Meteorologist Cliff Mass: 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...it has little impact the Camp Fire and many of the coastal California fires of the past few years (e.g., the Wine Country Fires of October 2017). And blaming global warming takes attention away from the actions needed to prevent such tragedies from happening again.
Now let me prove to you that global warming had nothing to do with the dry conditions near Paradise on the morning of November 8. Below is a plot of the ten-hour fuel moisture at the nearby Jarbo Gap observation side, a site that was in the path of the fire, for the five years ending November 20. You will note a repeatable pattern, with values reaching around 27% during the winter, but 3-8% every summer and early fall. The fuels are not getting progressively drier.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that Brown is proposing one of the most significant change to the state's logging rules in nearly half a century. "Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing broad new changes to California’s logging rules that would allow landowners to cut larger trees and build temporary roads without obtaining a permit as a way to thin more forests across the state," the paper reports.
Climate Depot’s Marc Morano, the author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change,” argued that Mr. Brown’s climate-change claim falls short scientifically.
He pointed to recent studies concluding that there is less wildfire today on the global landscape than in centuries past. In addition, the U.S. leads the world in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions.
“Wildfire frequency and intensity is linked to government policies, land use, development and water resources,” Mr. Morano said. “If you look at the climate-related factors like drought, then the case for ‘climate change’ causing more wildfires collapses even more.”
From 80,000 to 12,000 years ago, when CO2 concentrations lingered near or below 200 ppm, many new or recent studies suggest that when directly comparing region to region, it was as much as 6°C warmer than today even during this ice age period. This has prompted some scientists to “exclude atmospheric pCO2 as a direct driver of SST [sea surface temperature] variations”.
Sean Sublette, a meteorologist at Climate Central, who pointed out that the 1960s through 2010s saw between one and three storms each decade before the June 1 start date on average. It might be tempting to ascribe this earlier season entirely to climate change warming the Atlantic. But technology also has a role to play, with more observations along the coast as well as satellites that can spot storms far out to sea.
“I would caution that we can’t just go, ‘hah, the planet’s warming, we’ve had to move the entire season!’” Sublette said. “I don’t think there’s solid ground for attribution of how much of one there is over the other. Weather folks can sit around and debate that for awhile.” Earlier storms don’t necessarily mean more harmful ones, either.