Thursday, February 7, 2013

Climate Change FUD

      In his second inaugural address, President Obama promised to "respond to the threat of climate change." One of the concerns he used to justify the urgent nature of the threat— "devastating impact of raging fires."
      In theory a warmer and drier climate should lead to more fires, but is not what is happening.  Nothing is wrong with the theory. It is just other mitigating factors are acting to offset this potential.
      A publication, Long-term perspective on wildfires in the western USA, in the August 2012 Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Science found
Since the late 1800s , human activities and the ecological effects of recent high fire activity caused a large, abrupt decline in burning similar to the LIA fire decline. Consequently, there is now a forest “fire deficit” in the western United States attributable to the combined effects of human activities, ecological, and climate changes. Large fires in the late 20th and 21st century fires have begun to address the fire deficit, but it is continuing to grow.
Clearly the threat of devastating forest fires does not define an urgency.

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