Monday, May 23, 2022

CSIRO climate cop-out ignores the science : Vic Jurskis

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This is a response by Vic Jurskis to Forest fires and climate change: CSIRO responds
These stories and responses relate to the ongoing debate on ARR.News: Open for Debate – Bushfires, Logging, Burns & Forest Management

Dr. Canadell said in response to my comment: “Our study doesn’t discuss forest management.”

This statement is Not True. Here’s an extract from the CSIRO paper:

Fuel loads … play a role in determining fire risk 25,26. This is a motivation for using prescribed burning to reduce fuel availability27… Although there is some debate on their value to reduce fire risk29, particularly during extreme fire weather conditions 2,30, fuel loads … are key determinants of fire spread, intensity and severity7.

Caring for country
We can choose between caring for country and fighting fire. Photo: Vic Jurskis

Reference 29 is: Price, O. F., Penman, T. D., Bradstock, R. A., Boer, M. M. & Clarke, H. Biogeographical variation in the potential effectiveness of prescribed fire in south-eastern Australia. J. Biogeogr. 42, 2234–2245 (2015).

It is another flawed study which purports to show that prescribed burning doesn’t work in most of south-eastern Australia because the bush is different from south-western Australia where 60 years of empirical data prove that it works very well indeed.

Dr. Canadell and his colleagues failed to consider this critical evidence which demolishes the CSIRO argument. Long-term impacts of prescribed burning on regional extent and incidence of wildfires—Evidence from 50 years of active fire management in SW Australian forests – ScienceDirect

Canadell said: “We expect it [Prescribed burning] contributes, along with other factors, to the unexplained variance (20-25%) in the relationship between FFDI and fire area that occurs nationally.

There is no ‘national’ relationship because of differences between the southeast where there is a miniscule amount of prescribed burning and the southwest where land and fire management has been effective. The CSIRO scientists have calculated the average of apples and oranges. The result is meaningless.

The data from WA showed “When averaged over 6-year periods, the annual extent of prescribed burning explained … 71% of the variation in the mean annual extent of unplanned fires.” Also “the annual area treated by prescribed burning had relatively little effect on the extent of unplanned fire in most years, but a relatively strong negative effect on the probability of occurrence of years in which unusually large areas were burnt by unplanned fire”.

In other words, prescribed burning prevents megafires in bad seasons.

Long-term data from the southwest also show that a minimum of 8% of the landscape must be treated each year and the benefits persist for six years. So unless at least half the landscape is properly maintained, forests will explode in bad seasons, whether ignited by lightning or accident or arson.

The elaborate CSIRO study was a waste of time and money. Our Lock It Up and Let It Burn ‘conservation’ paradigm causes megafires. Seventy thousand years of climatic and fire records show that we can reinstate resilient, healthy and safe landscapes irrespective of climate change.

How Australian Aborigines Shaped and Maintained Fire Regimes and the Biota :: Science Publishing Group

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