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
by P. Homewood, January 7, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch
The Lancet has published its latest annual report on health and climate change, which inevitably orders us to stop using fossil fuels or the kids will get it!
It is the usual load of overhyped rubbish of the sort we have seen in previous years.
The executive summary contains a number of questionable claims and statements which seriously undermine the report’s integrity and reliability.
For a start, it claims that ‘a child born today will experience a world that is more than four degrees warmer than the pre-industrial average.’
Really? A temperature rise of three degrees in 50 years or so? Even the highly discredited climate models don’t regard this as realistic. For the Lancet to state this as a bald-faced fact calls into question the objectivity of its contents.
It then proceeds to list all sorts of ways in which health is already being impacted by climate change, including disease transmission, air pollution, extreme weather (which apparently will affect women more – yes, that’s got me and all!), wildfires, heatwaves and goodness knows what else.
Yet, tucked away in Figure 5 is the dirty little secret that mortality rates from climate-related causes have been plummeting since 1990.
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:
To Recap: In order to make really Bad Fires we need the big three: Fuel, oxygen, spark.Obviously getting rid of air and lightning is beyond the budget. The only one we can control is fuel. No fuel = no fire. Big fuel = Fireball apocalypse that we can;t stop even with help from Canada, California, and New Zealand.
The most important weather factor is rain, not an extra 1 degree of warmth. To turn the nation into a proper fireball, we “need” a good drought. A lack of rain is a triple whammy — it dries out the ground and the fuel — and it makes the weather hotter too. Dry years are hot years in Australia, wet years are cool years. It’s just evaporative cooling for the whole country. The sun has to dry out the soil before it can heat up the air above it. Simple yes? El Nino’s mean less rain (in Australia), that’s why they also mean “hot weather”.
So ask a climate scientist the right questions and you’ll find out what the ABC won’t say: That global warming means more rain, not less. Droughts haven’t got worse, and climate models are really, terribly, awfully pathetically bad at predicting rain.
Four reasons carbon emissions are irrelevant
1. Droughts are the same as they ever were.
In the 178 year record, there is no trend. All that CO2 has made no difference at all to the incidence of Australian droughts. Climate scientists have shown droughts have not increased in Australia. Click the link to see Melbourne and Adelaide. Same thing.
If Williams and Abatzoglou were not so focused on forcing a global warming connection, they would have at least raised the question, ‘why did much bigger fires happen during cooler decades?’ The 1825 New Brunswick fire burned 3,000,000 acres. In Idaho and Montana the Great Fire of 1910 burnt another 3,000,000 acres. In 1871, the Great Michigan Fire burned 2,500,000 acres. Those fires were not only 6 times larger than California’s biggest fire, they occurred in moister regions, regions that don’t experience California’s Mediterranean climate with its guaranteed months of drought each and every summer. If those huge devastating fires occurred in much cooler times, what are the other driving factors of big wildfires?
Articles, like the one from Politico above (Figure 1)¹, have been popping up left and right claiming that climate change is causing the wildfires.
Endless amounts of disinformation are being spread around on Twitter and Facebook from well-known media outlets, public figures, government officials, and even a handful of well-known scientists.
There’s no doubt that the dozen or more wildfires that have broken out in the state, including the Getty and Kincade fires, are serious.
Firefighters are doing their best to try and contain these fires before any more serious damage occurs. But, playing the blame game on climate change does nothing for public safety whatsoever.
What’s really to blame for these fires?
The Kincade Fire, in particular, was caused by a broken jumper wire of the Pacific Gas & Electric company(PG&E), though “mother nature,” as you will find out below, has enhanced the fire and others that have since broken out across the state.
October through March is the prime time of the year for wildfires to break out in the Western United States (Raphael, 2003).²
This is largely because atmospheric and surface conditions tend to be very favorable in the region for fire weather; that is a.) dry soil and vegetation, b.) low relative humidity, c.) warm temperatures, and d.) strong winds.³
La forêt amazonienne fait beaucoup parler d’elle en ce moment. Selon le journal Le Monde mais également selon de nombreux autres médias, la forêt amazonienne est ravagée par des incendies d’une ampleur inédite, et ce depuis plusieurs semaines. Sans nier les feux ni l’importance de cette forêt au niveau de sa biodiversité, nous tenons à dénoncer quelques contre-vérités qui ont circulé.
1/ La forêt amazonienne n’est pas le poumon de la planète
Scientifiquement, l’expression “poumon de la planète” pour désigner l’Amazonie est fausse et prétendre que l’Amazonie produit 20% de notre oxygène — une assertion du Président français Macron lors du récent sommet du G7 — est fausse. Tout d’abord un poumon ne produit pas d’oxygène mais en consomme… Mais passons ce détail. Ce qu’il faut retenir est ceci : le bilan entre photosynthèse et respiration pour cet écosystème est nul du point de vue de l’oxygène  . La forêt amazonienne ne produit donc quasi pas d’oxygène, tout comme les océans, lorsque l’on considère le bilan net (photosynthèse + respiration). Tout ceci est même rappelé sur page Wikipedia consacrée à la forêt amazonienne, ou encore sur le site web du National Geographic.
Pour ceux qui ont du mal à lire en anglais, vous pouvez également lire le site français du Huffington Post, cette page de Planet Terre écrite en juin 2000, ou cet article écrit dans Le Parisien.
Pour ceux qui se posent la question de l’origine de l’oxygène que nous respirons (21% dans l’atmosphère actuelle), voici la réponse : nous respirons essentiellement un O2 libéré par des végétaux anciens (par exemple datant du Carbonifère) devenus matière organique fossile (ce carbone n’est pas dégradé par les bactéries des sols et sédiments et donc ne consomme pas d’oxygène atmosphérique). La page de Planet Terre citée précédemment explique parfaitement ce phénomène.
Figure 1. Nombre de feux de forêt au Brésil entre 2004 et 2019.
Source : Libération.
The resurgence of forest clearing in the Amazon, which had decreased more than 80% following a peak in 2004, is alarming for many reasons. Tropical forests harbor many species of plants and animals found nowhere else. They are important refuges for indigenous people, and contain enormous stores of carbon as wood and other organic matter that would otherwise contribute to the climate crisis.
Some media accounts have suggested that fires in the Amazon also threaten the atmospheric oxygen that we breathe. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted on Aug. 22 that “the Amazon rain forest — the lungs which produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen — is on fire.”
Don’t hold your breath
Even though plant photosynthesis is ultimately responsible for breathable oxygen, only a vanishingly tiny fraction of that plant growth actually adds to the store of oxygen in the air. Even if all organic matter on Earth were burned at once, less than 1% of the world’s oxygen would be consumed.
In sum, Brazil’s reversal on protecting the Amazon does not meaningfully threaten atmospheric oxygen. Even a huge increase in forest fires would produce changes in oxygen that are difficult to measure. There’s enough oxygen in the air to last for millions of years, and the amount is set by geology rather than land use. The fact that this upsurge in deforestation threatens some of the most biodiverse and carbon-rich landscapes on Earth is reason enough to oppose it.
Politicians and government officials like to talk as though it’s possible to stamp out fake news. It isn’t.
Fake news is as old as humanity. After Aristotle incorrectly claimed women had fewer teeth than men, generations of highly educated people believed it.
Rajendra Pachauri was called “the UN’s top climate scientist” by the BBC – and a “Nobel laureate” by the New York Academy of Sciencesmagazine. Neither statement was true.
Pachauri’s doctorate wasn’t in climatology, but in industrial engineering and economics. And the fact that he accepted the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the UN organization he chaired doesn’t make him or any other person affiliated with that organization a Nobel laureate.
Published in 2008 and 2009, these inaccurate statements have never been corrected. In other words, we’re surrounded by fake news. And always will be. Humans are frequently mistaken. Organizations, as well as individuals, post things on the Internet before double-checking.
While media outlets are supposed to be more reliable than your brother-in-law, that seems less true every day. Over the past week, people have shared a CNN headline on Facebook that declares: “The Amazon rainforest is burning at a record rate” (see the screengrab from my own Facebook feed, at the top of this post).
If you click through to the CNN website, you’ll find a few extra words: “…research center says.” But the primary statement is misleading. Which means that millions have been alarmed unnecessarily – including a lovely, smart, young mother of my acquaintance.
L’ avalanche d’articles, de photos et d’avis de personnalités de tous horizons sur les incendies qui ravagent l’Amazonie constitue une illustration parfaite du sale boulot de manipulation de l’opinion publique exercée par les médias, et porteur de l’amalgame trompeur diffusé jour après jour entre protection de l’environnement et réchauffement climatique.
La première chose qui a attiré mon attention est le rapport fait entre le nombre d’incendies constatés en 2019, avec la situation en… 2018. Il est à peine croyable qu’une comparaison aussi peu significative sur le plan statistique et trompeuse sur le plan historique ait été diffusée sans aucune réserve par tous les médias mondiaux, mais serve de surcroît les intérêts d’hommes et de femmes politiques, à commencer par le leader auto-proclamé de l’Union Européenne et porte-drapeau mondial de l’écologisme, j’ai nommé le président Macron.
Illustré par une photo « détournée », son récent tweet sur le sujet résume parfaitement l’amalgame entretenu par les sauveurs de la planète sur base de fake news :
« Notre maison brûle. Littéralement. L’Amazonie, le poumon de notre planète qui produit 20 % de notre oxygène, est en feu. C’est une crise internationale. Membres du G7, rendez-vous dans deux jours pour parler de cette urgence. »
Alors, soit le président Macron est mal informé, soit il suit aveuglément les avis très orientés d’ONG n’ayant aucune légitimité scientifique ou démocratique. Le problème est que la majorité de ceux qui nous gouvernent a une démarche identique.
Il s’agit d’une tactique souvent employée, destinée à émouvoir le public et l’orienter dans le sens voulu. Le choix des photos qui illustrent un article a une grande importance. Ainsi, les photos de dirigeants politiquement incorrects montrent souvent des visages grimaçants ou dans des poses peu avantageuses, tandis que les dirigeants idéologiquement corrects (aux yeux des médias) nous sont montrés souriants et sympathiques.
Mais l’emploi massif de ces photos « détournées » était tellement flagrant qu’après les avoir abondamment publiées, l’ensemble de la presse émit dans un deuxième temps des réserves prudentes quant à leur origine, ce qui lui permit accessoirement de se draper dans une démonstration émouvante d’objectivité.
Voir aussi ici (Une Amazonie bien commode pour la politique idiote de Macron)
Did climate change cause these fires, and how will they affect climate change?
These fires were not caused by climate change. They were, by and large, set by humans. However, climate change can make fires worse. Fires can burn hotter and spread more quickly under warmer and drier conditions.
When it comes to the future of climate change, widespread fires contribute a dual negative effect. Trees are valuable because they can store carbon dioxide, and that storage capacity is lost when trees burn. Burning trees also pumps more carbon into the atmosphere.
Short summary: we have had wild fires for many years now in the Amazon, even in the tropical rainforest – mainly started by humans for forest clearing and ranching. It is not enough to impact significantly on the Paris agreement pledges yet, though it is important in the long term if this continues for decades. It does of course have major and immediate impacts on forest residents, nature services and the biodiversity in Brazil.
It accurately summarized the article it linked to from NASA (Fires in Brazil) and that page showed as updated on 22nd August which lead me to believe it was up to date. But apparently it isn’t, that’s just the date for a minor update of the page.
It uses NASA MODIS data, from the Terra and Aqua satellites, and is updated daily. By going to the website, you can look at individual regions in the Amazon, or as I have done, look at the totals for the Amazon. This site also has global data, but I am only looking at the Amazon region here.
The Interactive Graphs are very informative. Hovering the cursor over the graph will show the data at that point.
You can highlight individual years, by clicking on a year in the legend at the bottom of the graph. That year remains bright, while the rest are dimmed. Using Eyeball Mark 1 Trend Indicator (EBM1TI), 2019 is slightly high, but not at record levels. Not even close.
One thing I saw by looking at each year, was a rough pattern – one or two bad years, one or two years at much lower levels, then a bad year. This pattern is there until 2010. 2010 was the last “bad year”. Levels since 2010 have been 1/2 or less of the “bad years”. The old pattern has been broken.
The reason wildfires are burning California with unprecedented ferocity this year is because our public forests are so thick. It is our fault. We don’t manage our forests, we just let them grow. That is the simple truth. However, it is easier to deny the truth and blame a warming climate instead of admitting our guilt and taking action to prevent wildfires.
by P. Homewood, March 28, 2019 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat
1. Introduction Fires are an integral component of ecosystem dynamics in European landscapes. However, uncontrolled fires cause large environmental and economic damages, especially in the Mediterranean region. On average, about 65000 fires occur in Europe every year, burning approximately half a million ha of wildland and forest areas; most of the burnt area, over 85%, is in the European Mediterranean region. Trends in number of fires and burnt areas in the Mediterranean region are presented in Fig. 1. Recent analyses of the available data in the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) show that over 95% of the fires in Europe are human-induced. The split of causes shows that most of them are due to misuse of traditional practices of straw burning of shrub-burning to recover areas for cattle feeding. Although European countries have collected information on forest fires since 1970s, the lack of harmonized information at the European level has prevented a holistic approach for forest fire prevention in the Region. The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) has been developed jointly by the European Commission (EC) services (Directorate General Environment and the Joint Research Centre) and the relevant fires services in the countries (forest fires and civil protection services) in response to the needs of European bodies such as the Monitoring and Information Centre of Civil Protection, the European Commission Services and the European Parliament. EFFIS is a comprehensive system covering the full cycle of forest fire management, from forest fire prevention and preparedness to post-fire damage analysis (see Fig. 2). The system is providing information to over 30 countries in the European and Mediterranean regions, and receives detailed information of forest fire events from 22 European countries. It supports forest fire prevention and forest fire fighting in Europe through the provision of timely and reliable information on forest fires.
The Camp Fire that struck the northern California town of Paradise and vicinity is a profoundly disturbing environmental disaster of first magnitude. Nearly 100 people have lost their lives, approximately 10,000 homes have been lost, a major community has essentially been destroyed, and millions of people have been exposed to high concentrations of smoke. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced and lives of millions substantially affected.
And beyond the heart-wrenching losses noted above, it is doubly tragic that this disaster was both foreseeable and avoidable, resulting from a series of errors, poor judgment, lack of use of available technology, and poor urban planning.
It is more than unfortunate that some politicians, environmental advocacy groups, and activist scientists are attempting to use this tragedy as a tool for their own agenda, make the claim that the Camp Fire was result of global warming.
Over 8,000 homes and businesses have been reduced to ashes and rubble by the latest California conflagrations. Well over 60 people have perished, over 50,000 are homeless, hundreds remain missing. “This is the new abnormal,” Governor Jerry Brown insists. “Dryness, warmth, drought, all those things are going to intensify,” because of climate change. Even if we do more on forest management, that won’t stop climate change. “And those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies.”
Those assertions have no basis in fact. The hard, incontrovertible reality is that California has always been a largely arid state, afflicted by prolonged droughts, interspersed with periods of intense rainfall, and buffeted almost every autumn by strong winds that can whip forest fires into infernos. The problem isn’t climate change. It’s ideological, even criminally incompetent forest management practices demanded by politicians, regulators, judges and environmentalists in recent decades. My article presents the real story.
Our charmingly incompetent California Governor, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, has announced that all climate-change deniers are “definitely contributing” to the wildfires in the northern and southern parts of the state over the past few days, as well as blazes “in the coming years.” So look out, you dang “deniers”, it’s all your fault!
So … did scientists actually “predict” that past temperatures have gone up by one degree? Can scientists actually predict the past? And can we really expect half a degree of warming in the next decade? To get some perspective on these questions, I thought I’d take a look at the records. I found an interesting site, the Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC), which has a variety of weather-related data state by state. So with no further ado, here is the average temperature in California from January of 1895 to the present, October 2018.
… “Wildfires are such a huge source of aerosol in the atmosphere with a combination of cooling and warming properties, that understanding the delicate balance can have profound consequences on how accurately we can predict future changes,” says Claudio Mazzoleni, professor of physics, and one of the authors of the paper.
As wildfires increase in size and frequency in the world’s arid regions, more aerosol particles could be injected into the free troposphere where they are slower to oxidize, contributing another important consideration to the study of atmospheric science and climate change.
The world is on fire. Or so it appears in this image from NASA’s Worldview. The red points overlaid on the image designate those areas that by using thermal bands detect actively burning fires. Africa seems to have the most concentrated fires. This could be due to the fact that these are most likely agricultural fires. The location, widespread nature, and number of fires suggest that these fires were deliberately set to manage land. Farmers often use fire to return nutrients to the soil and to clear the ground of unwanted plants. While fire helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, the fires also produce smoke that degrades air quality.
The L. A. Times published a Ca. climate alarmist wildfire story falsely claiming that the states most recent wildfires are result of “heat like the state has never seen”.
As usual with climate fear articles like this one in the L. A. Times the scientific reality present a far different picture. The latest scientific study completed by the Royal Society concludes that global wildfires are in decline.
This post was inspired by Anthony Watts’ recent post about wildfires and their unwillingness to cooperate with the Gorebal Warming narrative.
A Geological Perspective of Wildfires
The Fire Window
Geological evidence for ancient wildfires generally consists of sedimentary charcoal deposits (inertinite). Fossil charcoal is also a key factor in understanding the evolution of Earth’s atmosphere, particularly oxygen content. The first clear evidence of fire is in the Late Silurian.
La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse