2019 was Australia's hottest year on record – so is global warming behind the fires?
Global temperatures have been inching up ever since the little ice age a couple of hundred years ago, meaning that a hotter 2019 is no surprise. And it is also no surprise that extra heat favours fires.
What is not at all clear is that increased levels of CO2 are involved. That increased CO2 causes increased temperatures is the theory behind "climate change" but for the theory to be correct there should be a close correlation between CO2 levels and temperature levels. There is not. They rise in different ways at different times. So the theory is grounded in faith, not fact. It cannot in fact explain anything.
Northern English expat Graham Readfearn makes a living out of writing stories that boost the "climate change" faith so his latest piece in the Guardian (below) is no surprise.
He has done some homework and interviewed climate scientits about Australia's present bushfire problem in an endeavour to find out why the problem is much bigger this year. Bushfires are a normal seasonal event in Australia but the problem this year is unusually severe.
The people he interviewed all identified various climate influences on the fires -- such as the Indian Ocean dipole, the Southern Annular Mode etc -- but all agreed that "climate change" was a "contributor" to the fires
But that's just a statement of faith. They have no data that would enable them to dissect the various "contributions" to the fires.
That becomes particularly clear when we note that 2019 temperatures differed from several previous years by only tenths of one degree. 2019 was hotter but only by a tiny fraction. So if temperatures similar to those of the present did not cause bushfires in the past, how can we know that they contributed this year? We cannot. The probablity has to be that global temperatures had a negligble "contribution".
The actual causes would appear to be the drought and a long period of fuel buildup after the Greenies and their bureaucratic allies systematically obstructed backburning. Without that fuel there would have been no fires
The year 2019 was the hottest on record for Australia with the temperature reaching 1.52C above the long-term average, data from the Bureau of Meteorology confirms.
The year that delivered crippling drought, heatwaves, temperature records and devastating bushfires was 0.19C hotter than 2013, the previous record holder.
Climate scientists told Guardian Australia that climate change pushed what would have been a hot year into record territory, driving heat extremes and the risk of deadly bushfires.
The Bureau of Meteorology data shows the average temperature across the country was 1.52C above the long-term average taken between 1961 and 1990. The second hottest year was 2013, followed by 2005, 2018 and 2017.
The data, from the bureau’s long-term ACORN-SAT data, will be used as part of the bureau’s annual climate statement due for release on 9 January.
Prof Mark Howden, the director of the ANU Climate Change Institute, said the continued rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, caused mainly by burning fossil fuels, was the underlying driver of the heat.
He said: “It’s very clear that greenhouse gas emissions are changing the radiation balance of the Earth. Other contributors are minor in comparison.”
He said two other climate systems had also played a role in delivering the record hot year.
The Indian Ocean Dipole system had drawn moisture away from the centre of the continent, causing extra heat to build there. Another system known as the Southern Annular Mode had also contributed to the heat.
The data also shows that 2019 was the hottest year on record for New South Wales, with temperatures 1.95C above the long-term average, beating the previous record year, 2018, by 0.27C.
Western Australia also had its hottest year, with temperatures 1.67C above average, beating the previous 2013 heat record by 0.58C.
The Northern Territory and South Australia both had their second hottest years, with 2019 coming in fifth hottest for Victoria and sixth hottest for Queensland, according to the data. Tasmania had a relatively cool year, but was still 0.41C above the long-term average.
The previous summer of 2018-19 was the hottest on record. The spring of 2019 also delivered the worst bushfire weather since at least 1950, when the Forest Fire Danger Index data began.
On Wednesday 18 December, Australia experienced its hottest day on record with an average maximum temperature of 41.9C (107.4F), beating the previous record by 1C that had been set only 24 hours earlier.
Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, a climate scientist at the University of New South Wales specialising in extreme events, said 2019 had started hot, with the previous summer being the hottest on record.
She said: “The extremes have been seen in lots of heatwaves and, of course, the bushfires, that are a consequence of the very hot and dry conditions.”
She said while natural climate cycles had pushed temperatures higher, “climate change has given them a boost”.
“2019 would not have been pleasant anyway, but climate change has made it worse. We are focusing now on the bushfires, but the underlying heat has been driving these conditions for much of the year.
“Climate change isn’t the outright cause, but it’s an undeniable contributor to this extreme year on all accounts.”
A bureau spokesperson said it would provide official comment on the 2019 temperatures in its annual climate statement on January 9 that would include a “comprehensive analysis of the year’s weather events and climate context, including any records of note”.