Wednesday, August 1, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: 2018 Weather-Related Disaster Losses At Record Low (So Far)








Climate Alarmists Burned By Studies Showing Destructive Wildfires In Decline

In this newsletter:

1) 2018  Weather-Related Disaster Losses At Record Low (So Far)
Roger Pielke Jr., 30 July 2018 

2) Climate Alarmists Burned By Studies Showing Destructive Wildfires In Decline
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 31 July 2018 



3) Wildfires In Greece And Southern Europe Have Declined Since 1980
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 27 July 2018

4) Over The Last 40 Years, There Has Been A Decline In California’s Wildfires
The Orange County Register, 14 September 2017 

5) Why Hasn’t The California Heat Wave Sparked The Usual Global Warming Hysteria?
Editorial, Investor's Business Daily, 25 July 2018 

6) Benny Peiser: Warmer Weather Is A Lifesaver
The Conservative Woman, 31 July 2018

7) Nat. Geographic Admits They Were Wrong About Notorious Starving Polar Bear-Climate Claims
Fox News, 27 July 2018
 
8) Global Carbon Taxes Could Lead To More Hunger Than Climate Change Itself
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 30 July 2018 

9) Wet & Cold: The Shape Of British Summers To Come?
The Guardian, 8 August 2012


Full details:

1) 2018 Weather-Related Disaster Losses At Record Low (So Far)
Roger Pielke Jr., 30 July 2018 


Through seven months of 2018 weather-related disaster losses as proportion of global GDP are at a record low.













You guys realize how lucky we’ve been in 2018?

Roger Pielke Jr., 30 July 2018
 

2) Climate Alarmists Burned By Studies Showing Destructive Wildfires In Decline
Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, 31 July 2018 


Global burned area dropped by about 25 percent over the previous 18 years, study shows

Scenes of Californians fleeing their homes and Greeks swimming out to sea have fueled alarm about climate change fueling deadly wildfires, but recent studies show that such destructive blazes are on the decline worldwide.

A September 2017 report in the journal Science found that global burned area dropped by about 25 percent over the previous 18 years, a finding consistent with a May 2016 paper published by the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

“[G]lobal area burned appears to have overall declined over past decades, and there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago,” said the study by British researchers at Swansea University.

Even in California, which for years has wrestled with fire devastation, a study in the International Journal of Wildland Fire found that the number of wildfires burning more than 300 acres per year has been tailing off since a peak in 1980.

“The claim commonly made in research papers and the media that fire activity is increasing throughout the western USA is certainly an over-statement,” the authors, Jon E. Keeley and Alexandra D. Syphard, said in The Orange County Register.

Mr. Keeley is a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and Ms. Syphard is with the Conservation Biology Institute.

Full story
 

see also:  Is climate change the culprit causing California’s wildfires?
 
3) Wildfires In Greece And Southern Europe Have Declined Since 1980
Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 27 July 2018


Wildfires are raging across the Greek Peloponnesus, and politicians and media outlets have done their best to tie the blazes to man-made global warming.

“Climate change worsened deadly Greek wildfires,” Axios  reported Wednesday. The Washington Post lumped Greek wildfires in a story claiming that “[c]limate change is supercharging a hot and dangerous summer.”

Even Greek Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas said local weather conditions were “extreme due to climate change.”

Indeed, extremely hot weather and high winds allowed fires to spread quickly before firefighters could contain the blazes. Climate scientists expect increased wildfire risks in many areas of the world with more global warming.

But even though temperatures across Greece have increased in recent decades, wildfires in Greece, and Mediterranean Europe as a whole, have declined since 1980.

Environmental policy expert Bjorn Lomborg actually looked at the data and found the area burnt by fires in Southern Europe, including Greece, has nearly halved in the last 26 years.

Lomborg also noted that the amount of forested area in Europe has also dramatically increased in recent decades, as had development and population.

View image on Twitter



In fact, Europe as a whole is seeing fewer acres consumed by wildfires in 2018 than normal, compared to the average over the last decade.

Full story
 

4) Over The Last 40 Years, There Has Been A Decline In California’s Wildfires
The Orange County Register, 14 September 2017 


 In a year that is already being called one of the worst ever for wildfires in the western United States, there is another fact that some may find remarkable: For nearly 40 years, the number of wildfires in California has been declining.

California wildfire data reviewed by a USGS research ecologist shows a trend that many may find hard to believe: Since a peak in 1980, there have been fewer and fewer wildfires in California. This is true across the entire state, according to researcher Jon Keeley, who is also a professor at UCLA.

According to his paper, co-authored with Alexandra D. Syphard, we need to rethink our ideas about the frequency of wildfires.

 “The claim commonly made in research papers and the media that fire activity is increasing throughout the western USA is certainly an over-statement,” wrote the authors.


Graphic showing declines in wildfires in Calfire and USFS jurisdictions from “Different historical fire–climate patterns in California” by Jon E. Keeley and Alexandra D. Syphard. (Courtesy Jon E. Keeley)


The trend of fewer, but not smaller fires is apparent in recent years. State data regarding large wildfires (300 acres or more) from 2000 to 2015 show total numbers – not fire size – has been in decline, despite a sharp spike in 2008.

So, what’s the reason for this decline? Well, they don’t know… yet.

“Can’t say at this point what has changed in the last 100 years that has caused this decline… but I am hoping we might find out,” Keeley said.

Full story
 

5) Why Hasn’t The California Heat Wave Sparked The Usual Global Warming Hysteria?
Editorial, Investor's Business Daily, 25 July 2018 


Perhaps the mainstream media have come to the realization that after decades of end-of-the-world predictions and oversaturation coverage, during which time global temperatures have barely budged, the public has stopped paying attention.

This week, the southwest was hit with an earth-scorching heat wave, with temperatures well above 100 in some areas. Normally that would cause every news organization to trot out “global warming is killing us” stories. But not this time. Maybe they’ve caught on to the fact that the public has tuned out.

It wasn’t long ago when the mainstream press took every opportunity, no matter how weak the connection, to blame bad things on global warming. So far, at least, we haven’t found one major story using the heat wave gripping the southwest to sound the alarm about global warming.

This lack of alarmism has not gone unnoticed.

Writing at the New Republic this week, Emily Atkin complained that despite record-breaking heat and a wildfire season that, she says, is already worse than usual, “there’s no climate connection to be found in much news coverage, even in historically climate-conscious outlets like NPR and The New York Times.”

When Atkin contacted NPR for an explanation, the network’s science editor said “You don’t just want to be throwing around, ‘This is due to climate change, that is due to climate change.'”

Wow.

Also this week, Chris Hayes of the uber-liberal MSNBC responded to a complaint on Twitter that his network wasn’t clanging the global warming alarm bells loudly enough or regularly enough with this tweet:

“every single time we’ve covered it’s been a palpable ratings killer. so the incentives are not great.”

So why this sudden outburst of common sense among the mainstream press?

Perhaps they’ve come to the realization that after decades of end-of-the-world predictions and oversaturation coverage, during which time global temperatures have barely budged, the public has stopped paying attention. You can only predict the end of the world so many times, after all, before people start to get skeptical.

The attempts by scientists and environmental activists to blame everything on global warming has probably increased public skepticism as well. Case in point is a video running on the Weather Channel app about a study that claims to have found a link between suicides and climate change. Even an uninformed public will start to question the validity of all these wild claims.

The public may also have noticed that the most vocal preachers of climate change doom — Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc. — don’t act like there’s any crisis whatsoever. They still own huge energy sucking mansions and party on massive gas guzzling yachts.

They aren’t the only global warming hypocrites. A survey earlier this year by researchers at the University of Michigan and Cornell University found that those who said they were “highly concerned” about global warming were the least likely to take individual action. Skeptics were more likely to do the things the alarmist demand: recycle, use public transportation and so forth.

How big a crisis can climate change be if those who scream the loudest about it can’t be bothered to change their own behavior?

Whatever the cause of the climate ennui, it’s clear that years of proselytizing about the “existential threat” posed by a warmer planet has failed to win many converts.

In fact, a recent Gallup survey asked people to name the most important problems facing the country today. Neither “climate change” nor “global warming” even showed up on the list of more than 45 items. Just 2% named “environment/pollution.”

Full editorial
 

6) Benny Peiser: Warmer Weather Is A Lifesaver
The Conservative Woman, 31 July 2018


As temperatures drop and rain clouds return, millions of UK holidaymakers will look back on the summer of 2018 as one of the best they can remember.

While most Britons and overseas visitors have greatly enjoyed the sustained sunshine in recent weeks, some are alarmed that it may have been caused by climate change and could therefore be a recurrent feature of British summers.

After all, we live in a period of global warming and global temperatures today are about 1 degree Celsius warmer than 100 years ago.

Last week the Met Office’s chief scientist, Professor Stephen Belcher, explained on BBC Newsnight that the causes behind the recent heatwave are a combination of short-term weather and long-term climate factors.

Asked if current summer temperatures were the ‘new normal’, he said: ‘The heatwave that we’ve got is probably part of natural cycles in the weather, but it’s superimposed on this background of global warming, and that’s what’s elevating our temperatures.’

I think that’s about right, although Professor Belcher and I might well disagree about the rate of global warming. I accept the basics of climate science, but I am a long-time critic of alarmist hyperbole and climate scares. I believe that climate change is real and that our CO2 emissions are contributing to it, although it is difficult to quantify how much of the change in climate is natural and how much is man-made. However, the actual global warming trend during the last 30 years has been much slower than most climate scientists have predicted. This gives us more time to find better ways of dealing with and adapting to a slightly warming world.

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, a member of the Committee on Climate Change, also acknowledged some scientific uncertainties about the role of climate change in the recent heatwave, saying: ‘We have seen sustained warm and dry patterns. What we don’t understand at the moment is whether climate change makes these patterns more likely.’





















The Daily Telegraph, 24 July 2018

More important than these open questions is the fact that warmer temperatures in the UK are likely to have beneficial health effects on the whole. Cold-related deaths account for 20 times more deaths in the UK (61 per 100,000 per year) than heat-related mortality (3 per 100,000 per year). It is expected that the 2018 heatwave may cause 1,000 extra deaths, yet every winter there are between 20,000 and 30,000 excess deaths in the UK. With warmer winter temperatures that number will fall.

Some of Britain’s leading medical experts have calculated that a rise in the average temperature by a further one degree Celsius over the next 40 years would increase heat-related deaths in Britain by about 2,000 – but would reduce cold-related deaths by nearly 20,000, ten times as many.

And of course we can adapt to warmer summers. In countries such as Spain and the US, where the use of air conditioning has become the norm, heat-related deaths have dropped substantially in recent decades despite global warming. We can do the same, enjoy warmer summers and take the benefit of warmer winters too.

Full post & comments
 

7) Nat. Geographic Admits They Were Wrong About Notorious Starving Polar Bear-Climate Claims
Fox News, 27 July 2018


The narrative behind the viral photo of a polar bear starving, reportedly thanks to climate change, has been called into question by the National Geographic photographer who took it in the first place.
 



In an article for the August issue of National Geographic titled “Starving-Polar-Bear Photographer Recalls What Went Wrong,” Cristina Mittermeier talks about the intended message of the image versus the message that was received.

“We had lost control of the narrative,” she said.

“Photographer Paul Nicklen and I are on a mission to capture images that communicate the urgency of climate change. Documenting its effects on wildlife hasn’t been easy,” she wrote in the article. “With this image, we thought we had found a way to help people imagine what the future of climate change might look like. We were, perhaps, naive. The picture went viral — and people took it literally.”



The image she is referencing shows an emaciated polar bear with hardly any fur covering its bony frame. In a video that was also taken of the bear, it can be seen slowly moving through the terrain, rummaging through an empty can.

Mittermeier goes on to say that it was the language put out by the publication that led to the message being misconstrued.

“The first line of the National Geographic video said, ‘This is what climate change looks like’ — with ‘climate change’ then highlighted in the brand’s distinctive yellow. In retrospect, National Geographic went too far with the caption.”

She estimated that 2.5 billion people saw the footage: “It became the most viewed video on National Geographic’s website — ever,” she said.

From there, social media and news outlets erupted over the message that was being portrayed.

Some experts suggested a number of reason besides climate change that could’ve led to the animal’s condition, including age, illness or even injury.

Mittermeier admits that she couldn’t “say that this bear was starving because of climate change.”

Full story
 

see also: The truth behind the Baffin Bay starving polar bear video is worse than we thought
 
8) Global Carbon Taxes Could Lead To More Hunger Than Climate Change Itself
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 30 July 2018 


New IIASA-led research has found that a single climate mitigation scheme applied to all sectors, such as a global carbon tax, could have a serious impact on agriculture and result in far more widespread hunger and food insecurity than the direct impacts of climate change. Smarter, inclusive policies are necessary instead.

This research, published in Nature Climate Change is the first international study to compare across models the effects of climate change on agriculture with the costs and effects of mitigation policies, and look at subsequent effects on food security and the risk of hunger.

The researchers, led by Tomoko Hasegawa, a researcher at IIASA and Japan’s National Institute for Environment Studies (NIES), and Shinichiro Fujimori, a IIASA researcher and associate professor at Kyoto University, summarized outputs of eight global agricultural models to analyze various different scenarios to 2050. The scenarios covered different socioeconomic development pathways, including one in which the world pursues sustainability, and one in which the world follows current development trends, different levels of global warming, and whether or not climate mitigation policies were employed.

By 2050, the models suggest that climate change could be responsible for putting an extra 24 million people at risk of hunger on average, with some models suggesting up to 50 million extra could be at risk. However, if agriculture is included in very stringent climate mitigation schemes, such as a global carbon tax or a comprehensive emission trading system applying the same rules to all sectors of the economy, the increase in food prices would be such that 78 million more people would be at risk of hunger, with some models finding that up to 170 million more would be at risk.

Some areas are likely to be much more vulnerable than others, such as sub-Saharan Africa and India.

Full post
 

9) Wet & Cold: The Shape Of British Summers To Come?
The Guardian, 8 August 2012

It’s been a dull, damp few months and some scientists think we need to get used to it. Melting ice in Greenland could be bringing permanent changes to our climate




[…] A series of unusually wet and cold summers has afflicted the UK for several years. Remember the devastating floods of 2007, when some areas received double their normal rainfall for June? Or the predictions of a “barbecue summer” in 2009 that backfired badly on the Met Office as the (correctly anticipated) high temperatures were accompanied by heavy clouds and rainstorms?

The impression that many Britons have had that summer weather has been getting worse in recent years is borne out by the data – five out of the last six years (2007-2012), have shown below-average sunshine from June to August, and in some cases well below average. All have had above-average rainfall – in some cases more than 50% above the long-term average. “It is not just a perception – we have had a run of relatively poor summers,” says Stott. […]

For the British Isles, the melting Arctic could hold the key to whether the weather is changing under human impacts. Recent poor summers have been strongly linked by scientists to a change in the usual position of the jet stream, a weather system that normally lies in high latitudes during the northern hemisphere summer.

Earlier this year, two US scientists published a paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggesting that the meandering of the jet stream could be linked to the reduction in sea ice. Edward Hanna, reader in climate science at the University of Sheffield, who is taking part in similar research, explains: “The last six summers since 2007, while often rather cool and wet over the UK, have brought Greenland unusually high air pressure, mild southerly winds, record-breaking temperatures and melting of the land ice.” ... If this pushing of the jet stream southward is indeed linked to less sea ice over the Arctic circle, as Hanna suspects, then the signs are that we will see many more of these wet summers in future.

Full story


The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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