National Geographic’s Misinformation about Forests and Climate Change

By Jim Steele

National Geographic is at it again! Five years ago, National Geographic published a story and a video of a sickly emaciated polar bear that they fearmongered as the result of climate change. After heavy criticism they admitted they didn’t really know what had affected the bear and, in their attempt to raise “concern” about climate change had gone too when stating “this is what climate change looks like.” But that’s how click-bait journalism profits.

By Jim Steele

National Geographic is at it again! Five years ago, National Geographic published a story and a video of a sickly emaciated polar bear that they fearmongered as the result of climate change. After heavy criticism they admitted they didn’t really know what had affected the bear and, in their attempt to raise “concern” about climate change had gone too when stating “this is what climate change looks like.” But that’s how click-bait journalism profits.

Now, they have assembled cherry-picked photos of dying forests that they also blame on climate change to craft a propaganda article “The FUTURE OF FORESTS” with the headlines “HEAT AND DROUGHT ARE KILLING OUR FORESTS…BUT WE CAN LIMIT THE DAMAGE… IF WE CHANGE COURSE NOW.”

Although the article admits “Trees are growing faster” due to rising CO2, and in passing also acknowledged “climate change still poses less of a threat to forests than logging and land clearing”, their intent was to sell fear that “the climate threat is growing fast.” To make the reader believe their hyperbole, they paraded a myriad of unsupported claims that “climate change is killing trees.”  That, “forest scientists are increasingly uneasy in the quickening pulse of extreme events—fire, more powerful storms, insect infestations, and, most notably, severe heat and drought.” Throughout the article, National Geographic sprinkles in truth but then hammers their readers with climate change misinformation.

National Geographic mindlessly blamed catastrophic wildfires on climate change‑worsened drought, despite all the scientific evidence pointing to the build-up of forest fuels due to poor landscape management. In 2002-2004 some 350 million piñons, New Mexico’s state tree, died across the Southwest due to drought and fire. To National Geographic’s credit they reported on the wildfire in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico that “From 1650 on, this ponderosa pine forest survived 15 fires—but in the 20th century most fires were suppressed. Fuel built up in the forest and a long, hot drought settled in. A monster blaze in 2011 ravaged 45 square miles in its first night.” “Unprecedented fires eviscerated hundreds of thousands of acres of ponderosa pines.”

But then the bait and switch to fearmonger climate change. They claimed, “the drought was hotter”. “The slight increase in temperature attributable to greenhouse gas emissions was already enough to set the death of New Mexico’s trees in motion.”

But it was not a hotter drought.  The Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) combines changes in both rainfall and temperature to estimate drought severity. According to data from NOAA and published on the GlobalChange.gov website, the PDSI for current drought conditions in New Mexico are now milder than they had been during Little Ice Age droughts, between 1200 and 1800 AD. (Red represents instrumental data and blue represents reconstructed data from tree rings.)

Likewise, PDSI data for neighboring Utah and Colorado data indicate the western United States is experiencing milder drought conditions than the last 1000 years, as well as similar change in the south-eastern USA.

Nonetheless, eager to add more threatening effects from increased heat and droughts attributed to climate change, National Geographic focused on recent wildfires in Yellowstone claiming, “Yellowstone is part of a global trend”. They reported trees were not returning after fires in the region, quoting one researcher that in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Washington, the number of burned sites that didn’t recover jumped from 19 percent before 2000 to 32 percent in the years after. But again, the data does not point to climate change as the cause.

From estimates for the Northern Rockies and Plains (MT, ND, SD, WY, and NE) the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) for July from 1895–2020, finds the upper Missouri River Basin has been wetter in the recent 15 years while the worst droughts were in the 1930s. That PDSI also correlates with the EPA’s Heatwave Index, showing the worst heatwaves in the 1930s, far exceeding any excessive heat in recent decades.

National Geographic’s misinformation was most repulsive when dramatizing the fires in California’s Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. “If any species could withstand climate shifts, you might think it’d be giant sequoias, many of which have stood since the reign of Julius Caesar. Instead, change has come frighteningly fast.” National Geographic then sprinkles in a little truth stating, “Sequoias need low-intensity ground fires to release seeds from their cones and clear soil, so seeds can take root. Their high branches make them unlikely hosts for canopy fires. But in 2020 our history of suppressing fire collided with a rapidly changing climate.” However, again, the PDSI shows California’s drought severity has been milder the last 100 years. Suppressing the frequent moderate fires that had maintained a sequoia-favorable environment for thousands of years was the problem.

According to the National Park Service The 2020 Castle fire “burned 12 giant sequoia groves in the park, with differing levels of fire severity depending on their fire history and location. Groves on warmer and drier south-facing slopes, and with no recent fire, sustained extensive mortality of large giant sequoias,” such as Homer’s Nose grove, shown here. Notice the dense forest consisting of thinner trees that had encroached on the thicker sequoia giants due to fire suppression, providing ladder fuels to reach the sequoia’s canopies. National Geographic featured a similar photo to emphasize “Climate change and fire suppression are fueling bigger wildfires.”

Unlike the National Park Service, National Geographic didn’t show photos of how better forest fuel management had protected the sequoias. The NPS reported, “Other groves, growing on cooler, more moist north-facing slopes or having recent history of fire had more mixed and moderate fire severity or limited fire spread. One example is this healthy Garfield Grove (below), where managers did a prescribed burn in 1985” to mimic the natural fire frequency of the past. (Photo: NPS / Anthony Caprio (taken on a November 2, 2020 aerial survey by helicopter)

National Geographic similarly blamed several other forest declines around the globe on climate change despite knowingly never understanding their real causes.  National Geographic reported scientists confessing, “The problem is, we can’t yet quantify the planetwide scope of climate impacts. Satellite data show that Earth’s tree-covered area actually expanded from 1982 to 2016 by 7 percent, an area larger than Mexico. But that doesn’t mean forests are doing fine: The data don’t distinguish between natural forests and industrial tree farms.” “No computer model can yet project how climate will change forests globally—or how their carbon stores will feed back on climate. Earth system models historically haven’t done a good job of capturing this.”

Clearly National Geographic’s authors never really understood forestry or climate history. They were once again just pushing a click-bait piece blaming climate change, “Now fossil fuel emissions spewing from coal plants and tailpipes are rearranging forests in other consequential ways,” concluding with, “Do we want even more of this?”  “Stabilizing emissions closer to two degrees or less could limit forest losses in Yellowstone to 15 percent.” “Yellowstone’s forests, like many in the world, will never be the same. But they might be close”

The real issue is why would anyone trust National Geographic and their obsession with pushing climate change misinformation?

Jim Steele is Director emeritus of San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus, authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism and several climate science videos and is a proud member of the CO2 Coalition.

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Mike Lowe
April 15, 2022 10:39 pm

Another organisation which has become populated by lying climate activists. Greta would be proud of the,!

BG
Reply to  Mike Lowe
April 16, 2022 7:42 am

Was a life long NG reader until around 15 years ago when I realized that they were inserting a global warming connection in just about every article. I realized they had become another propaganda rag. So sad.

Mark
Reply to  BG
April 16, 2022 10:05 am

Yup – when I lived in the USA a few years ago I subscribed and enjoyed the photo-journalism. Some iconic shots in every issue. But now, not so much. Thrown most of them away, keeping only the ones featuring places I visited.

Yet another serious journal captured by the eco-warriors…

Bob
Reply to  BG
April 16, 2022 4:35 pm

I realized that NG was nothing more than a political rag back in the early 80s and haven’t read one since.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bob
April 17, 2022 5:18 am

I also realized National Geograhic was a political rag and cancelled my subscription sometime in the middle 1980’s.

I had been reading the National Geographic during the 1970’s when the Human-caused Global Cooling narrative was beiing promoted. At the time, I had no reason to doubt what was being claimed. But over time I realized that no evidence of human-caused global cooling was being presented. Instead, speculation and assertions were being put forward as facts. This was extremely irritating and troubling to me.

Then in the early 1980’s the global temperatures started warming up and the narrative switched from human-caused global cooling (Ice Age Cometh?) of the 1970’s, to human-caused global warming. And they presented the global warming “science” just like they did the global cooling “science”: All specualtion, assumptions and assertions. Nothing definitive.

I became thoroughly disgusted with National Geographic and cancelled that subscription along with Scientific American magazine at the same time, for the same reason.

Both these publications are basically propaganda organs for the human-caused climate change crowd. It’s pathetic how they, along with many others, have reduced science to a public relations game.

Climate change has unhinged the scientific community. It’s more about human psychology now than about climate science.

Last edited 2 months ago by Tom Abbott
John Hultquist
Reply to  Mike Lowe
April 16, 2022 2:04 pm

The real issue is why would anyone trust National Geographic …”

The real issue is why would anyone pay to read or even read National Geographic?

Jim Steele is a national treasure!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Hultquist
April 17, 2022 5:24 am

Yes, he is.

PeterD
April 15, 2022 10:46 pm

National Geographic does not know what its talking about.

Where I live, in Queensland Australia, a vast area of native forest and grasslands will be chopped down and replaced by wind turbines or solar farms. The forests are currently vibrant, full of all kinds of Australian wildlife.

The people pushing this environmental vandalism are rich investors chasing tax loss schemes, and inner city green voters who won’t have to live with the destruction. The politicians have been bought.

JCM
April 15, 2022 11:41 pm

Climate change is not simply an external force acting upon the forest. The forest itself has substantial impact the local climates in which they exist. The forests that tend to oxidize and burn are more often located near areas of settlement. It there where animals have been largely eradicated or scared off. We blame sparks from humans but there is more to it than that. Hipsters plant new trees but they have not understood the ecosystem.

Leaf litter will only compost with a carbon to nitrogen ratio about 20:1. Today, leaf litter exceeds 100:1 in many forest lands. This builds a dry bed of litter disintegrating by extremely slow chemical process or fire. This, for a lack of ecosystem mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates, and microbes.

Animals and certain plants excrete or fix nitrogen – this is what is required to biodegrade leaf litter into humates and hyphae in soils. This organic matter holds nutrients, and most importantly, soil moisture. This moisture retention is what creates cooling and fire suppression. The forest will only compost with enough nitrogen.

Hipsters have been taught to plant trees to suck in CO2 from the air. But it is not so simple. The trees are there to provide leaf litter and habitat to the biodigesters to compost into stable soil organics. By replanting trees without considering how the leaf and woody matter will biodegrade, it results in the creation of fire fuel and landscape ready to be inundated with invasive insects and disease. You can see these oxidizing forests in some of the national geographic pictures.

Importantly, forests also influence regional and synoptic climates by impacting pressure gradients, buoyancy, and atmospheric momentum through bio-geo-chemical interactions between forests and atmospheric vapor nucleation. Disruption the cycling of organics into soils has substantial impact on the system.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  JCM
April 16, 2022 7:56 am

High Five

April 16, 2022 12:19 am

In Australia I believe we do more damage to the environment by suppressing wildfires than by letting them burn out. At times there is no choice, infrastructure and lives must be protected, but sensible fuel reduction programs could reduce risk to such areas.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Kalsel3294
April 16, 2022 8:24 am

I promised everyone ‘my new word’ – that I discovered not so long ago.
Here is is:
Hugelkultur
I’m prety sure its a Dutch word and, if anyone on this planet knows how thing grows and how wind water & sun interact, it’s got to be Dutch farmers and growers.

It translates as Hill Culture (growing)
It is perfect for helping tired old forests on ancient and thus, highly eroded soils.
California and Australia especially.
Bless Mr Trump for making people laugh with his ‘forest raking‘ comment
That he made them laugh means that they remember it – that guy Was Not Stupid

  • Organise your rakes and get them working.
  • Gather whole trees, branches, twigs leaves everything, strip branches off large specimens, we want 2 dimensional linear stuff.
  • While they’re working, find out where the contours lines are and which way they go, especially if you’re on ground that slopes more than 3 or 4 degrees
  • Dig yourself some shallow trenches in whatever passes for soil/dirt/sand/gravel/stones etc in your forest along those contours. Be as accurate as you can
  • The trenches will be maybe 2 foot wide and 18 inches deep – depending on ground conditions
  • Bulldoze the ‘raked up goodness’ into the trenches and as they fill/build, mix in the soil, dust, sand,rock whatever that you dug out.
  • If the nearest Big City Refuse Dept wants to add in any old organic stuff they have, paper, card, vegetable waste, cotton/rag, old car tyres, scrap furniture, don’t hold them back
  • When things get to about 3 feet tall, add no more organic stuff and cover the pile with soil, dust, sand, stones rocks etc
  • If you find yourself short on that, locate your nearest dormant volcano, granite, shale or of basalt outcrop. Dig, quarry mine stuff out of there, munch into dust through bitesize chunks and add that to the ‘Hugels’
  • Aim for long lines of Hugelkultur that are maybe 4 feet wide at the bottom, triangular shaped and about 4 feet tall.

They will get rid of your ‘fire hazard material’ that you would have burned but especially will work as epic water/rain capture systems and the shape/size will mean that they protect and shade each other from wind and sun. (Depending how close together they are, in turn depending how much ‘old tree & otherwise flammable litter’ you had available to rake together

Once they’re a few years old, send in any old hippies with seeds and baby trees – to plant on the flanks of the Hugels.

Cover enough ground and after a few years, you won’t need worry about droughts or watering your lawn/garden/city/golf course – maybe even take up Delta Smelt fishing
While you’re about it, tell the kids/grandkids and havvalaff about how crazy folks got, a generation ago, about ‘climate’
😀

A Link , there are many.

Last edited 2 months ago by Peta of Newark
Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 16, 2022 8:56 am

reply to edit add…
The agricultural technology to build those things ‘in a single pass. to all intents, already exists. And is presently working in the field at bottom on my Nottinghamshire garden as I write this

It is, albeit it in not-so-tall ‘Hugels’ how industrial scale potato growing happens – especially the ‘Stone Scanners’
The scanners = machines that trail along behind A Large Tractor, that pick up a 4 foot wide scoop of soil, shake rattle and filter out any stones.
The stones are dumped to one side while the machine leaves a 4 foot wide Hugel, but flat topped and only 2 feet tall, that the potatoes are planted , in a triple row, into
They move along gracefully at a Funereal Pace’ yet 2 of them cheerfully cover 40 acres per day

But, they are ‘open topped’ – you can see the soil progressing through them. It would be thus the simplest thing ever to have another tractor, with trailer, feeding shredded/chopped ‘raked material’ into it as it goes – and the job’s done.
The tractors are already Sat-Navved up to their gills, they ‘know’ where the contours are.

so simple
(I do rather dread to imagine the diesel consumption but hey, ho, there are No Free Lunches on this Earth, contrary to the wild imaginings of Climate Scientists)
But once every 20 years, not a lot to ask izzit?

here. every home should have one.

Last edited 2 months ago by Peta of Newark
meab
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 16, 2022 10:01 pm

Just a few observations, Peta of Newark.

  1. The Dutch don’t know much about hugels (hills, in German). The Netherlands is flat.
  2. You’ve OBVIOUSLY never tried to dig a trench in a forest. You know what the problem is? Tree roots. To dig your trenches you would need heavy equipment (but then you’d need to cut the forest down to get the equipment in there). You would be doing great damage to trees with your trenches, especially trees that have broad, shallow roots (beech, maples, birch, spruce, etc.).
  3. Quarrying a mine and making bite-sized chunks is a LUDICROUS suggestion. What, do you run a prison and have a rock-breaking crew at your disposal?
  4. Hugelkultur is an alternative to raised beds in gardens. You know, gardens in areas that aren’t forested.
  5. This is another post that shows you have absolutely no knowledge of the subject you’re so (irrationally) fixated on.
Bob Close
Reply to  Kalsel3294
April 16, 2022 12:28 pm

Yes mate, we have do more fuel reduction and soon before the next bushfire season in November. We have had two years to prepare since the 2019-20 fires with lots of regrowth, but if climate change drivel continues to clog the mental airwaves of politicians and public servants whose responsibilities are with the environment; we will be as helpless as before. Someone has to take the lead here with scientific facts and educate the media about climate reality- if that is not an impossibility these days.

Saighdear
April 16, 2022 12:43 am

Huh, Old news about Nut Ge. I stopped my Subscription to them over 22 years ago. Was an ardent supporter of the Mag. from school days ( not a CANON user – prefer Pentax ) for what we were lead to believe was educational stuff from around the world. Satellite TV in the 90’s showed us something completely different – but don’t believe all I see / hear from that now, too. ( Covid was the proof of the propaganda )
Talk about Bird-brained: did you ever see a Heron go fishing at an empty pool? I doubt if it wver even thought to encourage its friends to bring along a net or more Rods: Yet WE – in all our intelligence build more windNills to capture irregular wind – at least fisher men MOVE to find the shoals.

spangled drongo
April 16, 2022 1:53 am

Our current magnificent climate is doing great things for making trees grow a lot faster, taller and bigger but what is growing even faster and bigger is the flammable undergrowth that is providing the easily ignitable fuel.
And as those supposed to be responsible for control nowadays are all Chiefs and no Indians, they just can’t cope.
In our neck of the woods no control burns ever happen anymore. There are plenty of opportunities but nothing gets done.

Steve Case
April 16, 2022 1:53 am

In 1958 the forest rangers in Sequoia National Park told us that what we were looking at was unnatural. He pointed out that suppression of fires, since 1890 when the park was established, only made the danger of a forest fire destroying the big trees a more likely event should one occur.

Reply to  Steve Case
April 16, 2022 8:23 am

We heard the same from rangers in 1976 while visiting the park. #CaliKnew. Maybe there is a “big green” lawsuit lurking there somewhere.

fretslider
April 16, 2022 2:04 am

NG is bundled in with… Disney

Nuff said

Tom Abbott
Reply to  fretslider
April 17, 2022 5:36 am

I’ve got Disney+. I’m thinking about dropping it, but then I think how much I enjoyed watching “The Absent-minded Professor” on Disney+ the other day. It took me back to my childhood. My mother and I saw this picture in a movie theater when I was young and we both laughed until our sides hurt. I laughed almost as much the other day when I watched it.

I think Blackrock and other monied organizations are the real impetus behind Disney getting in the game of trying to indoctrinate our children with the radical leftwing view of the world. Perhaps this exposure is good for freedom in the end. We have to know where the problems are before we can fix them.

Multinational Corporations are a *big* problem for our individual freedoms.

Our Elites are showing themselves.

Ron Long
April 16, 2022 2:24 am

Always great to see Jim Steele beat up fiction with the real data and truth. Also, amazing how the Dust Bowl years of the 1930’s stand out, like in his Heat Wave Index figure. It still looks like droughts and floods follow the Goldilocks syndrome: Somewhere it’s too dry, somewhere it’s too wet, and somewhere it’s just right.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ron Long
April 16, 2022 11:38 am

It one is an alarmist, it is never just right!

Michael in Dublin
April 16, 2022 3:32 am

Four years ago – 5 March 2018 – National Geographic published an article on Cape Town running out of water, “one of the world’s most dramatic urban water crises.

The area has had four good winter rainfall seasons since then and have gone into this winter rainfall season with the six main dams over 70% full.

I would love to see National Geographic writing an article on the situation and why they get things so horribly wrong. They need to recoginze that the problem is not with climate but with people and especially a lack of government planning, mismanagement and corruption. I would like them to write on the successes of people in adapting to all sorts of weather conditions.

rah
April 16, 2022 3:55 am

Once again I don’t think it is “misinformation”. It is disinformation. They have been so wrong, so often, about so many things having to do with the environment over the last 20 years that either there have been complete idiots with no institutional memory running the show there, or the BS has been intentional.

I believe it is the later. They intend to deceive.

I enjoy some of the natural history programing they put on their channel, but sometimes I have to switch because of the pure climate change BS propaganda they pump.

fretslider
Reply to  rah
April 16, 2022 5:13 am

 I don’t think it is “misinformation”. It is disinformation.”

It’s propaganda.

Scissor
Reply to  fretslider
April 16, 2022 5:54 am

There’s a wildfire now burning near Lyons, CO, north of Boulder. I’ve noticed that the “news” remains silent on arson and other unnatural causes of these fires, preferring to connect them to climate change instead.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Scissor
April 16, 2022 6:48 am

They didn’t blame Putin?

I’m shocked.

Tim Gorman
April 16, 2022 4:05 am

NG could stand to broaden their horizons. I was recently in northwest Arkansas on a trip. Lots of forest in that area. With very little underbrush to provide fuel for widespread forest fires. Very little evidence of widespread fires anywhere we were.

Perhaps the forest management people in the west, like in CA, should come to southern Missouri and northern Arkansas to see how they maintain their forests!

BTW, northwest Arkansas has lots of deep valleys and high ridges. Not mountainous by any means but a lot like the areas in CA that you see burning so often.

David Sulik
April 16, 2022 5:59 am

MAJOR typo in lead paragraph. Not sharing until fixed.

Flash Chemtrail
April 16, 2022 6:11 am

The global warming narrative shows up in many National Geographic videos. I just watched an hour long episode on snow leopards in the Himalayas. It was full of climate change hysteria. Did you know:

Grass in the Himalayas that browsers eat is retreating up the mountains, away from warmth and toward the ice and cold because climate change.

Also, spring comes six days early and somehow this is particularly harsh on the leopards but at the same time climate change worsened winters are also particularly harsh on the leopards.

Paul
April 16, 2022 6:12 am

I seen a video of Greta confessing to the US congress for not having any science to back her claims.
Why doesn’t this make the news?
Children suicides are way up because of this scam.
It’s time for these people to pay for this “the sky is falling” stunt!

Carlo, Monte
April 16, 2022 6:45 am

Nat Geo is Fake News.

meiggs
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
April 16, 2022 7:00 am

Wicked Tuna…they have no sympathy for the fish…and the Alaska shows about people going into remote wilderness and shooting the animals…they have no sympathy for the animals…strange they would vilify fish and glorify slaughter of defenseless wild animals…anything for $$…perhaps their climate change propaganda absolves them of profiting off the exploitation of the environment?

griff
April 16, 2022 7:19 am

Except of course they are reporting fact…

There is no actual quantative evidence it is ‘just lack of forest management’.

Indeed in countries outside the USA, where extensive forest management is practised, the same increase in number and intensity of fires is found following drought.

Mr.
Reply to  griff
April 16, 2022 7:44 am

Which are these countries that have extensive forest management?

Reply to  griff
April 16, 2022 7:45 am

Why should I believe you?

DaveinCalgary
Reply to  griff
April 16, 2022 7:56 am

Griff says “There is no actual quantative (sic) evidence”

Read the article before speaking and you would look less foolish.

There was conclusive, observational evidence that droughts are not getting worse.

Read the article again and say that last sentence 10 times if that’s what it takes to sink in.
Therefore, if its not the climate that caused the fires- it must be something else. Evidence provided demonstrates forests were denied the periodic small fires that tend to prevent the massive fires.

BTW over my career, I’ve supervised the planting of over 100 million trees in countless fire affected areas. What have you ever done besides offer fact-free comments and remain stubbornly ignorant of any of the subject areas you comment on?

Reply to  griff
April 16, 2022 8:04 am

Except of course Griff is not reporting the truth and is being his typically dishonest self! How much does this troll gets paid to spread his constant drivel of disinformation ? No one is naturally that stupid!

First, No one said “just” lack forest management”. That’s Troll 101 weasel speak. Every fire expert reports bad forest management worsens fires. It only requires a modicum of brain power to understand increasing the fuels increases the size and intensity of fires.

Indeed fires are worse during drought periods, but as the Sequoia fires and countless other example show, good forest management reduces fires catastrophic effects. As the NPS demonstrably showed, when compared to groves with severe fire damage where fires were suppressed, “Other groves, growing on cooler, more moist north-facing slopes or having recent history of fire had more mixed and moderate fire severity or limited fire spread.”

Furthermore NG’s climate propaganda was claiming that droughts are worse and hotter due to climate change, contrary to the PDSI data showing severe droughts were more common and worse during the Little Ice Age. Both Griff and NG compulsively circumvent the evidence and trample the truth.

Finally NG and stupid people, don’t even acknowledge natural cycles of drought, that are clearly implied in the 1000 year records of the PDSIs. In California and the western USA La Ninas and the negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation drive drought and bigger fires. For example read Tania Schoennagel’s 2005 paper,”ENSO and PDO Variability Affect Drought-induced Fire Occurrence in Rocky Mountain Subalpine Forests. They found Almost 70% of large fires in Rock Mountain NP burned during La Nina events that coincided with a negative PDO, although these phases co-occurred during only 29% of the
1700-1975 period.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Jim Steele
April 16, 2022 9:56 am

grifffffff is Fake News.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Jim Steele
April 17, 2022 5:54 am

“Finally NG and stupid people, don’t even acknowledge natural cycles of drought”

Natural cycles don’t fit the climate alarmist narrative. It’s always getting worse, according to them, and it’s all caused by human-derived CO2, according to them. There’s no evidence for any of that, but they make the claim anyway.

LdB
Reply to  griff
April 16, 2022 8:14 am

Brazil tries extensive forest management every year clearing more of the amazon and all the greentards complain … it’s up 64% this year 🙂
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/8/brazil-sets-worrying-new-amazon-deforestation-record
.
You also claimed it was getting wetter (proof ws apparently UK is 3% wetter) so where are all these wetter droughts going to come from?

Last edited 2 months ago by LdB
April 16, 2022 7:30 am

Grew up reading NG. Waited every month for it to come in the mail. Luckily back then both parents worked and my mother was a school teacher so she subscribed to it. (I believe back then you had to be a member, no longer remember) Even subscribed to it while did 20 years in the Navy. Then in 2021 the had an article that was pure propaganda, Bovine Excrement, unprovable and wrong. The article was about acid effects on Coral and every picture and caption gave the impression that this was what is happening World, Ocean, wide. Only after I read it a third time did I finally pick up on the FACT that this was one specific area in the  Mediterranean Sea near a volcanic seeping point. Any high school Middle High, student would be convinced that this was all FACT and happening throughout the Ocean. NG had already had “Climate Change” warnings on most articles implying that what you see is going t be gone in a few years. That story was the last straw. I canceled my subscription that day and demanded a refund for the remainder.

Bill Rocks
April 16, 2022 7:35 am

“The real issue is why would anyone trust National Geographic and their obsession with pushing climate change misinformation?”

You can say that again.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Bill Rocks
April 16, 2022 10:20 am

Aw, why not? 😉

National Geographic is at it again! Five years ago, National Geographic published a story and a video of a sickly emaciated polar bear that they fearmongered as the result of climate change. After heavy criticism they admitted they didn’t really know what had affected the bear and, in their attempt to raise “concern” about climate change had gone too when stating “this is what climate change looks like.” But that’s how click-bait journalism profits.

(Note: this is likely due to WUWT editing — i.e., not Jim Steele’s fault.)

Reply to  Janice Moore
April 16, 2022 10:40 am

It was my fault. It should have read “had gone too far when” but somehow during my editing the word far got eliminated.

Not sure why WUWT double posted the first paragraph

Last edited 2 months ago by Jim Steele
Janice Moore
Reply to  Jim Steele
April 16, 2022 11:15 am

I meant the double posting 😊

Peta of Newark
April 16, 2022 7:37 am

be calm my poor bleeding eyes..
The Very Last Thing in the helicopter photo of Garfield Grove is = A Healthy Anything

The human equivalent would be a picture of a someone who has been in a concentration slave labour camp these last 5 years, with chronic Vitamin C deficiency.

  • The canopy is wide open, thus….
  • …… the wind and sun can get in and….
  • …… water, CO2 and micro-nutrients (dust) can get out
  • There is bare soil/rock visible under the trees
  • There is No Such Thing as ‘Natural Fire Frequency

Not Another Squirrel Again (NASA) made the same grotesque error/claim/misinformation recently somewhere also, can’t recall where and it would have saddened me deeply to bookmark it but, the folks at NASA imagine that a healthy forest should be ‘open’ with ‘dappled shade’ on the forest floor.

no

A healthy forest should be, would be, is The Most Impenetrable Overgrown Tangle you ever set eyes upon – and if a sputnik/chopper/drone/camera flew over it all it would see would be an unbroken carpet of green as far as even the sputnik could see.
With occasional but barely visible rivers and small lakes/ponds.

And there would be no Disneyfied Climate Scientists romantically mooching around in dappled shade on the forest floor – not unless they came dressed in chain-mail and armed with machetes& flamethrowers and even then, that mooching would never progress faster than 10 metres per day

Does anyone now further appreciate how much shit we are now in….

Last edited 2 months ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 16, 2022 8:25 am

Peta you clearly have absolutely no forestry background or an inkling of understanding of forest dynamics.

Regards Sequoia and Redwoods, early researchers once characterized sequoias and redwoods as “climax forests”. But when fires and other disturbances did not maintain open land, shade tolerant species like white fir (Abies concolor) invaded and replaced sequoias that could no longer reproduce. There is no such thing as a climate forest, simply forests that represent specific stages of evolving forest dynamics.

Your “unbroken” dense forests typically occur early in a forest succession as the result of abundant saplings of sun-loving pioneering species, like Ponderosa Pine or Aspen, when they first invade open land after a disturbance. Eventually intra-specific competition culls and thins the least vigorous. Disturbances that maintain open forest will maintain the more open parkland dominance of Ponderosa Pines, but without disturbances shade tolerant species invade and replace the pioneer species. Shade tolerant species may create a dense forest but the accumulation of forest fuels will eventually lead to a catastrophic stand clearing fire when lightning strikes, and open the land again. Your fantasy of a Most Impenetrable Overgrown Tangle as representing a healthy forest is a misguided love affair for singular static state within a multitude of variable natural forest dynamics. I suggest you direct your “poor bleeding eyes” to some forest ecology text books.

Reply to  Jim Steele
April 16, 2022 9:37 am

There was a stand of pine trees [do not recall the name] on property my bought, back in 1935, that was adjacent to our property. It was a strange area. all of the trees were about 5-6 feet apart in perfect rows, and well over 50 feet high. No branches the entire way up until the very top where there was a top that was typical of the pine tree top that you would decorate at Christmas. Every tree growing straight up, parallel to each other in every direction, like blades of grass at a golf course. Only the trees around the edge had branches all the way up. Which shaded the the interior from any view of the outside. The soil, ground, was like the mulch in the bags of Peat Moss you could buy back in the 1960’s, more than a foot of the short pine needles. It was hard to dig with my hands much more than a foot.
It was eerie, cool and no sun anywhere, even looking straight up you could not see the sky. Almost nothing growing on the ground. And like you described the forest, it gave me the impression that if I climbed up there you could walk from tree to tree. When I discovered this area in about 1955, I asked my dad about them and he told me that they were planted that way by the owner of the sawmill down the road for poles and beams. I also saw an area like this south of Madison IN near, in, the local state park. That area was not quite as dense,

Mr.
Reply to  Rich Lentz
April 16, 2022 9:46 am

Radiata pines are often used for plantation purposes.

Reply to  Jim Steele
April 16, 2022 10:17 am

Yellowstone was made a Park and management immediately began eliminating wolves and mountain lions….so the folks who visit would be safe….then the deer and elk pop grew fast and started eating new trees that sprouted up in the spring…changed the forest…..first the fauna…then the flora.

Gums
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 16, 2022 10:45 am

Salute!

How come the alarmists do not mention that enacting all the restrictions and laws and permits and lifestyle changes they insist upon that we might not even see a change to their utopian temperature/humidity/dought/storm “model” for 50 years or more, if at all?

Even the alarmist models do not show a significant change in climate stats within ten, twenty, sixty years if we revert to 19th century power and agricultuiral practices tonight.

Worse, where do all the volts and amps come from for the electric vehicles?

Gums sends…

Kirk A Adair
April 16, 2022 8:05 am

I have subscribed to this now woke magazine for decades and have witnessed its slow descent (lately, rapid) into parroting the “correct” side of all the issues associated with being woke, including BLM and the riots of 2020. I have hesitated to cancel my subscription because SOMETIMES they actually have some good stories (e.g., one on gladiators), but inevitably one detects a curious word or sentence inserted (probably by an editor) that sniffs like woke. Sadly, I’m letting my subscription die a natural death.

George Daddis
April 16, 2022 8:08 am

The tell-tale phrase:
No computer model can yet project….”
Stop with the computer models and get off your duffs and collect actual data!

Reply to  George Daddis
April 16, 2022 5:55 pm

Have written computer programs to predict accident analysis for power plants both Coal and Nuclear. It is a 10 plus man-year project for the first generation of model for a new type of plant and then drops down a two or three year project for a revision to the code for modifications to that plant. And we know every thing there is to know about the plant along with a real live operating plant to create perturbations, shut off equipment, and other things and “Accidents” that will provide actual effects of changes to plant parameters and doing this with every measurable plant perimeter recorded real-time. The program (model) results are then compared to the actual plant results. To my knowledge this has never been done on any Climate change computer model – thus they are JUNK, TRASH, Worthless.

April 16, 2022 8:17 am

I had been a member and an avid reader of National Geographic since my boyhood in the early 1960s. By the mid-1980s, things changed for me. Had I matured? Had my new profession as a geoscientist and environmental consultant opened my eyes? Or had NG become increasingly politicized and scientifically biased? Maybe all three, but there came the day well over 30 years ago when I could no longer stomach their blatant propaganda. That day, I wrote them a letter expressing my disappointment and terminating my subscription.

Today, I consider nothing produced by NG as fair or reliable, and I do not watch or read anything that they produce on any subject. Famous for their stunning photography and videos, even their pictures “worth a thousand words” are selected to tell their ideological narrative. Don’t be fooled again. They are just propaganda clickbait with pretty pictures.

letmepicyou
April 16, 2022 9:45 am

CELL PHONE TOWERS are what’s killing trees.

Terry
April 16, 2022 10:21 am

It’s truly astonishing how these organizations get away with their outright fabrications when all the charts and graphs of reputable agencies show things are getting better.

stinkerp
April 16, 2022 2:28 pm

Always overlooked in these discussions of forest threats—“climate change” “global warming” on one side and forest mismanagement on the other—is the decimation caused by beetles. The millions of dead trees in U.S. forests weren’t killed by drought or global warming. They were killed by these little pests that no one seems to be able to eradicate. You would think that diverting some of the tens of billions of dollars spent on crazy climate schemes could fund research on a solution. This seems like a problem that could be solved with money, ingenuity, and maybe chemistry. Or replant with trees that the beetles don’t eat.

Last edited 2 months ago by stinkerp
Лазо
April 16, 2022 5:52 pm

After its peak in quality and prestige following it’s centennial and eventual dismissing nearly all the prestigious photographers, writers and editors and especially since Disney bought the Geographic, it’s gone down the tubes, much faster than the predicted sea level rise that will soon, according to a Geographic article years back, will flood Manhattan and rise to Lady Liberty’s chest… This year, after subscribing for about fifty, I finally let it go. It’s become more about an agenda than it’s traditional mission of spreading good knowledge of the world for all to benefit to little more than a woke and PC parrot of the woke. A sad demise for the once-trusted great yellow magazine indeed.

ResourceGuy
April 16, 2022 6:03 pm

I disposed of and erased all products from that org long ago.

Walter Pate
April 16, 2022 10:36 pm

A lot of fire’s are caused by climate change (activists)…

Let’s ban them first.

MichMike
April 17, 2022 5:17 am

The personal behavior of 1% of the U. S. population results in their CO2 footprint being 50 times that of the average of the other 99%. Were this small group to only emit 25 times the CO2 of everyone else, overall U. S. CO2 emissions would immediately, not over years or decades, decline 17%. I wonder why NG does not inform the people of this fact. Maybe because so many of this small group are fellow AGW scammers?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  MichMike
April 17, 2022 11:58 am

Well, the current US population is about 335 million compared to a current world population of 7.9 billion.

So, your asserted decline of 17% in US CO2 emissions if only the richest 1% in the US reduced their “CO2 footprint” by half, would in effect amount to a 0.17*(0.335/7.9) = .007 = 0.7% reduction on a worldwide per capita basis.

Remember, science asserts that CO2 is “well mixed” around the planet.

Last edited 2 months ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Gordon A. Dressler
April 17, 2022 9:05 am

National Geographic . . . a once well-respected, well-circulated publication (one I personally read quite frequently from mid-1960 through mid-1970), now headed for the dust bin of history.

Pity.

Dietrich Hoecht
April 19, 2022 7:17 am

In the US 80% of wildfires are human caused. So, how come is it blamed on climate change? If people were more careful, say make this number 40%, the alarmists would say increased extreme weather events of rain storms reduced the fires. Here is a conspiracy suggestion: look at a recent fire map of the US. Hardly any fires are shown over the border in Mexico and Canada. Are ‘climate arsonists’ working hard in the US?

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