Fire Statistics Debunk Asserted Link to Global Warming

Fire Statistics Debunk Asserted Link to Global Warming
May 28, 2014

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)

Climate Change Weekly #128

California Gov. Jerry Brown blamed global warming for recent wildfires in California, but objective data show a decline in wildfires as our planet modestly warms.

2013 was one of the quietest wildfire years in U.S. history, according to data from the federal government’s National Interagency Fire Center. The 47,000 wildfires last year may seem like a very large number – and it certainly gives global warming alarmists like Brown plenty of fodder for misleading claims – but the 47,000 wildfires was less than half the average number of wildfires that occurred each year in the 1960s and 1970s. Earth was cooling during the 1960s and 1970s when so many more wildfires occurred.

The unusually quiet 2013 fire season continued a long-term trend in declining wildfires. From 1962 through 1982, for example, at least 100,000 wildfires occurred in the United States every year. Since 1982, however, not a single year has registered 100,000 wildfires. During the past decade, an average of 73,000 wildfires occurred each year. During the 1970s, by contrast, an average of 155,000 wildfires occurred each year.

The 2014 wildfire season, moreover, has been relatively quiet so far. The total number of wildfires is well below the 1962–2013 average and is even below the average for the past decade. Even so, the below-average 22,000 wildfires so far this year give alarmists plenty of opportunities to mislead the public about the facts.

Droughts and wildfires have always occurred and will always occur. While global warming is reducing the frequency of droughts and wildfires, warming will not completely eradicate droughts and wildfires. They will continue from time to time despite their long-term decline.

SOURCE: Forbes.com


IN THIS ISSUE

Research & Commentary debunks ‘97 percent consensus’ myth … Hollywood activists accept Saudi payoff for anti-fracking film … Curry explains why she abandoned alarmists, became a skeptic … Newsweek’s ‘Cooling World’ author rails against warming deniers … Billionaire activist Steyer made fortune in coal investments … Peer-reviewed study: Sea-level rise not accelerating … Melting ice sheets soak up CO2, boost phytoplankton … Peer-reviewed study: Global warming boosts sea turtle populations


Cartoon by Steve Hunter. Access the full report here.

RESEARCH & COMMENTARY DEBUNKS ‘97 PERCENT CONSENSUS’ MYTH

A newly published analysis of climate surveys debunks the frequently asserted alarmist myth that 97 percent of scientists believe humans are creating a global warming crisis. The Heartland Institute’s Research & Commentary: The Myth of a Global Warming Consensus provides a 12-paragraph summary of the issue and links to 11 articles debunking the mythical alarmist consensus.

MORE INFORMATION: The Heartland Institute


HOLLYWOOD ACTIVISTS ACCEPT SAUDI PAYOFF FOR ANTI-FRACKING FILM

Hollywood environmental activists Ed Begley Jr., Mariel Hemingway, and Josh Tickell were caught on camera agreeing to accept $9 million to film an anti-fracking film to help a supposed Saudi oil magnate “end American energy independence.” Undercover journalist James O’Keefe posed as the Saudi oil magnate and filmed the activists agreeing to the quid pro quo that would make America more dependent on foreign energy sources. Mark Ruffalo, another Hollywood environmental activist, pledged via video to join the anti-fracking project. Tickell has filmed environmental activist movies such as Fuel, The Big Fix, and PUMP.

MORE INFORMATION: Breitbart.com


CURRY EXPLAINS WHY SHE ABANDONED ALARMISTS, BECAME A SKEPTIC

Judith Curry, professor and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, gave a riveting interview to the Australian journal Quadrant. Curry explains why she is now a skeptic after many years of believing the alarmist global warming narrative presented by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Curry also predicts a continuation of the longstanding stagnation in global temperatures.

MORE INFORMATION: Quadrant


NEWSWEEK’S ‘COOLING WORLD’ AUTHOR RAILS AGAINST WARMING DENIERS

Peter Gwynne, author of a 1975 Newsweek article spreading alarm about global cooling and blasting political leaders for not taking aggressive action to combat it, now claims humans are causing a global warming crisis. In his 1975 Newsweek article, Gwynne claimed dangerous global cooling was causing droughts, tornadoes, crop failures, and severe Arctic cold fronts. In a newly published column in Inside Science, he now says dangerous global warming is causing these very same events. Gwynne also demanded global warming “deniers” stop citing his 1975 Newsweek article.

MORE INFORMATION: Inside Science


BILLIONAIRE ACTIVIST STEYER MADE FORTUNE IN COAL INVESTMENTS

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer, who is using his fortune to attack political candidates who are global warming skeptics, made much of his fortune bankrolling coal projects. Steyer’s capital management firm, Farallon Capital Management, invested billions of dollars in coal projects in Southeast Asia and Australia. After making his fortune through coal investments, Steyer promises to punish political candidates who support coal or are skeptical of global warming alarmism.

MORE INFORMATION: Washington Free Beacon


PEER-REVIEWED STUDY: SEA-LEVEL RISE NOT ACCELERATING

Global sea-level rise has not accelerated during recent decades, a newly published peer-reviewed study reports. Sea level continues rising at approximately seven inches per century, which is the same pace of sea-level rise that occurred without substantial harm during the twentieth century.

MORE INFORMATION: co2science.org


MELTING ICE SHEETS SOAK UP CO2, BOOST PHYTOPLANKTON

Meltwater from ice sheets is rich in iron, which boosts phytoplankton growth and absorbs carbon dioxide, scientists report in a newly published peer-reviewed study. The study documents an important negative feedback loop that moderates the impacts of global warming. Alarmist climate models heavily emphasize asserted positive feedback loops to predict far more warming than atmospheric carbon dioxide can cause on its own. Also, enhanced phytoplankton growth boosts ecosystems throughout the aquatic food chain.

MORE INFORMATION: Watts Up With That? and Nature Communications


PEER-REVIEWED STUDY: GLOBAL WARMING BOOSTS SEA TURTLE POPULATIONS

Warming temperatures boost the female percentage of sea turtles, which will likely boost overall sea turtle populations, scientists report in a newly published peer-reviewed study. Sea turtle gender is largely determined by incubation temperature. The study’s authors documented more female sea turtles are being born as global temperatures warm. The increasing abundance of female sea turtles will boost nesting and egg-laying activities, causing an overall increase in sea turtle populations, the scientists report.

MORE INFORMATION: Phys Org and Nature Climate Change

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, and... (read full bio)