Les feux de brousse en Australie font la une des journaux écrits et audiovisuels. Ces annonces sont reprises par les réseaux sociaux. La vérité médiatique est maintenant bien établie, ces feux sont l’œuvre du dérèglement climatique. Ces catastrophes humaine et écologique présagent, selon les réseaux dits sociaux, la fin du Monde annoncée par les « experts » du GIEC.
A ma connaissance pas un seul journaliste ne semble s’être penché sur le sujet. Du moins aucune autre conclusion, quant aux causes de cette catastrophe, n’a été, à ma connaissance, publiée sinon pour pointer le changement climatique comme seul et unique coupable.
Pourtant la réponse est moins évidente.
Il est de notoriété publique que l’Australie est un pays coutumier des sécheresses et des températures extrêmes. En outre c’est un pays quasi désertique de 7,7 millions de km² peuplé d’à peine 25 millions d’habitants principalement implantés dans les grandes villes de la côte Est et dans la principale métropole de l’Ouest.
Après les gigantesques feux de brousse de janvier à mars 1961 en Australie occidentale les réflexions sur les actions de prévention conduisaient à préconiser l’usage de feux déclenchés/contrôlés pour maîtriser la végétation à l’approche de la saison sèche. Cette technique permet en effet de créer des coupe-feux et de limiter la matière inflammable qui nourrit les brasiers.
Cette politique préventive a longtemps porté ses fruits, réduisant considérablement les incendies et surtout leur propagation. Néanmoins les chantres de la lutte contre le réchauffement et le CO2 ont poussé le gouvernement australien à changer de politique il y a une dizaine d’années (par exemple ici et ici).
La politique actuelle ne privilégie plus l’anticipation du risque d’incendie mais préconise de laisser les incendies se propager et de ne défendre autant faire se peut que les habitations et les vies humaines.
De fait la végétation n’est plus façonnée par l’homme pour limiter les risques de propagation et celle-ci offre dès lors un combustible abondant au moindre foyer qui se développe.
Le graphique ci-dessous fournit par l’association Bushfire Front Inc (BFF) de l’État d’Australie occidentale révèle l’impact que cet abandon d’une politique de prévention sur les feux de brousse sur la période 1950-2017.
En vert : surface de feux déclenchés.
En rouge : surface de feux de brousse
Last summer, and this summer, has been hot in Australia. But the summer of 1938-1939 was probably hotter — and back then more ferocious bushfires burnt larger areas. In rural Victoria, the summer of 1938-1939 was on average at least two degrees hotter than anything measured with equivalent equipment since, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Mean maximum summer (December, January February) temperatures as measured at Rutherglen in rural Victoria by The Australian Bureau of Meteorology for the period when mercury thermometers were used. Data unadjusted/not homogenised.
The summer of 1938-1939 was probably the hottest ever in recorded history for the states of New South Wales and Victoria. It is difficult to know for sure because the Bureau has since changed how temperatures are measured at many locations and has not provided any indication of how current electronic probes are recording relative to the earlier mercury thermometers.
Further, since 2011, the Bureau is not averaging measurements from these probes so the hottest recorded daily temperature is now a one-second spot reading from an electronic devise with a sheath of unknown thickness. In the United States similar equipment is used and the readings are averaged over five (5) minutes and then the measurement recorded.
by P. Homewood, January 3, 2020 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat
According to the Telegraph, the current fires have affected 5.9m hectares, or 59,000 km2. While they claim this is three times the size of Wales, we need to remember that Australia is more than 30 times the size of the UK. 59,000 km2 represents 0.77% of Australia’s area, which in UK terms would be about 1800 km2, equivalent to three times the size of the New Forest.
Now we can look at the rainfall data for Australia as a whole from BOM:
Certainly the area either side of the Queensland border shows the lowest rainfall on record, but most of the state has seen periods before with lower rainfall.
Also note that worst fires seem to be clustered towards the Victoria border, where rainfall deficiency has been less severe.
Finally it is worth revisiting the rainfall trend map. It shows that since 1900, most of the country has been getting wetter, with the exception of a small part of Queensland, and some coastal areas of Western Australia and southern Australia along with Tasmania:
After we were shocked at the latest ACORN changes to our Very Hot Days data, I asked Chris Gillham if we could see the effect of Bureau of Meteorology changes to the original raw data – and he replied it would be too time-consuming writing the code to calculate 40C+ days among the millions of daily temperatures from 112 weather stations across Australia since 1910. Then he did it anyway.
Wow. In 2011, the BoM’s ACORN 1 adjustments wiped out some of the “very hot days” recorded at weather stations in the early 1900s. These were records that had stood for a whole century. Then, quietly six years later, the ACORN 2 readjustments turned the statistical air conditioner on again and cooled people from 100 years in the future.
It’s all especially miraculous given that even the old World War I data was recorded in official BoM-approved Stevenson screens. The BoM won’t consider pre 1910 data because it wasn’t standardized, but even when it is, they still have to “fix” it. And in the intervening years after 1910, the Urban Heat Islands have grown and electronic equipment that can record one-second-records have been introduced across the nation. With the old equipment, 40C+ extremes were harder to get than with today’s micro-minute spikes caused by gusts of hot air rolling off carparks and tarmacs.
What we see in the 60 longest running ACORN sites, all open in 1910, is that the raw temperature data had just as many “very hot days” in the World War I era as it does now. Oh boy.
No wonder the BOM was keen to move the “Very Hot Days” graphics and data and tuck them away in a remote page on their website.
In December 2015 Peter Ridd, then a physics professor at Australia’s James Cook University, contacted a journalist. Researchers affiliated with his own institution, he said, were misleading the public about the Great Barrier Reef.
As an example, Ridd cited photos taken approximately 100 years apart near Bowen, a community of 10,000 on the Australian coast in the vicinity of the Reef. These photos tell a stark story: previously vibrant coral expanses are now desolate wastelands.
Ridd complained that this pair of photos was spreading across the Internet. They were appearing in official reports and news stories. Even though the 1995 paper in which they’d first been published had cautioned against viewing them as evidence the Reef was in “broad scale decline,” that’s exactly how they were being used.
Ridd supplied the journalist with recent photos from the same area. These showed healthy, abundant coral.
The scare stories about the Great Barrier Reef started in the 1960’s when scientist first started work on the reef. They have been crying wolf ever since.
Scientists from James Cook University have just published a paper on the bleaching and death of corals on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and were surprised that the death rate was less than they expected because of the adaptability of corals to changing temperatures. It appears as though they exaggerated their original claims and are quietly backtracking. To misquote Oscar Wilde, to exaggerate once is a misfortune, to do it twice looks like carelessness, but to do it repeatedly looks like unforgivable systemic unreliability by some of our major science organisations.
It is a well-known phenomenon that corals can adapt very rapidly to high temperatures and that if you heat corals in one year, they tend to be less susceptible in future years to overheating. It is the reason why corals are one of the least likely species to be affected by climate change, irrespective of whether you believe the climate is changing by natural fluctuations or from human influence.
Regions just 90 minutes from Sydney received extremely rare snow over the weekend, as an intense cold front released from the Antarctic pushed north past Tasmania.
Blackheath resident Erica Mann was ecstatic to find fresh white powder falling in her garden, saying it was the most snow she had ever seen there:
“I opened the curtains and I could see a huge amount of snow on top of the water tank — it was so exciting,” she said. “It’s amazing. I went up the street … and all the houses are completely covered in snow.”
Residents in the Riverina also received a dumping of snow, with some towns recording their first falls in decades. Cootamundra local Steve Theobald said the last time he remembered snow there was 1985(solar minimum of cycle 21), while residents in Tumut –just 300 metres above sea level– said it was their first fall since 2000.
Other towns in southern NSW which recorded rare snow include Adelong, Harden and Batlow.
The powder continued falling through Sunday and finally began abating on Monday.
The discovery was made by University of Queensland and CSIRO researchers investigating whether corals that split their spawning over multiple months are more successful at spreading their offspring across different reefs.
“On Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, all coral colonies typically spawn only once per year, over several nights after the full moon, as the water warms up in late spring.”
Study co-author Dr Christopher Doropoulos from the CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere said sometimes however, coral split their spawning over two successive months.
“This helps them synchronise their reproduction to the best environmental conditions and moon phases,” he said.
“While reproductive success during split spawning may be lower than usual because it can lead to reduced fertilisation, we found that the release of eggs in two separate smaller events gives the corals a second and improved chance of finding a new home reef.”
The research team brought together multi-disciplinary skills in modelling, coral biology, ecology, and oceanography, simulating the dispersal of coral larvae during these split spawning events, among the more than 3800 reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef.
Climate change was supposed to have won the party the Australian election. But yesterday, routed in the polls, panicking Labor Party leaders backed the opening of a coal field bigger than the UK to mining.
Fearing a wipeout in state elections next year amid a rising tide of pro-coal workers and a rebellion against its plans to halve Australia’s carbon emissions, the Labor state government in Queensland accelerated its decision on 105,000 square miles of coal-rich outback land known as the Galilee Basin.
It came days after the party lost what was dubbed as the “climate election” to the incumbent centre-right, pro-coal government of Scott Morrison, suffering the most damage with swings of up to 20 per cent in the coal country of central Queensland and the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.
Queensland’s premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, announced she was overturning all attempts to block mining and all outstanding approvals would be resolved within three weeks. She said she was “fed up” with her own government’s processes, and that the election had been a “wake-up call” on mining the basin. The move was welcomed by the federal resources minister, Matt Canavan, who told The Times yesterday that the Galilee Basin represented a victory for the “hi-vis workers’ revolution” — a reference to the armies of mine workers, dressed in high-visibility shirts, who make Australia the world’s biggest coal exporter, and seemingly a reference to the “yellow vest” movement in France which battled President Macron on his climate policies.
A new study appearing in the Journal of Weather and Climate Extremes titled “Historical extreme rainfall events in southeastern Australia” – led by LindenAshcroft, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne – shows that even more extreme weather in terms of rainfall existed before 1900 in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.
No real trend when examining Sydney, Australia data going back 178 years. Image: Ashcroft et al 2019.
Moreover, the authors found a “moderate and relatively stable relationship between El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and annual variations of total rainfall and the number of raindays.”
The right in Australia won on the sharp contrast with the left on taxes, growth and climate change.
If American Democrats want a warning about the consequences of embracing the Green New Deal, look no further than Saturday’s election shocker in Australia. The opposition center-left Labor Party had led in the polls for months but lost as voters rejected its move left on taxes, spending and above all on climate change.
The ruling Liberal-National Coalition had been divided and tossed out two prime ministers during its nearly six years in power. Scott Morrison, the compromise choice as Prime Minister last year, managed to unite conservatives around a platform that stressed economic growth, tax cuts and support for the country’s energy producers.
Labor leader Bill Shorten promised to raise taxes on the “wealthy,” but his main theme was curbing climate change. Labor promised to cut carbon emissions nearly in half by 2030 compared to 2005 levels while subsidizing wind and solar. Mr. Shorten and Labor refused to support a job-producing coal mine in Queensland, and their candidates were routed in the resource-rich province.
Bill Shorten, leader of the Labor Party of Australia, reacts as he concedes defeat during the Labor party election night event in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday, May 18, 2019. PHOTO: CARLA GOTTGENS/BLOOMBERG NEWS
SYDNEY – In a corner of the Australian Outback, a drilling crew will soon try tapping shale rocks that could hold more than three times the world’s annual consumption of natural gas.
Origin Energy Ltd. plans to drill two wells later this year in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin, after the local government ended a three-year ban on fracking — the practice of extracting oil and gas from layers of shale rock deep underground. With an estimated 500 trillion cubic feet (14 trillion cubic meters) of gas, Beetaloo has been compared to famed U.S. shale regions such as Marcellus and Barnett.
But its isolated location, lack of infrastructure and the likelihood of tough environmental opposition make Beetaloo a highly speculative investment.
“There are some big numbers being quoted, and people have to realize this is exploration,” said Mark Schubert, Origin’s head of integrated gas, noting that only some of the total reserves would be extractable.
Summary:The monthly anomalies in Australia-average surface versus satellite deep-layer lower-tropospheric temperatures correlate at 0.70 (with a 0.57 deg. C standard deviation of their difference), increasing to 0.80 correlation (with a 0.48 deg. C standard deviation of their difference) after accounting for precipitation effects on the relationship. The 40-year trends (1979-2019) are similar for the raw anomalies (+0.21 C/decade for Tsfc, +0.18 deg. C for satellite), but if the satellite and rainfall data are used to estimate Tsfc through a regression relationship, the adjusted satellite data then has a reduced trend of +0.15 C/decade. Thus, those who compare the UAH monthly anomalies to the BOM surface temperature anomalies should expect routine disagreements of 0.5 deg. C or more, due to the inherently different nature of surface versus tropospheric temperature measurements.
The UAH tropospheric temperatures and BOM surface temperatures in Australia are correlated, with similar variability (0.70 correlation).
Accounting for anomalous rainfall conditions increases the correlation to 0.80. The Tsfc trends have a slightly greater warming trend than the tropospheric temperatures, but the reasons for this are unclear. Users of the UAH data should expect monthly differences between the UAH and BOM data of 0.6 deg. C or so on a rather routine basis (after correcting for their different 30-year baselines used for anomalies: BOM uses 1961-1990 and UAH uses 1981-2010).
The Bureau of Meteorology has rewritten Australia’s temperature in this way for the second time in just six years – increasing the rate of warming by 23 percent between Version 1 and the new Version 2 of the official ACORN-SAT temperature record.
Temperatures from the Rutherglen research station in rural Victoria are one of the 112 weather stations that make-up ACORN-SAT. Temperature have been changed here by Blair Trewin, under the supervision of David Jones at the Bureau.
Annual average minimum temperatures at Rutherglen (1913 to 2017). Raw temperatures (green) show a mild cooling trend of 0.28 degrees Celsius per 100 years. This cooling trend has been changed to warming of 1.7 degrees Celsius per 100 years in ACORN-SAT Version 1 (orange). These temperatures have been further remodeled in ACORN-SAT Version 1 (red) to give even more dramatic warming, which is now 1.9 degrees Celsius.
Scientists from James Cook University have just published a paper on the bleaching and death of corals on the Great Barrier Reef and were surprised that the death rate was less than they expected, because of the adaptability of corals to changing temperatures.
It appears as though they exaggerated their original claims and are quietly backtracking.
To misquote Oscar Wilde, to exaggerate once is a misfortune, to do it twice looks careless, but to do it repeatedly looks like unforgivable systemic unreliability by some of our major science organisations.
The very rapid adaptation of corals to high temperatures is a well-known phenomenon; besides, if you heat corals in a given year, they tend to be less susceptible in the future to overheating. This is why corals are one of the least likely species to be affected by climate change, irrespective of whether you believe the climate is changing by natural fluctuations or because of human influence.
Corals have a unique way of dealing with changing temperature, by changing the microscopic plants that live inside them. These microscopic plants, called zooxanthellae, give the coral energy from the sun through photosynthesis in exchange for a comfortable home inside the coral. When the water gets hot, these little plants effectively become poisonous to the coral and the coral throws them out, which turns the coral white — that is, it bleaches.
Last year’s oceanic heat wave wasn’t as destructive as one the year before, scientists said.
The Great Barrier Reef fared better during an oceanic heat wave last year than during sizzling weather a year earlier that caused hundreds of miles of corals to bleach, according to a study published Monday that suggests the massive structure may be growing more tolerant to climate change.
The report in the journal Nature Climate Change analyzed how corals along the Great Barrier fared in back-to-back mass bleaching events. The reef ― a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest living structure on the planet ― was cooked by overheated seawater in 2016 and again in 2017, with images of sickly white coral horrifying people around the globe.
WUWT has posted several excellent articles by Jim Steele on how global warming alarmism uses corals as the poster child for warming and acidifying oceans, none of which is scientifically justified. A brief review follows, calling attention to a recently discovered additional adaptation mechanism not covered AFAIK by Jim Steele’s posts. The motivation for this post was triggered by a recent lunch with newish neighbor Charles the Moderator (CtM), and his sharing many wonderful underwater photographs of the coral reef he now dives frequently off Pompano Beach (same reef system as off Fort Lauderdale, just a few miles further north and more conveniently onshore).
The climate of the pre-industrial past is of greatest importance to the ongoing climate discussion. Current climate can only be understood when interpreting it in the paleoclimatological context of the past few thousand years. Until not too long ago it was thought that the pre-industrial climate was monotonous and constant. This idea was e.g. promoted by Mann et al. whose famous hockey stick curve featured prominently in the IPCC report of 2001. Over the last 15 years, however, a large number of studies changed this view by providing robust evidence for the existence of significant natural climate variability. Of particular interest are the past 1000 years which commenced with the generally warm ‘Medieval Climate Anomaly’ (MCA, aka ‘Medieval Warm Period’, MWP), that eventually passed into the ‘Little Ice Age’ (LIA), before returning to the warm climate of the current ‘Modern Warm Period’ of the 20th and early 21st centuries.
There have been controversial debates about the existence of the MWP, …
The Northern Territory holds enough natural gas to supply Australia for 200 years-plus and is comparable to the shale resources that have revolutionised the US energy sector, Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan says.
Such abundant gas should enable Australia to reduce its current high energy prices, which were the fault of southern states preventing development, Senator Canavan told an NT Resources Week conference in Darwin.
Something so extraordinary has lately been going on at the other end of the world that, if it did not run so flatly contrary to the prevailing groupthink of our time, it would surely have made big headlines over here.
But the real significance of this has only now come to light with the unveiling by Australia’s new energy minister, Angus Taylor, of the country’s wholly new energy policy, which completely reverses that of the Turnbull government.
With the growing likelihood of an open party revolt and a leadership challenge, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been forced into a humiliating backdown over his efforts to enshrine Australia’s Paris Agreement pledges into legislation.
From the “science eventually self-corrects” department, new science showing coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef is a centuries-old problem, well before “climate change” became a buzzword and rising CO2 levels were blamed.
Marc Hendrickx writes:
New paper shows coral bleaching in GBR extending back 400+ years.
La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse