Global Warming Drives Wildfires Study–Ignores Pre 1979 Data

Reposted from Not A Lot of People Know That

By Paul Homewood

h/t Philip Bratby

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Climate change is driving the scale and impact of recent wildfires that have raged in California, say scientists.

Their analysis finds an “unequivocal and pervasive” role for global heating in boosting the conditions for fire.

California now has greater exposure to fire risks than before humans started altering the climate, the authors say.

Land management issues, touted by President Donald Trump as a key cause, can’t by themselves explain the recent infernos.

The new review covers more than 100 studies published since 2013, and shows that extreme fires occur when natural variability in the climate is superimposed on increasingly warm and dry background conditions resulting from global warming.

“In terms of the trends we’re seeing, in terms of the extent of wildfires, and which have increased eight to ten-fold in the past four decades, that trend is driven by climate change,” said Dr Matthew Jones from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, who led the review.

“Climate change ultimately means that those forests, whatever state they’re in, are becoming warmer and drier more frequently,” he told BBC News.

“And that’s what’s really driving the kind of scale and impact of the fires that we’re seeing today.”

In the 40 years from 1979 to 2019, fire weather conditions have increased by a total of eight days on average across the world.

However, in California the number of autumn days with extreme wildfire conditions has doubled in that period.

The authors of the review conclude that “climate change is bringing hotter, drier weather to the western US and the region is fundamentally more exposed to fire risks than it was before humans began to alter the global climate”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54278988

Now why should they start their study in 1979? After all, there is loads of data from earlier years.

A look at NOAA’s rainfall graph for California shows just why:

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https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/national/time-series

Over the full period since 1895, there has been no trend at all in autumn rainfall. However, the 1980s were an unusually wet decade. Hardly surprising then that the Met Office have found more days with extreme wildfire conditions since then!

Temperatures show a similar pattern, with the 1980s and 90s being an unusually cold period. Looking at the overall record, autumn temperatures in recent years have been no higher than the period between 1930 and 1960:

image

We are used to seeing such flagrantly misleading use of data by the likes of Katharine Hayhoe. By following suit, the Met Office and University of East Anglia have sunk to new lows.

90 thoughts on “Global Warming Drives Wildfires Study–Ignores Pre 1979 Data

    • 1979 is the “beginning of the satellite era”, nothing else matters. LOL.

      However, I find Paul Homewood’s attempted rebuttal about as honest your average Guardian climate reporting.

      “1985-2019 Trend 0.00 in/decade”

      REALLY? What are the chances of that? That smacks of a Bill Nye post production “result”.

      Temperatures show a similar pattern, with the 1980s and 90s being an unusually cold period.

      Bullshine. There is a large upstep in 1987 and from then on it is one of the hottest parts of the record. Why make such blatantly false claims?

      We are used to seeing such flagrantly misleading use of data by the likes of Katharine Hayhoe.

      Yes, I’m used to Hayhoe lying and twisting the data. I’m disappointed to see it happening here.

      Homewood is not reliable, please do not repost his material on WUWT.

    • Paul,

      Interesting that you included a trend line in the precipitation chart, but omitted one in the temperature chart??

      The temperature trend, not a change in precipitation, is driving the trend towards increasing drought conditions, and the trend towards worsening drought is the climate change connection.

      Dry forests burn hotter and faster than wetter ones. Just like the wood on a campfire.

      • Hiker,

        Huh? Temperature has nothing to do with drought! I assume you are basing your opinion on the fact that the AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE is going up. Can you tell from the average if rising maximum temps are causing the average to go up or whether it is rising minimums that are causing the average to go up. If you can’t tell then you can’t assume *anything*!

        Dry forests don’t burn hotter and faster than wet ones. Temperatures in a forest fire can reach 1200degF or even hotter. Do you understand how quickly that will dry out *anything* either on the ground or high up in a tree?

        Wood on a campfire is an issue of *ignition*, not how hot the wood burns once ignition is reached!

        • Tim: “Huh? Temperature has nothing to do with drought!”

          Of course it does. Drought is not just a function of precipitation – how long the water sticks around can be just as important. Farmers have to irrigate more on hot days than cool days. Gardeners have to water their gardens more often during a heat wave than during a cool stretch. This is common knowledge.
          A biologist can explain the why:

          “Plants transpire more rapidly at higher temperatures because water evaporates more rapidly as the temperature rises. At 30°C, a leaf may transpire three times as fast as it does at 20°C.”

          “A plant cannot continue to transpire rapidly if its water loss is not made up by replacement from the soil.”

          “The volume of water lost in transpiration can be very high. It has been estimated that over the growing season, one acre of corn (maize) plants may transpire 400,000 gallons (1.5 million liters) of water. As liquid water, this would cover the field with a lake 15 inches (38 cm) deep. An acre of forest probably does even better.”

          https://tinyurl.com/y6nvt8x7

          • Tim Gorman,
            “I assume you are basing your opinion on the fact that the AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE is going up.”

            My opinion is based on California trends. Didn’t you see Paul Homewood’s graphic, the one where he omitted the upward trend line?
            (Just-summer months would have been better than year-round)

            “Can you tell from the average if rising maximum temps are causing the average to go up or whether it is rising minimums that are causing the average to go up. If you can’t tell then you can’t assume *anything*!”

            Again, his chart shows maximums, not average. But why do you think it matters?

          • Tim Gorman
            “Dry forests don’t burn hotter and faster than wet ones. Temperatures in a forest fire can reach 1200degF or even hotter. Do you understand how quickly that will dry out *anything* either on the ground or high up in a tree?
            Wood on a campfire is an issue of *ignition*, not how hot the wood burns once ignition is reached!”

            ————

            During fire, the moisture content of wood boils and turns to steam. The energy for this process is derived from the heat of combustion, heat that is therefore not available to burn the wood’s dry mass. This causes the wood to burn slower and at a lower temperature when wetter compared to drier.

            Explained here:
            “Properly seasoned firewood still has a fair amount of water in it, say 15 to 20 percent of its weight. That water regulates the combustion process along with a few other factors like piece size, load configuration and combustion air supply.
            The higher the fuel moisture, the slower the wood breaks down when heated because of all the heat energy soaked up in boiling the water out of the wood and raising the temperature of the steam.
            Conversely, the dryer the wood, the more quickly it breaks down when heated. By breaking down, I mean the vaporization of the volatile components of the wood; that is to say, it smokes. The dryer the wood, the more dense is the smoke at a given heat input rate.”

            https://tinyurl.com/y36ffbpt

          • “My opinion is based on California trends. Didn’t you see Paul Homewood’s graphic, the one where he omitted the upward trend line?”

            You ought to look at local California temperature charts. If you did, you would see that California has been in a temperature downtrend since the 1930’s. Nothing unprecedented here. In your local charts you will find a downward trend line.

            Which means it was hotter in the past than it is now, which means California has been here before and survived, which means “nothing to see here!”.

          • @Tom Abbott

            “You ought to look at local California temperature charts.”

            I already have.

            “In your local charts you will find a downward trend line.”

            No. Most often an uptrend. Here, for example, is a local forested area that has suffered some bad fires recently.

            Butte County, California

            August mean –
            1895 – 2020: +0.1 F/decade
            1950 – 2020: +0.2 F/decade
            1970 – 2020: + 0.5 F/decade
            1990 – 2020: + 0.8 F/decade
            2005 – 2020: + 1.3 F/decade

            https://tinyurl.com/y3ocusrc

      • “The temperature trend, not a change in precipitation, is driving the trend towards increasing drought conditions”

        You mean the cooling trend that California is currently in is driving drought conditions?

        • “You mean the cooling trend that California is currently in is driving drought conditions?”

          How long a trend are you talking about, Tom?

          • Well. Hansen said 1934 was 0.5C warmer than 1998 in the United States, and 2016, the “Hottest Year Evah!” was 0.4C cooler than 1934.

            Here’s Hansens’ US 1999 chart (on the left), which shows the hot 1930’s as compared to the bogus, bastadized Hockey Stick chart which erases the hot 1930’s.

            http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/

            So, the United States has been in a temperature downtrend since the 1930’s. Any regional surface temperature chart will show it. In fact, any Tmax chart from around the world will show that it was just as warm in the Early Twentieth Century as it is today.

            Here are a few examples:

            Tmax charts

            US chart:

            https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/Figure-11.png

            China chart:

            https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/Figure-12-1.png

            India chart:

            https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/Figure-13-1.png

            Norway chart:

            https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/Figure-13-2.png

            Australia chart:

            https://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/Figure-12-2.png

            There is no unprecedented warming on the Earth.

            The only thing that shows unprecedented warming on the Earth is the bogus, bastardized global surface temperature Hockey Stick chart which is a computer generated LIE. No unmodified chart in the world resembles the Hockey Stick chart. It’s all by itself. All legitimate charts show it was just as warm in the Early Twentieth Century as it is today.

            So claiming that CO2 is raising temperatures to unprecedented heights which is causing larger wildfires is ridiculous on its face since the temperatures are not actually at unprecedented heights. That is a figment of alarmist imagination.

          • Tom

            Those charts were 20 and 8 years out of date. More recently:

            [September 7, 2020
            High temperatures across Sonoma County
            Santa Rosa, 111 degrees (Sonoma County Airport, official reading)

            Windsor, 114
            Geyserville, 113
            Sebastopol, 109
            Cloverdale, 113
            Rohnert Park, 112
            Petaluma, 111
            Healdsburg, 114
            Sonoma, 116

            Source: The National Weather Service Weather and Hazardous Data Viewer
            The hottest day of a punishing statewide heatwave toppled records in Sonoma County and across California on Sunday, with peak temperatures as high as 114 degrees reported in several local cities, forcing residents to either shelter inside or seek some outdoor refuge even as historic wildfires continued to fill the skies with smoke.

            At the Sonoma County Airport just north of Santa Rosa, the official reading hit 111 degrees, the hottest there since record keeping began in the 1990s. An unofficial temperature reading in east Santa Rosa showed a peak of 114 by 4 p.m Sunday.

            In Sonoma, the mercury topped out at 116, also an unofficial high-mark as the National Weather Service doesn’t maintain historic records beyond Santa Rosa.

            Healdsburg and Windsor hit 114, Geyserville and Cloverdale both reported 113, and Rohnert Park hit 112.

            In downtown Santa Rosa, where the record books cover about a century, there was no official reading available Sunday, for the second straight day.

            Though National Weather Service meteorologist Duane Dykema was frustrated by that data gap, he said it wouldn’t be close in Sunday’s searing heat: “I can say with a great deal of confidence that Santa Rosa broke a record today.”

            The previous record at the airport was 110 degrees, set Sept. 2, 2017, about a month before the city’s catastrophic firestorm.]

          • As well as being out of date, the charts you linked were not local, as you earlier insisted they should be.

            The values came from a national average, not specific to the areas in California where fire has been a problem.

          • Tom,
            “The only thing that shows unprecedented warming on the Earth is the bogus, bastardized global surface temperature Hockey Stick chart…..”

            Compare the US Dust Bowl data to the same time period in China, India, Norway, and Australia. You will discover the record highs were not a global phenomenon.

            Just as important, the dust bowl heat was mainly confined to the summer months (winters during those years were very cold).

            The ‘Hockey Stick’ graph is global in scope and averages all 12 months of data.

      • A better analogy would be a pile of oily rags negligently accumulating over years and blaming the resulting fire on warm weather. If the forest fires used to be much larger in the past, and then were significantly reduced when the forest service was started and was actively cleaning out deadwood and forestry was also permitted, one cannot blame the weather when fuel now is permitted to build up in the forests. It’s criminal and insane that California doesn’t do anything to reduce the fuel load, while persistently crying about climate change. Shows they don’t really care about the environment, and would let all of California burn if it allows them to get elected. Socialists/Nazis (sorry for the repetition): Never letting a crisis go to waste, or creating one if ned be to seize power.

        • PCman999

          “A better analogy would be a pile of oily rags negligently accumulating over years and blaming the resulting fire on warm weather.”

          That’s not an apt analogy, because I wasn’t blaming the fires on just the warmer weather:

          Big fuel load
          High winds
          Very dry (temperature is one of the drivers)
          Ignition source

          • All four have been coming together –

            The drier the fuel load, the hotter and faster it will burn. Add in unusually high winds…….

    • Paul,

      Interesting that you included a trend line in the precipitation chart, but omitted one in the temperature chart??

      The temperature trend, not changes in precipitation, is driving the trend towards increasing drought conditions, and the trend towards worsening drought is the climate change connection.

      Dry forests burn hotter and faster than wetter ones. Just like the wood on a campfire.

      • Palmer drought Severity Index, (PDSI)
        California (negative values indicate drier):

        August
        1895 – 2020: – 0.17/decade
        1950 – 2020: – 0.36/decade
        1970 – 2020: – 0.43/decade
        1990 – 2020: – 0.99/decade
        2005 – 2020: – 1.31/decade

        https://tinyurl.com/y257ryl9

        • Hiker that pobably just means that the data record is not long enough for any meaningful construct to be obtained from a simplistic linear trend analysis. Clearly all this climate data is very noisy’ and contains components of a wide range of periods. It is the long, multi decadal periods that are the spanner in the works as far as gaining a proper understanding of a matter is concerned.

          If you had a set of data that conformed to a pure sinusoid then calculated a linear trend with a set that started on a peak and ended on a trough (or vice versa) then you would get a ‘downtrend’ (or ‘uptrend’) which would simply be nonsensical in any meaningful, objective and scientific way.

          As to how long a data record we need, I don’t know because if there are 50 to 100 years cycles or ‘beat’ periods due to interaction between shorter cycle elements (i.e. like sets in surf waves) then much longer time period data is required to make proper sense out of things.

          This melodramatic use of relatively short term data sets to justify shouting and screaming ‘deadly climate change’ or ‘catastophic fire risk’ etc is little more than the scientific equivalent of pole dancing. The entire point is just to get some funding stuffed into their knickers.

          This sort of data yrimming fraud, yes fraud, has become the norm for much of so called ‘climate science’ and utterly discredits the entire field. This is not so much about the science per se as about the credibility of ‘witnesses’. Once pinged their credit as an ‘expert’ is shot.

          • M Seward

            Uptrends or downtrends can be meaningful, regardless of cause. Doesn’t matter if they are part of a cycle or not. For example, if we were quickly moving into an ice age, but didn’t know why, it would still be a big problem.

            Same with the trends in drought I showed. The trends are all for periods greater than 30 years, meeting the definition of climate, and they influence fire severity, so are meaningful.

            Neither long term nor short term cycles can prevent CO2 from influencing temperature, they just make the magnitude of influence harder to determine.

          • Western Hiker

            Yes, they can be ‘meaningful’, for example to indicate a drought say but that does not rationally extrapolate to ‘climate change’. “Climate’ might well be defined by 30 year data sets and we might well say the climate in the past 30 years has been warmer or wetter or whatever than some other period but that does not mean that the current 30 year climate or its trend behaviour is the new normal going forward or can be exrapolated. The next 30 years may well be very different on average and trend.

            Just look at the rainfall plot in the article and 1895-1925 is down, 25 to 55 is flattish, 55 to 85 is up and 85 to 2015 is down. Similar ‘climate’ trends can be taken from the temperture record, i.e bothup and down so nome of these periods define climate except as a characterisation of the period in question.

            I am just mot interested in these short term metrics when it comes to the issue of the effect of CO2 emissions, I want to see if there is actually a long term association and without long enough data sets that is just not possible. As for the ‘models’ well now there is some sexed up ‘science’ pole dancing .

          • M Seward,

            “….. but that does not mean that the current 30 year climate or its trend behaviour is the new normal going forward or can be extrapolated.”

            Right, if that was it. But there’s also the physics, and computer models. The observed trends are generally consistent with the above, adding a measure of consilience.

          • And anyway, the argument, ‘anthropogenic vs. natural variation’ was not my fight here. One thing at a time.

        • Your statistics and use of climate change in response to or as an excuse for poor forestry practices and…ARSON…is a deflection of the point. Think about it like this…imagine if climate change occurred NATURALLY and that you weren’t convinced that mankind had anything to do with it…would that then make it okay to argue that poor forestry management and ARSON are actual issues that we should look into…huh?

          • Dat,

            Poor forestry practices have increased fuel load, a point acknowledged by anyone familiar with the subject.

            Arson has likely increased as well – a function of population growth and the encroachment of civilization into wild areas.

            So it’s clear that both issues are worth looking into.

  1. “The new review covers more than 100 studies published since 2013, and shows that extreme fires occur when natural variability in the climate is superimposed on increasingly warm and dry background conditions resulting from global warming.”

    They don’t even know they full range of natural variability. And damn sure can’t separate out some assumed human fingerprint from climate data.

  2. Historically, this last drought was a picnic compared to recent droughts there.
    California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say
    https://www.mercurynews.com/2014/01/25/california-drought-past-dry-periods-have-lasted-more-than-200-years-scientists-say/

    I guess the mega droughts of the Dust Bowl decade(1930’s) , that at times extended all the way to the West Coast did not count because they were before 1979 (-:
    https://news.agu.org/press-release/1934-drought-was-worst-of-the-last-millennium-study-finds/

    Note how recent heat waves compare to the 1930’s:
    https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-high-and-low-temperatures

    Humans, Not Global Warming, Sparked Almost All Of California’s Wildfires:
    https://dailycaller.com/2018/08/13/humans-global-warming-wildfires/

    Scientist Calls Out Media ‘Misinformation’ On Wildfires And Global Warming
    https://dailycaller.com/2018/08/09/media-misinformation-wildfires-global-warming/

    Decades Of Mismanagement Turned US Forests Into ‘Slow-Motion Time Bombs’
    https://dailycaller.com/2018/08/08/mismanagement-forests-time-bombs/

    Maybe we can take heart in the fact that busted global climate models, that have been wrong about many things, are forecasting MORE rain for California during the next century(though it would make sense with more El Ninos)

    California projected to get wetter through this century
    https://phys.org/news/2017-07-california-wetter-century.html

    • Californians do not know it yet, but after they have achieved their ZERO CARBON fantasy, the last Californian will finally snuff out an organic, whale-wax candle, and leave for a better place out of state

      • Natural variability. Inner CA is a SEMI-ARID DESERT. Do you know what that means? It means long intermittent droughts. There is no *increasing* drought in CA, just a return to a normal drought condition which can last for years in a semi-arid desert!

      • Hiker, the same thing that caused every drought in CA for the last several thousand years. Natural variability.

        Call me when the drought gets worse then the many, historic droughts.

        • Natural variability?
          Ok, so what natural variables could have produced the drought trends?

          Paul showed no trend in precipitation. Mike says humidity has increased, not decreased. Cliff Mass shows no trend in high wind events.

          If not precipitation, humidity, or wind, then what?

          (Hint: starts with a T )

    • When Hubert Lamb was in charge of the UEA Climate Research Unit it was very different. The decline has come mostly since he left.

    • Their World began in 1971; That’s when the money started rolling in to fund more “research”. After all, East Anglia’s “scientists” needed pay raises.

  3. Let’s take a pre-emptive strike and burn the forests before they burn us.

    Californian forests have enough standing or fallen dead wood to provide ALL electricity in the state for 2 years.

    Australian wild fires in summer 2010/20 produced enough heat to power the ENTIRE Australian economy for 2 years.

    Would seem smarter to burn the forests in a controlled way rather then spending the entire output of mankind building wind generators and batteries with the delusional objective of altering the weather.

    Burning the forests in boilers to produce steam then electricity would involve less expense than trying to stop infernos and the electricity is a useful spinoff.

    • RickWill

      Most people are familiar with the logging industry claim it harvests low value trees for burning, i.e., misshapen, diseased trees, standing deadwood, etc., called net available low grade, NALG, whereas, in fact, that is often not true, based on satellite and drone photos of clearcutting on harvested areas.

      The other logging industry claim is “wood burning is renewable” and therefore its CO2 should not be counted (the EPA and IPCC are proponents of this fallacy), whereas, in fact, wood-burning is not renewable at all.

      I have written extensively on the CO2 released just after clearcutting.
      This article has 5 examples of CO2 released, due to clearcutting
      http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/co2-emissions-from-logging-clear-cutting-and-burbing

      In northern climates, it takes about 35 years for the CO2 to get back to neutral
      The initial CO2 release, due to belowground biomass decay, is very high, and the decay is on-going for about 80 to 100 years.
      The released CO2 far exceeds any CO2 absorbed by the regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA.
      That negative condition continues for about 17 years.
      But to offset that negative condition, and get back to neutral, regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA needs to take place for another 17 to 18 years

      The decay CO2 is entirely independent from 1) combustion CO2, and 2) harvesting and other CO2.

      – Combustion CO2 of year 1 would have to wait for 35 years to start being absorbed by regrowth on the HARVESTED AREA, which takes about 80 – 100 years.

      – Harvesting and other CO2, due to: 1) logging, 2) chipping, 3) transport, 4) in-plant processing, and 5) plant operations other than combustion, etc., is like all other CO2.

      However, in the real world, loggers would come along, see 40 to 45-y-old trees, and cut them down; veni, vidi, vici; i.e., the CO2 absorption process is CUT SHORT.

      The logging industry continues to claim, without blushing: “Burning wood is renewable”.

      http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/burning-wood-is-not-renewable

      • Additional CO2 is only an issue if you believe that CO2 is the control knob for the climate.
        It is obviously not a linear relationship with global temps, whatever those are.
        Why spend your time flogging a non-issue?

      • Wood-burning is indeed renewable. A forest burned in a sustainable cycle (which includes clear-felling and burning 100/x% of the forest each year where x is the age in years of a mature tree) contains exactly the same amount of carbon at the end of any long period as it did at the start.

  4. Homewood is cherry-picking to try to trash our study

    I see he chose Sep-Nov to claim “no trend in autumn rainfall”. But Aug-Oct rainfall does show a declining trend in California rainfall

    May-July rainfall has also declined, so the whole 6-month summer dry season has got drier

    Also, ask yourselves why he chose to show the trend for Sep-Nov precip, but not for max temperature. The max temperatures show a very clear, large upward trend over the whole timeseries

    Well-informed people are now wise to Homewood’s tactics. Folks here – join them and be better informed!

    • Temperature has nothing to with the increase in wild fires, dryness is the main key plus a large stock of combustible material. But then you know that.
      You also have not answered the chart posted by Steve Case which shows a dramatic (around 90%) decrease in Wild Fire Acreage burned in the USA.
      I wonder why?

    • Max temperatures in CA show a large upward trend? Source please. Everything I can find talks about *average* temperatures, not maximum temps.

    • According to the chart on your twitter feed, the trend from 1895 to 2019 is that rainfall declined by 1/100th of an inch per decade. And this caused an increased likelihood of forest fires. I’m grateful that you have made me better informed. Your MBE for services to the Understanding of Climate Change is well deserved.

      • Only to a Climate “Scientist” like Betts is 1/10th of an inch per century from random, extremely noisy data a trend.

  5. The NSW royal commission into the Australian fires made all the little greenies cry, the interim recommendations were more planning, more communication and more prescribed burns.

  6. Both organisations have track records. Every opportunity to promote climate alarmism is seized. Records based on the flimsiest of evidence are claimed. it is sad to see taxpayer funded scientists desperate to bolster the credibility of their unreliable science in a clumsy manner that achieves the opposite result.

  7. But shouldn’t there be more rain globally if the temperature has risen globally and consequently there is more evaporation? What’s so special about California that it is suggested that precipitation is on a downward trend and so fires increase? Where’s the precipitation going?

  8. > Now why should they start their study in 1979?
    Because we only have reliable satellite data from around that time.

    > However, the 1980s were an unusually wet decade.
    Well, no. The first half of the 80s, yes. The rest, up to 1995 was dry or “unusually” dry.

    The study considers all these factors, and the picture is clear, without the pronounced increase in temperature, forest fire conditions wouldn’t deteriorate. This is it, full stop. The above is a desperate attempt to deny the obvious.

      • > Then why have fire acreage decreased since the beginning of the 20th century?
        That data is simply invalid. Up to the satellite era acreage was estimated. Actually, from the 50s data got more reliable, likely due to aerial observation, and acreage suddenly shrank to the 10th, but reliable data only came with satellites.

        • Satellites are not the only way to measure burned acres.
          Planes are better, perhaps you’ve heard of them. If not, you can look them up on wikipedia.

          Just how desperate are you to force socialism on the world?

    • Satellite data is not the only data, especially for things like droughts.

      What is clear is your desperate desire to limit the data to only those time periods that support what you want to believe.

  9. The CA forests, bushes and grasses get dry every year so a few tenths of a degree warmer will not make them any drier.

    There are more people living in CA so there is a higher probability of more accidental or deliberate fires. More people there, and more people living near forests, and more transmission lines to their homes, and less forrest management. That’s a great combination for wildfires!

    Also less CA tree trimming near transmission lines, while here in Michigan the trees are slashed 10 feet from power lines and we don’t have the winds and dry seasons like California does. I bet CA tree branches are not consistently cut within 10 feet or more from transmission lines because the power companies thete are forced to spend so much money on windmills and solar panels to give the people of CA their expensive, intermittent, and unreliable electric power.

  10. This is just typical climate science ‘period selection’. You can get an up or down trednd from data that conforms exactly to a pure sinusoid if you start on a trough and end on a crest or vice versa yet obvionsly the reall trend must be zero (like, its a sinusoid).
    The worst case of this I came across was to do with sea level data taken in Sydney and there was a clear basically sinusoidal pattern that actually just illustrating the effect of the pacific Decadal Oscillation over time and showed its periodicity. The bozo’s who wrote the paper did a linear trend fit to the data and hey presto, an uptrend!! Global Warming???? Of course, what else could it be?? Err just normal variation in a phenomenon with oscillating component mechanisms… Duhhh!

    It was one of those milestone events when I realised just how absurdly incompetent so much so called climate scient really is.

    • Excellent comment.

      So much Climate “Science” consists of superimposing straight lines on random or oscillating measurements and extrapolating them far into the future to create a trend.

      • You mean to speculate a trend, to manufacture a false trend etc. They actually create nothing more than some speculative crap to get published and add to their CV. Without the internet this sort of schlock would just not be rewarded at all.

    • Another bad case…..

      … starting a period at a tall ENSO crest (1998), then ending the period near a deep trough (2010 -2012). *

      Presto, the trend is flat!
      (What were the bozo’s thinking?)

      ——-

      * 2013/14 were cool, neutral years.

  11. “The study considers all these factors, and the picture is clear, without the pronounced increase in temperature, forest fire conditions wouldn’t deteriorate. This is it, full stop. The above is a desperate attempt to deny the obvious.”

    1. “pronounced” as in 2 degrees warmer?
    2. Much of the warmth has been from night time lows with higher humidities around the clock. Higher humidity is a negative factor for wildfires.
    3. The article states that this is driving the wild fires.
    4. Why is this the driver but a 20% increase in vegetative growth from atmospheric fertilization by beneficial CO2 is not more important? Or the massive increase in the population?
    5. Just what sort of climate do you think we should be getting in California anyway? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_California#/media/File:California_K%C3%B6ppen.svg

    To be honest, we should say that slightly warmer temperatures are a factor but not the driver. To be honest, we should be mentioning all the other important elements.

    • Most of CA is a semi-arid desert. Been that way for thousands of years. Don’t know why most people don’t understand that. Warmer temps aren’t a driver of anything.

      Those who claim global warming can’t answer what caused the global average temperature to go from 48 to 50 (example). They just assume maximum temps went up. They should ask a 6th grader about averages.

  12. “In terms of the trends we’re seeing, in terms of the extent of wildfires, and which have increased eight to ten-fold in the past four decades, that trend is driven by climate change,” said Dr Matthew Jones from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, who led the review.

    ————–

    Says another “Jones” from the University of East Anglia. Seems the Joneses from that joint are always jonesing for grants, fame, and ridicule.

  13. I am most grateful to Richard Betts for taking the time to comment here. I am no expert in climate, I’m a mechanical engineer who spent my career in product development. A lot of my time investigating product failure.

    It said over a hundred papers were reviewed: In these kinds of projects what guides what work gets done, published and what papers get reviewed? i.e. what ensures there is balance and structure? If 100 groups were paid to investigate the dangers of exercise and none the benefits and we decided any results showing benefits did not count because they were not part of our team or because they sold sports equipment I think that would not be balanced and we’d probably conclude exercise is dangerous and may seek to ban it.

    In many engineering fields (e.g. aviation, automotive etc) we and the wider system have to learn the right lessons from failures (e.g. air crash investigations), as a result we have procedures, independent audit, certification, some coming from the wider system, some our own, some from customers. Does anything similar apply to climate science?

    In engineering I think we have customers who are often in effect sceptics. They are not experts in designing our product so it is tempting to discount them, but they have power and I think they can see things the supplier/expert is blind to and I think that plays a very important role in improving reliability and safety. It can be all too easy for us the supplier to think it was the customers fault the product failed because we’re the experts and thoroughly tested it and thought everything through.

    I think the recent 737 Max may be a good way to illustrate my point. I have not studied the case in detail so could be wrong: No engineer wants their plane to fall out of the sky, yet the apparent consensus of experts said it was safe, even after a first crash which I believe was initially blamed on pilot error. But the more recent conclusion I think is, the FAA failed to remain independent of Boeing and so failed to notice or correct Boeing not following the correct procedures. I think this shows, despite wanting to make the best product, not wanting failure, the apparent consensus of experts can be wrong, even if it fails it can be all too easy to not see it as a fault, or not see it is our fault, all too easy to think we don’t need the procedures as we’re the experts. Shows the importance of procedures and fully independent audit, and customers with power who can see the potential disastrous consequences of your product failing. If that system is not present, or as in this case the system failed it can go disastrously wrong even though we can’t see how it could possibly go wrong.

    I’m wondering how climate science works compared to engineering, and wondering if because so much is at stake, (it is in effect a product we are all relying on and we could be in a dangerous situation if we wrongly believe we know what is happening) if the scientific approach e.g. as I’m getting an impression of from the book why trust science is really the best way and we should instead be using much more of what engineering has learned about avoiding mistakes, or are we doing that?

    • Paul in UK
      Thanks for an interesting comment.

      Almost all climate news and “studies” have become wild guesses of the future climate, always alleged to be bad news but in reality the climate is wonderful and more moderate than it has been in hundreds of years.

      The real clinate science of what causes climate change has not advanced much in over 100 years. The claim that one variable, man made CO2, is the clinate controller is unproven, and requires one to claim that 4.5 billion years of natural causes of clinate change suddenly stopped in the 20th century. No reason for that is given, it is just asserted without proof.

      This junk science is why I write a climate science blog with no ads and no money for me. The mainstream media”s climate alarmism made my blog a needed public service. It’s me against the climate change howlers!
      http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

  14. Paul Homewood, you clearly are most effective in debunking the climate wroughters responsible for “man-made” global climate alarm in your country. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be taking flak from Hadley Center’s big gun Richard Betts CMB, no less.

    I feel a bit sorry for some of these guys who were clearly honestly plying their trade until the shock of the 2 decade Dreaded Pause in global temperatures and a clear demonstration that model projections were running 300% too hot against observations. Betts and colleagues (Phil Jones, the most honest of them, now in retirement) are in the best position to now know they were out to lunch on climate change. It must be very unsatisfying in ”sauve qui peut” mode pretending to worry about a half degree more increase by 2100 (plus the 1° increase since 1850 that they hurriedly “wrought” into the 1.5C threshold to disaster).

    I was attracted to your site when you revealed the raw temperature records for widely separated regions of the world that all corroborated the higher temperatures of the 1930s-40s in the US (and Canada, Greenland, etc. etc.). South Africa, Paraguay, Ecuador, etc. I think a redo of this bombshell would be even better received now in the midst of the end-of-world hype we have these days. Also the confounding records records are likely to disappear, like they have in Australia (and NZ) with the Acorn temp fabrication done by the climatesmiths at BOM. Apparently, before the Great Homogenization, they too had hotter 1930s-40s. We may have to dig out old newspaper microfiche after the wroughters are closed up to fix the mess.

    Here’s a revealing long record South African example :

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/clip_image0022.gif

      • From personal experience, Paul has a habit of blocking anyone who criticies his methods in any way from commenting on his blog (unlike here). Have a look through the threads and see how many dissenting voices are long term commenters there. They tend to vanish very quickly.

  15. Many seem to think that “forests” are static entities without change in any respect excerpt for climate/weather conditions. This is an obviously false assumption.

    Forests are biological assemblages of green plants that GROW. A typical CA forests adds 5,000 to 10,000 pounds of biomass per acre per year. That means over a 40 year period a CA forest can accumulate 100 to 200 tons per acre of biomass.

    The forest in 1979 is not exactly the same as the forest in 2020. Today’s forests are much more loaded with fuel: ground fuels, ladder fuels, and canopy fuels.

    Furthermore, those fuels are more contiguous, connected, and without fuel breaks. That is due to management practices which have changed over time. The National Forest Management Act of 1976 effectively eliminated clearcutting on National Forests. New policies in 1988 and 1992 further reduced timber harvests. In 2001 the USFS adopted the “Roadless Rule” which led to elimination of access roads on much of their lands. Existing roads were ripped up and planted with tree seedlings. The Roadless Rule has expanded numerous times making more and more land inaccessible.

    To say that “climate” is the only thing about forests that has changed in 40 years, the only dynamic factor in the fire equation, is the height of stupidity, deliberate blindness, and politicized junk science typical of the CAGW cabal. It’s pure quackery with evil intent perpetrated by elite “authorities”, which is another reason fires are more severe today.

  16. And there’s more. Over the last 40 years the USFS, BLM, and state forests have been hit with an avalanche of lawsuits seeking to stop every harvest including thinnings. NEPA and ESA suits numbering in the tens of thousands have been brought by “environmental” groups large and small.

    As a result annual cuts have plunged. In the 1980’s Oregon’s NF’s cut ~10,000 mmbf/yr. After Clinton-Gore gave us the Spotted Owl Plan, the cut dropped 99%. The earlier harvest levels were less than annual growth on those forests. The subsequent miniscule cut left that growth to burn. The Willamette NF has the highest standing volume of any NF and the largest accumulation of biomass at any time in the Holocene. The fires earlier this month ripped through stands with 1,000+ tons/acre of biomass in the trees alone.

    Meanwhile the very same litigious groups that stopped the harvest and ripped up the roads are now blaming “climate change”. They were responsible for the enormous build-up of fuels, and now they blame somebody (everybody) else for the fires that resulted. They are beyond contemptible. Words to describe them fail me…

  17. Thank you again to WUWT for a very interesting discussion. I often go to Paul Homewood’s site for instruction and entertainment, and I was disappointed to learn (if it is true) that he regularly block’s critical voices. Is it true? I would be surprised, but don’t know a better way of finding out than asking here. There did seem to be to be something rather less cautious than usual about the claims made at ‘Not a Lot of People Know That’, as reported at the top of this thread, which might invite, and have invited, some criticism. It is interesting to see Richard Betts commenting here, and it seems that in this case there are possibly valid accusations of ‘cherry picking’ going on in both directions. At WUWT, we are well aware of such practices from the alarmists, but as far as I know they do not usually bother to challenge any sceptic data, preferring the aloof silence which says ‘these people are so wrong they do not deserve the publicity of our attention’ (the BBC position, as it were). So getting the alarmists to grubby their hands is a score. Is it the political importance of this fight about fires in California in an election year, that makes it impossible to leave alone? Higher temperatures equals more fires is a link that most people can follow, so the MSM have no problem selling this, however distant it may be from a relevant truth in this case. The slightly more complex issues to do with forest management, environmentally motivated regulation, and local variations in rainfall and temperature, are more difficult to get across. Perhaps the totally credible witness of foresters and firefighters from the region, is making the USA aware of the relative truth of the two opposed narratives. In Biden v. Trump, at this time in the political calendar, the issue seems to be attracting the greatest attention. Is that why the big guns of the alarmist camp are here, putting the case?

    Thanks also to Paul from uk, for giving us the mechanical engineer’s point of view. The idea of customers as the best informed skeptics is perfect, and the absence of any such customer’s voice from the climate policy debate is disastrous for good policy making. The alarmists know this. They cannot keep the consumer out for ever. Surely.

  18. “California now has greater exposure to fire risks than before humans started altering the climate, the authors say.”

    There is no evidence humans are altering the Earth’s climate. Saying it is so, does not make it so.

  19. From the article: “Land management issues, touted by President Donald Trump as a key cause, can’t by themselves explain the recent infernos.”

    Well, Human-caused Global Warming/Climate Change can’t explain the fires either, since California has been in a temperature decline since the 1930’s.

    If CO2 causes all this heating, then why isn’t California any warmer today than in the 1930’s? Alarmists pretend California is in an unprecedented situation but all you have to do is look at history and you will see that is not the case.

    Alarmist want to pretend is is much warmer today than at anytime in history but the official temperature records of California show the completely opposite picture.

    So cooling causes California wild fires. It would have to be that since it is not warming in California.

  20. From the article: “The authors of the review conclude that “climate change is bringing hotter, drier weather to the western US and the region is fundamentally more exposed to fire risks than it was before humans began to alter the global climate”.”

    That is just false.

    Hotter, drier weathr is *not* coming to the western US, it is actually cooler in the western US than it was in the 1930’s. The entire US has been in a temperature downtrend since the 1930’s. CO2 is not causing higher temperatures in the US.

    These scientists should stop using the bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick global temperature chart and start looking at local temperature charts which show a completely different temperature profile than the lying Hockey Stick chart.

    Local charts show a temperature downtrend since the 1930’s. The bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick chart uses computer tricks to show the temperatures have been climbing for decades and today is the hottest time in human history. And it’s all a big LIE, that these alarmist scientists have bought into.

    They started out with a false assumption and now look where they ended up: Doomsday!

  21. Tom says,
    “Local charts show a temperature downtrend since the 1930’s.”

    Shasta County,
    Mean temperature, August.

    1930 – 2020: + 0.2 F/decade
    1960 – 2020: + 0.4 F/decade
    1990 – 2020: + 1.2 F/decade

    + 0.2 F /decade

    https://tinyurl.com/y32psorr

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