Hypothesis as News: ‘Research predicts extreme fires will increasingly be part of our global landscape’

The state of climate science is perfectly captured by this media release.

Since when is a mere hypothesis newsworthy? Only in climate (junk) science is this standard practice.

The media release is below.


Research predicts extreme fires will increasingly be part of our global landscape
International team hones in on the 478 most extreme wildfires from 2002-2013


Increasingly dangerous fire weather is forecast as the global footprint of extreme fires expands, according to the latest research.

University of Tasmania Professor of Environmental Change Biology David Bowman led an international collaboration – including researchers from the University of Idaho and South Dakota State University – to compile a global satellite database of the intensity of 23 million landscape fires between 2002 and 2013.

Of the 23 million fires, researchers honed in on 478 of the most extreme wildfire events.

“Extreme fire events are a global and natural phenomenon, particularly in forested areas that have pronounced dry seasons,” Professor Bowman said.

“With the exception of land clearance, the research found that extremely intense fires are associated with anomalous weather – such as droughts, winds, or in desert regions, following particularly wet seasons.

“Of the top 478 events we identified 144 economically and socially disastrous extreme fire events that were concentrated in regions where humans have built into flammable forested landscapes, such as areas surrounding cities in southern Australia and western North America.”

Using climate change model projections to investigate the likely consequences of climate change, the research found more extreme fires are predicted in the future for Australia’s east coast, including Brisbane, and the whole of the Mediterranean region – Portugal, Spain, France, Greece and Turkey.

“The projections suggest an increase in the days conducive to extreme wildfire events by 20 to 50 per cent in these disaster-prone landscapes, with sharper increases in the subtropical Southern Hemisphere, and the European Mediterranean Basin,” Professor Bowman said.

University of Idaho Assistant Professor Crystal Kolden said the United States had a much higher proportion of fire events become disasters than any other country in the study. Wildfire burned more than 10 million acres in the US in 2015, and cost over $2 billion to suppress.

“What is really novel about this study is that in the US, we tend to make the assumption that all large and intense fires are disasters, and that there is nothing we can do about it,” Assistant Professor Kolden said.

“But that is not the case at all. What makes a fire event a disaster in the US is when key factors combine – low density housing amidst dense forests, the right climatic conditions, and a lack of fire preparedness on the part of humans.

“We can’t stop big, intense fires from happening here, and they are increasing under climate change. However, in the western US, we can reduce the potential for fire disasters by both reducing forest density and improving mitigation and preparedness through the development of fire-resilient communities.”

The research has been published today in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

The research is released on the day that Professor Bowman’s home state remembers the impact of 1967 bushfires which claimed the lives of 62 people, left 900 injured and more than 7000 homeless. The research resulting from these fires built the foundations of a globally relevant research effort in the field for Tasmania.


6 thoughts on “Hypothesis as News: ‘Research predicts extreme fires will increasingly be part of our global landscape’”

  1. My apologies to the intelligent and expert commenters on this topic if I descend to ad hominems. but ….I mean …. University of TASMANIA???? You flatter them by even including the word ‘hypothesis’ in the title – most students would assume that was a bad-tempered animal living in African rivers. I live in Hobart so I am not biased: it’s a sham university in a sham, mendicant state, and the last refuge for failed green academics

  2. The article says the projections come from climate models. They could instead look at the known factors leading to serious wildfires.

    No matter how a fire ignites, a forest fire becomes dangerous because of the weather conditions allowing it to start and to grow. The potential for forest fires is often indicated by the Haines Index (HI) that has been widely used for operational fire-weather forecasts in regions of the United States, Canada, and Australia. Several studies have shown a positive correlation between HI and observed fire activity.

    An important study demonstrates HI is strongly linked to ocean oscillation events such as El Nino.


  3. And city dwelling greens move to the woods when they retire to experience nature and do not do the necessary tree remove for a defensible space, so the dollars lost when their homes burn to the ground add to the catastrophic cost of fire.

  4. Extreme forest fires are the result of no management to remove threats or provide ways to contain fires. Another “green” blunder.

  5. I recently did a trip through Canada and was sorry to see the devastation of forests via the beetles – asking why the problem seemed to be out of control, I was informed by a forester that the ‘greens’ had virtually stopped management from doing controlled burn offs of forest and this along with the buildup of forest floor rubbish gave a great breeding place for all pests. It is also worth noting that in Australia, nature has designed the use of fire naturally to provide for new growth (regeneration) – many of their tree seeds cannot germinate until they have been exposed to fire. The problem then is humans allowing forest growth too close to their homes and something has to give – another example of mans stupidity.

  6. Really? sorry to tell them, that this all for told all ready, Seven seals. … The Seven Seals is a phrase in the Book of Revelation that refers to seven symbolic seals that secure the book or scroll, that John of Patmos saw in his Revelation of Jesus Christ. The opening of the seals of the Apocalyptic document occurs in Revelation Chapters 5-8 and marks the Second Coming. Revelation 8:7: The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. has nothing to with climate change

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