Monday, February 09, 2009

Australlan Wildfires

The wildfires in Australia have killed at least 173 people, as of today.... Australia's population is only about 21.6M -- so an equivalent number for the U.S. would be an inconceivable 2,430 burned to death.... essentially another 9/11....

This heat wave in Australia has been said to be (from what I've read) a one-in-a-hundred year event.... and the accompanying wildfires.... well, it's exactly the kind of thing predicted to be more frequent as the globe warms. (I think I read that the last 1-100 fire in Australia was 1973.)

I suspect this event is going to rank with the 2003 French heat wave, where about 35,000 people died.... and no, it's not direct proof of anthropogenic global warming. No single weather fluctuation can be proof of anything. But, let's be clear, it is exactly in line with the kind of increase in tragedy that one expects with AGW.... Yes, I'm sure that the number of deaths in Australia have been larger because there is more development going on in Australia and its population is growing year-by-year....


Anonymous said...


I believe it is well known that many more people die from cold vs hot weather. Thus warming will result in a net reduction in deaths.


Dano said...

charles, your tired argument is bullsh--.

Why is this tired denialist argument bullsh--?

Increasing heat will lessen cold deaths and increase heat deaths. Any denialist site looking at past records needs to include projections of future deaths. Do they? Well, do they?



Anonymous said...


It would appear that co2 is not getting the blame for the fire deaths in Australia. Can you guess who is getting the blame?

Also, we all know more co2 and GW depresses vegetation growth so you can't blame more vegetation on co2.


Anonymous said...


"Increasing heat will lessen cold deaths and increase heat deaths."

Well yes, I can't prove that but it does sound plausible.

Now remember, co2 greenhouse science says the effect is greatest in cold ares vs hot areas. The reason being the higher concentration of water vapor in hot areas tends to dominate the other greenhouse gases. The data also supports this as the arctic has warmed more than the tropics.

Thus is the earth warms 2dc we may see 3dc in the high latitudes and 1dc in the tropics. So most of the effect of AGW is probably going to be a reduction in cold related deaths rather than an increase in warm related deaths.

Now you could counter this argument by saying most people live in the tropics rather the arctic, so a slight warming in the tropics will affect more people than a stronger warming in the higher latitudes.

But then people (and flora and fauna) do generally prefer the tropics over the arctic don't they. So maybe we won't all mind a little warming?