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Bushfire - Australia

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Old Thursday 30th January 2020, 10:12   #101
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Angry Cigarette butt to blame for devastating Binna Burra bushfire

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-...74?pfmredir=sm





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Old Thursday 30th January 2020, 11:44   #102
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Unhappy Australia wildfires: Devastating photo shows extent of damage

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...UQLV4js8zDymIQ


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Old Thursday 30th January 2020, 19:22   #103
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Citizen Science Project Launched, To Make Sense Of Devastation:

https://www.theguardian.com/australi...re-devastation
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Old Friday 31st January 2020, 13:00   #104
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilberfloss View Post
Citizen Science Project Launched, To Make Sense Of Devastation:

https://www.theguardian.com/australi...re-devastation
Thanks for that link - that's a very worthwhile initiative




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Old Friday 31st January 2020, 13:01   #105
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Question

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...1UVZHgppbU2v8g





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Old Saturday 1st February 2020, 14:57   #106
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Like me, I'd guess that none of those commenting here about the cause of this exceptional bush fire season (and in particular their relationship with global warming, if any) has any academic/professional qualifications or practical knowledge of the subject (but by all means correct me if I'm in error). Hence, although I've followed this thread and made a couple of observations, I've abstained from commenting on the causes of these terrible fires. I don't know the cause but defer to those I can reasonably expect to know far more than me or the media commentariat. Although I'm sure it's not perfect, I think a video from 'Potholer54' (see below) does a good job of pulling together what's being claimed in the media and contrasting it with what the expert scientists & firefighters have to say about the matter. Interesting viewing .....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0x46-enxsA
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Old Sunday 2nd February 2020, 01:28   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cantelo View Post
Like me, I'd guess that none of those commenting here about the cause of this exceptional bush fire season (and in particular their relationship with global warming, if any) has any academic/professional qualifications or practical knowledge of the subject (but by all means correct me if I'm in error). Hence, although I've followed this thread and made a couple of observations, I've abstained from commenting on the causes of these terrible fires. I don't know the cause but defer to those I can reasonably expect to know far more than me or the media commentariat. Although I'm sure it's not perfect, I think a video from 'Potholer54' (see below) does a good job of pulling together what's being claimed in the media and contrasting it with what the expert scientists & firefighters have to say about the matter. Interesting viewing .....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0x46-enxsA
Thanks for that link with it's interesting contrast, though as a local I should say that those talking media heads are so far right wing that they are out there with the blinking navigation lights. Sky News is Murdoch owned - I don't have the stomach to watch or read a single thing they present. Peta Credlin is a former Chief of Staff for the 'mad monk' Tony Abbott when he was PM, before he was rolled by more moderate Liberal (Australian Liberal so right hand side of politics) Malcolm Turnbull, who was in turn rolled himself by 'God bothering' Scott Morrison as a compromise after a failed coup by far right 'walking dead undertaker' Peter Dutton. The others are even more extreme than her. Shock jocks is too tame a term.

Having said that, we should say that even mainstream, more moderate, or even left leaning 'green' media, and indeed science does not have a handle on the causes. These causes unfortunately cannot be divorced from the history, the governance, exploitation, or management of the continent.

Australia is a continent of droughts (and fire) and flooding rains.
Now though, because of the way the country has been treated, they are increasingly becoming destructive processes.

We are on the tail end of a widespread multi-year drought which is corresponding with record positive levels of the IOD. It has been a cracker in living memory. In terms of history it is a mere blip on the radar with the archaeological record revealing decade or more long droughts - droughts which Aboriginal people lived through.

A main cause is the ruined hydrology of the landscape. I have detailed that in several threads. Dryness creates heat. Suffice to say that with an intact building hydrated soil sponge that even though we are in drought, wetlands would survive, water tables would be higher, rivers would be flowing, the vegetation would be more moist, temperatures would be cooler, the transpiration cycle would be intact, and localised rain may fall. The 'modern' science on this has been virtually non-existent and is an important emerging field. If the 'climate' in Australia is changing, this (among other factors) is one of the reasons.

The NSW RFS Commissioner himself has said that more prescribed burning would not have prevented this disaster. Prescribed burning is something I am not a fan of. It fosters more fire loving and fire prone vegetation. Even if more environmentally friendly Indigenous burning practices had been practiced it would not have prevented some of what we have seen from starting - it certainly would have helped to contain it.

Again, this is an area that needs much further scientific study, and cannot be divorced from the hydrology of the land, nor indeed governance and usage. Edge effects from human population sprawl and footprint is another major problem - with all the fear and trauma of this disaster, knee-jerk calls for more back burning, more buffer would be an ecological disaster - leaving an area the size of several European countries as wastelands.

All of these areas need far more study to determine if natural cycles are changing in any way. We should address the factors (hydrology, governance, management, footprint, respect, etc) that we can, immediately.

As for the specific fire behaviour we have seen, that results from the dryness of the landscape, the heat that, and drought cycles cause, and the high winds combining with these high temperatures. This (40+°C temps and 80+km/hr winds) is not only sending Fire Index ratings off the charts, but it makes these conflagrations uncontrollable - generating their own weather systems which is sending firestorms spotting in all directions. Ember attack is a big feature of a lot of the houses lost.

As for ignition sources, it is easier to get rocking horse poop than it is to get detailed information about this from any of the Agency's or Government Departments. Man-attributable causes feature more prominently than has been let on. If dry lightning does strike during those 'catastrophic' weather conditions then one fire can naturally spawn successors.






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Old Sunday 2nd February 2020, 07:09   #108
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Oops !
I forgot to mention the extraordinary ineptitude of the government in proactively preparing for what we knew was coming. Just extraordinary incompetence. They stripped funding, and ignored calls to bring in overseas waterbombing aircraft early.

The extent of these fires could have been so much less.




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Old Sunday 2nd February 2020, 22:05   #109
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Many thanks, Chosun for your generously detailed response. I wasn't aware of the background of the pundits mentioned. Like most things I suspect that the current extreme bush fire season is the product of several factors although I wouldn't like to say which carry the most (or least) weight.
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Old Sunday 2nd February 2020, 22:19   #110
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Have to admit that in mountainous/hilly regions (as in lots of images/videos) I would find it hard to push water extraction as the major cause of the increased severity of fires.

Of course could be a factor (of many possibly) in some areas, especially near habitations/agriculture, but would expect the water table over large parts of the affected areas to have not been affected to the extent that it was a causal effect.
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Old Monday 3rd February 2020, 03:15   #111
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Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
Have to admit that in mountainous/hilly regions (as in lots of images/videos) I would find it hard to push water extraction as the major cause of the increased severity of fires.

Of course could be a factor (of many possibly) in some areas, especially near habitations/agriculture, but would expect the water table over large parts of the affected areas to have not been affected to the extent that it was a causal effect.
Overall hydrology again is a very complex situation where comprehensive science has not been completed on the whole 'system' so I will try and be brief. Linking the hydrology of the various biotypes with vegetation transpiration processes, temperature and rainfall is an emergent scientific field (see the thread on Natural Sequence Farming - papers are few, but practitioners growing).

Bacically most aquifers /groundwater /springs, wetlands, and floodplains and riparian systems interact, and this is certainly what Indigenous lore has held since time began - many songlines are based on water flowing above, in, and below the ground, as well as energetically along ley lines etc.

The history, governance, and management of the country has had severe deleterious effects on hydrology and the linked ecosystems. It is not just the extraction of water (as I have been reporting on in the Murray-Darling thread .... I think everyone has a picture of thousands of kilometers of bone dry rivers and wetlands) , but also the extractive resource industries (various forms of mining, fracking etc) that compound this damage by cutting through aquifers and draining the landscape. This, and the erosion caused has reduced the water pressure 'holding' water 'up' in the higher elevations.

There are many documented cases of mountain located springs, wetlands, and swampy meadows being degraded or 'permanently' destroyed due to these causes. Even in the Snowy Mountains, the presence of feral animals such as brumbies do massive damage to these fragile water systems. In other areas it is feral pigs, etc.

It is in these ways that the landscape including mountainous areas have been drained of moisture and deprived of rainfall, thus making them more susceptible to fire. Still though the corporate and capitalist machine pushes pushes pushes, takes, takes, takes. The recently approved Adani coal mine is guaranteed water where none exists, they will cut through aquifers and 'hope' that wetlands such as the Doongmabulla Springs are not destroyed. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/scientis...dani-mine-plan . These waters are linked to the Great Barrier Reef. That is not good enough. What's the headline going to be in 5~10 years time - QLD completely incinerated from central inland to the reef?

I hope that helps a bit.






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Old Tuesday 4th February 2020, 03:04   #112
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Black Summer

Australian ABC TV Four Corners bushfire special - "Black Summer"
https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/black-summer/11912530

The new more extreme bushfire category of 'catastrophic' has probably saved quite a few lives this season.






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Old Tuesday 4th February 2020, 03:18   #113
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Thumbs down News Corps fire fight

Similar to the video John posted, this is the Australian ABC TV's industry watchdog program - Media Watch.
This episode details biases and facts in the media's coverage of the bushfire crisis. Includes transcript. *** {could somebody please make a pdf of that transcript and post, as they are difficult to dig up later on} ***

The Murdoch lackeys feature prominently. Such an utter lack of true wisdom from the self-proclaimed 'intellegencia'. Even watching highlights packages of them puts my lunch in jeopardy .... *vomit*

https://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/ep...-fire/11925590






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Old Tuesday 4th February 2020, 03:55   #114
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Thumbs up The cycle of life ....

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...cus_composer=0

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Old Thursday 6th February 2020, 02:59   #115
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Angry They shoot horses don't they ?

Massive feral horse problem is threatening vulnerable and endangered species .....
https://theconversation.com/fire-alm...FgqKxw-B-cTNVY





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Old Thursday 6th February 2020, 05:07   #116
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Thumbs up

A very interesting interview with Bruce Pascoe - author of Dark Emu, and Young Dark Emu, in which he talks about 'wetlands', soil, vegetation, animals and the dryness of the land now, and compares that to the way it was previously managed (cared for) .....

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp....ry-of-the-land






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Old Thursday 6th February 2020, 21:46   #117
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Thumbs up Not all weeds are villains .....

"Not all weeds are villains. After a fire, some plants – even weeds – can be better than*none"
https://theconversation.com/not-all-...i1iE4-ve-WXYSk





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Old Wednesday 12th February 2020, 00:06   #118
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Lightbulb With Their Land In Flames, Aboriginals Warn Fires Show Deep Problems In Australia

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/11/79522...DRHvAdMI8foui0

"Aboriginal people have generations of knowledge about managing the landscape on this continent, but Butler says they're ignored by public officials who rely on the massive controlled burns, known as back-burns. Butler says cool burns target specific areas and even specific plants, while the current methods destroy everything in their paths."









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Old Wednesday 12th February 2020, 06:06   #119
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Exclamation “The ecosystem has effectively collapsed, it’s transitioned into something else … "

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/s...W5u6Ab2-udnk2w






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Old Thursday 13th February 2020, 06:10   #120
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Thumbs up All fires in NSW are now contained .....

https://m.facebook.com/LandlineABC/p...cus_composer=0

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/10da...ained-20200213






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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 03:22   #121
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Angry Bushfire squared .....

Out of the flames and into the inferno .....

"Think Australia's bushfires killed a lot of animals? Weak environmental laws threaten the lives of more"

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/...jGVSMK9X-vwIy0





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Old Tuesday 18th February 2020, 21:37   #122
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Koala losses 'spectacularly huge' after NSW drought, fires

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/c...V1jyU7o6E6jjHk

Koalas are a bit of a poster child, but they are representative of wider species and habitat decline and loss.

Also as mentioned in previous posts, they were already in decline due to inadequate environmental protection laws, and threatened species protection and recovery laws and plans. This latest crisis manifested due to the ongoing exploitation of the land has just pushed them closer to the brink.

It is sad to think that they are 'functionally extinct' in the Pilliga which is where my Nan showed me these beautiful creatures in the wild.





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Old Wednesday 19th February 2020, 20:53   #123
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Ecosystems under the pump .....

https://theconversation.com/yes-the-...S8SO0c9NirHsgM

Again, this article misses the major causes from water cycle and environmental exploitation, and unsustainable land use legislation ..... the threats to Alpine Ash forests are real.

I want you all to try a simple man-made climate change experiment
1. Take a clear plastic bottle and 3/4 fill it with water.
2. With a permanent marker scribe a horizontal line at the water level. Draw a tree on top of this.
3. Turn the room thermostat up by 1°. Note any drop in the water level.
4. Take a sharp object and puncture a hole in the plastic bottle ~1cm from the bottom.
5. Wait until the water has drained down to the level of the punctured hole.
6. Prepare for Aha ! moment about landscape dryness and climate change





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Old Saturday 22nd February 2020, 01:09   #124
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Thumbs up Bill Gammage

Interesting interview with the man himself - Prof. Bill Gamma get
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?sto...cus_composer=0





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Old Monday 2nd March 2020, 09:01   #125
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Cool One bandicoot can dig up an elephant’s worth of soil a year & our ecosystem loves it

Very similar to the ecosystem services provided by Lyrebirds, come Bandicoots in their environment .....
https://theconversation.com/one-litt...EPmdK3pXNPd77w

"It turns out these bandicoot digs are far from just environmental curiosities - they can improve the properties and health of soils, and even reduce fire risk."

The issue is that they've been wiped out on the mainland by feral foxes and cats ......






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