Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, compiled data from 1926-2017 showing that the acreage burned by U.S. wildfires has dropped fourfold since peaking in the 1930s, which was posted on the skeptics’ website Climate Depot.
“The destructive fires in California are not unexpected given the wet winter last year and resultant plant growth, followed by hot and dry weather since then in which the vegetation dried out,” University of Colorado Boulder meteorologist Roger A. Pielke Sr. said. “An important issue is the extent humans have deliberately or inadvertently started the fires,” Mr. Pielke said. “If these were not started by people (including sparks from power lines), how many fires would there have been naturally? Probably none.” “As to whether this is a ‘new normal,’ it is easy (and inaccurate) to blame climate change just from added CO₂,” said Mr. Pielke, “when in reality the reasons for the fires and the damage they are causing are more complex.”
Never ones to let a “serious crisis go to waste,” Green pressure groups are shamelessly attributing the fires to global warming and claiming that this year’s fires ravaged the largest area ever recorded. “But that is because the National Interagency Fire Center curiously – and somewhat conveniently – only shows the annual burnt area back to 1960, when fire suppression indeed was going strong, and hence we had some of the lowest amounts of burnt forests ever,” explains Bjørn Lomborg, President of the Copenhagen Consensus Center. “Yet, the official historical data of the United States tells a different story. Look at the Historical Statistics of the United States – Colonial Times to 1970, There we have statistics for area burnt since 1926 and up to 1970. Reassuringly, the data for 1960-1970 ‘completely overlap.’ This is the same data series.” Professor Lomborg shared the graph above.
Jerry Franklin was a hero to the greens. Then his research produced conclusions they didn't like. Now they no longer like him, and strike back. Not in the peer-review literature, but with more direct means. He was one of the "gang of four" whose research led to the ban on "old growth" logging in the US NW. Then he and other scientists saw the results of that work, and modified their conclusions. Green's respect for science apparently don't include new science.
The 9th annual conference comes during a time where ongoing wildfires are ripping through northern California, leaving at least 35 people dead across four counties. “All over the West we’re seeing these fires get much, much worse,” said Gore, theLas Vegas Sun reports. “The underlying cause is the heat.” In particular, he blamed the reliance on fossil fuels for allowing hurricanes to get as destructive as they have been. “The heart of it is that we still depend on fossil fuels,” he said.
A new analysis of global data related to wildfire, published by the Royal Society, reveals major misconceptions about wildfire and its social and economic impacts. Prof. Stefan Doerr and Dr Cristina Santin from Swansea University's College of Science carried out a detailed analysis of global and regional data on fire occurrence, severity and its impacts on society. Their research, published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, examined a wide range of published data arising from satellite imagery, charcoal records in sediments and isotope-ratio records in ice cores, to build up a picture of wildfire in the recent and more distant past. In contrast to what is widely portrayed in the literature and media reports, they found that:
global area burned has seen an overall slight decline over past decades, despite some notable regional increases. Currently, around 4% of the global land surface is affected by vegetation fires each year;
there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago;
direct fatalities from fire and economic losses also show no clear trends over the past three decades
The researchers conclude: "The data available to date do not support a general increase in area burned or in fire severity for many regions of the world. Indeed there is increasing evidence that there is overall less fire in the landscape today than there has been centuries ago, although the magnitude of this reduction still needs to be examined in more detail."