Pages: 1 ... 62 63 [64] 65 66 ... 111   Go Down

Author Topic: Extreme weather  (Read 49287 times)

James Clark

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1784
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1260 on: January 10, 2020, 03:54:53 pm »

;D ;D ;D

Welcome to LuLa, indeed. We’ve been sorely missing another alarmist.

Perhaps your climatology degree can help ferret out who killed Kennedy as well?  ;)
Logged

Craig Lamson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2422
    • Craig Lamson Photo Homepage
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1261 on: January 10, 2020, 08:04:23 pm »

Here in Australia, we have just experienced both the hottest year on record and the driest year on record.  This has given rise to an unprecedented fire season that started last July, in the middle of winter.  There are hundreds of fires and many remain out of control.  They are likely to continue for weeks or months.  So far 107,000 square kilometres have burned, just under the size of Cuba or Tennessee.  This is clearly driven by man-made climate change, as was predicted for this time by the Garnaut study ten years ago.

Some days in Canberra smoke from fires to the East and to the South-West have given us the worst air quality of any city in the world.  I recently published a Blog post that shows nearby wildlife in previous months and the effect of smoka haze last Sunday and outlines the Climate Crisis context.

https://murrayfoote.com/2020/01/05/australia-burning/?

Remind me...how many people have been arrested for setting fires?  Just curious.
Logged
Craig Lamson Photo 

MurrayFoote

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1262 on: January 10, 2020, 08:13:43 pm »

Welcome to LuLa, indeed. We’ve been sorely missing another alarmist.

Alarmist? Is that perhaps an emotive attempt to fit me into a stereotype?  Although I probably know more about Photography, I do try to pay attention to scientists and international conservation organisations.  Even Australian Fire Chiefs who have come out collectively decrying the lack of preparation our Government's climate denialism has led to.

For example, here is a link to a disturbing article by one of Australia's leading climate experts.  She says that there are a number of international studies coming out soon that show that the Climate Crisis is escalating much faster than anyone has suspected.  https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2019/august/1566136800/jo-lle-gergis/terrible-truth-climate-change?

If the nature of our reality is alarming, then to point to that is not alarmist and knowledge of this is a precondition for belated effective action.
Logged

MurrayFoote

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1263 on: January 10, 2020, 08:23:33 pm »

Remind me...how many people have been arrested for setting fires?  Just curious.

Twenty four.  And there have been many hundreds or maybe thousands of fires.  The number of fires doesn't mean a lot because fires join up.  The fire authorities in Victoria came out yesterday and said that none of the fires there were started by arson.  The giant fire on the south coast of New South Wales was started by a single lightening strike.  Identifying the fires with arson is an inaccurate claim, I understand largely on American media, to avoid attribution of a prime cause to the Climate Crisis. 

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/08/twitter-bots-trolls-australian-bushfires-social-media-disinformation-campaign-false-claims
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10275
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1264 on: January 10, 2020, 08:40:53 pm »

Here in Australia, we have just experienced both the hottest year on record and the driest year on record.  This has given rise to an unprecedented fire season that started last July, in the middle of winter.  There are hundreds of fires and many remain out of control.  They are likely to continue for weeks or months.  So far 107,000 square kilometres have burned, just under the size of Cuba or Tennessee.  This is clearly driven by man-made climate change, as was predicted for this time by the Garnaut study ten years ago.

Welcome, Murray,

It's not clear at all. The greatest environmental danger facing Australia in coming decades will result from a failure to identify and tackle the main contributing causes of the major bushfires which occur during the major periods of drought which have always been a natural cycle in Australia.

Deluding ourselves that reducing our CO2 emissions will fix the problem is likely to bring on even greater catastrophes.
Whilst there's no doubt that hot, dry and windy conditions set the stage for bushfires to proliferate, the initial spark that starts such fires is usually from human activity. There seems to be a widespread misconception that most fires are started by 'dry lightning' strikes. This might be the case in very remote, uninhabited regions where there are no roads, but is not the case generally.

Here's an investigation of the causes of recent, past, bushfires in NSW that occurred between 2001-2004.
 https://aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab021

Refer attached 'infographics'.

Here's another article addressing the issue.

"While figures vary, around half of all bushfires in Australia are either known to be deliberately lit or are considered suspicious, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-11-20/bushfire-ignition-source-how-we-know/11701132

Another cause which greatly exaggerates the intensity of bushfires is the accumulation of forest floor debris which increases the fire load and makes it easier for a fire to start.

We can't control wind and heat but we can control the fuel load on the forest floor through sensible management, winter back-burning and firewood removal.


Logged

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9946
    • Flicker photos
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1265 on: January 10, 2020, 08:41:13 pm »

First, welcome to the forum Murray.  Get ready for a lot of heated debate.  :)  I'm sorry Australia is having so much damage and death.  We have a lot of fire issues out in western America that hit our citizens every year during the hot, dry season.  We foolishly build in areas that are prone to being hit.  Yet we ignore the signs and keep building there instead of safer areas. 

I'm confused why the Australian fires are caused by climate change and not just natural occurrences and changing weather patterns that occur from time to time.  These fires and very hot weather patterns apparently happened there before the industrial revolution as well.  So why blame what's happening now on climate change? 

Bart_van_der_Wolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8822
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1266 on: January 10, 2020, 08:48:13 pm »

[...]
We can't control wind and heat but we can control the fuel load on the forest floor through sensible management, winter back-burning and firewood removal.

Really?

And don't the rising CO2 concentrations add even more biomass to burn?
Logged
== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

MurrayFoote

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1267 on: January 10, 2020, 09:54:13 pm »

Thanks very much Alan.

The thing is that the nature of the conditions has changed.  There have been a couple of peak fire years before in the last fifty years or so but in both cases they followed a period of high rainfall which produced lots of fuel (eg grasses) to burn.  This time is different because there is no such fuel and everything is tinder dry.  The Bureau of Meteorology announced a few days ago that 2019 was both the hottest and the driest year on record for Australia.  Last December was the hottest December on record and a few days ago we had the hottest day ever in Canberra by a significant margin.  Firefighters and locals in the bush are frequently saying that they've never seen anything like these fires. Record heat plus record dryness has produced unprecedented fires.  Many are out of control and will only be extinguished by significant rain which is not happening soon.  The most significant underlying reason is man-made climate change.
Logged

MurrayFoote

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1268 on: January 10, 2020, 10:26:27 pm »

Ray

Droughts have always a natural cycle in Australia but average temperatures are higher than they have ever been and also the landscape drier.  Then when particularlly hot conditions and weather changes create high winds, unstoppable fires result, whatever the spark.  The increased heat and changed weather conditions that underly this are significantly associated with man-made climate change.  Fire chiefs are collectively calling on the Federal Goverment to address the Climate Crisis as a cause of the fires.

Winter prescribed burns are a normal measure to reduce fire risk but this fire season started last July, in the middle of winter.  The usual damp conditions in winter were much reduced and consequently the window for such burning was much conscribed.  In Victoria for example, they were only able to perform prescribed burns to half of the area they had intended.  In any case such burns do not prevent fires and in many cases this season the condidions are so severe that the fires go right through the prescribed burns.

Incidentally, I visited Binna Burra eighteen months before it burned and there are a couple of posts on my Blog.  Here is the first one:  https://murrayfoote.com/2017/08/16/alcheringa-daves-creek-circuit-and-tullawallal-circuit/

Update:  I've just seen a news report that indicates that hardly any of the fires in New South Wales and Victoria were deliberately lit:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-11/australias-fires-reveal-arson-not-a-major-cause/11855022
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 11:12:54 pm by MurrayFoote »
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10275
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1269 on: January 11, 2020, 05:06:35 am »

Really?

And don't the rising CO2 concentrations add even more biomass to burn?

Of course they do, but not nearly enough to compensate for all the trees removed over the past century for agricultural purposes and use of timber. Whilst a doubling of CO2 will result in a 35% increase in the growth of most plants, CO2 concentrations have risen by only 45% during the past 150 years or so.

If that 45% increase had occurred  during a single decade of wet weather prior to a severe drought, then the claim that CO2 concentrations played a significant part in the severity of the drought, would make sense.


Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10275
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1270 on: January 11, 2020, 05:17:39 am »

Ray

Droughts have always a natural cycle in Australia but average temperatures are higher than they have ever been and also the landscape drier.

Not necessarily, Murray. Australian scientists drilling in the Antarctic, at Law Dome, have gathered a 1,000 year record of past droughts in Australia, examining the composition of layers of ice which are affected by conditions which also cause droughts in Australia.

They have identified 8 mega droughts during that 1,000 year period. 6 of those mega droughts occurred before significant rises in CO2 levels from industrialization. The worst, or at least longest drought, was during the 12th to 13th century A.D., and lasted 39 years from AD 1174–1212.

We can't be sure of the precise temperatures in those times, but the Medieval Warm Period is considered by many experts in the field to be at least as warm as the current period, and likely warmer.

http://www.antarctica.gov.au/news/2014/antarctic-ice-cores-tell-1000-year-australian-drought-story

Quote
Update:  I've just seen a news report that indicates that hardly any of the fires in New South Wales and Victoria were deliberately lit:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-11/australias-fires-reveal-arson-not-a-major-cause/11855022     

At this stage I doubt that we can be certain about the number of fires lit deliberately, but analysis of past fires during past droughts suggest a much higher number than 1% are deliberately lit, so the question that 'thinking' people should address is 'Why is that number of deliberately lit fires, or arson, so dramatically lower on this occasion?'

Another cause of the fires is due to accidental ignition resulting from sparks from machinery, vehicles and trains, and many other activities, including kids just playing around.
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10275
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1271 on: January 11, 2020, 06:37:45 am »

Whoopee! It's been raining in Brisbane, Australia, for the past hour.  ;D
Logged

Bart_van_der_Wolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8822
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1272 on: January 11, 2020, 06:58:15 am »

Whoopee! It's been raining in Brisbane, Australia, for the past hour.  ;D

Congratulations.

It does seem to be more like a drizle for the moment, but in a few hours you'll get a short lasting shower, and then it's over for a couple of days. It cannot be nearly enough to offset the drought though.
Logged
== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

MurrayFoote

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1273 on: January 11, 2020, 08:22:09 am »

Not necessarily, Murray. Australian scientists drilling in the Antarctic, at Law Dome, have gathered a 1,000 year record of past droughts in Australia, examining the composition of layers of ice which are affected by conditions which also cause droughts in Australia.
They have identified 8 mega droughts during that 1,000 year period. 6 of those mega droughts occurred before significant rises in CO2 levels from industrialization. The worst, or at least longest drought, was during the 12th to 13th century A.D., and lasted 39 years from AD 1174–1212.
We can't be sure of the precise temperatures in those times, but the Medieval Warm Period is considered by many experts in the field to be at least as warm as the current period, and likely warmer.
http://www.antarctica.gov.au/news/2014/antarctic-ice-cores-tell-1000-year-australian-drought-story
But that's just droughts, and as compared to the millenial drought of around twenty years ago.  The pre-European ecology, prior to the introduction of sheep and cattle and the elimination of perennial grasses, was quite different and Aborigines were still undertaking cool burns in their traditional context.  Last year was a record high temperature and there's been a year beating the previous high probably every second year in the last ten.  Last year was also the driest since 1902.  Accurate recordings of temperature only date from the adoption of the Stevenson Cage in 1908 (a standardised shaded environment).  But from what I have read, we are experiencing the hottest temperatures for thousands of years.

Recent research also suggests that the Mediaeval warm period was not as widespread as has been generally assumed, confined to parts of Europe and not, for example, relevant to the settlement of Greenland.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/12/04/climate-change-may-not-have-driven-the-vikings-from-greenland-after-all/

At this stage I doubt that we can be certain about the number of fires lit deliberately, but analysis of past fires during past droughts suggest a much higher number than 1% are deliberately lit, so the question that 'thinking' people should address is 'Why is that number of deliberately lit fires, or arson, so dramatically lower on this occasion?'
Another cause of the fires is due to accidental ignition resulting from sparks from machinery, vehicles and trains, and many other activities, including kids just playing around.
I don't see any reason to doubt the ABC article.  I think the obvious answer is that the conditions are very different this time.  This is not like previous fire seasons.  The unprecedented heat and drought can create its own weather conditions on peak days and a CFA controller in Victoria is quoted in that article as saying that most of the fires were caused by dry lightening.  Hence the unprecedented fires which even burn rainforest.

We've had a few drops of rain but not much more. Rain is forecast for the end of next week but not I would think enough to put the fires out.  Without significant rain, there are several out of control fires 50 or 60 kilometres to the west of Canberra that might reach us in say two to four weeks.  Hopefully it won't come to that but there's no end in sight at this stage and no guarantees.
Logged

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9946
    • Flicker photos
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1274 on: January 11, 2020, 08:35:02 am »

Are illegal fires set mischievously or for farming reasons like in the Brazil Amazon?

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10275
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1275 on: January 11, 2020, 08:36:28 am »

Congratulations.

It does seem to be more like a drizle for the moment, but in a few hours you'll get a short lasting shower, and then it's over for a couple of days. It cannot be nearly enough to offset the drought though.

It was a bit more than drizzle for a while where I am, but it has stopped for now. From past experience, I expect people will get used to short and light periods of rain, then when the drought begins to truly break, and serious rain is forecast, there will be uncertainty about the amount of precipitation, because weather forecasts are rarely accurate and alarmists will be repeating the mantra that droughts are predicted to get worse because of anthropomorphic climate change, and the dam operators will probably not release enough water in preparation for the forecasted rains, and massive flood damage will result.

At least that's what happened in Brisbane at the end of the so-called 'Millennium' drought in 2010-11. There was a class action against the dam operators for not releasing water immediately after the BOM forecast heavy rains. After 10 years of litigation the court has finally ruled that the dam operators were in fact negligent for not releasing more water before the forecasted heavy rains arrived.

This is why I find the widespread mania about the harmful effects of CO2 on climate, very troubling. The practical solution to our problems are more flood-mitigation dams and long-distance water pipes, stricter building codes based upon the past history of extreme weather events in the region, regular burn-off of forest debris during safe conditions, as the Aboriginals used to do, and so on.

Doing this requires abundant sources of energy, which we have. Strangling ourselves with expensive and unreliable, alternative energy supplies, will get us nowhere.  :(
Logged

Ray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10275
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1276 on: January 11, 2020, 09:21:25 am »

The rain has started again.  ;D

Not heavy, but quite moderate. I hope it goes on all night, but I'm off to bed right now. I'll know in the morning.  ;)
Logged

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9946
    • Flicker photos
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1277 on: January 11, 2020, 09:34:52 am »

I have a theory that the warmer it gets, the more evaporation and the more precipitation.  Maybe the extra rains come at the wrong times in the wrong places.

Bart_van_der_Wolf

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8822
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1278 on: January 11, 2020, 09:45:33 am »

I have a theory that the warmer it gets, the more evaporation and the more precipitation.  Maybe the extra rains come at the wrong times in the wrong places.

That's basically correct.

When a large amount of precipitation falls, the soil may be unable to absorb it fast enough which then leads to runoffs and loss of nutrients, and the soil remains too dry. Also, when the underbrush was cleared (mechanically or by burning) there is also less capacity to store the precipitation.
Logged
== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

LesPalenik

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 3920
    • advantica blog
Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #1279 on: January 11, 2020, 11:32:19 am »

I have a theory that the warmer it gets, the more evaporation and the more precipitation.  Maybe the extra rains come at the wrong times in the wrong places.
Exactly. All that rain has been coming down on the other side of Earth, right here in Ontario.

 
Pages: 1 ... 62 63 [64] 65 66 ... 111   Go Up