Nature Predicts Worsening Climate Driven Forest Fires – Burning What?

Apocalypse - Albert Goodwin (1903)
Apocalypse – Albert Goodwin (1903)

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; Nature predicts decades of worsening bushfires, and urges Australia to “show us what climate action looks like”.

Australia: show the world what climate action looks like

The fires are a wake-up call. The country’s leaders must now act on overwhelming evidence and public opinion.

The top priority is to protect lives and ecosystems. But the nation’s leaders must surely realize that they not only need to talk about climate change, but also need to act decisively to reduce the emissions that are driving it.

Australia’s leaders have known for many years that climate change would make bush fires worse. They were warned in an independent report commissioned by the national and state governments in 2008 that from 2020 onwards, fire seasons would start earlier, end later and be more intense.

But as Nature has frequently reported, the country’s politicians delayed meaningful action through a wasted decade of arguments over whether human activities are causing climate change — in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that they are. Undoubtedly, one reason for this is that Australia — which is the world’s largest coal exporter — has repeatedly prioritized the coal industry’s needs over the planet’s.

Australia’s tragedy is that more-extreme fires are already forecast. Centuries of greenhouse-gas emissions have locked the world into several decades of warming, even if global emissions were to drop to zero now. If the Morrison government continues its current trajectory, then the country is likely to experience even more severe droughts and fires.

Read more: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00152-y

Just one problem with this prediction – what exactly would these “more extreme fires” burn?

Once a forest suffers a severe fire, it takes years of regrowth before fire becomes a serious threat again. If climate change is causing droughts to worsen, if Australia is steadily drying and heating up because of climate change, there would not be a lot of regrowth. The tracks of the extreme fires which do burn would eventually function as massive firebreaks, preventing further large scale conflagration.

My point is, predictions that fires will get worse apparently without limit are absurd. Not only would these predicted superfires fairly rapidly run out of trees to burn, if all else fails, eventually people would bulldoze any trees which threaten humans, and cut firebreaks on a sufficient scale to contain any fires which do start; something the Australian government arguably should be doing anyway.

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163 thoughts on “Nature Predicts Worsening Climate Driven Forest Fires – Burning What?

  1. As an Australian I would like to pay my respect to the three American fire fighters who recently lost this lives fighting the Australian bushfires.
    It is my understanding they were pilots of a crashed c130.

    • Australia should definitely show them what climate action looks like…
      Like…
      Cutting and maintaining more fire breaks
      Clearing underbrush
      Clear cutting along OH powerlines
      More planned burns
      Allowing property owners to cut safety zones around their properties
      Allowing property owners to clear underbrush on their properties
      Building and maintaining more reservoirs to supply water for fire suppression

      • All of which have been recommended by the nearly 60 reviews which followed other tragic events but our politicians (Federal, state and local) seem to find ways to avoid doing because of:
        – Pressure from activists;
        – Pressure from media (spurred on by activists)
        – local council under pressure from ratepayers to reduce costs
        – additional rules and regulations impacting planned burns.

        In addition there have been very few new dams built in this country over the past 30 or so years because of the objections of activists (NIMBYs) despite our population nearly doubling in that time.

        Somehow we know these things but sadly somehow we also forget them.

        • This sounds exactly like the political dynamic behind California’s wildfire problem.
          I wonder what it will take to reverse this apocalyptic fantasy ideology that has caused enormous harm and blames it on climate change and right wingers?
          Although the fading away of the recovered memories scam of the 90s into a rump of cultists and pretty much everyone else completely forgetting about is not encouraging, the rise of alternative media and the much larger scale of harm being caused by climate alarmism gives me some hope. That’s gonna be one helluva preference cascade. I hope I’m still alive to see it.

      • Allowing property owners to cut safety zones around their properties
        Allowing property owners to clear underbrush on their properties

        Should read:

        Requiring property owners to cut safety zones around their properties
        Requiring property owners to clear underbrush on their properties

        There you are. Fixed!

        • The majority of bushfires fatalities are people who live immediately adjacent to government reserves.
          What is critical is the clearing on the government side of the private property.

        • “Requiring property owners ”

          NO, not more inept govt. regulation , how about just ALLOW then to protect themselves, their property and families and other and the fk out of the way?

          The rest will take care of itself. No one needs to be mandated not to burn death.

        • As if you needed any more reasons to loathe government in Australia:
          https://www.smh.com.au/national/fined-for-illegal-clearing-family-now-feel-vindicated-20090212-85bd.html

          They were labelled law breakers, fined $50,000 and left emotionally and financially drained.
          But seven years after the Sheahans bulldozed trees to make a fire break — an act that got them dragged before a magistrate and penalised — they feel vindicated. Their house is one of the few in Reedy Creek, Victoria, still standing.

        • Most need not be told to do what is clearly in their own best interests. One landowner endured fines of AU$100,000 for clearing his land. His home was the only one to survive the fire in his region.

        • Great comment! I don’t think it would be enforceable but anyone with half their marbles would do this.

        • Dudley, Right !

          Should read:

          Requiring property owners to cut safety zones around their properties

          Requiring property owners to clear underbrush on their properties
          _________________________________

          This means that children beginning with primary school

          receive safety instructions and basic training on how to deal with fire safely.

          Compare Japanese children drilled in school how to cope with earthquakes.

      • BryanA absolutely and the fire breaks should be quite massive on a scale that will slow the spread of bushfires in forest and also protect property owners, and all of those breaks should be ploughed or bulldozed before each summer period to get rid of grass and underbrush that will grow between seasons.

        Time to revise laws to make it clear that the present level of Greenie interference IS responsible for and enable property owners to sue those that promote such stupidity.

        I give thanks to all those firefighter and especially the overseas crews that have come to help and my condolences to the families and friends of those American aircrew, that gave their lives to help protect Australians, we have a huge debt for that sacrifice.

      • Queue Stokes in 5,4,3,2,1…

        We did all we could and there were no green policies preventing burns. There is nothing we can except build more solar panels 😉

      • What is the purpose of not allowing the removal of underbrush around buildings? Does underbrush support a special ecological niche?

        • IMO, the climate arsonist think that it will reduce urban sprawl, if home owners lose their home every few years.

        • Yep, if the brush is more than 90 days on the ground it becomes protected as a habitat and you need council permission to clear it

      • One to add to the list – call out incompetent politicians and government administrators who miss due reduction targets.

        Victoria’s recommended annual planned burn target agreed to from the Royal Commission into the 2009 bushfires is 390,000Ha.

        Actual fuel reduction burn area:
        2018-19- 130,000 Deficit- 260.000
        2017-18- 74,728 Deficit- 315,272
        2016-17- 125,052 Deficit- 264,948
        2015-16- 197,940 Deficit- 192.060
        2014-15- 234,614 Deficit- 36,674

        Cumulative deficit over the last 5 years totals 1,068,954Ha. Planned burns only achieved 45% of the target over the last 5 years. An honourable premier would stand down over such a dismal performance on such a critical target.

        • Rick will you are quite correct.
          But there are other land management issues not addressed.
          Recommendation 56 relates to clearing of roads.
          VicRoads and local councils have basically been given the green ( no pun intended) light to clear roads they assess are needed for the protection of human life.
          Several councils are working towards this, even though though it’s been 8 years from the commission.
          BUT several councils are making a very poor effort- why? I have no doubt it is because of green elements within the community.
          Councillors
          Council staff
          Green groups within the community
          Greater green groups and political parties

      • Massive respect and thanks to ALL the brave men who tragically lost their lives protecting others. Truly heroic in the true sense of the word.

        Condolences too to all the members of the LGBTQXYZ++ community who also lost a hero, heroine or trans-heroine. Not sure how numerous they were, but best to be safe these days. We don’t want to be accused of being a bunch of homophobic, trans-phobic, straight old white male members of the patriarchy by only saluting brave men, now do we?

        • 👍++++++++++ to your first comment,

          and 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 the second

    • So saddened at the tragic loss of our three American cousins who died helping us to fight our fires.
      My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to their families.

    • Brave men, RiP. Time for charges of manslaughter to be brought against ‘green’ authorities that fail to manage fuel load.

  2. Exactly.

    Time to bring in the bulldozers to create permanent fire breaks and “scenic drive” roads through these now burnt forests.

    • yes.
      and to STOP the idiotic “widlife corridors that funnel the damned fires right into farms and towns.
      changing the mindset that wants to live right on the back of nat parks and then have tall gums and other flammable native bush all round the homes.
      living IN a forested area is a city treechanger idea
      anyone living in the bush from a youn
      apart from fires you get a roof full of possums, hendra carrying flying foxes in many areas, ditto Lyssavirus a relative of rabies the greentinged ones refuse to show an sense about..and the parrots and other critters eating any garden you thought you could grow.

  3. What exactly does the exportation of coal have to do with starting bushfires? Are the arsonists angry about Aussies trying to make enough money to pay their utility bills by sending part of their plentiful coal supply to China and other countries unwilling to wreck their national economies? Maybe the sparks are leaping from the coal seams into the forests out of spite. My heart goes out to the Australian people who have been volunteered, military style, to be the canary in the coal mine for energy poverty and economic doldrums. At least the politicians won’t have to suffer along with them!

    • I recently bought a new Hyundai.
      The iron ore and coking coal to make the steel to make the car probably came from Brazil or Australia and the car was delivered to me on a ship powered by heavy oil from Saudi Arabia.
      Who can I sue for starting the bushfires?
      I was thinking the the Filipino sailor on ship.

      • You’re so naive. The Filipino sailor has no money. You need to start by suing somone with the deepest pockets, regardless of how tenuous the connection to the problem. Maybe the re-insurance company that is used by the shipping company. /sarc

  4. The predictions that fires will get worse in Australia, apparently without limit, defies all historic records that show steady cyclic progress where the fires reduce the hazard to negligible levels, only to slowly regrow to the next grand fire event. Like all the hysterical claims of disaster by the Warmistas, this one requires only about 5 seconds of reflection to bring out its insanities.are absurd

  5. They don’t even bother to qualify their statements.

    [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] cooling… warming… change. Yes.
    [anthropogenic] “greenhouse”-gas emissions. Yes.

    Science is a sociopolitical art of the plausible.

    • We seem to be living in the Age of Propaganda! Anyone with curiosity and intelligence can uncover the truth but the MSM will continue to lie until they lose all credibility! So far, so good!

    • “Once again here is the October 2019 bushfire outlook based on fuel loads.”
      It isn’t based on fuel loads. It is based on heat and drought. And yes, it was a good forecast. They said:

      “Above-normal bushfire potential refers to the ability of a large fire to take hold. It takes into account recent and predicted weather for a particular area, the dryness of the land and forests and recent fire history.

      The year to date has been unusually warm and dry for large parts of Australia. In fact, it has been the fifth-driest start to the year on record, and the driest since 1970. Some areas, such as NSW and south-eastern Queensland, are into their third year of dry conditions.

      The warming trend means that above-average temperatures now tend to occur in most years, and 2019 has followed this pattern. These high temperatures further dry the landscape and vegetation.”

        • Apparently not to Nick all you need is just warm and dry and up she goes. The deserts of Australia must be really dangerous for bushfires they are really dry and hot 🙂

          • The Drought…was caused (is being caused) by below average ocean temperatures and persistent cold dry winds from Antarctica…or would you ‘deny’ that?

          • You can have draught without heat, in winter.
            And you can have heat without draught, rainforrest f.e.
            Heat isn’relevant for fire.
            So far you haven’t more than 250°C for self burning dry fuel.

          • Cobblers. Rainfall has been higher until this year when all that luxuriant growth dried out and was set on fire by arsonists. Stop denying reality.

          • Ignore the troll he is just playing games … his own statement told him “recent fire history” aka had the area had a natural or hazzard reduction … aka what is the fuel load.
            As it didn’t carry the exact wording he could play games. We saw it with the Amazon burning, and countless other posts. He is an old retired guy who gets his kicks trolling, you have to have something.

            What I really hope is that some of the left/green politicians run on his sort of policies in upcoming elections :-).

          • The outlook is not based on above normal fuel loads. It is based on above normal drought and heat, both past and forecast

            Which still leaves the question: What will they burn? without fuel to burn, drought and heat, even abnormally high drought and heat, won’t cause massive fires. they won’t even cause little tiny fires. You need something burnable to have a fire.

          • It isn’t based on fuel loads. It is based on heat and drought.

            The fuel load is given, based on the fact that virtually nothing has been done to reduce it.

            The only variables in the equation are temperature, humidity and wind.

          • Of course neither heat nor drought were above normal. There have been much worse of each in the past.
            Regardless, if the fuel load is managed, fires may still be easy to start, but they never get out of control

            Nick as always, is straining at gnats in order to avoid the obvious.

          • “Of course neither heat nor drought were above normal.”

            The forecast, posted by LdB, not me, was exactly based on regions where heat and drought were above normal. And indeed it proved, as he said, to be a good forecast. There is no indication that fuel load is higher now than in past years. Prescribed burning has been generally increasing, not decreasing. The reason we have fires this season, and not in those past seasons, is drought and heat.

          • What is normal fuel load Nick and what happens when that fuel load is unmanaged for decades? Yes, that’s right wild, uncontrollable, fires.

          • ” what happens when that fuel load is unmanaged for decades?”
            Prescribed burning has been increasing. This has diminished fuel loads, not increased them. Yet the fires have got worse, not better.

          • “Nick Stokes January 24, 2020 at 5:11 pm”

            The evidence does not support your claim Nick. Provide evidence prescribed burning has increased given we know funding for such work has decreased.

        • err the word is DROUGHT people
          and yes this winter in SW vic our rainfall was low far lower than previous 3 yrs
          but this area was still one of the few that got good crops cos we missed a lot of the savage frosts mainly though we did have a lot early and late.
          our hay n grain is whats feeding a huge amount of stock right now.
          my tank for ALL my water for all needs is 800gallons
          a small 15mm rain some weeks back the first since sept?
          managed to give me just enough for limited showering no laundry and careful kitchenuse
          rains on monday have now enabled me to think about being able to do washing thats piling up.
          the same warmists bitchin about drought in suburbia arent even on rations!
          out towns supplied by bore water
          thats once again going dry
          govt wont put a pipeline in for HUMAN need for vital survival
          they want a application to be based on bloody TOURISM and recreational use for supposedly bringing in money that way
          well , dunno why but if we dont find potable water soon there wont BE a town to visit worth a damn.

          • Maybe the guy who gets picky with a non-native English-speaker’s typo could do something about his own apparently non- functioning caps key, lack of full stops to end sentences and idiosyncratic use of line breaks.

          • Not true about the caps key. It fails to function at the beginning of sentences but gets stuck on at random points elsewhere.

          • Ohhhh, I don’t know. Strong draughts would fan the flames of forest fires and make them harder to control.

      • There has been a year of extreme drought in Australia, but that does not a trend make. The rainfall trend in Australia has been slowly up for half a century. the recent drought is the outlier not the trend.

        Connecting the recent fires on man-made climate change is totally dependent on convincing people that increasing drought is the trend, which is demonstrably false. This begs the question. Why is Nature, the media, Nick Stokes and so many others spreading a narrative that is so easily debunked? What is their agenda?

        • “is totally dependent on convincing people that increasing drought is the trend”
          No, it isn’t. Drought may or may not be worsening in SE Australia, the evidence is unclear. What is clear is that it is warming. And when droughts, exacerbated or not, happen, then bad fire days are more likely. As this season.

          • Nick I suggest you look at a McArthur Wheel, which is a fire danger meter. A catastrophic fire can have a temperature range of more than 10 degrees C. The main drivers of a wild fire is low humidity together with strong wind. A global temperature increase of 1 degree C would have negligible influence on fire behaviour.

      • Nick just likes to prove his idiocy. I can not put it any more kindly.

        It is HOTTER and DRIER in western NSW than it is in the sections shaded in red. But we do not have an elevated risk of severe fires, because there is less fuel than usual across that entire area.

        The most cursory look at both the number of major fires and the area burnt, show that they are almost entirely confined to the eastern part of the state. If the fires are caused by “climate change”, we can only conclude that there is no global warming west of Dubbo.

        I live in the yellow section.

        • “But we do not have an elevated risk of severe fires, because there is less fuel than usual across that entire area.”

          Yes. The forecast covered that:
          “Reports of grassland fuel conditions west of the Divide indicate that while grassy vegetation is cured, it is below average in quantity or load. These areas have been assessed as having normal fire potential.”
          So lower than normal fuel load offset heat and drought. But they gave no indication that the Eastern part had abnormal fuel load.
          “With the short to medium-range climate outlooks favouring warmer and drier than average conditions across much of the state, there is significant concern for the potential of an above-normal fire season in forested areas on and east of the Great Dividing Range.”

      • So tell me Nick, did using coal cause the IOD, didit cause el nino..cause they are the reason for Australia’s drought. You can call it climate change if you like but its been happening for many many centuries.

      • Dear Mr Stokes

        ” …the dryness of the land and forests and recent fire history.”

        It is based on fuel loads since recent fire history affects fuel loads.

        DP

        • Nick loves to pick on inconsequential things.
          They didn’t say the exact words “fuel load”, therefore they never talked about it.
          The fact that they mention things such as “fire history” that directly impact fuel load doesn’t matter. They didn’t mention the exact phrase.

          When you are as desperate to change the subject as Nick usually is, you find any distraction, no matter how weak.

        • “recent fire history affects fuel loads”
          It could. But they didn’t say that fuel loads in the forest were abnormally high. They said the fire potential was high because of drought and heat.

      • Really? Seems Nick knows as much about wildfires as he does about climate…..

        The most damaging wildfire I can remember since moving to Wyoming was in the fall of 2019, which was NOT exceptionally warm and NOT a drought year. There was high wind and negligence on the part of the city government and their landfill. Thirteen homes were lost, more than in past fires most certainly. Many of the largest fires (20,000 acres plus) occurred in the wetter, cooler years. More fuel due to spring rains. Logical, of course. Yet some people live by the lie…..

      • Sure Nick, if it says what you want to hear it must be great whether it is complete or not (NOT).

      • Stokes
        Note what it emphasized: “It takes into account recent and predicted weather for a particular area, …” It only takes a few days of extreme heat to dry things out enough to make the potential fuel dangerous. It matters little whether there has been past drought unless it has been severe enough to kill a substantial portion of the forest. Even then, any rain between Summers will wet things and it will be necessary to dry everything before it becomes problematic. Weather is the key, not climate.

        • Actually, our worst fire conditions come with hot days after months of drought. The problem is that with AGW we are getting more very hot days, and so more fires.

          • Normally a drought experiences more hot days. More sun shine less cloud cover. I’m sure if you go through historical records you will find a correlation of drought = more hot days = more fires. Fairly logical one would have thought.

          • Stokes
            You said, “Yes. But hot days are getting hotter.” Well, yes — by at least an average 0.18 deg C per decade, with most of the increase at night and in the Winter. I’m sure that is responsible for the recent conflagration!

          • Nick, Your alleged AGW did not leave the massive fuel load on the forrest floor.
            Premiers like ‘honest’ Daniel Andrews did that, by only burning 35% of the required burning, for at least the last three years.
            You will recall him saying in December, “We have done all we can, now its up to you to do all you can”, referring to people evacuating their houses.
            Really, 35% is all that clown can do, to make Victoria safe.
            The fact that there were fires is unsurprising. The problem is, they were so fierce, due to the massive fuel load, thanks to Labour and Green protests, (Remember Nowa Nowa?), there was NO CHANCE of containing them.

            Yet another catastrophe due to ridiculous policy. Well done!

  6. Well it’s been raining in most of the fire affected places and now the countryside is green (or as green as Australian can be). Hopefully our politicians can avoid being sucked into making knee jerk emotive reactions and just make some practical changes to land management in this country.

  7. Any prediction will have to consider each individual region.
    The east of Melbourne ( Yarra Ranges and Nillumbik councils) is arguably the highest risk bushfire area in the entire world. So far we have had more than double normal rainfall this January.
    The average temperature of Australia not really useful for predicting fires.

  8. I’ve recently driven through the scorched tracts of Yellowstone, where blackened stumps of trees still litter the moonscape created by the National Park Service pyromaniacs. No. There will be no more matchsticks for the geniuses at the National Park Service to burn again anytime soon.

  9. Yep. Patently absurd, but so it rolls on. Report on Reuters:
    “Australia’s bushfires are contributing to one of the biggest annual increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere since record-keeping began more than 60 years ago, according to a forecast published by Britain’s Met Office on Friday”.
    Notice “are contributing …” but “according to a forecast …”
    These people don’t seem to logic-check what they write do they.
    As some of the dust was showing up in South America, I thought that the CO2 level here at 19°S would be showing some increase, so I turned on my CO2 data loggers.
    Nothing particularly out of the ordinary.

    • Australia’s bushfires are contributing to one of the biggest annual increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere since record-keeping began more than 60 years ago, according to a forecast published by Britain’s Met Office on Friday

      Previous post at WUWT from Roy Spencer showed the 1975 fire season was much, much worse. In terms of hectares burned, the 1975 fire season totaled over 100,000,000; as of that post 2019-2020 had so far accounted for roughly 10,000,000. The complete post is here, and well worth reading.

      By my rough calculation 1975 was 45 years ago, which is considerably less than the 60 years of record-keeping the Met office has been doing according to Reuters. I am trying to come up with an explanation for how burning 10 million hectares of bush could release more CO2 that burning 100 million hectares, so far without success.

      I suppose the weasel-words that make the Met claim not actionable are “… one of the biggest …”. There’s a loophole for you: even if it was the smallest CO2 release on record, it would still be “one of” the biggest.

      Eyeballing Dr. Spencer’s chart I would say the 2019-2020 fire season is the third largest on record since 1920, and not that much bigger than 2 other ones. But all the other fire seasons (99 of them) put together do not equal the 1974-1975 one.

      So given that, what is the proper take-away from looking at the bush fires of the last 100 years: that 2019-2020 is “one of the biggest in the last 60 years” or that 1975-1975 was an absolute monster that almost certainly was not significantly influenced by climate change?

      • “Eyeballing Dr. Spencer’s chart…”
        Dr Spencer’s chart was completely fallacious. There was no super fire in Australia in 1974/5. If there was, it passed unnoticed in the newspapers. In fact, we get huge fires every year in the tropical savannah, when the wet season growth burns. For reasons given in the link, Wikipedia picked up savanna fires in 1974/5, and also 2002, but not other years. It is fires in the temperate forest that cause damage. No action is taken about the savanna fires.

        • “…There was no super fire in Australia in 1974/5. If there was, it passed unnoticed in the newspapers…”

          NZ Herald is very aware of the 1974/75 fires.
          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12298682

          “…AUSTRALIA, 1974

          Death toll: 3 people in NSW

          Damage: About 117 million hectares

          During the summer between 1974 and 1975, Australia experienced its worst bushfire season in 30 years.

          About 15 per cent of Australia’s physical land mass sustained extensive fire damage.

          New South Wales was badly affected with widespread damage to infrastructure, including communications, roads, railways and property fencing. Farmers lost crops and livestock. The areas affected included those in the western part of the state in Cobar Shire, Balranald, Glendale and regions around the Lower Hunter. The overall damage cost was estimated at approximately A$5 million…”

          The question I have found myself asking you repeatedly must be asked yet again…are we to believe you’re THIS ignorant, or are you simply this much of a liar? Take your head out of your arse.

          • He will never let it go Michael. He will take up most of the space on a post when it suits him, but he will never admit he is wrong and he is a coward.

            I have asked him on five separate occasions “how do you put out a fire in a solar farm?” and he will not pay me the courtesy of replying.

            Is there anyone else out there who would like to answer this question?

          • “NZ Herald is very aware of the 1974/75 fires.”
            You are quoting a story dated 7 Jan 2020. See if you can find anything from 1974/5. Or indeed, any time last century. Nothing was reported.

        • Stokes
          This thread was started by Martin citing Reuters: “Australia’s bushfires are contributing to one of the biggest annual increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere since record-keeping began more than 60 years ago, according to a forecast published by Britain’s Met Office on Friday”.

          Are there any official Australian/Southern Hemisphere measurements to substantiate the Met Office ‘forecast?’

    • Martin
      Any substantiation form Mauna Loa that the recent burning or the 1975 fire season made a noticeable change in the annual CO2 increase? If not, then Reuters is just speculating based on their bias.

      • I checked the Mauna Loa Keeling Curve and there appears to be a slight upward bump about 1973. Perhaps in anticipation of the 1975 fires! sarc/

  10. “Nature Predicts Worsening Climate Driven Forest Fires – Burning What?”
    Yes, it’s a good question. Eventually there will be no forests left, and forest fires will cease.

    • Nick and Eric
      Are they predicting or projecting?
      I really don’t understand this and appreciate you advise.
      A prediction that a hotter climate leads to more bushfires makes some sort of sense but there doesn’t appear to be any long term projections based on actual regional rainfall and temperature observations

    • What you GET, my historically-illiterate friend, is what the early European explorers and settlers found. Open forests and woodlands with a predominantly grassy understory.

      Not the artificially dense fire-excluded fuel-piles that we call “National Parks.

    • Gum trees survive fires. If you visit the fire grounds in 12 months you’ll see all the trees covered in healthy new leaves which sprout from the trunks and suriving limbs, creating a fuzzy appearance. 5 years after a fire it becomes difficult to determine if there was ever a fire. Ten+ years later when sufficient ground cover has built up from the falling leaves and branches and the understory vegetation has become thick, it’s getting set for another fire.

      The reality is that fires in Australia can only be controlled by minimising the fuel loads on the forest floor as it is this material that generates the heat to ignite the green foliage in the capopy which then releases the highly flammable eucalyptus gas from the green leaves and propels the ignited material high into the air to create spot fires kilometres ahead of the main front that then prevents the fire from being controlled and a monster fire results. Green tape has prevented the required levels of HR over the years creating a huge build up of fuel loads, culminating in the recent fires.

      fyi – I live adjacent to 1000+ sq km of thick eucalyptus forest (ie: bush) in a very high fire prone area in NSW, Australia and have survived several fires with ember attacks over the past 30+ years, so I have a reasonable understanding of these fires. The last time a proper HR (Hazard Reduction) was undertaken in bushland near my property was 25 years ago, which is just before the Greens managed to successfully lobby for the bushland to be reclassified as national park, which then added a whole layer of green tape to HR plans, thus making it near impossible. This reclassification of bushland to national park has been a common theme across much of NSW over the past 30 years and is by far the main driver for these huge fires. The last major wild fire in my adjacent bush was around 20 years ago and with no HR or fires since then the fuel loads have never been so high as they are right now. Whilst the recent fires were stopped around 20km from my place due to a big rain storm, the big fuel loads still remain and I know the the next HR will be from nature as per what has just transpired across other parts of the state.

      Unfortunately, there will likely be no policy change on forest management after these fires. As Eric has pointed out, there is now little left to burn and it will take a decade or more before the fuel loads build up to create another big burn. In the meantime there will be much heated debate and disagreement for years with big resistance from Green groups to allowing more HR, and they will predictably claim that only a 100% CO2 reduction from Australia’s 1% global emissions is a cure, despite 99% of their claimed CC coming from offshore emissions – an inconvenient fact they never mention. After 5 years the public will forget the fires because we won’t have had a big burn in that time and the policy will get moved into the too hard basket until the next big burn.

  11. Thumbs up to the initial comment re the loss of lives among those that have come across the world to help out.

    I would be interested on a reading of the real public opinion mentioned in the article. It seems to me that opinion is divided along the usual lines of the obsessed climanistas and those with common sense. In fact a ground swell of anger regarding lack of sound land management and kow towing to rabid greenists seems to be developing.

  12. “in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that they are.”

    Never in the entire history of the human written and spoken work has this statement ever been followed by any.

  13. As an Aussie who looks closely the data, I can confirm it has been a very, very dry period this year and the year before. About the driest ever.
    This dry period comes after some very wet years, with lots of CO2 for the plants to grow on. The fuel load is really high.
    And when the temperature gets up around 40C, and everything is dehydrated on the floor of the bush, and the winds are high, this stuff just explodes.
    The Rural Fire Service has been burning off but has had its funding cut, and has had area targets to burn. They lost some people doing hazard reduction burns and so generally did them out in large open areas where nothing bad would arise.
    And people are ‘going bush’ and building houses in the middle of bushland areas up simple roads, with no particular design constraints on making the house survive a fire, not many have generator driven water pumps to help put out flying embers, many are right next to open bush and a lot have shade trees right up next to the buildings. It’s great having the shade of a tree in an Aussie summer over your roof, but that same tree will be a major problem in a fire season.
    The RFS isn’t able to do hazard reduction burns around the properties because if they go wrong the RFS is liable for the damage. The owner can’t do careful reduction burns around their dwelling because once things get a bit dry because there will be a total fire ban, and otherwise they will require ‘approval’ from the RFS and if they don’t get it they will be liable if it gets out of control.
    Although hazards reduction burns are a great idea, the practicalities are extremely complex. Telling people they can’t live in shady forest settings isn’t something we’re ready for yet. And buildings of metal without gutters or nearby trees are a way off.
    These fires are a very complex issue. The conditions have absolutely been ‘the perfect storm’ for fires this year. No question about it. That global warming exists is unquestionable, and whether natural or anthropogenic, Australia is certainly getting higher peak land temperatures consistently, and we are just going to have to deal with an ongoing greater incidence and severity of bushfires.
    Even though a large area was burned, we’ve still got a massive area of bush that isn’t burned. The hope that so much was burned that it won’t burn again is not a good one.

        • Sure. All the more reason to bulldoze decent firebreaks and conduct hazard burns when opportunity presents, with severe penalties for d*ckheads who try to impede the burn.

        • That’s why you need controlled burns. Because places like Australia naturally alternate between periods of wet, and periods of dry.

          Nothing unusual at all.

    • Chris.

      The RFS (of which I am a member) is not responsible for the majority of the area which has been burnt this season. The responsible agencies are the various government Land Management Agencies – chief amongst them, the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

      The RFS never has, and never should, be used as a source of free labour to permit government organisations to waste their budgets on more politically correct activities.

      Government Agencies must be held to the same legal and moral responsibility that is incumbent upon all private land owners – to take reasonable steps to prevent Fire prom escaping from their land.

      They have obviously failed…. when measured by both the damage done and the standards set by over 50 previous inquiries.

      I’ll say it again. Volunteers are NOT here to provide free labour for government agencies.

      • correct
        volunteers are local who are here to save the locals FROM the stuffed up govt agencies stupid ideas and regs and the greeninfested local councils

  14. “All forests in the world need to be given the same name, so that people can understand that there is only one forest in the world and that every burning forest is his own forest, no matter where in the world!

  15. If we were looking for a term to describe climate alarmists “Patently Absurd” would be a perfect description.
    It is patently absurd that the world allows a 17 year old ignoramus called Greta Thunberg to attend major events where educated people gather, to exchange considered opinion. Greta has no considered opinion, how could she? She has barely had any chance to study anything, let alone form a considered opinion.
    Then we get Nature, a publication with a past history of quality, now putting out patently absurd comment about wildfire being an ongoing threat? The the past fires have effectively already removed the wildfire threat, for the next ten years or so.
    We have people trying to lecture the normal inhabitants of planet Earth, about only eating vegetables for our essential food needs. Not content with that restricted diet advice, they push on into veganism. They want to ban, honey consumption, egg and milk production and its consumption, and on it goes. All patently absurd advice.
    The COGS (constantly offended Green Socialists) are worried about burping and farting GHG from grazing animals, they fail to answer what do we do, if we remove all the flatulent beasts, (including humans no doubt) about the termites? They have their position as top emitters of GHG firmly established. Do we try culling all ants, termites and any other insect that consumes organic matter?
    The climate alarmists are patently absurd.
    Does anyone know how we get back to educated balanced debate about our environment and its ability to satisfy our ongoing needs?
    We live in a beautiful, benign climate period, a little more warmth would be nice. A little more recognition of our creative genius, that has resulted in our “educated” organised good fortune, would also be most welcome. Oh, and can someone tell the alarmists, they are barking mad.

  16. The Greens solution to Australian fires is to drastically reduce Austalia’s tiny 1% GHG emissions. Aside from this amount representing an insignificant 1% of what they claim is human caused climate change, GHG emissions are increasing by 3% each year due to developing nations, meaning CO2 levels would only increase further regardless of any actions taken by Australia. Even if they could completely remove Australia from the world map, emissions would still be higher just 17 weeks later.

    Despite these obvious facts, the Greens seem to be totally convinced that the only couse of actions to reduce future fires in Australia is not more hazard reduction, but rather a carbon dioxide tax and harsh carbon dioxide cuts from the tiny 1% contribution . It is also noteworthy that the Greens never mention China’s 30% emissions and never protest outside the Chinese embassy in Canberra. In fact, China is generally praised by the Greens as a good climate citizen despite their massive CO2 emissions.

    When looking at this comical situation from a political perspective, perhaps the best solution for Australia is to rapidly expand its CO2 output to equal that of China so they too can be seen as good climate citizens, which would then direct the Greens attention to New Zealand, an obviously terrible emitter of CO2 of 0.1%.

    • also did you notice?
      the sudden wanting to make bushfire a natural event become part of the Aussie co2 count and penance?
      when america and sth america and everywhere else burnt
      not a bloody peep outta them!!

  17. “If climate change is causing droughts to worsen”

    There is no observed increased frequency in the positivity of IOD, SAM or El Nino events nor any combination thereof.
    There is little evidence of changes to rainfall totals across Australia – there is a minor trend in SE Australia rainfall that falls beneath the IPCC threshold of climate change.

    Put simply this fire season is not related to climate change.

    If Australia had seen progressively increasing acres burnt over the last 30 years – there may be an argument, but that simply hasn’t happened.

    In order for ‘climate change’ ™ to actually become catastrophic then the world’s climate must become ‘hotter and wetter’ rather than ‘hotter and drier’.

  18. But the funny thing is that even if the Australian government had (magically) ceased all CO2 emissions 10 years ago, it would have been impossible to measure the miniscule effect on present atmospheric CO2 content. There is nothing, but nothing, humankind can do to stop the CO2 rise – except, perhaps, institute a global crash programme of building nuclear power stations. We will need at least one a day for the next many years to make any impact.

  19. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/australia-wide/australia-wide-indian-ocean-dipole-predict-weather-pattern/10573632
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-07/indian-ocean-dipole-dominant-cause-drought/10571802
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-16/positive-indian-ocean-dipole-bad-news-for-drought-crippled-areas/11120566
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-11/indian-ocean-dipole-fuels-dry-australia-bushfires-africa-rain/11787874
    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/understanding-the-indian-ocean-dipole/11836748
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-23/has-australias-climate-switch-been-flicked/11885300

    Surprise, surprise. The IOD and SAM abate and it starts raining right across the continent.
    Within days.

    But let’s not waste the opportunity for hyperbolic ranting by the MSM, their virtue-signalling cheerleaders and the chanting moron followers with their ad hominem and hypocrisy.

    Yet still, these raving half-wits insult us all, hijacking the bushfires to try and push their propaganda and trot out their unscientific conjecture and drivel on the world stage as if it was established fact. Can only be ideology when it is that ridiculous and blatantly false.

    Turdburg is perhaps the anti-Christ and her acolytes the brain-dead zombie followers of the end-times.
    This climate hysteria is without a doubt some kind of epidemic mental illness led by a larval queen messiah.

    And the most alarming thing about the alarmists is that there are that many – stupid, gullible people in the world that lack any kind of logical or analytical capability to see the utter nonsense this dogma is.

    Our environment is seriously ailing from plastic garbage, industrial waste, deforestation, excessive irrigation, vested interests and poor management, none of which have anything whatsoever to do with CO2 emissions (other than trees consume it) and none of which these people seem to have a clue nor care about it seems. It is Idiocracy incarnate.

  20. Where I grew up in (very) rural Perthshire Scotland on a Grouse Moor, every spring strips of Heather were burnt. The theory was that the Heather regrowing gave more young shoots for the red Grouse. Left unburnt and to itself Heather will grow waist deep ( bushes in Kipnapped). Over a period of 40 years there were several summer Heather fires, started by careless people. Only two got really serious one burnt for about 20 hours and reignited several times, the other got into the peat and smouldered for several weeks totally consuming about an acre of 10ft deep peat. All the others were put out relatively quickly, in no small measure due to the prior burnt areas and being Scotland rivers.

  21. It all comes down to CO2 and CO2 is driving nothing. People with their heads up their ideology are the dangerous people on the planet.

  22. Australia: show the world what climate actions looks like…

    Well, by golly, it looks a lot like…er….um…it looks a lot like, ahem, poverty.

  23. “the country’s politicians delayed meaningful action through a wasted decade of arguments over whether human activities are causing climate change — in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that they are”

    At the foundation of AGW is the assumption that fossil fuel emissions cause atmospheric CO2 concentration to rise. Where is the overwhelming scientific evidence for that relationship?

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/19/co2responsiveness/

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/

    • ‘Just one problem with this prediction – what exactly would these “more extreme fires” burn?’

      Based on our leader’s track record, I’m confident that the government of my country will allocate enough funding from carbon taxes and offsets (while ballooning the deficit) to fund tree-planting so that the forests can continue to burn regardless of what the climate does.

      Based on what I’ve been reading about Australia, its government may even be ahead of ours at ensuring a fuel supply.

  24. Interesting. I have asked the same question—what is there to burn? I guess reality is not part of the AGW mantra.

    As I now point out, people better hope the AGW crowd is wrong and the “cut the fuel” group is right. AGW solutions give you a decrease in lifestyle standards, less ability to fight the fire. more misery and suffering for DECADES when MAYBE things get better. “Cut the fuel” has an immediate effect. It works well over 90 percent of the time. It’s scary that people actually push for the decades of misery. What kind of a person does that?????

  25. But…but….I extrapolated those figures and the curve has no end….Maths don’t lie!
    (I really shouldn’t have to put the /sarc her)

  26. In naturally arid hot climates that fuel will burn eventually. Clear it and burn it a little at a time, or let it all go up in one mighty life-threatening inferno. Those are the choices. Trying to reduce the global temperature by a fraction of a degree in 80 years time is an irrelevant and totally wasteful exercise in hubris, the rewards for which are almost certainly going to be imperceptible to life on planet Earth. Very telling that the authors cite two reasons for politicians to act: overwhelming evidence of human causation of climate change (which apparently the dog ate as they fail to present any conclusive evidence), and public opinion, which the authors are clearly trying to shape toward their preferred policy choices.

  27. In the U.S., particularly the western portion, the volume of merchantable timber has expanded greatly since the early 1980s when we shut down most of our forest products industry. The growth rate of sub-merchantable material has expanded even more rapidly. With the additional impact of CO2 fertilization the fuel load is growing even more rapidly. A back of the envelope calculation indicates that the fuel load is expanding 15 times more rapidly than the volume burned in our worst recent fire years.

    Folks, per problem isn’t going away, it will only get worse, but unlike CO2 levels in the atmosphere, we could start to deal with the fuel load issue immediately!!!

  28. For a proper fire you need dry, premium fuel in the right places, a good wind to supply plentiful oxygen and propagating power… and lastly an ignition source.
    85% of ignition is by human sources with a depressing 50% confirmed or suspected arson, carelessness and accidents making up the remaining 35%.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-11-20/bushfire-ignition-source-how-we-know/11701132
    Although urgent attention to preventing those who would set fire to their country would seem logical, given the already known profiles of those actually caught, politicians as brave as firefighters would be needed.
    https://aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab046

  29. CO2 -> increased plant growth
    increased plant growth -> more fuel
    more fuel (if allowed to dry out) -> more fires

    Of course….
    increased plant growth -> better crop yields and increased biodiversity

    This is why CO2 is bad!

  30. From the article: “But as Nature has frequently reported, the country’s politicians delayed meaningful action through a wasted decade of arguments over whether human activities are causing climate change — in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that they are.”

    Here we have Nature making unsubstantiated claims about human-caused climate change.

    The claim that there is “overwhelming scientific evidence” is just a flat-out Lie.

    The prestigious Nature is lying to the public. They couldn’t prove what they claim if their lives depended on it.

    How low can they go?

    Human-caused Climate Change has had a serious corrupting effect on the whole of science, and now Nature shows its own corruption with trying to pass these unsubstantiated claims off as evidence.

    Nature has no evidence. Someone ought to challenge them to produce what they claim they have. They probably wouldn’t reply because they have no legitimate reply to make. They are liars. There’s no fixing that, other than admitting to it.

  31. “… If the Morrison government continues its current trajectory, then the country is likely to experience even more severe droughts and fires …” (Nature).

    If we are expected to believe that there is a causal link between the atmospheric CO2 concentration and drought in Australia, as CO2 has increased the continent has got wetter …
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/#tabs=Tracker&tracker=trend-maps&tQ=map%3Drain%26area%3Daus%26season%3D0112%26period%3D1910
    … and less susceptible to drought:
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/#tabs=Tracker&tracker=timeseries&tQ=graph%3Drranom%26area%3Daus%26season%3D0112%26ave_yr%3D0

  32. 1919 betz limits is not
    . supported with fact needed to prevent new superior design as intended by big polutting energy corporations that finance every usa election, Bejesus windmills on you tube lonien windmill have no gaps rather they open and close walls of blades instantly .horizontally and or vertically..your brainwashed no defense no knowledge defence.

  33. ”Undoubtedly, one reason for this is that Australia — which is the world’s largest coal exporter — has repeatedly prioritized the coal industry’s needs over the planet’s.”
    Absolute bullocks. If Australia stopped exporting coal overnight, other countries would simply export instead at our expense. Whats more Australian coal burns cleaner than most other countries so emissions would be greater.
    So if we did stop exporting coal, is that going to prevent further bushfires??
    The stupid, it burns. (no pun intended)

  34. Yesterday I saw a show on TV where the indigenous peoples of Australia were discussing the methods they have used for centuries to control forest fires. SURPRISE! They use PLANNED BURNS! It USED to work in California, until the liberals stopped it! Common sense methods seem to be out of favor, these days! I’m sure the ‘new’ modern methods of the beurocrats are MUCH better, right?

  35. Off topic . . .
    I’m getting two adverts with this page. The first is “A better class of sale” for “Emirates” under a pic of a tidy looking blonde sheila spooning something into her mouth. Can’t open it but I guess it’s for the airline.
    The other is “Joe Biden for President” with the come-on “Donate Now”. I opened it to find ol’ Joe’s boosters, an outfit called ActBlue, want me to send them money to “defeat Donald Trump”.
    Happily, as a Kiwi, I am disqualified from parting with my cash under ActBlue’s Contribution Rule #1. I am also disqualified under my own rule of restricting my actions to those which fall into the category of “sane”.
    Advertisements don’t bother me . . . I see them as a necessary part of a capitalist economy and have used plenty myself over the years. And I’m happy for Anthony to cop the income.
    But isn’t their placement supposed to be governed by algorithms?
    First up, I can’t see Creepy Joe, who’s all-in on the Green New Deal, having too many potential supporters on a website dedicated to spreading the truth about climate change. And can’t the algorithms detect that I’m opening the page an entire hemisphere and multiple time zones away from where a qualified customer has to reside?
    A couple of weeks back, a relative tried to convince me that Google or Facebook or Cambridge Analytica or someone had influenced the 2016 US elections by some mystic method on the interwebs. Maybe. But I’m guessing that’s another “science” that isn’t settled yet.

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