practiced/
It’s quite variable.

[F]acilitating recreation in forested areas makes the public more likely to support measures to manage them sustainably.

Bingo! +42. Proper management of forested areas is the way to protect forests and getting the public to act like a stakeholder in that management is essential… 👍👍

Kristi Silber

Wow. Thanks, David.

Wayne Townsend

This looks like the “Cramer Put” from trading. In 1998 when Hansen (aka Jim Cramer) said buy (the global warming hysteria) everyone would have profited if they would have sold. The trend of # of fires reversed immediately.

Stanny1

A few years ago, the U.S. Forest Service had a seminar on Terrorist started fires. That’s a great explanation for why fires start simultaneously in different places. Muslim terrorist groups have published articles on how to build devices to initiate fires.

Ah, but Islamic extremism is caused by climate change!

You can’t weasel out of that ratsack my friend!

Solomon Green

Hamas – which is recognised as a Terrorist Group by the US – has started more than 1,000 fires in Israel since the middle of March destroying more than 6,000 acres of forests, fields and nature reserves. The “weapons” used have been kites, helium filled balloons (and when these ran out helium-filled condoms).

If Hamas was caused by climate change, and Hamas started fires… /SARC

Warren

So in Victoria (Australia) global warming was meant to increase the frequency of deadly bush/forest fires. The 2009 Black Saturday fires were devastating.
Guess what . . . the opposite is the case . . . no fires of any significance for almost a decade!
It’s a bit like the Polar Bears:
1960 = under 6000 (CO2 320 ppm)
2018 = over 25,000 (CO2 410 ppm)
Remember the desperate manipulative WWF ads with Polar Bears dropping from the sky?
Here’s a slightly different version . . .
https://youtu.be/FJ2k3LoM0AI

eyesonu

So C02 causes polar bears. Big deal, it causes everything else that can and will kill and destroy anything it comes into contact with, either directly or indirectly, real or imaginary, on land or in the sea.
/sarc

“Lethal Giant Hogweed Set To Increase Due to Global Warming and Increased CO2”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-18687761

Do you know I invented that story, then googled ‘Giant Hogweed Climate Change’, and Lo! the BBC had got there first!

Perhaps I subliminally heard it, which is even more scary.

Chris

“Guess what . . . the opposite is the case . . . no fires of any significance for almost a decade!”

Oh really? https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/19/victoria-bushfires-homes-feared-lost

Warren

Yes really that’s not a ‘significant’ fire in Victoria.
A decade of less fires with less severity.
How would you explain that Chris given all your left-wing comrades in the MSM, most academics, the Bureau of Metrology, politicians and green groups told us after the last Royal Commission that it would be progressively worse each season?
The opposite is the case . . . your explanation?

Warren

We don’t usually quote Wiki but here we go.
Last significant fire in Victoria was in 2009:
* Over 4000 structures lost including 2029 house.
* 173 deaths.
* 1,100,000 acres burnt.
Since then, nothing listed . . . check it out:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushfires_in_Australia

steve case

The language is being to the scarier term “Wild Fire” from the previously accepted term “Forest Fire” and everyone just sits still for it.

No, you have rowed the boat out too far.

Here in the UK the fires are not forest fires, they are usually grass, bracken or heather fires on open moorland.

Wild, because they are not controlled by humans

Alan Tomalty

I just looked at the weather forecast for next 2 weeks. Only one 30C day which will be tomorrow. After that summer is over. No more 30 C days until next year. Where is that global warming we were promised?

Anthony Banton

“Where is that global warming we were promised?”

You mistake local weather for climate but since you ask.

Here …..

comment image

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And especially here ….

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pbweather

Argo buoys say that the ocean heat anomaly chart above is exaggerated.
http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/nclimate2872-f5.jpg

mikewaite

Gosh , 25 x 10^22 Joules in 30 years – worrying .
Oh , but hold on, the volume of seawater concerned ( assuming a uniform basin – which it is not) is area (360 x 10^12 m^2) x 2000 m = 720 x 10^15 m^3
The mean density of seawater is 1.025x 10^3 Kg/m^3
so mass is 7.4 x 10^20 Kg
Specific heat of seawater is 4 x 10^3 Joules /Kg/K
So change in temperature corresponding to the quoted change in heat content is just about 0.1K – so low I must have made a humiliating mistake in arithmetic , because no-one subject to the normal vicissitudes of life (jobs, money , health, partnerships) is going to worry about such an insignificance.
Of course I have ignored such things as shallow bays , effect of wind etc , etc , but it does seem that the global ocean temperature is rising slower than the land temperature.
That , (is it a transfer of energy) is where the inquisitive mind should dwell.

MarkW

mike, thats why they show the number in joules rather than as a temperature.
If they showed it in degrees, everyone would know that they are just making it up.

MarkW

Anyone who believes we know what the temperature of the entire ocean, surface to deep, was to less than 0.01C is nuts.

And that’s for today, the claim that we have that kind of data back in 1960 is military grade nuts.

Matt G

[“Where is that global warming we were promised?”
You mistake local weather for climate but since you ask.
Here …..]

The irony in your responce because one season of the entire planet is still weather, nevermind one day or one month.

Before the 2000’s with the Argo project, the 0-2000m ocean heat content was next to non-existent.

Don K

As Far As I can See, today’s climate models can’t possibly make valid predictions of future wildfire frequency/severity. In order to do that, they would have to be able to make valid predictions of future precipitation patterns. After all, it is difficult to get a really good wildfire going if the humidity is 97% and it is pouring rain day after day after day. It’s also hard to get wildfires burning in regions where rainfall is so light and infrequent that nothing but the occasional water conserving succulent plant can survive.

So far as I know, no one thinks current GCM precipitation predictions are remotely useful.

Peta of Newark

Can I take issue with the “350 million years” assertion.

I suggest that it is wild imagining. Pure sensationalising & speculation AND, Flat Out Wrong
Sat as I am here in Nottinghamshire upon a mountain of coal, 4 working (+ 1 retired) oil wells that I *know about* within 2 miles of home (why do nodding donkeys *always* squeak – can they not put a drop of oil on them?!?!) – I ask these folks, where did all that coal come from?
Why did it not burn in these fires that have been raging?
Why did the Springtails not eat it all?
Don’t tell me, some monster spider ate the springtails and an old woman, frightened of spiders, swallowed a horse because she could of course. More funding at 11

Where, deadly serious question – Where on this planet anywhere is anything being laid down that might become coal or oil?

We need a recognition that Planet earth is getting old, is going to die through lack of fresh soil fertility and we are on the tail end of that existence.
One of the very last things that happened on Mars was – A Very Large Fire.

The findings reveal an onset of frequent and widespread occurrences of charcoal (a proxy for past fires) 360 million years ago. This, in fact, is 80 million years after terrestrial plants began to colonize earth at 440 million years ago.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2015/11/19/the-age-of-fire-when-ancient-forests-burned/#2910431a5f02

Earthling2

There is some relevance to some increased forest fire frequency and intensity caused by a warming climate that has some human component. That is increased atmospheric C02 has led to more voluminous and rapid growth of forests and (especially) underbrush, that with time, leads to more susceptible fuel being available for burning when conditions are ripe for a fire to take hold. Notwithstanding that humans are becoming the largest ignition source of forest fires, but that is a different subject.

In my 60+ years living and working in a predominantly coniferous forest, I have noticed a significant rate of growth of of forests, especially new seedlings that take vigorous root and a significant increase in all kinds of underbrush in the understory. This is the ladder fuel that tends to get the whole forest burning if it becomes hot enough to start candling and off the fire goes.

So I would say that human kind with additional C02 the last 150 years has made for a much more robust forest that becomes a fuel source, which as it turns out is a fire dependant species having evolved with the fire scape for tens of millions of years. The fact that it may burn from time to time is incidental in the scheme of things. It is supposed to. I just pray every summer that it isn’t my turn to get burned down for my life’s work and assets. So let’s all be careful with fire please, since this is the real cause of many rural/urban interface fires that do so much damage to property and life.

Ernest Bush

The amount of human activities that have added to the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is unknown. But over the last two decades the estimate has grown smaller and smaller. I believe it is now in the lower single digits.

Earthling2

Perhaps, since warming in general promotes outgassing of C02 from the oceans, and it isn’t just human induced warming since we were coming out of the LIA coincident with the industrial revolution. Nevertheless, we can accurately measure the composition of the C02 in the atmosphere and it is currently around 406-407 ppmv and that does promote more vigorous growth of C3 and C4 plants as compared to 180 ppmv at the peak of the ice ages just 20,000 YBP. I think the planet is C02 deprived for the majority of the time now the last 2.6 million years as the norm is an ice house planet now the majority of the time.

My only point is that humans have most certainly contributed to warming and C02 (which is very good IMHO) and the additional woody growth becomes fuel for the eventual fire. We all agree the planet is greening with additional C02, wherever it comes from. 450-500 ppmv is probably an ideal level of C02 for the biosphere, although I don’t think that alleviates the timing of the onset of the next age very much…maybe delays it a little bit as the additional C02 inevitably gets reabsorbed back into the oceans as the cooling begins over centuries. #warmingisbetterthancooling

Lance Flake

The AGW crowd needs to employ Emily Litella as their spokesperson – “Never Mind” is their official slogan.

Robber

Fear not, the IPCC is on the case again – an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
The report will be finalized in October 2018. The IPCC has recently circulated the Final Draft of the report to governments, with a request for comments on the Summary for Policymakers.

Tom Abbott

Now they are down to using the 1.5C figure. I guess they think the 3.0C and 4.5C figures are no longer valid. So now they are going to try to scare us with tales about 1.5C and how bad it’s going to be.

RACookPE1978

Tom Abbott

Now they are down to using the 1.5C figure. I guess they think the 3.0C and 4.5C figures are no longer valid. So now they are going to try to scare us with tales about 1.5C and how bad it’s going to be.

No, it’s actually even worse than that.

Used to be, that 4 degree C INCREASE was implied from the “present date (of the paper, proposed law, publication, or publicity stunt) – but what the baseline began was never clearly stated. Since 0.0 of the different graphs used the DROP in temperatures from the previous 1935-1945 high as the 0.0, most assumed (properly) than this would mean a 4.0 degree rise by 2100 (typically expressed as “end of the century” in the publicity tours and propaganda), or 130 years.

It is only in the last 3-4 years that “they” moved the baseline of their religion to 1850 (halfway “up” the natural recovery from the Little Ice Age ?) and REDUCED the threat temperature rise to 1.5 degrees as you pointed out. This is very useful to the regulators, since the earth did continue to warm up naturally between 1850 and 1970, as it did between 1850 and 1990, 2000, and 2010. Each brings that “threat of a catastrophic 1.5 degree warming closer and closer to the lawmakers, bankers, and academia hysterics.

So, from a threat of +4 degrees/90 years to +4 degrees/130 years to +1.5 degrees/250 years. Yeah. CO2 is a problem, ain’t it?

Matt G

Wildfires are mixed with arson, so difficult to distinguish between some of them.

Below just a few recent examples.

Fire near Saddleworth Moor ‘being treated as arson
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-44713651

Arson linked to deaths in Greek town built like ‘fire trap’
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/arson-linked-deaths-greek-town-220904281.html

Man arrested over fire on Winter Hill near Bolton
https://news.sky.com/story/man-arrested-over-fire-at-winter-hill-near-bolton-11420798

Woman arrested on suspicion of arson after fire breaks out at property in Turlin Moor
http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/16244794.Woman_arrested_on_suspicion_of_arson_after_fire_breaks_out_at_property_in_Turlin_Moor/

MFKBoulder

If you look ath this graph from the publication
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/royptb/371/1696/20150345/F3.large.jpg?width=800&height=600&carousel=1

you see something called : supression costs.
Got it? Or should I elaborate?

Marlo Lewis

Was this study “just published”? The link and abstract indicate the study was published in June 2016!