Don’t Blame the Fires on Climate Change

Nexus is a Climate Change forum based in Ottowa, Canada. This summer they took a keen interest in our bushfires and published a number of viewpoints and a video on the subject.

This is the video:

Australian bushfires: If only they’d reduced CO2

This is the first Newsletter and it opens with:

Cutting greenhouse gases down under would have been a big help according to the New York Times. Or, turning to a sensible source, cutting forest fuel levels, according to Australian bushfire scientist David Packham.

It presents some interesting information including a graph of fire alerts over the last 20 years

Australian bushfire debates still blazing hot

.This is the second Newsletter dealing with bush fires

Former NASA climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer has put together an excellent essay that reviews the evidence for and against a climate connection to Oz bushfires. This year is indeed very hot and very dry. But the recent trend is for Australia to be getting wetter rather than dryer, and this year’s heat is likely due to natural variations. And bushfires will remain a risk that can best be controlled by traditional landscape management, not by climate policy.

Spencer also points out (as we have) that global wildfire activity is declining, not increasing. So if we’re going to attribute increased Australian fire activity to climate change, don’t we also get to attribute decreased global wildfire activity to it as well? Or is the idea just that everything bad is the result of climate change, including rain you don’t want or lack of rain you do, and everything good is just weather?

Australian wildfires: pressure for a nice tidy story

This is the third Newsletter and it explains that an excellent data source for forest fires is Their Australia summary shows that the current fire season is bad, but not as bad as 2011 or 2012.

This is the link to the Global Forest Watch map which is shown on the video and it shows the amount of forest that has been burned by our summer fires. It also has a mass of other interesting statistics if you scroll through the tabs on the side.

This is not to deny climate change. This is all about getting the right attribution to the intensity of our bushfires.

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