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Are Australian Wildfires Due To Climate Change?

December 24, 2019

By Paul Homewood

 image

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/24/home-affairs-warned-australian-government-of-growing-climate-disaster-risk-after-may-election

Many have questioned what role climate change has played in the Australian wildfires currently wreaking havoc in NSW and across the border in Queensland.

The commonly heard cry is that it is now hotter and drier than in the past.

But what does the actual data say?

First, let’s look at rainfall. All the data and graphs  that follows are from the Australian BOM:

rranom.nsw.0911.49852

As we can see, rainfall in NSW over the last three months is well below average, but no worse than several previous years on record.

On a slightly longer timescale, the same thing can be said about the annual trends from July to June. The black line indicates the 5-year running average, and shows that NSE has much wetter than average for most of the time since 1950. By contrast current conditions were the norm prior to 1950:

rranom.nsw.0706.27902

In fact with the exception of a few small areas, most of Australia has become wetter since 1910. This plainly is not the impression the alarmist media want to give.

latest

What about temperatures though?

Walgett is one of the few long running rural stations in NSW. Temperatures there have peaked at 44.8C so far this month, averaging 38.0C so far this month:

image

http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=122&p_display_type=dailyDataFile&p_startYear=&p_c=&p_stn_num=052088

However a temperature of 44.8C is not unheard of in Walgett. The all time record of 49.2C was set as long ago as 3rd Jan 1903. The highest temperature in December was 47.8C set in 1883.

image

http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/av?p_nccObsCode=122&p_display_type=dailyDataFile&p_startYear=1993&p_c=-541563741&p_stn_num=052026

Neither is the monthly average of 38.0C a record high. The three years from 1899 to 1901 all saw average December mean maximum temperatures well above 38.0C.

 052026_36_12_9053249233390903458

Since the station moved to the airport in 1993, 38C has only been exceeded once until this year, that was in 2005, when it averaged 38.5C, still well below the December 1899 when the mean was 39.9C.

 052088_36_12_1781016008574241336

To sum up, NSW is not hotter or drier than it used to be, though undoubtedly it has been unusually so this year. It is simply experiencing weather it has seen many times in the past.

As the Australian BOM themselves point out, the country has always be vulnerable to major fires:

 image

https://web.archive.org/web/20010303211605/http://www.bom.gov.au/lam/climate/levelthree/c20thc/fire.htm

 

To suggest that climate change is to blame, as the Guardian and BBC have regularly done, is disgraceful climate porn, taking advantage of personal tragedies in order to make political propaganda.

17 Comments
  1. Adam Gallon permalink
    December 24, 2019 11:11 am

    Since the hurricane season’s been a damp squib, Polar bears doing fine, nothing much happening on the Arctic/Antarctic ice front, another poster child is required.

  2. Stef permalink
    December 24, 2019 11:30 am

    This is what some of the volunteer fire fighters think:

    https://volunteerfirefighters.org.au/green-ideology-not-climate-change-makes-bushfires-worse

    And as for the dodgy BOM figures:-

    • bobn permalink
      December 24, 2019 5:59 pm

      Excellent video. Thanks for sharing it and amazing that SKY australia gives realists a voice.

  3. December 24, 2019 12:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate- Science.press.

  4. jack broughton permalink
    December 24, 2019 12:50 pm

    Another excellent dose of realism. This shows up the highly paid editors on the BBC / ITV and press as charlatans who are more concerned with their pseudo-religious pretend science than objective repoarting. Sad that the population are being brainwashed in the doom-scenario from every angle by the Horrorbins and their acolytes.

    Maybe we could form an Extinction Survival movement: unfortunately we could not find a child-leader as they are all brainwashed.

  5. December 24, 2019 1:21 pm

    The Prime Minister was asked about Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg’s criticism of Australia’s inaction on climate change, Mr Morrison said he was “not here to impress people overseas” and that he would make policies based on national interests.

    The Prime Minister said focus should instead lie on hazard reduction, sensible land clearing laws, and management of fuel loads.

    He also dismissed calls to end coal exports as “reckless” and said more stringent emissions targets would have “no meaningful impact on the global climate”.

    Very sensible fellow.

    As the planet greens due to the enhanced CO2, enabling semi arid areas like Australia to support more vegetation fuel loads will of course increase. In some states the greens don’t want hazard reduction. That’s where the problem lies.

  6. December 24, 2019 1:35 pm

    The reality is that suitable conditions for bushfires happen every year in that part of the world. In a sense it doesn’t matter how dry it is – it will always be dry enough and there comes a point where litter etc can’t get any drier.

    There remain two other requirements for a bushfire:

    1. Ignition source
    Alas we know that the majority of the fires are started by people. A substantial part of the remainder are accidental, via electrical faults etc. A tiny proportion are from natural ignition sources (dry lightning).

    2. Fuel load
    Fire-prone habitat like eucalypt will likely burn even in the season after a fire (eucalypts are fire-adapted and produce highly flammable litter; without fire, they would be outcompeted). However, it takes years for the maximum fuel load & the hottest potential fires to build up. So putting fires out is counterproductive. Obviously building in the bush should be halted – it’s nice and shady, but the benefits are outweighed by the cost when everything is on fire.

    If you take a look at GE images of the town of Paradise, California, you’ll see why it suffered so badly in the recent wildfire. This is not as you might expect a town in a clearing. It is a collection of buildings that have been dropped into the middle of the forest. True, it’s nice and shady. But there is no firebreak when bad things happen.

  7. Paul Reynolds permalink
    December 24, 2019 1:59 pm

    The Australian Prime Minister is rare as a world political leader asserting scepticism towards the global warming groupthink. Boris please take note and ponder while you luxuriate on your Caribbean holiday beach.

  8. A C Osborn permalink
    December 24, 2019 2:12 pm

    The other thing that Paul has not shown is Burn Area, considering that 98 people have been caught setting these fires the burn area is less than bad fires in the past.
    Check out Wiki on bushfires here
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushfires_in_Australia

  9. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 24, 2019 2:18 pm

    I remember as a kid watching lots of programs that featured forest fire lookout towers/posts, mostly incidental to the plot, as well as specific documentaries – they seemed ubiquitous in the USA/Canada/Australia. At the first wisp of smoke the fire would be dealt with.

    I would bet my last £1 that there are nowhere near as many around the world nowadays due to cost cutting etc. Wiki seems to confirm that in the USA at least.

    “The biggest piece of this puzzle is to keep fires small,” said Kassidy Kern, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman based in Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest.

    Perhaps a lack of a comprehensive network of real-time observers is another factor in failing to control wildfires? Some things satellites cannot do quickly enough/as well.

    • Duker permalink
      December 24, 2019 11:27 pm

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/30/us-national-parks-fire-lookout-forest-wildfire
      Good story …just goes to show that away from the headlines these sort of papers still have worthwhile journalism..

      The correction at the bottom of the page made me smile ( nice to know the used to make corrections.
      “This article was amended on 30 August 2016. An earlier version said glass feet on the fire lookout’s wooden chair would help it conduct electricity if struck by lightning. In fact glass acts as an insulator so that the chair does not conduct electricity in the event of a strike.”

  10. John Peter permalink
    December 24, 2019 2:42 pm

    Jo Nova has a whole series of articles on the subject demonstrating (Like Paul Homewood) that the wildfires have nothing to do with Climate Change or CO2.
    http://joannenova.com.au

  11. December 24, 2019 5:10 pm

    As firefighters remain on high alert, police revealed 103 of the destructive fires that have lashed Queensland since September were deliberately lit.
    Figures obtained by AAP reveal 98 people – 31 adults and 67 juveniles – have been dealt with by Queensland police for deliberately setting fires.
    A 16-year-old boy was found to have started a fire that razed 14 homes in central Queensland and dealt with under the state’s Youth Justice Act.
    Two more teens, 14 and 15, were charged with endangering property by fire over a blaze that destroyed two homes and forced hundreds to flee.
    https://www.thesenior.com.au/story/6553022/firebugs-blamed-for-destructive-qld-fires/#!

  12. December 24, 2019 6:16 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. Those who believe in the Climate Crisis don’t know history.

  13. December 24, 2019 10:38 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  14. Marcus permalink
    December 24, 2019 11:57 pm

    All this is well and good in respect to data on screens But youve forgotten to take into account the vulnerablity of the landscape itself, thats the variable that all you experts forget or ignore.
    A bucket of rain falling on concrete behaves diiferently to a bucket falling on grass. From 1770 and maybe before, we have been concretizing the landscape. This has had disastrous effects on local temperatures and water movement patterns.What once seeped down into the ground water over years decades before flowing out in an abundant system of creeks and rivers evaporates and becomes part of an erratic air movement. Its not rocket science, anyone can see it if they stop looking through politically correct glasses.I wouldnt even use the word climate change, its just a distraction, just observe the reality.

    1 Turn off the computer
    2 Take one bucket of water
    2 Pour bucket of water on concrete and observe.
    3 Take one bucket of water and repeat by pouring over grass. Again , observe.
    4 Repeat previous actions in varying weather conditions and note changes.
    5 Draw conclusions from reality and not screens.
    Things have changed and they need to continue to change.

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