Are Australia Bushfires Worsening from Human-Caused Climate Change?

Reposted from Dr Roy Spencer’s Blog

January 8th, 2020 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

NSW-bushfires-1-4-20-Aqua-MODIS-550x309

Smoke plumes from bushfires in southeast Australia on January 4, 2020, as seen by the MODIS imager on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Summary Points

1) Global wildfire activity has decreased in recent decades, making any localized increase (or decrease) in wildfire activity difficult to attribute to ‘global climate change’.

2) Like California, Australia is prone to bushfires every year during the dry season. Ample fuel and dry weather exists for devastating fires each year, even without excessive heat or drought, as illustrated by the record number of hectares burned (over 100 million) during 1974-75 when above-average precipitation and below-average temperatures existed.

3) Australian average temperatures in 2019 were well above what global warming theory can explain, illustrating the importance of natural year-to-year variability in weather patterns (e.g. drought and excessively high temperatures).

4) Australia precipitation was at a record low in 2019, but climate models predict no long-term trend in Australia precipitation, while the observed trend has been upward, not downward. This again highlights the importance of natural climate variability to fire weather conditions, as opposed to human-induced climate change.

5) While reductions in prescribed burning have probably contributed to the irregular increase in the number of years with large bush fires, a five-fold increase in population in the last 100 years has greatly increased potential ignition sources, both accidental and purposeful.

Historical Background

Australia has a long history of bush fires, with the Aborigines doing prescribed burns centuries (if not millennia) before European settlement. A good summary of the history of bushfires and their management was written by the CSIRO Division of Forestry twenty-five years ago, entitled Bushfires – An Integral Part of Australia’s Environment.

The current claim by many that human-caused climate change has made Australian bushfires worse is difficult to support, for a number of reasons. Bushfires (like wildfires elsewhere in the world) are a natural occurrence wherever there is strong seasonality in precipitation, with vegetation growing during the wet season and then becoming fuel for fire during the dry season.

All other factors being equal, wildfires (once ignited) will be made worse by higher temperatures, lower humidity, and stronger winds. But with the exception of dry lightning, the natural sources of fire ignition are pretty limited. High temperature and low humidity alone do not cause dead vegetation to spontaneously ignite.

As the human population increases, the potential ignition sources have increased rapidly. The population of Australia has increased five-fold in the last 100 years (from 5 million to 25 million). Discarded cigarettes and matches, vehicle catalytic converters, sparks from electrical equipment and transmission lines, campfires, prescribed burns going out of control, and arson are some of the more obvious source of human-caused ignition, and these can all be expected to increase with population.

Trends in Bushfire Activity

The following plot shows the major Australia bushfires over the same period of time (100 years) as the five-fold increase in the population of Australia. The data come from Wikipedia’s Bushfires in Australia.

Fig. 1. Yearly fire season (June through May) hectares burned by major bushfires in Australia since the 1919-20 season (2019-20 season total is as of January 7, 2020).

As can be seen, by far the largest area burned occurred during 1974-75, at over 100 million hectares (close to 15% of the total area of Australia). Curiously, though, according to Australia Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) data, the 1974-75 bushfires occurred during a year with above-average precipitation and below-average temperature. This is opposite to the narrative that major bushfires are a feature of just excessively hot and dry years.

Every dry season in Australia experiences excessive heat and low humidity.

Australia High Temperature Trends

The following plot (in red) shows the yearly average variations in daily high temperature for Australia, compared to the 40-year average during 1920-1959.

Fig. 2. Yearly average high temperatures in Australia as estimated from thermometer data (red) and as simulated by the average of 41 climate models (blue). (Source).

Also shown in Fig. 2 (in blue) is the average of 41 CMIP5 climate models daily high temperature for Australia (from the KNMI Climate Explorer website). There are a few important points to be made from this plot.

First, if we correlate the yearly temperatures in Fig. 2 with the bushfire land area burned in Fig. 1, there is essentially no correlation (-0.11), primarily because of the huge 1974-75 event. If that year is removed from the data, there is a weak positive correlation (+0.19, barely significant at the 2-sigma level). But having statistics depend so much on single events (in this case, their removal from the dataset) is precisely one of the reasons why we should not use the current (2019-2020) wildfire events as an indicator of long-term climate change.

Secondly, while it is well known that the CMIP5 models are producing too much warming in the tropics compared to observations, in Australia just the opposite is happening: the BOM temperatures are showing more rapid warming than the average of the climate models produces. This could be a spurious result of changes in Australian thermometer measurement technology and data processing as has been claimed by Jennifer Marohasy.

Or, maybe the discrepancy is from natural climate variability. Who knows?

Finally, note the huge amount of year-to-year temperature variability in Fig. 2. Clearly, 2019 was exceptionally warm, but a good part of that warmth was likely due to natural variations in the tropics and subtropics, due to persistent El Nino conditions and associated changes in where precipitation regions versus clear air regions tend to get established in the tropics and subtropics.

Australia Precipitation Trends

To drive home the point that any given year should not be used as evidence of a long-term trend, Australia precipitation provides an excellent example. The following plot is like the temperature plot above (Fig. 2), but now for precipitation as reported by the BOM (data here).

Fig. 3. As in Fig. 2, but for annual precipitation totals.

We can see that 2019 was definitely a dry year in Australia, right? Possibly a record-setter. But the long-term trend has been upward (not downward), again illustrating the fact that any given year might not have anything to do with the long-term trend, let alone human-induced climate change.

And regarding the latter, the blue curve in Fig. 3 shows that the expectation of global warming theory as embodied by the average of 41 climate models is that there should have been no long-term trend in Australia precipitation, despite claims by the media, pseudo-experts, and Hollywood celebrities to the contrary.

It should be kept in mind that wildfire risk can actually increase with more precipitation during the growing season preceding fire season. More precipitation produces more fuel. In fact, there is a positive correlation between the precipitation data in Fig. 3 and bushfire hectares burned (+0.30, significant at the 3-sigma level). Now, I am not claiming that hot, dry conditions do not favor more bushfire activity. They indeed do (during fire season), everything else being the same. But the current 2019-2020 increase in bushfires would be difficult to tie to global warming theory based upon the evidence in the above three plots.

Global Wildfire Activity

If human-caused climate change (or even natural climate change) was causing wildfire activity to increase, it should show up much better in global statistics than in any specific region, like Australia. Of course any specific region can have an upward (or downward) trend in wildfire activity, simply because of the natural, chaotic variations in weather and climate.

But, contrary to popular perception, a global survey of wildfire activity has found that recent decades have actually experienced less fire activity (Doerr & Santin, 2016), not more. This means there are more areas experiencing a decrease in wildfire activity than there are areas experiencing more wildfires.

Why isn’t this decrease being attributed to human-caused climate change?

Concluding Comments

There are multiple reasons why people have the impression that wildfires are getting worse and human-caused climate change is to blame. First, the news tends to report only disasters… not a lack of disasters. The desire for more clicks means that headlines are increasingly sensationalized. The media can always find at least one expert to support the desired narrative.

Second, the spread of news is now rapid and it penetrates deeply, being spread through social media.

Third, an increasing number of environmental advocacy groups seize upon any natural disaster and declare it to be caused by increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. The hyperbolic and counter-factual claims of Extinction Rebellion is one of the best recent examples of this.

This is all against a backdrop of government funded science that receives funding in direct proportion to the threat to life and property that the researcher can claim exists if science answers are not found, and policy is not changed. So, it should come at no surprise that there is political influence on what research gets funding when the outcome of that research directly affects public policy.

My personal opinion, based upon the available evidence, is that any long-term increase in wildfire activity in any specific location like Australia (or California) is dominated by the increase in human-caused ignition events, whether they be accidental or purposeful. A related reason is the increasing pressure by the public to reduce prescribed burns, clearing of dead vegetation, and cutting of fire breaks, which the public believes to have short term benefits to beauty and wildlife preservation, but results in long term consequences that are just the opposite and much worse.

Recent news reports claim that dozens of people have been arrested in Australia on arson charges, a phenomenon which we must assume has also increased by at least five-fold (like population) in the last 100 years. Accidental sources of ignition also increase in lockstep with the increasing population and all of the infrastructure that comes along with more people (vehicles, power lines, campfires, discarded matches and cigarettes, etc.)

So, to automatically blame the Australian bushfires on human-caused climate change is mostly alarmist nonsense, with virtually no basis in fact.

277 thoughts on “Are Australia Bushfires Worsening from Human-Caused Climate Change?

  1. The first reference to bushfires in Australia by European explorers was registered in Abel Tasman’s diary on the December 2 1642 during his exploration of Tasmania’s east coast. Fires are natural to the Australian landscape. Its native biota has evolved in and is adapted to fire conditions. Viewed from this perspective, human settlement is the aberrant factor to Australia, not fires.

      • …and if you take away the 200+ fires started by humans…on purpose and accidental

        we would have nothing to talk about

        • I blame the Eucalyptus trees. The city of Oakland did. After their incompetent, affirmative-action FD inadequately doused a fire which rekindled into a massive conflagration. It was the Eucalyptus’s fault. They are effectively Roman candles in the landscape … full of highly flammable gum.

          Best not to have firebugs lurking in a flammable landscape

        • “…and if you take away the 200+ fires started by humans…on purpose and accidental”

          This: https://aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab051
          shows the causes of 280,000 Asutralian fires over many years. 13% were arson, a further 37% are suspicious and 37% accidental. In other words the the vast majority were ignited by human hands. So in regards to ignition, this year will most likely be the same.

          Although oddly, arson seems not to have been a factor for most of the fires in the state of Victoria – one the most affected, there police say: “There is no intelligence to indicate that the fires in East Gippsland and north-east Victoria have been caused by arson or any other suspicious behaviour.”

          This summers fires are different not because of the reasons they were ignitd but because of their behaviour, their intensity and their scale – a direct consequence of record drought and record heat.

          “we would have nothing to talk about”

          Tell that to the faces of the families of the dozens dead and the owners of thousands of homes. Actually, wait until the end of March.

          • The fuel load was high last year too. I’m talking about what makes this year different and there are only two things: much hotter and much drier.

          • remember the IOD and the elnino effects, also that weird antarctic wind pattern the BoM DID say was goingto dry out the middles sectionof nsw and qld further by pushing rains that might have occured away, and it did.
            couple of fridays back total fireban day here
            and?
            we had a local farmer using a header(best firestarters a farm owns) out in tht 38c hugely windy day, and yes later that day a fire in that area;-/ took hrs with waterbombers and crews to contain, but so far no charges laid.

            as for Gippsland its usally the wettest area and even in the bad yrs had better growth for the dairy herds etc
            so the bushland was also denser and ripe for problems
            the heavy rains in 16/7 got massive sapling growth following in my area lakes,dams swamps are ringed now by dense impenetrable rings of growth a man has a hard time pushing through let alone a cow to get a drink!
            all those should have been cut down or pulled out within 2yrs

          • Latitude mentions this year, and Loydo tries to refute him by talking about the average over many years.

            Is their a troll out there that is capable of arguing honestly?

          • falsely reported that “nearly 200 people” were arrested in Australia for “deliberately” starting bushfires.

            That would be a distortion of the facts. Police in New South Wales released a statement disclosing that since Nov. 8, 2019, 183 people, including 40 juveniles, have been charged with 205 bushfire-related offenses. Of the 183, 24 people have been charged with deliberately setting fires. According to police, of the 183, another “53 people have had legal actions for allegedly failing to comply with a total fire ban,” and an additional “47 people have had legal actions for allegedly discarding a lighted cigarette or match on land.”

          • The danger is forced by proximity, share/shifted responsibility, and environmentalism (e.g. Green activism) that placed structures and lives at risk, without mitigating its progress. The flora and fauna have always been at risk of naturally occurring Green (e.g. fire) solutions.

          • “And very high fuel loads.”

            And miscalculation of the water level in the New South Wales Aquifer, the consecutive drought years, the expected filling by precipitation.

      • “But, but… it’s an existential, unprecedented contrafrabulation crisis!”
        See parable: The Boy Who Cried “Wolf! Wolf! WOLF!!!”

    • oebele bruinsma 1580/-or so Frances Drake explored the California Coast noted in the log book. Observed interior very large smoke plumes/columns. Some other information questioned, someone from the ship (during water/food foraging) climbed the nearest high peak-ridge line and observed the smoke columns ‘at a great distance’ smoke columns (Sierra and or Cascade range).

      • And another famous navigator of yore, Ferdinand Magellan, came up with name “Land of Fire” to describe what he saw as he approach the treacherous Drake Passage in 1520, at the southernmost tip of the continent we now call “South America”:

        The name Tierra del Fuego was given by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan while sailing for the Spanish Crown in 1520; he was the first European to visit these lands. He believed he was seeing the many fires (fuego in Spanish) of the Yaghan, which were visible from the sea, and that the “Indians” were waiting in the forests to ambush his armada.[4]

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tierra_del_Fuego

  2. We didn’t start the fire
    It was always burning
    Since the world’s been turning
    We didn’t start the fire
    No we didn’t light it
    But we tried to fight it”

    Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire

    Clearly a man before his time

  3. No, Australia’s bushfires are worsened by human stupidity. Clear brush and trees from around structures and do controlled burns, put in prison anyone in government who has blocked these measures. If you don’t punish stupid it will punish you, as the current situation in Australia and California shows.

    • If I were an Australian citizen, & you were standing for election, you’d get my vote! Common sense & practically always will do!

      • I grew up in south Mississippi in the ’60s and ’70s, controlled burns were done routinely, in the ’80s this was reduced. Guess what? In the ’90s and early 2000s they had a lot of big fires. Now large scale clearing and burns are back. So, people can learn from mistakes, as long as they are not college educated leftists.

    • I think the main objection of greens to burning is that it will kill wildlife. A single video clip of a koala with scorched feet imbeds itself in the public consciousness like no statistics or data. It’s like the poisonous rhetoric engendered by the image of the illegal immigrant and his child face down in the mud of the Rio Grande – drowned in their desperate righteous bid for freedom.

      I don’t think there’s a simple answer to the former problem, but some grassland conservation groups are experimenting with “patch burning” in the North American tall grass prairie with limited harm and probably some benefit to fauna heterogeneity – in addition to limiting air polution caused by big burns. It has proven benefits to grass and forbe diversity.

      The more hysteria generated by liberals the more that moderates tend to move away from them. Maybe all the press coverage is delivering a teachable moment. Chris Monckton’s blunt formula is a rational solution that many more may embrace before the next big fire season starts:

      slashing, burning, grazing, damming and policing… to which we should add culling and reseeding.

      • So right! Anyone remember Smoky The Bear?!?!? I actually attended a training session run by one of the USFS firefighters who helped save that bear. He explained it is tragic that animals die in controlled burns and yet they must be done.

      • Bill Parson,

        “A single video clip of a koala with scorched feet imbeds itself in the public consciousness like no statistics or data” and convinces lots of widows to spend money for WWF instead of Charity.

  4. Ge ready for more over reactions, the worst fire day of this season will probably occur over the next 24 to 36 hours. 45 C temps and very windy conditions tomorrow, the wind will continue into the early hours of Saturday morning local time. That should be the beginning of the long ending of the current rash of fires.

    • More over reactions? Worst fires in Australian recorded bistory. When usain bolt broke the 100metres people reacted as it was exceptional. This is exceptional and dumb to think otherwise.

      • Yes Simon, over-reactions, what you’re doing, trying to raise panic and fear about a prosaic fire season, certainly nothing we have not experienced multiple times before, your hyperbole based response is what I’m talking about.

        Henry Lawson, 1905

        Ah, better the thud of the deadly gun, and the crash of the bursting shell,
        Than the terrible silence where drought is fought out there in the western hell;
        And better the rattle of rifles near, or the thunder on deck at sea,
        Than the sound — most hellish of all to hear — of a fire where it should not be.

        On the runs to the west of the Dingo Scrubs there was drought, and ruin, and death,
        And the sandstorm came from the dread north-east with the blast of a furnace-breath;
        Till at last one day, at the fierce sunrise, a boundary-rider woke,
        And saw, in the place of the distant haze, a curtain of light blue smoke.

        There is saddling-up by the cockey’s hut, and out in the station yard,
        And away to the north, north-east, north-west, the bushmen are riding hard.
        The pickets are out and many a scout, and many a mulga wire,
        While Bill and Jim, with their faces grim, are riding to meet the fire.

        It roars for days in the hopeless scrubs, and across, where the ground seems bare,
        With a cackle and hiss, like the hissing of snakes, the fire is travelling there;
        Till at last, exhausted by sleeplessness, and the terrible toil and heat,
        The squatter is crying, ‘My God! the wool!’ and the farmer, ‘My God! the wheat!’

        But there comes a drunkard (who reels as he rides), with the news from the roadside pub: —
        ‘Pat Murphy — the cockey — cut off by the fire! — way back in the Dingo Scrub!’
        ‘Let the wheat and the woolshed go to — — ‘ Well, they do as each great heart bids;
        They are riding a race for the Dingo Scrub — for Pat and his wife and kids.

        And who is leading the race with death? An ill-matched three, you’ll allow;
        Flash Jim the breaker and Boozing Bill (who is riding steadily now),
        And Constable Dunn, of the Mounted Police, is riding between the two
        (He wants Flash Jim, but the job can wait till they get the Murphys through).

        As they strike the track through the blazing scrub, the trooper is heard to shout:
        ‘We’ll take them on to the Two-mile Tank, if we cannot bring them out!’
        A half-mile more, and the rest rein back, retreating, half-choked, halfblind;
        And the three are gone from the sight of men, and the bush fire roars behind.

        The Bushman wiped the tears of smoke, and like Bushmen wept and swore;
        ‘Poor Bill will be wanting his drink to-night as never he did before.
        ‘And Dunn was the best in the whole damned force!’ says a client of Dunn’s, with pride;
        I reckon he’ll serve his summons on Jim — when they get to the other side.

        It is daylight again, and the fire is past, and the black scrub silent and grim,
        Except for the blaze of an old dead tree, or the crash of a falling limb;
        And the Bushmen are riding again on the run, with hearts and with eyes that fill,
        To look for the bodies of Constable Dunn, Flash Jim, and Boozing Bill.

        They are found in the mud of the Two-mile Tank, where a fiend might scarce survive,
        But the Bushmen gather from words they hear that the bodies are much alive.
        There is Swearing Pat, with his grey beard singed, and his language of lurid hue,
        And his tough old wife, and his half-baked kids, and the three who dragged them through.

        Old Pat is deploring his burnt-out home, and his wife the climate warm;
        And Jim the loss of his favourite horse, and Dunn his uniform;
        And Boozing Bill, with a raging thirst, is cursing the Dingo Scrub —
        He’ll only ask for the loan of a flask and a lift to the nearest pub.

        Flash Jim the Breaker is lying low — blue-paper is after him,
        And Dunn, the trooper, is riding his rounds with a blind eye out for Jim,
        And Boozing Bill is fighting D.Ts. in the township of Sudden Jerk —
        When they’re wanted again in the Dingo Scrubs, they’ll be there to do the work.

        H/T Another Ian

        Australia’s been that way since at least 1770, in fact Captain Cook wrote that the East Coast of Australia was ablaze as he sailed up it, and mapped it for the first time, during that year.

        Situation normal.

        • Deluded and ignorant of facts. 6 million hectares burnt and counting. Hottest months are Jan and Feb.

          Worst previous were 1939/1974, 5million each. Bad weekend approaching. They haven’t been like this full stop unless you conveniently ignore the facts.

          • Some fires are larger, some are smaller, same with every other event. it’s called natural variability. As Willis pointed out just a few days back with official data, Australia is the wettest it’s been in centuries. But it’s also the greenest and healthiest it’s been in centuries due to the extra CO2 food.

            Quite dah criseth, Biggus!

            If you have a fire well-alight in 5 kg of dry wood, and you dump another 5 kg of dry wood on top of it, in a couple of minutes that fire gets 3 to 4 times larger. And that’s what’s occurring in Australia right now, more dry fuel is in the fires.

            It has been warned about for decades in every major bushfire report since 1983, and it’s almost solely due to the concerted efforts and absurdist propaganda of reactive hysterical green fruitcakes (such as you) trying to prevent necessary fuel reduction burns within the cooler wetter months.

            And as a result of insane radical greenies thwarting that, the result is native forests burnt out and all the wildlife destroyed.

            Fools like you are responsible for that Simon – own it. You seem to like to mimic the ‘logic’-level of an Extinction-Rebellion lunatic.

          • Biggest fire ever. Congrats on that tho however it’s been done. Started really early in the season also because it’s hotter.

          • Just Posted:
            Inferno on Black Friday 1939: 71 deaths, 3,700 buildings, too much fuel and “lit by the hand of man”
            http://joannenova.com.au/2020/01/black-friday-1939-victoria-45-degrees-c-71-deaths-leaping-balls-of-fire-and-lit-by-the-hand-of-man/

            These are the fires Australia repeatedly experiences, and arsonists and fools lighting fires have always been in the mix, and a primary cause of many of them, but excessive fuel build-up has been too. In fact it was this fire in particularly that lead to many fuel reduction strategies to limit fires.

            Which worked really well until greenies militated to promote policies enacted that would assure future bush fires (of 2019-2020) would occur on a scale that destroys all trees and all animals.

            Give yourself a pat on the back Simon, guys just like you sprouting BS and hysterical lies, did all that to Australia’s flora and fauna.

          • As WXcycles implies; if you don’t create lots of smaller fires (like the aborigines did), you’ll have a big uncontrollable fire on your hands, eventually.

            Controlled burns in winter months makes much of this go away.

          • Hmmm a lot of references to this on the net from experts in Australia.

            1) they hit their targets (granted the targets might be too lax and also the extra CO2 is causing faster plant growth so they could have got that wrong.

            2) you need a deft hand ref burning. Winter burning is hard as not much burns as it’s wet/damp. If you leave it too late then it’s too hot. The experts are saying this window of opportunity is tighter.

            3) the fires have burned through areas that were pre burned in some cases – which is surely worrying?. The fires anecdotally are being reported as more aggressive by firefighters.

            I’m not saying that they shouldn’t have burned more but they are saying the window of opportunity is tighter as it’s hotter.

            https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/05/explainer-how-effective-is-bushfire-hazard-reduction-on-australias-fires

            Overall, guidance developed post 2009 fires has been superceded by the new status quo. That kind of speed of change is an alarm bell at least to me.

        • WXcycles,
          Thanks for that beautifully brutal poetic narrative of turn-of-the-century bush fires. An epic tale…

          As for Simon Cove, I doubt you can convince him to set aside his irrational, panicky perspectives and see the inherent historical fire hazards of the Australian bush, exacerbated and fueled by the recent environMental prohibitions on controlled burns during the winter seasons.

          • I’m not panicking – I live in England. Biggest fire ever but don’t panic, don’t ask questions. Assume burn volumes despite what Australian experts and fire fighters are saying.

            Bury your head in sand – won’t get burned there although your sticky out derrière will get burned.

            Biggest fire ever. Biggest.

        • WXcycles, Henry Lawson lived here in my town for a time. We have a museum in his honor in our beautiful historic town and an annual festival too. They close the main street and the parade has brass bands, vehicles of every type, tractors, bush fire brigade, antique cars and Henry Lawson himself tips his hat as he passes by. Some of the tractors are of such an age that they struggle to make their way up the street, it is a wonderful weekend. One of the local pubs has a poetry reading morning over breakfast. The breakfast is simple but the poetry is amazing, at first I thought it would be a little dry but I ended up staying for two hours! The readings included original pieces and some of them were very funny.

          Our little town, population 2,700 is quite astonishing. In their wisdom they decided that our town was a good place to put a solar farm. At 87mw it covers 300 hectares and is almost as big as the main township. They also have an additional 826 hectares in the pipeline, 810 next to the existing one which is less than 5 kilometers from town and a smaller one of 16 hectares 600 meters from town. There is also further rumored sites that would take the number of hectares to around 1,700 hectares. All within close proximity to our town and as big as two Sydney Airports including runways.

          I’ve been trying to get Nick Stokes and some of the others to respond to a question about fire risks with solar farms, given that they’re the ones that think it’s the only solution, no response so far. I’d love to get a discussion going but no one seems to care, it’s a real fear out here.

          • Solar panels can burn but normally you reduce vegetation and and around them as it blocks sun. There is no way it would burn as too expensive to not look after. Also they don’t burn much compared to dry undergrowth. I’m not saying it’s not an issue somewhere in Australia. Advantages tho with eg – they still work when long distance power lines are out.

            I mean you drive your car don’t you which has petrol in it?

  5. “So, to blame the Australian bushfires on human-caused climate change is alarmist nonsense, with no basis in fact.”

    You were being too kind, Roy; I fixed it for you.

    Otherwise, spot on and a good summation of the ridiculous claims being made.

    The “belief” systems, however, are hard to penetrate. I have a sibling who lives in Florida who, though otherwise intelligent, has become a “climate catastrophe” believer. A couple of years ago when she chose to actually have a brief discussion about it, she inevitably started running off a list of hurricanes from that active season (2017), asking me “What do you call [list of hurricane names]? I said “I call them hurricanes – weather.” And then added that if she was going to blame “climate change” for that busy 2017 hurricane season, that she also needed to CREDIT “climate change” for the longest period on record without a single major hurricane hitting the U.S. mainland. Of course, she then didn’t want to talk about it any further, because the “belief” system won’t tolerate any challenges.

    • Yep – it’s hotter as well and dryer and it’s a good point of the author to point out the increasing rain trend but it’s also obvious from the graph two major trends

      1) it’s hotter (the fact it is very much hotter in 2019 is also weather not necessarily a trend)
      2) it’s wetter

      NB
      3) 2019 being dryer is not a trend

      So a trend could be considered climate. A one-off is called weather.

      Does the author think I’m stupid? Of course fires are multifsctorial but hotter is a definite trend according to the graph above. Hotter and dryer also are going to eat more fires. Obvs

      • Being hotter is not the driving force of fire. With catastrophic fire conditions the temperature range can vary by 10 degrees. Strong wind together with low humidity is the key.
        We have had ”one off’s” since eucalypt forests evolved. No trend, just nature.

        • and in Vic at least we had a bloody COLD start to the springsummer it didnt even give us a 30+c day before nov and the soil temps were so low from cold nights seeds fortomatos and pumkins didnt sprout till dec. 4c nights in dec
          but
          we had low rains this winter and accumualted roadside and bushland weed growt from previous avg to good seasons
          ANY rural Aussie worth the name knows if its a hot dry strong nth wind blowing and its 35c or so then a fire IS a very real risk anywhere at all
          and keeping documents and photos in one spot ready to grab should be standard practice
          I automatically do that and recheck every november that its ready to go if I have to bolt fast
          nothing you own thats precious should be somewhere you cant grab n go
          but that sid NOTHING is worth your life or your pets..walk or run away and accept it and restart.
          I am a pensioner and struggle to get by BUT I do so in part because I pay car life and house insurances, yes its costly BUT being unable to replace what you lose is far worse, especially if youre not well off cant work and have no fallback as you age

          • yep those ‘little lucifers’ are called dry lightning as everyone has observed in the regions affected . Its a natural process which has evolved the Australian flora over millions of years . Lightning can occur for a number of reasons other than friction from water vapour and ice within clouds The most spectacular example is around volcanic eruptions which have zero water in the gas clouds . Its all just static electricity sparking which as anyone knows can be caused by lots of materials and low humidity . Bushfires can reach such an intensity that it makes its own climate .. pyro cumulus clouds form with lightning and fire tornadoes as we observed . Numerous fires were observed to be started by lightning . Here in Canberra I even remember seeing the distant strike that started the devastating 2003 fires. All the recent big fires around here were known to be caused by lightning .. how ? we can accurately track lightning these days. As for pesky arsonists .. many were caused by amateur backburners ..in one case he was protecting his illegal drug crop ! Most of us knew these fires were coming except our dumbo PM who cut funding to the fire service earlier this year .. and the fire season ain’t over yet .. Everyone here knows the worst time is late Jan early Feb . From Canberra Cheers

      • Reading your posts, I really think that if you made your points in intelligible English, they might carry more force.

      • Simon asks;

        “Does the author think I’m stupid?”

        Rhetorical question?

        Personally no I don’t. I think you are deliberately pushing an agenda.

        If these fires are the ‘Worse On Record’ it is because Greens and their latte drinking friends have prevented proper fire risk management. And for those who don’t understand the separation of powers between Canberra and the States, forest management in Australia is controlled by the States. The Prime Minister is limited by the constitution into what he can and cannot do at State level.

        Also, for those who don’t understand how States work in Australia, you may notice that the fires are at their worse in NSW and Victoria. WA had some big fires a few weeks back… and… they are now gone. South Australia had/has a big fire on Kangaroo Island, but that has been for the most part restricted to the massive National Park. In mainland South Oz we haven’t had a MAJOR bushfire in decades because we haven’t allowed latte drinkers to ruin the place.

        Bushfires are caused by a lot of factors.

        Catastrophic bushfires are caused by Greens.

        • It’s multifsctorial for sure. But I do think the author is stupid asking me to disbelieve a climate model on one data point of precipitation. He’s an idiot.

          If you also don’t listen to the facts that:

          It’s hotter, harder to tactically burn as timeframe is tighter, that certain backburned areas have burned through, drought. If you ignore these facts (And yes they are facts), then maybe that says something about you?

          • You are an idiot. You keep saying they’re the worst fires on record, yet the record is quoted above, proving you wrong. The incidence of aged fuel is a significant factor, as a fire captain with over 50 years’ experience explained 20 year old fuel burns with an intensity seventeen times that of 4 year old fuel. Add the lack of controlled burning to the high incidence of human caused fires and you have a perfect combination, requiring no change whatsoever in climate. What has caused further problems is denying fire fighters easy access to national parks. So more fuel that burns more intensely, is more likely to be set on fire by someone and is more difficult to get access to fight and you still have a smaller area burned than in 74-75.

          • Re-sending this to you just in case you missed it. I repeat the author is either misleading or just hasn’t don’t his research..

            Ok I’ve had some negative comments come my way so I thought I’d re-read Roy’s paper and see if I made some errors

            1. Roy critiques the global warming graph as the temperature trend is HOTTER than the model predictions. He then says it might be thermometer issues etc. Let me paint a picture about quite how stupid this is on the real world. This is the equivalent to Roy and Clyde doing some house renovation and let’s say they work at an observatory. Imagine they are using a heat gun to strip the paint but it’s slow going and the sun is streaming in through the window. Roy says to Clyde “Hey Dumber you know what, let’s get the wide angle mirror from the telescope and put the magnifying glass in front it and let the sun do the work.” The house burns down….. OBVIOUSLY. On a serious note here. DAMN well note that Roy ‘missed’ out putting the actual temperature means on this graph. I wonder why….?????????? Well I’ll tell you why, it looks like Australia is getting as hot as hell and he doesn’t really want to highlight the bleeding obvious. But yeah its probably thermometer issues.
            2. The precipitation graph. There’s less of a trend here but Roy manages to put the mean temperatures on this graph. I wonder why? Well this is why. He says “To drive home the point that any given year should not be used as evidence of a long-term trend, Australia precipitation provides an excellent example.” Again weirdly the equipment here is fine.

            Ref the trending comment, he is dead right there which is why I can’t believe he isn’t raising alarm bells about the temp graph with it’s mysteriously missing actual mean temp line as it is a HUGE TREND. But to criticise the models when Australia is burning because the model trend say it’s less hot than it actually is…. is fairly unbelievable. (Note the word trend here) I mean am I actually supposed to swallow that drivel? I mean I would imagine most Australians give a lot more of a crap about stuff IF it is worse than the models say. In fairness he does say if it’s damn hot then it will burn more.

            Then Roy goes on about 1974 being worse and cooler and wetter. Again, why not actually say what the damn Science paper said. Roy partly does.

            Yes, globally fires are decreasing. What doesn’t he bother saying? These are savanna fires…… these are decreasing due to farming and other human activities. There’s a science paper and one from Doerr that Roy mentions (and I have a personal communication from Stefan Doerr – I don’t know him but I just emailed him). The 74 savanna fires are not the same as that is going on the South West Aus. Globally there are INCREASED fires in arboreal regions so brace yourselves South East Australia and I do sympathise as the misinformation being dished out here is criminal. These current fires also have burnt through rainforests and wetlands (areas not burned in 1000’s of years). Again misses that anecdotal detail.

            Why isn’t the mean actual temp line on that graph – that’s the one figure I’d be worrying about.

            He’s right about one thing, it’s multifactorial.

      • Simon, I’d like to ask you a question that I asked of Nick Stokes. He doesn’t seem to want to answer. I am particularly interested in asking this question of the likes of yourself, Nick, Loydo or in anyone for that matter. I am particularly interested in the views of CAGW followers because you champion wind and solar renewables as a solution to reduce CO2 an thereby save the world.

        It’s established that fires can indeed start on rooftop solar systems and solar farms. There are millions of hectares of solar farms already built on a global scale. You would not question how fast and furious our fires are here in Australia or the vast distances they cover. Given the speed at which solar farms are being installed accross Australia and the large numbers of them that are currently in the pipeline, fire risk should be of huge concern. It certainly is to me. My question to you or in fact anyone willing to give me an answer is:

        In the event of a fire starting at a solar farm or being introduced externally via embers or grassfires, how is this fire handled?

        • Or in a lithium-ion battery array? Or vehicle? Spraying water on them is the last thing that should be done, and yet that is what fire depts do. The vast majority of instances that IS what they should do. Simon and Nickee refuse to acknowledge that to “solution” they push has too many, as yet, drawbacks. People don’t want their “solution”, we want what works, what is economically feasible, what will move the human race forward. Forward is not where they want the human race to go, they and their kind simply want to be in control.

          • maybe solar perovskovites will work (Mush less energy going into them than silicon solar) but the storage is a massive problem which reduces their overall Energy return on energy invested (EROEI). I don’t know how to put them out if they catch fire so apologies there Meg. A big solar blaze could release quite a lot of nasty smoke. That said… it’s tiny beer compared to the current fires and one would think precautions would be taken with such expensive investments.

          • Seriously?!? You actually think burning trees, brush and grasses produce more harmful “smoke” than burning battery systems do? Or burning solar panels do? Wow, you really are out there, need some serious mental assistance to get you over that deep seated Human Hate Syndrome.

          • I was talking aboit use of solar at peak load ie not needing batteries. Batteries take a lot of wnergy to justify. The U.K. peak load is 6pm winter is solar not so much use. Australia I’m guessing peak load is day when ac used a lot. Thus solar without batteries is likely ok. Burning solar panels not great and batteries worse. HOWEVER, they are not 10 million hectares big (yet).

          • Solar will never replace real energy production. Wind will never replace real energy production. Fantasize all you want, reality is still here.

          • Can u actually read what I write instead of assuming you know what I mean. I’m quite happy to clarify. Ref solar… works great and is cheap when your national load is daytime peak. Ie when solar is working you need it. It does not work so well at all when you need it 4 Hours later as you need to store loads of it. Silicon solar panels have an EROEI (energy returned on energy invested of likely 2-3 years in Australia. This is due to heating sand to 1300 centigrade. It takes a lot of energy and money to make them. Perovskovite panels if they work can make at 100 centigrade and more efficient.. Their EROEI is maybe 1 year, maybe less. So a 25 lifetime lots of payback.

            As it happens stable society exists whne EROEI is over 1:7. Coal/oil used to be 1:100 But now it’s about 1:20 and that’s not including environmental cost (which I know you don’t believe in) but even air pollution costs a bit eg healthcare.

            This is cos all the easy oil has been taken. Wind turbines EROEI is aboit 19 and increasing as they get bigger. However you throw batteries at solar and wind and EROEI drops to aboit 1:4. So yeah I’m with you, they can’t replace conventional generation. But conventional generation is getting more expensive eg deep sea oil and wind and solar getting cheaper. The silicon in panels is dropping every year so even silicon getting cheaper.

            There is no easy path. I reckon the current economic doldrums are here for a few more decades until v cheap solar/batteries. Molten salt nuclear or fusion. That’s just my view on the world economic situation.

      • Another major trend Spencer mentioned: An increasing number of ignition sources (humans), and in vulnerable areas.

        Also, an increasing number of sacrosanct Parks, etc.—time bombs whose fuel load increases annually. The longer these are left wild, the shorter the window for safe controlled burning becomes.

        The best solution, as proposed by a commenter on one of JoNova’s recent threads, would be to allow logging in vulnerable forests. The profit motive would fund the clearing, instead of taxation.
        ———

        PS: See “The information war about astonishing arson figures” on JoNova’s site at:
        http://joannenova.com.au/2020/01/the-information-war-about-arson-figures/

    • Roy seems to have shot himself in the foot here. He appears to be arguing that the record temperatures aren’t AGW related because they are higher than the model predictions. Without the warming trend these records would have been extremely improbable.

      • Simon
        There are two logical hypotheses: 1) The models are unfit for purpose, in which case what they predict is irrelevant; 2) The models are fit for purpose and any deviation is the result of unknown factors.

        “Extremely improbable” is your assessment based on your belief that CAGW is actually creating more extreme and more frequent heat waves. I’ve made the case that “It ain’t necessarily so.”

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/09/06/the-gestalt-of-heat-waves/

        In any event, Roy demonstrates that the worst fires took place in 1974 when the temperatures were lower and precipitation was higher. So, the slight warming that is occurring appear not be be as important as other factors. You are beating a dead horse expecting to get results.

        • Ok

          Ok I’ve had some negative comments come my way so I thought I’d re-read Roy’s paper and see if I made some errors

          1. Roy critiques the global warming graph as the temperature trend is HOTTER than the model predictions. He then says it might be thermometer issues etc. Let me paint a picture about quite how stupid this is on the real world. This is the equivalent to Roy and Clyde doing some house renovation and let’s say they work at an observatory. Imagine they are using a heat gun to strip the paint but it’s slow going and the sun is streaming in through the window. Roy says to Clyde “Hey Dumber you know what, let’s get the wide angle mirror from the telescope and put the magnifying glass in front it and let the sun do the work.” The house burns down….. OBVIOUSLY. On a serious note here. DAMN well note that Roy ‘missed’ out putting the actual temperature means on this graph. I wonder why….?????????? Well I’ll tell you why, it looks like Australia is getting as hot as hell and he doesn’t really want to highlight the bleeding obvious. But yeah its probably thermometer issues.
          2. The precipitation graph. There’s less of a trend here but Roy manages to put the mean temperatures on this graph. I wonder why? Well this is why. He says “To drive home the point that any given year should not be used as evidence of a long-term trend, Australia precipitation provides an excellent example.” Again weirdly the equipment here is fine.

          Ref the trending comment, he is dead right there which is why I can’t believe he isn’t raising alarm bells about the temp graph with it’s mysteriously missing actual mean temp line as it is a HUGE TREND. But to criticise the models when Australia is burning because the model trend say it’s less hot than it actually is…. is fairly unbelievable. (Note the word trend here) I mean am I actually supposed to swallow that drivel? I mean I would imagine most Australians give a lot more of a crap about stuff IF it is worse than the models say. In fairness he does say if it’s damn hot then it will burn more.

          Then Roy goes on about 1974 being worse and cooler and wetter. Again, why not actually say what the damn Science paper said. Roy partly does.

          Yes, globally fires are decreasing. What doesn’t he bother saying? These are savanna fires…… these are decreasing due to farming and other human activities. There’s a science paper and one from Doerr that Roy mentions (and I have a personal communication from Stefan Doerr – I don’t know him but I just emailed him). The 74 savanna fires are not the same as that is going on the South West Aus. Globally there are INCREASED fires in arboreal regions so brace yourselves South East Australia and I do sympathise as the misinformation being dished out here is criminal. These current fires also have burnt through rainforests and wetlands (areas not burned in 1000’s of years). Again misses that anecdotal detail.

          Why isn’t the mean actual temp line on that graph – that’s the one figure I’d be worrying about.

          He’s right about one thing, it’s multifactorial.

          So here you go Clyde. A couple of serious errors for you to consider

          • Why isn’t the mean actual temp line on that graph…

            Mean temperatures are not actual temperatures, they are artifacts of analysis. IOW they are fiction.

          • Words matter. Science is corrupted by redefinitions. Beware the Newspeak.

            You cannot change data, but you can destroy it. Data is the information collected, any adjustments to that data destroys it, and replaces it with artifacts of analysis. There is no such thing as “adjusted data”.

            My old Webster’s Dictionary from 1916 defines data as simply “Factual material”.

            What grantologists generally call “data” are artifacts of analysis. For those who are unaware of what “artifacts” are, let me help you.

            ar·ti·fact
            ˈärdəfakt/Submit noun
            plural noun: artifacts
            1. an object made by a human being

            Data is collected, not manufactured.

          • Words do matter as there is a lot of bullsh1t flying around. Quite a lot on this website as it happens.

            Mathematics explains virtually everything except gut feeling and is the vanguard of science. Stats count.

          • Do you sit about in bars trying to sound like Sartre whilst stroking your goatee beard?
            Yes stats can prove just about anything and yes data is important. But you know what without data and stats we would all be living in caves. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good.

      • Given how short the climate record is, your certainty that record highs must be caused by CO2 is something only an unthinking activist could come up with.

  6. I wonder if they look back and try to convince themselves that it was climate change?

    Victoria, 1851, 5 Million Hectares burned, over 1 million sheep died, thousands of cattle perished

    Victoria 1898, 290,000 Hectares burned, 2000 buildings destroyed

    Gippsland fires(VIC), 1 Feb-10 Mar 1926
    Large areas of Gippsland caught fire, culminating in the Black Sunday fires on 14 February that killed 31 people in Warburton, near Melbourne. Over the two-month period, a total of 60 people were killed.

    (VIC), 13-20 Jan 1939, Drought conditions and water shortages also preceded Black Friday, but the usual combination of high temperatures, strong winds, and low humidity finally triggered fires throughout bush communities near Melbourne. Australia has a long history of devastating wildfires, including one of the largest known in world history: The Black Friday Bushfire which burned across Australia’s Victoria State on (or peaking on) January 13, 1939. Some 4.5-5 million acres were scorched (7,800 square miles) and 71 died. About 75% of the entire state was affected and 1,100 homes and log mills were destroyed. Ash from the fires fell in New Zealand some 2000 miles to the east. Extreme heat preceded the fire, including the hottest temperature ever measured in New South Wales–49.7°C (121.5°F) on January 10th at Menindee.

    1944- 1 Million Hectares burned, 500 homes destroyed.

    The Courier Mail, Monday July 29th, 1946
    800 Miles Of Fires Along the North Coast
    In 1946 fires burned in an “almost unbroken chain from Brisbane to Townsville”. They lit up the sky at night, pushed plumes of smoke 3,000 ft in the sky, that looked like “Bikini Atoll”. And this was July…

    1961-1.8 Million Hectares burned, 160 homes destroyed.

    TAS), 7 Feb 1967, An unusually abundant spring covered Tasmanian forest floors with litter, providing excess fuel for the bushfire season. Strong northerly winds and high temperatures coupled to help fuel at least 80 different fires across southern Tasmania, which swept over the south-east coast of the state and came within 2km of central Hobart. The fires burned 240,000 hectares, killed 62 people and razed almost 1300 homes.

    During the 7 year period from 1896 to 1903, before the vast land clearing, Industrial Revolution, before the First World War, and the Second World War, before the millions of cars were on the road and the vast amount of coal mining to date, before 408 ppmv of Co2, we have this:

    . Rainfall for this period was 46% below the previous wet period
    .Federation Drought, Heatwaves, Bush Fires and Dust storms, associated with 40% livestock losses in Queensland.

    .Livestock numbers in Queensland reduced from 6.5 million to 2.5.million (cattle), and from 19 million to 7 million ( sheep).

    .Western New South Wales, impacted by soil erosion, and woody weed infestation (1898-1899).

  7. “The media can always find at least one expert to support the desired narrative.”

    We must be cognizant of the implications that statement has for the term ‘expert’. The graph generated from the table in the Wiki article is evidence that nothing this year is ‘unprecedented’, yet an ‘expert’ can be found to support the narrative that it is? In what is such a person ‘expert’, and what does it do to the acceptance of statements by ‘experts’?

    • Yes, the term “expert” sticks in my craw as well. There aren’t any climate “experts.” If there were, they would be able to consistently make accurate predictions AND detail all of the contributing factors that would result in the predicted outcome.

      As for supposed “experts,” what do we have? A bunch of charlatans pushing propaganda to advance a “Cause” with a track record of 100% incorrect predictions and a 180 degree wrong explanation to go with them.

      • I guess scientists do their best. New frontiers of science are fraught with new theories With evidence for and against but overall knowledge progresses.

        If you think science is 100% inaccurate and a load of bull, then reject it. However if you choose to reject it, then get rid of your phone, car etc and go live in a cave. Up to you but don’t just cherry pick.

        • Science in general isn’t bad.
          Climate Science however is rotten almost all the way through.

          What is it about trolls and their inability to make an intelligent, honest argument.

          Geeze, are you actually arguing trying to aergue that sincescience enables us to make cars that work, therefore cimate models are usable.

          • A little bit. I mean basically science moves via research and hypothesis. Hypothesis are changed when new evidence comes to light etc. I don’t have an issue with people challenging stuff at all. Climate models aren’t at all totally correct but they seem to be predicting more extreme events and some more heat. Both of which occurred in Australia this year. To gut-feel dismiss that totally just seems a tiny bit weird to me.

            I’m saying I don’t respect those picking and choosing what they believe in Due to belief systems etc. Try stay open minded and keep looking at the evidence and accept that big areas like Higgs Bosuns and climate change, economics are tough to research.

  8. With all the $$ spent on climate science, what value has been established for natural variabily?

          • I think one would be too many, Nick. But some people will defend any crime to promote “climate change”. Are you going to tell us that none of the arsonist-started fires caused any of the deaths? Got any proof of that?

          • Nick,
            How about accepting the NSW police statement figures that your source moyhu cites?
            Legal action has been taken against 183 people for bushfire related offences –
            24 people charged over allegedly lighting fires,
            53 people have had legal action against them for failing to comply with total fire bans,
            47 people throwing away cigarettes or matches on land etc.
            Dr. Spencer cites only “ dozens of people” being charged on arson offences.
            Now that you are here , what do you say about Dr. Spencer’s 5 points and his conclusions?

          • Herbert,
            “Dr. Spencer cites only…”
            I wasn’t objecting to his version, which is vague enough to pass muster. I was responding to the claim that:
            “the 183 people arrested for setting fires”
            which of course comes straight from the headline in the Australian:
            “Bushfires: Firebugs fuelling crisis as arson arrest toll hits 183”

            On the 5 points:
            “1) Global wildfire activity has decreased in recent decades”
            There has been a lot of muddying of non-comparable statistics. A very large area of savannah burns from year to year, usually seasonal burn-off. That may be diminishing, but is not to be compared to these forest fires.
            2) Yes, Australia is prone to forest fires. But if this keeps up, we won’t have a forest.
            “3) Australian average temperatures in 2019 were well above what global warming theory can explain”
            AGW doesn’t explain the 2019 temperature. It explains the base on which the natural variations operate. Hot years get hotter.
            “4) Australia precipitation was at a record low in 2019, but climate models predict no long-term trend in Australia precipitation”
            Again it is lumping different things together. The expectation, which is being borne out, is that areas dependent on the westerlies (SW and SA) will get drier, as these recede southward. Areas depend on the monsoon (North) will get wetter, as the monsoons come further south. And for SE Australia, the expected trend is unclear. On balance, the monsoons will increase total rain, but in the tropical north.
            “5) While reductions in prescribed burning”
            No evidence of reductions is offerred, and there is none. Many think there should be more, but there is not a downtrend.
            The current bushfires are not notable for the large number of ignitions, but for the size and ferocity of the established fires.

          • “AGW doesn’t explain the 2019 temperature.”

            AGW does not explain ANY temperature. It is nothing more than a hypothetical construct that has never been empirically demonstrated to do anything outside the fantasy world of computer modeling and “dodgy” statistics.

          • @Nick
            A volunteer firefighter in Australia has been charged with deliberately lighting blazes during the nation’s bushfire crisis. Police arrested the man, 19, for seven counts of alleged arson in an area south of Sydney, New South Wales.“
            Will this guy be the only with more than one arson ?
            The estimate, btw, is 47% accidental lit, 40% arson. Last year all together also 87%, but 37 % accidental.
            Australia Is Burning: Blame The Greens & The Arsonists

          • “Eucalyptus trees bent over due to the high winds and heat of the October 2007 California wildfires. They are located in the San Dieguito River Park of San Diego County and leaning west
            Eucalyptus oil is highly flammable; ignited trees have been known to explode.[29][30] Bushfires can travel easily through the oil-rich air of the tree crowns.[31][32] Eucalypts obtain long-term fire survivability from their ability to regenerate from epicormic buds situated deep within their thick bark, or from lignotubers,[33] or by producing serotinous fruits.

            In seasonally dry climates oaks are often fire-resistant, particularly in open grasslands, as a grass fire is insufficient to ignite the scattered trees. In contrast, a eucalyptus forest tends to promote fire because of the volatile and highly combustible oils produced by the leaves, as well as the production of large amounts of litter high in phenolics, preventing its breakdown by fungi and thus accumulating as large amounts of dry, combustible fuel.”

            These trees are called gasoline trees for a reason.

            Nick. Man has had a hand in these fires, just not in the way you obsessively believe.

          • Their range is expanded and accelerated by fire beyond what it would have been without fire. For the last many thousands of years Aborigines used bushfires for their survival. Historic use of fire has had an influence on the continent’s current ecosystem.

            Beyond Australia, this non native species is contributing to California’s risk of forest fires, along with a dozen other variables that didn’t exist 500 years ago.

          • davetherealist
            California has similarly determined that many fires are started purposely. Reasons vary from left-hand thread wingnuts who get a thrill from fire, to unemployed people hoping to get paid to fight the fires they start. It is a serious problem whether the number in Australia is 183 or less than half of 120. In either situation the important thing is the consequences, not how many are responsible. On the other hand, how many have started fired and NOT been arrested? Stokes is always quick to defend the party line, even in the absence of evidence.

          • According to Snopes

            https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/australia-arrested-bushfires/

            That would be a distortion of the facts. Police in New South Wales released a statement disclosing that since Nov. 8, 2019, 183 people, including 40 juveniles, have been charged with 205 bushfire-related offenses. Of the 183, 24 people have been charged with deliberately setting fires. According to police, of the 183, another “53 people have had legal actions for allegedly failing to comply with a total fire ban,” and an additional “47 people have had legal actions for allegedly discarding a lighted cigarette or match on land.”

            183 is correct

      • This is from the official NSW Twitter account. It covers over a year but the point is that arson is a real factor in the bushfires regardless of how many in the current fires. You should know the history of bushfires in Australia going back to the Aborigines dependence on them for their survival. Go ahead with the obsession on AGW even though the reality is extraordinarily complex with many factors at play.

        https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/news/news_article?sq_content_src=%2BdXJsPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGZWJpenByZC5wb2xpY2UubnN3Lmdvdi5hdSUyRm1lZGlhJTJGODIyNjQuaHRtbCZhbGw9MQ%3D%3D

      • This is from an Australia Government Geoscience website

        “Bushfires are an intrinsic part of Australia’s environment. Natural ecosystems have evolved with fire, and the landscape, along with its biological diversity, has been shaped by both historic and recent fires. Many of Australia’s native plants are fire prone and very combustible, while numerous species depend on fire to regenerate. Indigenous Australians have long used fire as a land management tool and it continues to be used to clear land for agricultural purposes and to protect properties from intense, uncontrolled fires.

        Historically, bushfires have caused loss of life and significant damage to property. While naturally occurring bushfires cannot be averted, their consequences can be minimised by implementing mitigation strategies and reducing the potential impact to areas which are most vulnerable“

        Instrinsic part…native plants fire prone…..very combustible…bushfires cannot be averted

        • He’s making the distinction between “arrested” and legal action.
          There is a difference. Being fined for tossing a cigarette out the window of a car during a total fire ban period isn’t the same as being charged with arson.
          Yes many fires start due to human actions, but mostly it is carelessness.
          The 24 that are charged with arson have done it deliberately.
          I think it’s encouraging that Nick is favoring precision, let’s hope his attitude leaks into his and his colleague’s work in the future.

          • “He’s making the distinction between “arrested” and legal action”
            Well, between “arrested for arson” and “cautioned for dropping a cigarette butt”. Or using a home BBQ.

            In fact, none of the statistics cover “arrested”. One of the oddities is that NSW Police includes “cautioned” as “legal action”.

      • Nick, as an environmental scientist l would argue that man very much shaped the vegetation of Australia. Poor soils were encouraged to grow pasture on nutrients distributed in the ash and increased light through fire stick farming. Over time the vegetation that survived were those adapted to a fire regime such as banksias, acacias and eucalypts. I am trying to find a reference to pollen in sediments that illustrate that vegetation changed with the arrival of aboriginals in Australia.

  9. Increased CO2 has caused increased plant growth world wide. Would this lead to more fuel for fires in Australia? This seems to be the biggest measurable effect of 400ppm CO2.

  10. In the meantime, we forgot the devastating tundra burning in summer 2019
    It was due to the worst temperature increase up to 21°C in that summer ! /sarc
    So, what has temperature to do with bushfires ?

      • Just so you know Chm, Australia is in fact quite a large continent. In relation to that though our population is quite small at only a little over 25 million

    • “So, what has temperature to do with bushfires ?”

      Higher temperatures and dryer air can “pull them forward.” But they are inevitable eventually, and will be worse, unless green knee-jerk forest-protection measures are revoked. The alternative to aggressive forest management and fuel load reduction are the fires now occurring—which would be occurring in five or ten years if this temperature blip hadn’t occurred, and would be even worse.

  11. In September 1962, just 8 months after a huge, uncontrolled bushfire that killed many and destroyed hundreds of properties, I walked in the Dandenong Ranges near Melburne with a group of friends. Everything was lush, green and fertile. No undergrowth in our way – we walked easily for miles in lovely forest. One of us was a botanist who pointed out several species of very tiny orchids which, he said, loved it after a fire. All was full of life – insects humming – sun shining.

    This was Australia at its healthiest best, namely the spring following a big bushfire. The ecology of a big part of this mighty continent is shaped by, and dependent on, natural bushfires – and the original Australians (who had it on their own for 60,000 years) even improved on Mother Nature and practiced controlled, clever burn-offs at all times.

  12. An excellent article in the NY Post blaming the greens for the bushfires.

    https://nypost.com/2020/01/08/celebrities-activists-using-australia-bushfire-crisis-to-push-dangerous-climate-change-myth-devine/

    “I’m sorry, but I lived in Australia through the past two decades of escalating fire crises and it’s not climate change that has caused today’s disaster, but the criminal negligence of governments that have tried to buy green votes by locking up vast tracts of land as national parks, yet failed to spend the money needed to control ground fuel and maintain fire trails.”

    “Punishment for unauthorized hazard reduction has been brutal. For instance, when electricity authority TransGrid in 2001 cleared a 200-foot-wide firebreak to protect high-voltage lines that ran through rugged bushland near the national capital of Canberra, the authority was sued by four government agencies and fined $1 million. A year later, when a calamitous fire swept the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, TransGrid’s firebreak was the only safe haven for kangaroos, wallabies and three forest workers.”

    plus more…

  13. Here what you do. Have some scientist write a paper saying that ash from mass forest fires are harming the Great Barring Reef and the only way to stop future damage is to go back to controlled burns. LOL

  14. Let’s take a more detailed look at Dr. Spencer’s graph
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/AustraliaT.htm
    A sudden transition in the temperature gradient took place at around 1980; gradient after 1980 is 7 times stronger than the gradient before 1980. Things like that do not often happen in nature.
    Was CO2 the cause?
    A casual visual comparison of two curves would suggest ‘most likely’, however two curves have a very poor correlation factor R^2 of 0.54, with probability of just over 50% it would be foolish to put your money on it.

  15. Pyroterrorism is a big factor in both the California and Austraulian fires. The U’S. Forest Service had a conference on Pyroterrorism. Plans are on the Internet for remote-controlled incendiary devices. Arabic magazines encourage Jihadists to “Burn the Great Satan”. While the MSM in the U’S. is reluctant to report the cause of fires, The Australian press has already mentioned the arrest of over 20 arsonists (religion excluded). Google “Pyroterrorism” for more information.

    • Has anyone been crazy enough to wonder if some of the fires are being lit by people who belive that were all going to die if the world of humans doesn’t stop producing carbon?

      I have searched the Internet, but didn’t find it. But it makes sense – global attention on man made climate change in action.
      The Guardian, as ever, is trumpeting this constantly.
      It would only take a few desparate scared individuals to do this.
      I wonder if the authorities have looked at the political profiles of the people who have been caught lighting these particular fires….

      And it seem that, IF indeed the climate in Oz is different from before, it’s probably caused by the jet stream miander – which, due to this part of the solar cycle’s reduction of protection of our atmosphere from galactic cosmic rays, causes polar and equatorial air to go to unusual distances

      • I did see one claim that an individual linked to Extinction Rebellion has been charged with Arson in Australia, but I don’t know how dependable that claim was.

  16. In California and in Australia, the cause of most all fires are human stupidity and carelessness.

    I have a stack of firewood in my backyard, been there for a few years …. the chances of it spontaneously igniting is ZERO. Given enough time it will decompose into dirt. So unless The magic molecule evolves a way to strike a match, …. or flick a bic, there is zero influence of climate change in fires.

  17. AUSTRALIA’ S BUSHFIRES

    Most area burned – 1974-75 – 4 States & NT – 103 Million ha
    Most people killed – 2009 – Victoria – 173 died
    Most homes destroyed – 1983 – Victoria – 2400 homes + 75 died
    Recent Bushfires – 2019-20 – all States – 10.7 million hectares burned – 28 died – 1,800+ homes destroyed

    BUSHFIRES NOT CAUSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE
    1851 – Victoria – 5 million ha burned – 1 million sheep died
    1939 – Victoria – 2 million ha burned – 71 died – 1,100 homes destroyed
    1944 – Queensland – 1 million ha burned – more than 500 houses destroyed
    1946 – Queensland – An almost unbroken chain of fires between Brisbane and Townsville
    1951 – Victoria – 4 million ha burned – 11 died.
    1961 – Western Australia – 1.8 million ha burned – 160 homes destroyed.
    1962 – Victoria – 32 died – 450 houses destroyed
    1974-75 – NSW – 4.5 million ha burned – 6 died
    1974-75 – Northern Territory – 45 Million ha burned
    1974-75 – Queensland – 7.5 million ha burned
    1974-75 – South Australia – 17 million ha burned
    1974-75 – Western Australia – 29 million ha burned
    1983 – Victoria – 0.4 million ha burned – 75 died – 2,400 houses destroyed
    1984-85 – NSW – 3.5 million ha burned
    2002 – Northern Territory – 15 million ha burned
    2003 – ACT – 0.16 million ha burned – 4 died – almost 500 homes destroyed
    2003 – Victoria – 1.3 million ha burned – 3 died – 41 homes
    2009 – Victoria – 0.45 million ha burned – 173 died – > 2,029 homes destroyed

    BUSHFIRES CAUSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE
    2019 – All States – 10.7 million hectares burned – 28 died – > 1,800 homes destroyed.

    • You missed the 1967 bushfires in Tasmania.
      ”They were the most deadly bushfires that Tasmania has ever experienced, leaving 62 people dead, 900 injured and over seven thousand homeless.”

    • Thanks for that. I hope you won’t mind if I use it (with your name credit) as a basis for my own list on another forum.

      It looks as though you have been looking mostly at area to pick out the big ones. Plenty of nasty smaller ones. For SA int the 1950s alone:

      https://cfs.sa.gov.au/site/about_cfs/history_of_the_cfs/bushfire_history.jsp

      1951 – 450,000 ha – Losses of stock, feed and fencing were “heavy”.
      1955 – 2 January ‘Black Sunday’ 40,000 ha 2 fire fighters dead $4,000,000 damage
      1958, – 8 fire fighters lost their lives in a pine plantation fire in the south-east.
      1959, – Kongorong 28,000 ha 1 dead $1,500,000 damage
      1959 – Wudinna 76,000 ha.

      (I remember the Black Sunday fire particularly, since that was the first time I encountered the “Black Xday” formula.)

      • You are welcome to use the list and add in the 1967 Bushfires in Tasmania, as per aussiecol’s suggestion:

        1967 – Tasmania – 0.264 million hectares – 62 died – 1293 homes destroyed.

        And, yes, I was primarily selecting the largest fires, though I did throw in the most of the damaging fires in terms of lives lost and houses destroyed.

        Nick claim that the 2019-20 fires are primarily a result of human-induced climate change is completely false. However, he does have a point about the large size of the 1974/75 fires.
        Comparing the 1974/75 fires to the 2019-20 fires is like comparing apples and oranges.

        The 1974/75 bushfires covered 103 million hectares. At face value, this is almost ten times larger than 10.7 million hectares covered by the current bushfires. However, the devil is in the details.

        Here is a breakdown of the areas burned in four states and the N.T.

        1974-75 – NSW – 4.5 million hectares burned
        1974-75 – Northern Territory – 45 Million hectares burned
        1974-75 – Queensland – 7.5 million hectares burned
        1974-75 – South Australia – 17 million hectares burned
        1974-75 – Western Australia – 29 million hectares burned

        The underlying reason for most of these fires was the rapid growth of grasslands in the vast semi-desert and desert regions of Australia because of very wet conditions in 1973 and 1974. Eventually, these grasslands dried out as the unusually wet conditions ended in late 1974. Hence, much of the vast low rainfall regions of Australia suffered massive fires in the (southern) Summer of 1974/75. These fires covered tens of millions of hectares. E.g. most of the 4.5 million hectares that burned in NSW were in the grasslands of the far-west of the state. They were not in the Eucalyptus forests in the eastern (heavily populated) part of the state.

        In contrast, most of the area burned by the current (2019-20) bushfires were located in the Eucalyptus forests along the Great Dividing Range and East Coast of NSW.

        My list still proves that the claim that the 2019-20 bushfires are caused by human-induced climate change is totally false.

        The 2019-20 bushfires are the worst in terms of its effects upon the Eucalyptus forests
        of SE Australia by a wide margin, though not the worst when it comes to the loss of life and the number of houses destroyed.

        • Can you expand on that. I don’t understand why your list means that climate has zero to do with it. I totally think it’s multifactorial but I don’t get why your list regarding 1974 matters? It is interesting tho if this isn’t the worst fire as I have repeatedly repeated. As you say the devil is in the detail. Areas have burned here include wetter types of areas That don’t usually burn or so it has been reported.

  18. From the article: “It should be kept in mind that wildfire risk can actually increase with more precipitation during the growing season preceding fire season.”

    Yes, hot weather can dry out vegetation real fast (a matter of hours in some cases) even if there has been adequate moisture in the recent past.

    • Tom
      And that is why the reference to extended drought is a non sequitur. If the fuel on the ground got wet the previous season, then it has to be dried out again. The only way that extended droughts play into the situation is if trees are killed by the drought, increasing the amount of fuel load.

  19. “as illustrated by the record number of hectares burned (over 100 million) during 1974-75”
    The myth-making here is endless. These fires were in Far West NSW. The area of all NSW is about 81 million hectares.
    But this was a quite different event, not at all comparable to the current forest fires. It was a wet year, and produced a lot of growth in an arid landscape. Then the heat came, and the new growth burnt off.

    • Myth-making? Rotter clearly acknowledges the fact that it was a different event:

      “Curiously, though, according to Australia Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) data, the 1974-75 bushfires occurred during a year with above-average precipitation and below-average temperature. This is opposite to the narrative that major bushfires are a feature of just excessively hot and dry years.”

      So if we went back to the CO2 levels of 1974, we might have more fires that are bigger than this one?

    • Alas Nick’s drive towards precision didn’t last long.
      Of the 117M hectares that burned in 1974 (ABS data), 4.5M hectares were in NSW.
      Approximately 29M were in Western Australia, and 45M in the Northern Territory, calling these “far western NSW” is equivalent to calling California “far western Mississippi”.

      https://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/abs@.nsf/0/6C98BB75496A5AD1CA2569DE00267E48

      The current season’s fires are driven by a deep and long drought in the south east of Australia, a normal summer heat was always going to produce fires in our dry landscape.

      And yes Nick, the myth making here is endless, when are you going to stop?

      • Well, it’s not a peer-reviewed publication, and no references are given. It is marked
        “This article has been contributed by Mr N. P. Cheney, CSIRO Division of Forestry”

        I was in Australia in 1974/5, and I don’t recall 15% of the continent being burnt. One and a half times the area of Texas. But whatever.

        • Anecdotes aren’t data. I was in Australia in 1974/75 too, and I still am.
          “Well, it’s not a peer-reviewed publication”
          Do you listen to yourself?
          The ABS? CSIRO?
          Perhaps you prefer a broad post-hoc selection of article abstracts that indicate a 97% agreement that 45,000,000 hectares of land burned in NT in 1974?

          “I was in Australia in 1974/5, and I don’t recall 15% of the continent being burnt.”
          I’m sure your recollection is much better than the government, authority and newspaper accounts at the time and that you can find some peers that will attest to it.

          • “newspaper accounts at the time”
            OK let’s hear those newspaper accounts. Let’s hear anything other than a contributed article in a 1995 yearbook.

            “The ABS? CSIRO?”
            The ABS collects and reports statistics. It does not generate them, at least on bushfires and such. On this occasion, they clearly mark it as a contributed article. CSIRO has an internal review process (which I know well), but it is mainly directed toward avoiding trouble for the organisation. And in 1974, this non-journal article probably didn’t go through it, although it was probably run past the chief.

          • https://aic.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/tbp/downloads/tbp027_09_nt.pdf
            (2006)
            Perhaps it’s just a grand conspiracy Nic and they are back dating their reports???

            Ellis S, Kanowski P & Whelan R 2004. National Inquiry into Bushfire Mitigation and Management.
            Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. http://www.coagbushfireenquiry.gov.au/findings.htm
            [updated working link so that your advanced conspiratorial ideation doesn’t take control

            https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/publications/GeneralReports/FESA_Report-NationalInquiryonBushfireMitigationandManagement.pdf
            ]

            Perhaps a fake national enquiry???

            https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=bushfires/inquiry/report/fullreport.pdf

            OMG! The Chinese have put fake reports into the Australian Federal Government servers about fake national bushfire enquiries!

            I think it’s really cute how you want someone else to prove your vague memory of the time is incorrect and are happy to reject major statistic/research and government records.

          • harry,
            “I think it’s really cute how you want someone else to prove your vague memory of the time is incorrect “
            I think my memory is correct. Quoting from your NT link:
            ” The frequency and area burned in any one year varies considerably. Nevertheless, by southern standards the total and the proportion of land burned in any given year is extraordinarily large. In the higher rainfall savanna woodlands of the northern Kimberley, the Top End and Cape York up to half of the total area may be burned either every year or every second year (Anderson 1996, Dyer et al. 2001, Press 1998, Russell-Smith et al. 1997). “

            ” in the territory since the late 1960s that collectively burned 168,000,000 ha. In 2002, approximately 38,000,000 ha burned in planned and unplanned fires. This represents 29 percent of the Northern Territory. In comparison, the January 2003 fires burned ‘only’ 226,000 ha in the Australian Capital Territory and 1,000,000 ha in Victoria. “

            Remember the terrible NT fires of 2002?

            Check Table 1. Yes, 45 M ha burned in 1974-5. But 45 M ha also burned in 1969-70. 40 M ha burned in 1968-9. And 38 M ha in 2002-3. So I guess we can tell the folks in NSW to stop bothering us with their puny 8 M ha, or whatever,

            It looks like someone latched onto these figures only for 1974/5 and so built the myth of a terrible fire year that means we don’t have to worry about 2019/20.

            Incidentally, the 1974/5 fires in western NSW were a real thing, and 6 people died. It looks like for the rest, near 15% of the country was burnt with no recorded casualties.

          • “I think my memory is correct.”
            Which memory? The one that boldly claimed “I was in Australia in 1974/5, and I don’t recall 15% of the continent being burnt.”
            Or this current one that gladly accepts that 45M hectares burned in NT but it’s OK because the NT regularly has large fires, which conveniently neglecting that the overall figure was 117M hectares and that 29M was in WA, which doesn’t regularly have large fires?

            “So I guess we can tell the folks in NSW to stop bothering us with their puny 8 M ha, or whatever”
            As of Jan 6 2020 4.9M hectares have burned in NSW this fire season. No need to guess or exercise your memory.

          • “Which memory?”
            The one that said “I don’t recall 15% of the continent being burnt”, Because I don’t. It just wasn’t an exceptional year. I don’t recall the equivalent fire in 1969 either. or 1967. And as your link makes clear, the savanna in WA and Qld behaves in the same way.
            ” In the higher rainfall savanna woodlands of the northern Kimberley, the Top End and Cape York up to half of the total area may be burned either every year or every second year”

        • “I was in Australia in 1974/5, and I don’t recall 15% of the continent being burnt. One and a half times the area of Texas. But whatever… The myth making is the absurd area. – Nick Stokes”

          Thankfully we don’t have to rely on your absurd grasp of reality or your memory!

          From the 2004 National Inquiry on Bushfire Mitigation and Management.* There are plenty of sources**, knock yourself out Nick!

          Fire history in Australia, by state and territory:

          1974-75

          Area of fire (ha)

          NT 45,000 000
          QLD 7,300 000
          NSW 16,000 000
          SA 29,000 000

          My total for four states = 101,800 000 ha

          *https://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/publications/GeneralReports/FESA_Report-NationalInquiryonBushfireMitigationandManagement.pdf
          **Sources:

          ACT Bush Fire Council 1952, Annual Report 1951–52 and various Council fire reports, .
          ACT Bush Fire Council 1980, Annual Report 1979–80, viewed . ACT Bush Fire Council 1984, Annual Report 1983–84, viewed .
          Australian Bureau of Statistics 1995, ‘Bushfires—an integral part of Australia’s environment’, Year Book Australia, .
          Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002, Australia Now; .
          Bath, M & Deguara, J 2002, ‘Australian bushfire history’, .
          Canberra Times, December 2001, .
          Canberra Times, January 1939, .
          Department of Bush Fire Services 1994, New South Wales Burning, DBFS, Sydney.
          Department of Bush Fire Services 2002, Bushfire Bulletin: Christmas fires 2001, DBFS, Sydney.
          Hickman, J & Tarrant, M 1986, ‘Australian bushfires and their real cost’, Paper presented at Fire Science 1986, Fourth
          Australian National Biennial Conference of the Institution of Fire Engineers, Perth, 21–24 October.
          Leonard, JE & McArthur, NA 1999, ‘A history of research into building performance in Australian bushfires’, Proceedings of the
          Australian Bushfire Conference, Albury, July.
          Luke, RH & McArthur, AG 1978, Bushfires in Australia, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
          National Association of Forest Industries, .
          New South Wales Fire Brigade, Disasters, .
          New South Wales Government submission.
          NSW Forestry Commission annual reports from 1951 to 1990.
          NSW Rural Fire Service 2003, ‘Brief History of Bushfires in NSW’, viewed 9 February 2004, .
          School of Resources, Environment and Society, Australian National University 1995, .

          • Scott,
            You’re missing the point. The reason I didn’t remember it was that it was nothing remarkable. As I pointed out, the savanna fires in the NT and other tropics are very large every year. eg 1969 also burned 45 M ha in NT, but it isn’t shown in Roy’s graph.

            This paper gives numbers for an average year. 18.1 M ha for NT, 10.6 for WA, 8.56 for Qld. The problem was that in 1974/5 these figures were lumped in with the forest fires in Roy’s graph (and Wiki’s table). In other years they weren’t.

            Of course, they should not be lumped in together, otherwise you can’t see what is happening to the forest fires which are the acute problem we have.

            I’ve written a post about this here.

          • Nick, I wasn’t defending Roys’s graph but the fact that 1974-75 was the biggest regardless of northern savannah figures.

            It does surprise me though, that given you seem to know a bit about the subject, you’ve never mentioned that the fire season varies across Australia – north to south – depending (broadly) on the latitude.

            The Far North for example, burns in the relative cool of winter (The Dry), simply because it is too wet in summer! So heat has nothing to do with the largest bush fires in Australia, particularly those vast savannah fires that you are so keen to mention. And it is true for the same reason that fire is at its most threatening in Spring for the zone immediately below it, which can be represented by a line drawn between Tennant Creek and Mt Isa that includes a narrow coastal strip that curls up as far as north as Cooktown. This coastal strip includes the entire east coast south, beyond the QLD/NSW border as far as Sydney.

            Most of the 2019-2020 fires seem to be in their typical seasonal fire zone i.e. the Spring/Summer zone in this case.

            What is most evident to me, is that the current fires have occurred when the weather is driest which is the common factor for bush fire Australia wide; rather than temperature!

    • Nick, Wikipedia state that 1974 – 75 bushfire season destroyed 95 million hectares of land in Australia.

      Now, Wikipedia inclines to be on the leftist side, given that in the article I just read they referenced The Guardian. So whether it was 103 or 95 or even slightly less, who knows? But the Guardian wouldn’t lie would they Nick, and by association Wikipedia aren’t telling lies either.

      I don’t know why this matters, it was a bloody big fire! Something interesting for you to consider, in 2016 Australia was stated to have 134 million hectares of forest. Now I get that these fires cover grasslands, scrub as well as forests but it just goes to show that it doesn’t take long for these areas to recover and to once again become overgrown.

      Now I’ve got a question for you Nick, or anyone else who might like to answer. The big push to save the world from runaway levels of CO2 is to flood the planet with millions of hectares of wind and solar renewable energy, without any thought to the consequences of that, but then that’s another story.

      My question is, given the devastating fires we have been experiencing in the last 4 or 5 months is:

      How do they deal with a fire in a solar farm, whether it starts there or whether it is bushfire affected?

      I am curious as to whether people even think about that as a potentially serious problem.

      • As I noted in answering Harry above, it looks like someone has taken the huge areas burnt in the northern savanna in most years, and boosted just 1974/5 into a mega-fire year. The main component was 45 M Ha in the NT. But 45 M Ha also burned in 1969, and 40 M in 1967. And similarly in the tropical north of WA and Qld.

        The unusual feature of 1974/5 was a somewhat similar fire, on a smaller but more destructive scale, in western NSW. But it wasn’t really a forest fire.

        Solar panels are not an ignition source.

        • “Solar panels are not an ignition source.”
          I think the implication of his question has more to do with the susceptibility of the surrounding grasslands to be involved in a wider bushfire and the ensuing loss of generation capacity of the exposed panels.

          • “Solar panels are not an ignition source.” Yeah, right, tell that to fire depts who have to deal with it. Nick is a special kind of self-induced stupid.

          • Thanks for responding 2hotel9, it’s hard to get people talking about this sort of thing. Nick still hasn’t answered my question.

            Simon answered and showed his ignorance on so many levels. He said to “with a hosepipe…it’s basically a load of plastic burning.” He then asked how we put out houses with tar roofs.

            And he has the hide to comment on Australian conditions.

          • Last year our local VFDs had several training sessions concerning EV fires and solar panel fires, damned dangerous to deal with in both cases. Add to that the further dangers dealing with EVs in wrecks, non-burning. Greenunists refuse to even acknowledge there is any difference and just how much worse they are. Ask them why burning aircraft on carriers are pushed overboard and you just get a blank stare.

          • Yeah cos petrol cars are safe when they crash. Because petrol isn’t explosive. You know in the movies when the car goes over the cliff and explodes. It’s garbage

          • Having blown up no few vehicles I do know how hard they are to get to explode. Having fought many vehicle fires I know how easy they are to put out, with water. Go ahead, tell us again how EVs don’t burn and are totally safe. Need another good laugh for the morning.

          • Batteries and petrol both burn. If you’re inside one it’s an issue whatever. Petrol is damn easy to start. Just go and throw some on a fire if you want to find out. I’m happy with either a cigarette lighter or a phone in my pocket but if you asked me to sit beside one (With my face 15cms from it like a ‘Saw’ scene) with a magnifying glass aiming at it on a sunny day….. I’ll take the battery, you take the cigarette lighter. Sound fair?

          • You know, beating that dead horse will simply cover you in bloody bits of dead horse. It will not convince anyone you are right, just that you are dense. Coal, gas, oil, nuclear and hydro. Your fantasy will not replace any of them.

          • 😂, Just answer instead of throwing abuse!

            Go on which do you want – cigarette lighter or battery. By the way, I don’t really want my face near either!! I’m all for nuclear as it happens. Tho when/if it goes wrong…..

          • 2hotel9, I sold up in Sydney early last year because the Green hate in the area I had lived in for 39 years became unbearable. We lived a few hundred meters from Garigal National Park and yes they did lock the gates to the park. You could hike if you wished, but at some point, decades ago, the Greens in the local councils decided that people could no longer ride horses or trail bikes. Now, the local Bushfire Brigade had an easier job when the trail was well used by the community, the track was clear and well defined, and the community got to actually enjoy our beautiful national park.

            To call ours and surrounding suburbs ‘leafy’ would be an understatement and to thin out or remove, even dangerous trees was a very difficult process. We had our elections last year and ex Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is by the way still an active member in that very same local Bush Fire Brigade, and has been fighting these recent fires, was battling to hold the seat that he held in a nearby electorate. The Independent who ran against him claimed that she held largely the same values as him but would run on a CC platform. Well she received a massive funding from ‘Getup’, similar to ‘Extinction Rebellion’ only different hats. They were everywhere, in your face and behaving very badly, large groups of them, sadly many from our own peninsula. I was no longer proud to live there, we moved to the country before the election.

            Tony lost his seat, a man of integrity. A member of the Bush Fire Brigade Brigade for many years, also a member of Surf Lifesaving and spent a portion of his free time each year visiting Aboriginal communities. Lost his seat to a woman who had only ever voted greens/leftists. A woman who was pushing for wind and solar renewables, clean energy, and didn’t even have panels on her own house. Just about every second person does on that peninsula, of course they don’t work very well in those suburbs, too many bloody trees!

            We discovered after we bought our small acreage overlooking rolling hills mountains and trees and away from the hustle and bustle that there was a solar farm being built about four or five kilometers from our house. At 87mw covering 300 hectares it was quite a significant size, almost as big as our ‘town proper’. We were quite surprised, heard nothing in the media about it, I now know of course that they are deliberately secretive.

            I have since learned that there is an additional 810 hectares of solar panels planned to go in next to the existing plant, a small 16 hectare plant that would be around 600 meters from town and an additional 500 hectares are rumored to be earmarked for other areas around town. If it all goes in it would equate to the approximate size of two Sydney Airports including runways.

            Our town has been declared of historic significance. It is an astonishing town in regard to the number of original buildings, and almost all of them have been restored. Another thing we have learned, from council more than a year ago now was that our entire region is to be declared ‘Fire Prone’. They said at the time it was imminent, we can’t help but wonder if it’s been held up because it might interfere with the solar farms going in. Incidentally I spoke to a second in command firey during the week, thanked him sincerely for the work that he and his men are doing. I also took the opportunity to ask him about two local fires a few kilometers from our house that had come up on the fire app. He said that one was caused by a fencer out in the paddock doing some welding, they think the other was a campfire that hadn’t been put out properly. They were both during a total fire ban and they were both a few kilometers from the solar farm.

            I knew next to nothing about solar and that’s what set me on this journey and how I have ultimately come across WUWT. I know alot about the negatives of Wind and Solar renewables now and frankly the prospect of all that infrastructure in a fire prone area genuinely frightens me. Everyone knows by now how devastating fire can be. The average Greens and leftists know absolutely nothing about the dangers and the toxic side of this technology and they won’t even let us talk about it. They don’t even realise that they are doing more damage to the environment on a global scale than if they had just left things as they were, including CO2 emissions!

            I feel so bloody helpless and frustrated, the MSM have totally gagged us and they are ignorant! No one seems to care about the damage being done, and all for nothing!

            I have gone into this level of detail regarding my personal experience to try to get it out there that real people are affected by wind and solar renewables and they have no say in it whatsoever! It is not ‘green’ and it is not ‘clean’ either and simply saying it doesn’t make it so.

            WUWT is one of the few places we can get the truth out there about the negatives of wind and solar renewables on some level. Do you think that Anthony might consider a post around this issue to try educate at least some of the CAGW enthusiasts? I don’t mean cost effectiveness or efficiency, we know that they’re crap in those areas. I mean for instance the amount of CO2 actually created for the life cycle of renewable energy, they toxic byproducts during mining, manufacturing and recycling. Also the dangers of damaged panels leaching toxic materials into the soil and waterways and the fact that panels are ending up in landfill. The the amounts of materials that are needed and will continue to be needed because of the relatively short life of the technology. All of this for nothing, and in addition to coal anyway! Most Greens are so ignorant they think that by closing down all coal mines that mining will cease to exist, they have no concept that their precious renewables need additional and in many cases irresponsible mining!

            Sorry this is so long, can’t get past the gatekeepers of MSM or politicians, they don’t want to know the truth. This is out of fear and frustration of what’s happening and no one seems to give a fig.

          • Ref biting suburbs – that’s interesting. In the U.K. we want more trees in streets although doesn’t always happen.

            Green streets are cooler (transpiration and shading), increase house price and correlate with less psychological stress and longer life. Also they strip out air pollution when respiring. Even house plants inside your house remove phenols and stuff from carpets and stuff. One big tree equals 60 of those little sh1t lolly pop ones town planners love so much. Admittedly big roots can cause issues with pavements and stuff.

            Anyway, so in Aus I don’t know what I’d want if say they were a fire risk. Generally as green as possible to cool it down but yeah if they start burning then that’s a whole different question.

          • OK, going to type this very slowly since you appear unable to comprehend anything faster. Clear trees and brush away from structures, use controlled burns to minimize danger of wildfires. Was that too fast? You could just have it tattooed on your forehead, maybe then you would figure it out.

          • re-read what I wrote. I was actually sympathetic to the Aussie situation.

            Who at I’m on it, some of your Aussie experts say thinning out in the bush doesn’t work. Thinning allows more air entry. Suburbs are however different.

          • Apparently I need to type even slower, you still don’t get it. Typical greentard, your anti-human religion is all you will accept.

          • Honestly mate – I have written several comments not antagonistically. I have tried to clarify several points. You are beginning to sound like an idiot. If you read back through, you’ll see I’m being perfectly reasonable.

        • Nick the link below will show you that fires do in fact start in rooftop solar systems and on ‘solar farms’.

          https://www.power-technology.com/news/uk-solar-panel-fires-report/

          But that wasn’t my point, my question to you or Loydo or anyone for that matter is:

          How do they deal with a fire in a solar farm, whether it starts there or for clarity, whether it enters the solar farm via embers or grassfires?

          Please don’t fob me off Nick, given that you and others on this site who believe in ‘CAGW’ are strong believers in Wind and Solar renewables I need to know that you have at least considered this.

          This technology is literally taking up millions of hectares and we have well and truly established that fires here in this country are fast and furious.

          Please give me a considered response, not just you Nick but anyone, I don’t think that people are thinking about this.

  20. In November on WUWT, Jim Steele talked about non-native, invasive species having an effect on fires in the southwest of the US. A quick search pulls up similar concerns in Australia.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/11/23/why-worse-wildfires-part-1/

    >> Historically hot dry sagebrush habitat rarely burned (just once every 60-100 years) because slow growing, patchy sagebrush only provides scant surface fuels incapable of supporting large and frequent fires. But the invasion of introduced annual grasses, like cheatgrass, has changed all that. […]

    >> Cheat grass-dominated sagebrush habitat now burns every 3-5 years, up to 20 times more frequently than historic natural conditions. Extensive research on the effects of cheat grass found habitats with high cheat grass abundance are “twice as likely to burn as those with low abundance, and four times more likely to burn multiple times between 2000-2015.” What makes cheatgrass such a problem?

    >> Invading annual grasses germinate earlier in the season and deprive the later-germinating native grasses of needed moisture. These foreign grasses die after setting seed, leaving highly flammable fuels that can burn much earlier in the year and thus extend the fire season. Eleven of the USA’s 50 biggest fires in last 20 years have been in Great Basin sagebrush habitats, where invasive cheatgrass is spreading. Nevada’s largest fire was the 2018 Martin Fire. Rapidly spreading through the cheat grass, it burned 439,000 acres, a burned area rivaling California’s largest fires in recorded history. <<

  21. Using the BOM’s own data to destroy the “AGW causing Australian bushfire” narrative … excellent !

  22. if it is dry in spring when the burns take place then it is foolish to start controlled burns. Is this not obvious?

    Prescribed burning debate rages as Australia finds there’s no time to burn going into peak fire season
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-13/is-the-prescribed-burn-window-closing-in-australia/10236048

    “deputy chief fire officer with Forest Fire Management (FFA) Victoria, Darrin McKenzie, said autumn burning this year was particularly challenging and the state only managed to achieve about 30 per cent of prescribed burning programs.
    Fire: How to prepare

    ABC Emergency’s bushfire preparation guide.

    The bushfire season ran into early April and most of the 66,000 hectares of prescribed burning the state managed to achieve was condensed into a two-and-a-half week window.
    “But we were quite strategic in what burning we were able to do. We’re always looking to maximise the risk reduction outcomes,” Mr McKenzie said.
    Despite getting in a few burns in the last couple of days, he said the dry winter for parts of the state, particularly in East Gippsland and parts of the north of Victoria, could also limit the amount of prescribed burning in spring.

    • You don’t burn in the dry season, and you don’t set huge tracts all at once. Section off and do “controlled burn” of sections, working against the wind so it does not roll your firelines and go wild. This is not rocket surgery nor is it brain science. It is, in fact, forest husbandry and the US Forest Service knew how to do it just 45-50 years ago. Wonder how this knowledge was “lost”?

      • The quote I gave says they had a 2.5 week window when conditions were not too dangerous to do the controlled burn. I think it may be a bit difficult doing ALL the required burns in that time. Can you suggest how it could be accomplished?

        • A concerted effort across governmental boundaries. Stop all the bickering and get the job done. Had they been doing that for the last 30 or so years this would not be the massive conflagration it has become. I have read several news reports from Australian papers about home, business and farm owners being criminally charged, fined and even jailed for clearing brush and trees on their own property. That should tell you right there you have the wrong people making laws and regulations in Australia, a country that has a LONG and detailed history of massive wildfires. Waiting until thousands upon thousand of acres are tinder dry and already IN FLAMES in large sections to do something about it is insane. Right now all that can be done is to get people out of the path of destruction and let it burn. Then do not let it turn back into the same problem again. Throw out the idiots who put these laws and regulations in place, throw out their stupid laws and regulations and START OVER.

          Sweet bleeding Jeebus! The fact this has to be explained, over and over, is insane on its very face. Stop letting greentards run anything.

          • We could just tarmac Or concrete all of it. I mean expensive But wouldn’t burn? Probably need 10 million hectares of concrete-ing

          • Or we could just put all you greenunists into labor gangs and clear&burn. You claim to want to “save” the environment, volunteer! Done my part for many years, time for you to step up and shut up.

    • “Australia finds there’s no time to burn going into peak fire season”

      So Leave It to Loggers! Allow them to harvest and sell trees from areas will a high fuel load. No state-funding needed.

  23. “It should be kept in mind that wildfire risk can actually increase with more precipitation during the growing season preceding fire season.”

    Absolutely. At least two years of good rains, followed by two years of drought, is the magic formula for catastrophic bushfires here in NSW.

  24. Sorry but the famous climate scientist, Jennifer Aniston, assured me that these fires are climate change related. Checkmate deniers!

    • She was passing on a message from that other famous climate scientist, Russell Crowe, who could not meet up with her in Hollywood in early January because he was “defending his home” from the bushfires. This is all good except there were no fires near Crowe’s home since November.

  25. I do think that the increased levels of CO2 contributed to the fires in Australia. But not due to climate change. Rather that the trees grow faster and are less inhibited by lack of water. Thus there is more burnable material available, and even if it is regularly removed, it builds up quicker than in the past.

  26. So…

    Was coming back from a short winter vacation in Tahoe CA; as always, one faces crossing the Sierras, beautiful splendor and fantastic snowfall to boot. Lovely.

    I was rather amused to see several signs on the “way up” that said, (paraphrasing) “Don’t worry, we’re conducting fire mitigation burns today”. Well, that makes sense. In the middle of Winter when nothing can catch fire unless specifically torched.

    But it made me think… is it just barely possible that California’s present forest management has learned from the recent last half-decade’s of rather astounding run-away forest fires, and is trying to preëmpt the next, via the very same techniques used by the Miwok and other native Californian’s, oh… 150 years back? The horror!

    It would appear so.

    Fueling (ahem, a pun) this action is perhaps the remarkable number of felled pine, fir and other conifers, culled in the last 3 years due to the ravaging of the Bark Beetle. Semi-dead trees used to be a common sight, now they’re gone. Completely gone, insofar as I can tell. And not just along the roadways. I took the time to stop at a few of the vista outlooks, to see what a bear might see.

    And lo! No salt-and-pepper dotting of dead conifers throughout the forest cover. Oh, with binoculars, I saw more than a few, but not the hundreds-of-thousands of the year before, or one guesses, the millions before that.

    Looks like the Forest Service is going gung-ho on felling the diseased trees, and in the winter, burning their piled up remains. Good job!

    In making the transit, I counted no less than 12 forest-service set fires, roadside. At the scenic outlooks, until my wife insisted that I get back in the car and stop geeking-out with binoculars, I counted another 50+ in easy view.

    So.
    Flora management by fire.

    Seems like Australia might learn a thing or two from our once abundant and now nearly extinct California ‘American Indian’ tribes’ practices.

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

    • A question, you may know. Is the trunk damaged by Bark Beetles? Or only the bark and thus killing the tree? Are the logs from felled Bark Beetle killed firs and pines usable for lumber? OK, three questions. Perhaps we can get an answer quick. Sure seems a huge waste if they are usable.

  27. The other point is that there has been plenty of commentary and posts about the manipulation of data by the BOM. The adjustments have been so blatant I am dubious that a warming temperature trend would be evident without them. Living in Melbourne my senses are that this summer has been pretty normal, if anything colder than normal. Checking the actual data from the bureau for Dec and January in Melbourne we have had 5 days over 30 and 27 under 25 hardly heat wave conditions. In fact in both Sydney and Melbourne there hasn’t been a period of 3 , 30+ days in a row. To claim the hottest year ever is either not true or not relevant . Any heat records ( if they do exist) are occurring in areas not where the bush fires are originating and burning. The fact that we have bushfires is inevitable , it happens every year. The fact that these are so severe and long lasting is not inevitable and a direct reflection of the failure of forestry management influenced by greenie ideology.

  28. It is nothing to do with climate change or temperature. As the radio interview with Dr David Packham a bush fire expert explains in the link below.
    Bush fires of more than 4MW per meter fuel load can not be put out by any current fire fighting method. The fuel loads in the bush this year had risen to 30MW per meter or more and were therefore impossible to extinguish. Ignition sources appear to be weighted to deliberate human action or accident.
    Listen to the detailed interview here:
    https://volunteerfirefighters.org.au/scientist-david-packham-on-whats-really-causing-the-bushfires

    • IW,
      The unit of MW per meter is 1,000 times too large. Possibly author Packham meant KW per meter.
      His quoted 30 MW per meter is in the league of a small electricity generation station.
      That said, Packham’s other observations make sense. Geoff S

  29. In Australia we’ve all got a pretty good idea of who is to blame for the severity of this year’s fires.

      • The worst planetary fires in history. The experts say the burning targets have been hit. This is not to do with some guys with billboards. Surely the facts that it’s baking couple with. drought are the key factors here?

        • Clear brush and trees from around structures, do regular controlled burns throughout the year. Anyone with a brain knows how to mitigate wildfire dangers. This shows which category you and all other greentards fall into.

          • Go back into the kitchen and gently ask Mummy if you can borrow the family brain cell.

            Boot it up and read the article below.

            Really big points are

            1) the window of opportunity to burn is getting shorter as it’s hotter. You can’t backburn when damp and can’t when too hot otherwise you cause an uncontrollable fire.
            2) despite this backburning targets were hit and supported by the Green Party as well as the other parties
            3) these fires have burned….. THROUGH areas where back burning did occur… now digest that for a moment.
            4) the fires have also burned rainforest and swampland….. areas not burnt in an estimated 1000 years

            4) a little point all of my own. How the heck do you back burn an area probably At least the size of England. I mean the fires are half the size of England already so you can probably double what you need to burn.

            5) it’s really hot

            Yeah there are some Land mgt issues For sure to be fair.

            Oh better hand the brain cell back as Mum might need to wash the dishes.

          • I can’t see any ‘facts’ because your page is paywalled. But citing the Guardian is not going to convince anyone who doesn’t already accept an alarmist agenda.

          • If you clear all the trees, no bushfire, regardless of the climate. Somewhere between the extreme of clearing everything and the current situation is good forest management. Habitat be d@mned.

          • Don’t clear everything, just clear around structures, use metal roofing and siding, a long list things which will help. In the end it comes down to proper forest and land management, too many places have put in place regulations and laws which produce massive wildfires.

          • Eric Worrall January 9, 2020 at 3:34 pm
            If you clear all the trees, no bushfire, regardless of the climate. Somewhere between the extreme of clearing everything and the current situation is good forest managem
            —————————
            why did the fires run along (dried) grassland. you need food for sheep/cows = (dried) grass.
            Burning this may be a bit silly?

          • Actually no. Burned over pasturage grows back pretty quickly, you just don’t burn it all at once.

        • Grow up Simon, media and political claims about the “worst evah” anything, are always BS.

          And where BOM, ABC and greenies are involved it’s an endless torrent of outright lies.

          Go push your Infinity-Crisis hysteria elsewhere.

          • Worst fires in history – proven fact and I’ll say it where I like.

            In fact – worst fires in history, said it again.

            Give me one time/date/location in proven recent history bigger than these fires….

            Go on I’m waiting – I’ve got all day 😃

        • You know Simon, droughts are normally associated with hot dry WEATHER. Hence the false idea that the window of opportunity for conducting Fuel Reduction Burns is getting shorter because of so called man made climate change. The 1 degree increase in global temperature has a minimal if no affect on fire behaviour. I say why weren’t a lot of these areas burnt before the drought started. Fuel loads on the forest floor in a lot of areas have been there for decades. Accumulating at a rate of between 2 to 4 tonnes per hectare annually.
          “The experts say the burning targets have been hit.”
          That is purely a percentage goal and not necessarily the areas with the heaviest fuel load, like National Parks, buried in red and green tape that prevents FRB’s to be conducted in the first place.
          Maybe, just maybe when the drought ends, sanity will prevail and more mitigation work will be done.
          Or, like what has happened after major fires in the past, there will be a flurry of activity for a few years and then complacency sets in.

          • Probably a lot of accumulation – fair point.

            Still doesn’t change the fact it’s hotter. 1 degree is a reasonable amount. I mean the average earth temp is 15 centigrade so 16 is 6.25% hotter.

            Still doesn’t change the fact it’s dryer at least this season and still doesn’t change the fact the fires are the biggest ever.i mean 5 million hectares burnt in 74/39. How much has got to burn before discomfort occurs in the pit of your stomach. 10million, 15 million, 20 million? I reckon it could be 10 million this season.

          • Simon Cove January 10, 2020
            “Still doesn’t change the fact it’s hotter. 1 degree is a reasonable amount. I mean the average earth temp is 15 centigrade so 16 is 6.25% hotter.”
            If you were to “borrow the family brain cell.“ you might recall that the temperatures of the earth is actually 288 Kelvin.
            1 degree is actually about 0.35% hotter.

            Your fake news statement is deliberately 18 times larger than the reality.
            Well done

          • Interesting point but I’d say in terms of sunburn or frost risk you want to be taking it from 0 celcius. But yeah, you defo used the family brain cell considering the point. 👍

          • Simon Cove January 10, 2020 “Still doesn’t change the fact it’s dryer at least this season”
            Than what???

            “and still doesn’t change the fact the fires are the biggest ever”

            Statistically one can talk of fires in terms of size and occurrence, like floods and rainfall. You have 170 years of some observation and 80 treats of reasonable observation .
            This bushfire season is a big one but comparable ones have happened before back to 1851. It would therefore fit into the one in 50 year risk bracket.
            It must be apparent to you that there have been 1 in a hundred and 1 in 500 year fire seasons in the last 20,000 years.
            Any of which would certainly have been much bigger than this.
            Another fake news scare.

          • More fires seen worldwide ‘in certain areas’ in arboreal forests compared to recent history. Another incorrect statement.

          • ‘Dryer than what’. Loads of previous seasons and same woth hotter. It’s on Roy’s bleeding article. It’s called statistics. Part of his article is under researched in my opinion but that bit isn’t.

            What’s your point???

  30. This is why I recommend Dr. Spencer’s work to my climate alarmist friends…he does his research. Well done Sir.

  31. This afternoon, the Extinction Rebellion mob are going to be out disrupting traffic to demand the declaration of a climate emergency. They will be banging on (literally, as they like having bands to make even more noise) about the fires and drought being caused by “climate change.” I will try to leave work a bit early today to monitor the idiots. Will not be able to get a posse to disrupt the idiots by singing the song “Useful Idiots” to them.

    Useful Idiots- very apt for these fools. A state of emergency entails marshal law and the inevitable loss of freedom that flows from this. The idiots are calling for throwing away control of the economy and freedoms. You can bet that they will also call for “deniers” to be locked up or executed (we all remember Richard Parncutt.) A singer am am not. So here are the lyrics-To Old Man River. I am no Paul Robeson, but imaging a deep southern voice singing this.

    There’s a thug group that the green groups take to heart….

    Useful idiots
    Those useful idiots
    They don’t like working
    They just like drinking
    Don’t pay taxes
    Don’t take showers
    Antifa puppets
    Who is pulling your strings.

    Oh, Antifa
    Think you’re self-righteous
    What do you stand for
    Please do tell us
    Anarchism
    Communism
    Cultural Marxism
    Useful idiots
    Antifa puppets
    Who is pulling your strings

    Oh Antifa
    Behave like fascists
    Who’s behind you
    Please do tell us
    New World Order
    Georgey Soros
    Corporate puppets
    Antifa puppets
    Useful idiots
    Who is pulling your strings.

  32. Snopes.com has an article about arsonists versus total fire arrests. They go on to attribute the fires climate change. I wonder if they any longer a trusted source

      • Snopes is a one man band. It is opinion masquerading as research. As far as I know, they are financially supported by mainstream media (the propaganda wing of the Deep State.)

      • If you pay attention, it’s not hard to spot when snopes goes “unreliable”.
        I’ll be if you query anything Trump you’ll spot what I’m saying.

        Snopes is for the fools these days.
        It got a good reputation, once that was established it then went sideways but still pretends to be accurate. It continues to fool some people.

        • Back when W was still in I saw several items on snopes which I knew to be incorrect, having downloaded pertinent documents on the subjects from Library of Congress and GW Thomas Law Library, point this out and gave them associated document numbers. I was told they had no interest in information from “those” sources and was banned. I have taken nothing from them to be legitimate or factual ever since. That was the beginning of my refusal to be “nice” or “polite” to leftists, and I see no reason to turn back from that tactical position.

  33. FIRE only needs three elements: oxygen, heat, fuel and Climate Change. And we all know it’s true!

  34. More CO2 in the atmosphere means plants grow better.
    If eucalyptus forests grow better, they will produce more leaf litter, twigs, dropped branches, and oil.
    When a really dry season comes along, fires will be bigger and more abundant.
    I have absolutely no data or references to back this up. However the royal national park has not burnt this season, though it did burn 20 years ago. This suggests the buildup takes decades to become dangerous, and good growing seasons are causal factors.

    Obvious solution is to either reduce co2 or increase hazard reduction burning. I suggest the latter is the easier and cheaper option.

    • Well-said. Eucalypt growth increases in higher atmospheric carbon dioxide conditions so fuel loads will most likely build up. However, rainfall may be expected to increase somewhat also, so it is possible that less fires (at least, less smaller fires) may occur naturally (the frequency of big fires might not alter with it).

      Thus, there could be a change to eucalypt-forest bushfires even without a change in temperature, the latter being largely unsubstantiated by actual science, of course.

      Fuel reduction is therefore still key, as any increased rainfall will not be sufficient to solve the issue, for this is Australia after all, a land of regular drought. When the eucalypt bush dries it is primed to burn. If it is not carefully pre-burnt it will be precariously burnt. It is just a matter of time.

    • Hi John, I’m guessing that you support wind and solar renewables as a way of reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. Millions of hectares are going in globally as we speak, can you tell me please, how do we fight a solar farm fire?

      Given that there’s no disputing the extent of bushfires here in Australia I think it’s a very important question. I hope you take this question seriously, many people have to live near wind and solar farms.

      • Hey John, you still haven’t answered my question, thought that rather than sling insults I’d just sent you a friendly reminder.

  35. Simon says ”I reckon it could be 10 million this season.”… Nothing like a good dose of pessimism. Just like a true alarmist. IF what you ‘reckon’ is right then the only discomfort that occurs in the pit in my stomach would be for those who lose their worldly possessions including god forbid, loved ones. You can put your biggest ever where the sun doesn’t shine.

    • God won’t help as he/she doesn’t exist. If that’s where you get your scientific predictions from, then we are all in trouble.

      Well previous largest was 5million hectares and as of last week it was reported as 6mill

      Bad weekends starting tonight and no ‘big’ rains on horizon and jam and Feb likely to be really hot.

      I’d say 10mil could be optimistic.

        • With a hosepipe…. it’s basically a load of plastic burning. How are you putting out the houses with their tar roofs etc?

          • Firstly Simon, thanks for at least responding.

            My youngest son is a volunteer with the Rural Bushfire Brigade, I asked him that question. I also asked two other firemen from different parts of the state, one of them a second in command.

            Each of them separately said “We’d let it burn”. There are two very good reasons for that. The first is that you cannot train a firehouse onto solar panels, they are live, so you would be electrocuted. The second reason given was the danger of toxic fumes. I suggested to the second in command that we live very close to the solar farm and he just gave me an uncomfortable smile.

            He said the best way to fight such a fire would be water bombing. I think he was trying to to reassure me, but given the size of our country by the time a water bombing craft arrived it would be all over.

            Now you’ve been sadistically predicting how much worse these fires will become, that it’s all our falt for not doing enough. You don’t even know how much in the way of renewable technology we have in this country, let alone the dangers of it.

            In regards to PV solar panels, there are several different kinds. The ‘plastic’ or thin film type that you were referring to are in fact one of the most toxic when damaged. They contain cadmium and lead and when damaged by fire, hail or a severe weather event these materials leach into the soil and waterways. Another thing you should know is that there is currently no recycling plants anywhere in Australia for wind and solar renewables, only one collection centre in South Australia. You have to pay for this service which is fair enough, but it’s not compulsory so they are ending up in landfill. Wind and solar energy renewables are nothing more that a future toxic waste dump and I’ll bet you haven’t considered that either.

            Incidentally, how many operating renewables recycling plants are there in the UK? And can you tell me please, why is it OK to fill the atmosphere with CO2 burning biomass in your country?

            One more thing, Australia doesn’t use tar roofing materials, you’ve got the wrong country there.

          • Ok. I have replied above – apologies for being flippant.

            Basically wind and solar have low ENergy returnees on energy invested. Partic wind. Check out ted talk Prof Mackay if you want more info.

            On hot places with high daily electrical peak (eg air con). Solar works well. U.K. peak is 6pm winter is dark so you need massive storage which doesn’t exist on this planet.so they don’t really work at all in the U.K. maybe at a smallish level of penetration. But still at 6pm on a no wind night you need maximum other infrastructure. Also when not windy in the U.K. it’s also generally not windy in Europe so even interconnectirss tricky.

            Also as low energy – yep a lot of waste overall but probably not as much as crisp packerts etc. Nuclear I’m afraid is the way to go or perovskovite solar which will be a massive game changer if it works. Still has the storage issues but the EROEI will drop from say 2-3 years in the U.K. to at least half that and likely more if high energy output and stable.

            There’s also issue with coal waste and nuclear waste obviously although moltens salt reactors could really make a big difference there. Less likely to blow and isotopes don’t last as long. The Americans built one in the 1960’s but didn’t pursue it as molten salt can’t produce weapons grade plutonium.

            The solar panels I think you can hose them as basically plastic. Lithium would be the battery back up and you can’t hose that. There may not be battery back up. Also if they are on fire you are not going to get electrocuted unless there isn’t a shut down switch which would be a bit of an odd thing not to have.

          • Thanks for a more serious response Simon. In regard to solar panel fires, the plastic is not the issue, it’s the current that is problematic, you cannot train a firehose on a solar farm fire, and they cover vast areas of land.

            I do agree with you about nuclear energy. There is actually less waste to be dealt with in regards to nuclear as opposed to wind and solar renewables. The toxic byproduct from the extraction of rare earth materials has still not been dealt with in China. And you have to revisit that with the use of acids during the recycling process.

            Nuclear energy is so much much advanced now, and for those who do see CO2 as a problem it is also clean, which wind and solar renewables are not.

            It’s all very well for people to push their points of view, but if they aren’t affected or confronted by wind and solar technology then they have no reason to ask about the negative aspects of RE. It is actually damaging our environment.

            Don’t you think it would be a good thing if we could have a real conversation about this? This site exists primarily because we (skeptics) have been gagged by MSM. We don’t enjoy the same rights as you. Sites such as these are the only voice we have, thank you Anthony.

            The only reason that CAGW has gained so much momentum is that yours is the only perspective being publicly made!

      • It’s not a prediction. It’s an expression of hope.

        God won’t help as he/she doesn’t exist.

        Conflation of logical domains.

        • If he doesn’t exist And he’s the object of your hope then you’re wasting you’re time hoping also.

        • Simon Cove, that CAGW thing, prey –

          What’s needed for “no more bush fires in Australia”.

    • re: conflation of logical domains.

      While the characterization of domains outside of a limited frame of reference (e.g. inference) may be within the philosophical limit, the deduction of what lies beyond cannot be scientifically assessed let alone judged.

  36. The Indian Ocean Dipole has returned to neutral. From the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

    The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has returned to neutral after one of the strongest positive IOD events to impact Australia in recent history. The IOD is expected to remain neutral in the coming months, meaning that it will have little influence on Australian and global climate.
    However, the IOD’s legacy of widespread warm and dry conditions during the second half of 2019 primed the Australian landscape for bushfire weather and heatwaves this summer.

    The IOD explained:
    https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2020/01/2016-video-from-australias-bureau-of-meteorology-explains-how-the-indian-ocean-dipole-drives-our-wea.html

  37. To clarify…

    Another problem with arson is that proving malicious intent can be problematic, especially in the case of bushfire arson where causes can range from recklessness with fire to a desire to cause as much death and destruction as possible. As part of a national effort to develop greater consistency across jurisdictions by developing a Model Criminal Code, bushfire arson became a distinct offence with an emphasis on reckless endangerment, rather than malicious intent, to reflect the fact that the link between action and foreseeable consequence is often weaker for bushfire arson than it is for structural arson (MCOC 2001). This meaning has been adopted by most states and territories. Many jurisdictions also have summary offences which empower agencies, including fire brigades, forestry and parks services and to issue infringement notices for arson for less serious offences. This legislation often covers reckless endangerment as well as malicious intent.

    https://aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab057

    So dropping a cigarette butt carelessly would be considered arson in most of Australia. And because intent is often hard to prove, all are considered arsonists.

    Pyromania is an impulse control disorder[1] in which individuals repeatedly fail to resist impulses to deliberately start fires,[1] in order to relieve tension or for instant gratification. The term pyromania comes from the Greek word πῦρ (pyr, fire). Pyromania is distinct from arson, the deliberate setting of fires for personal, monetary or political gain.[2] Pyromaniacs start fires to induce euphoria, and often fixate on institutions of fire control like fire houses and firemen.[citation needed][dubious – discuss] Pyromania is a type of impulse control disorder, along with kleptomania, intermittent explosive disorder and others. Pyromania is also known as “Jomeri’s Syndrome”, named after a psychologist who studied and developed the first forms of treatment for the disorder.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyromania

    The odds of a true arsonist starting only one fire is nil. Doomers like Nick need to give up the new alarmist talking point (which is abundantly evident on this thread – you parrots know who you are ), and leave the discussion to logical adults.

  38. So, now it’s unprecedented seasonal phenomena. Before it was unprecedented meteorological phenomena. And the polar bears, the coral, the swatted birds, and Green blight. Progress.

  39. I would like to make a contribution from the obverse climate side of our current drought to our flood history. Not only do we have horrific droughts, there is also evidence, at a less frequent level, of horrific floods in Australia, which is another demonstration of the high variability of our weather systems. I am not at home so I do not have access to my files but can give an overview and pointers in the direction of the academic and historical studies.
    Brisbane first. We have known of regular floods in Brisbane since settlement. Recent scientific research has correlated Brisbane floods with the oceanic Pacific multi decadadal oscillation which indicates floods in a five-year period every 40 years. The empirics of correlation look impressive. The results show that the worst recorded flood was in 1893 at 5.9 m, the most recent flood in 2011 was at 5.4 m. There is proxy evidence that there was a flood before settlement in the early 1800s that could be measured at 8 m. A link to a database for further information http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/flood/fld_history/brisbane_history.shtml
    South Australia. Without access to my database there was a dam proposed to be built but someone identified that there were lines of box trees all at the same altitude on the hills in the proposed catchment. One scientist pointed out that the altitudinal lines indicated the high water marks for the seeds to settle and germinate. The age of the trees was less than 300 years old but were at a height that indicated that floodwaters of that time would have completely taken out the new dam proposed.
    Alice Springs. There are proxy indicators that a flood of around 800 years ago if repeated would completely take out Alice Springs.
    Our variability in climate conditions are phenomenal in all aspects – drought and flood. Policies should be designed to mitigate all our extremes.

    • WRT “Our variability in climate conditions are phenomenal in all aspects – drought and flood. Policies should be designed to mitigate all our extremes.”

      The fact that records support an 800 year flood (as some of your evidence suggests) is likely just the tip of the iceberg. My guess is if somebody can find paleo flood records they will show flooding was fairly routine in the hundreds of years between the 800 ya and the “regular flooding” around Brisbane.

      Paleo flood records can be reliably obtainable from “flood scars” on the up-stream sides of living trees in flood plains. Relict trees from out of the river beds can show scarring thousands of years old, and the scarring is evidently distinctive.

      The claim of phenomenal or unprecedented should always be put into the context of really long-term records. Aborigines have had a lot to say about the regular need for fires. I wonder what they have to say about floods.

  40. OK so you make a very large claim about comparing the hectares burnt each fire season, and the assoc precipitation and temp records.

    how have you accounted for the vastly different resources fighting these fires? the hectares burnt in this fire season would be markedly different with 74-75 infrastructure, funds and fire-fighters. has there been any comparison of the number of water bombers, the number of fire fighters, the amount of prescribed burning beforehand? all the different aspects of fire management…

    You’d also have to look at where these fires occurred. In some locations the fires are just left to run their course. There’s no hope of putting them out, but they arent seen as a risk to human safety so they’re left. Whether or not that occurs depends on proximity to human populations or sensitive ecosystems.
    So in the 74-75 season the location of human populations may ahve been quite different, or it may not have been. Where the fires occurred and whether they were left to burn, would have made a much bigger difference if it wasnt accounted for. those in states like WA are very typically left to burn more often than not, those in Vic and NSW aren’t left in the east, but are often left in the west. considering all the floods we’ve had recently in other others of NSW, there’s no chance that fires would start out there.

    It just feel INCREDIBLY simplistic to directly compare these years without accounting for the many other parameters that contribute to the hectares that burn that arent climate-related. you’d have more validity to your statements if you showed how you accounted for all that…

  41. WRT “Our variability in climate conditions are phenomenal in all aspects – drought and flood. Policies should be designed to mitigate all our extremes.”

    The fact that records support an 800 year flood (as some of your evidence suggests) is likely just the tip of the iceberg. My guess is if somebody can find paleo flood records they will show flooding was fairly routine in the hundreds of years between the 800 ya and the “regular flooding” around Brisbane.

    Paleo flood records can be reliably obtainable from “flood scars” on the up-stream sides of living trees in flood plains. Relict trees from out of the river beds can show scarring thousands of years old, and the scarring is evidently distinctive.

    The claim of phenomenal or unprecedented should always be put into the context of really long-term records. Aborigines have had a lot to say about the regular need for fires. I wonder what they have to say about floods.

  42. Apart from the influence of the Indian Ocean Dipole and ENSO, Australian regional rainfall patterns are effected by the Southern Annular Mode, or Antarctic Oscillation. The ideal conditions for eastern Australian bushfires are positive SAM conditions in the austral winter which increases eastern rainfall and boosts the undergrowth, followed by negative SAM in the austral summer which reduces the eastern rainfall.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrhWsXCB3u8

    https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/aao/month.aao.gif

  43. “Australia’s ‘climate’ fires are fast becoming the biggest fake news scare story of 2020. All the world’s stupidest, most annoying, hand-wringing, virtue-signalling leftists, luvvies, eco-loons, shyster politicians, second-rate activist scientists and other bottom feeders are jumping on the bandwagon”

    Can James Delingpole write or what?

    • There are not fake news it’s climate change and if you don’t believe this you is stupid and don’t know anything and probably didn’t pass middle School

      [And this, ladies and gentlemen, seems to be the standard level of the believers contributions. . . mod]

      • Well , is as as long as you keep ignoring the “believers ” contribution that you don’t like because it will destroy your “theory”. Why you don’t publish my contribution instead??
        I don’t even say that is man’s fault , or climate change, I just destroy your article in 4 lines, does it hurts so much?

  44. Than i try again, in a more convince way.
    Everybody, we have this amazing website with free data, the BOM. We can see the average rain per year, season etc for all the Australian state and more.
    In the last 10 year we can easily realize that there had been a dramatic decrease in the average rain in NSW, Victoria, South Australia. Well, is where the terrible fires are! So high temperature + no rain + miss-management = uncontrolled fire!

    Is true that some people has been fined for clearing land and now we can see that they was right because was a way to protect themselves from an uncontrolled fire. So Australians have to be smart, and react properly, not panicking, not listen to all the fascist-environmentalist that want to kill you for cutting a tree.

    But the data, at least in the south, shows that climate change is happening here, stronger that in other parts of the world. Can we predict it?? It’s mans fault? Doesn’t matter the answers, the shift is happening, it’s getting warmer in Australia, at least lets try to not turn it on to a desert. If I would be Australian, I would try to stop Adani not for the Co2 or for the Barrier Reef but for the water, because if it keeps going like this that water is like gold. Just my idea, where i live there is plenty of water.

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