Lomborg: "A new review of the available data suggests it’s not actually possible to detect a link between global warming and fire for Australia today."
Mr Lomborg said while the recent bushfire season was very significant, “if we go back in history about 11% of Australia’s surface used to burn every year in 1900” and “today that number is about 5.3%”.
“So we have seen more than half of the area burnt, partly because we have much more agriculture and we have better forest management – we have actually done a lot to reduce the area,” Mr Lomborg told Sky News.
The IPCC says it is hard to say (‘low confidence’) whether global drought has become better or worse since 1950.
Figures from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) show no trend in the proportion of the globe in drought since 1950 (see Figure 1). Others have suggested a decline in drought levels in recent decades.
The Daily Telegraph: Serial arsonists will face the full force of the law after NSW Police announced a crackdown on fire bugs in the wake of investigations which showed 716 fires this season did not occur naturally. Of that number it is unclear how many were the work of arsonists and what was the result of negligent behaviour. Dedicated investigators will now trawl through evidence to separate the two.
As we explained in an analysis of Australian bushfire losses over time: “bushfire damage is not solely a function of bushfire weather; far from it, in fact. Even given a gradual aggravation of bushfire weather due to anthropogenic climate change or other factors, a bushfire still has to be ignited. Once ignited, a bushfire then has to traverse the landscape and impact a populated area, where outcomes in terms of damage will be a function of the spatial disposition of dwellings with respect to the fire front, and especially distance of properties from the bushland boundary.”
Rule Number One: Any model used in an event attribution study to quantify a linkage (weasel word) between climate change a specific extreme event should also produce accurate historical climate trends associated with the relevant phenomena. The claim that rainfall from Hurricane Florence was boosted 50% by climate change should have raised immediate doubts because observations have not shown an increase in rainfall related to landfalling hurricanes. Any event attribution study that cannot accurately replicate historical trends using the same model and methods is clearly fatally flawed...
Rule Number Three: All event attribution studies should integrate their findings with the traditional approach to detection and attribution of the IPCC. Event attribution studies often result is what is called “attribution without detection.”...
Individual event attribution studies are here to stay. They fill a strong demand in advocacy and in politics. Meeting such demand should be fully compatible with basic standards of scientific quality. For event attribution studies to be conducted with the highest degree of rigor they should (1) demonstrate consistency with historical observations, (2) be the product of preregistered studies, and (3) be fully integrated with the conventional methodologies of the IPCC. Until event attribution studies meet these basic rules, they will better serve purposes of advocacy rather than science.
In terms of area of land burnt, these last few weeks may be recorded as unprecedented. This has everything to do with our mismanagement of the landscape, including the lack of hazard reduction burning especially in eucalyptus forests.
We were warned in the report from the 1939 Royal Commission by Judge Leonard Stretton, and in the more than 18 major inquiries since, forests are potentially dangerous and explosive places. Fuel loads must be kept within acceptable limits.
Blaming the recent fires on climate change is to rewrite our temperature history, something the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been doing for some time. This has involved the:
remodelling of measured values
addition of hotter locations to only the most recent years in the compilation of a national average trend
transition to electronic probes that are designed to record hotter for the same weather, and
deleting of the hottest day in the official record, which was January 3, 1909.