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Tue, 17 Sep 2019
The World for People who Think



Large fire tornado forms over farm in Brazil

A fire tornado over a farm in west Brazil
© FocusOn News
A fire tornado over a farm in west Brazil
A tornado of flames emerged from a fire and swirled several meters into the air on a farm in Brazil, on Tuesday.

The spectacular images show the whirlwind spreading on the banks of the GO-210 motorway near Santa Helena de Goiás, central west Brazil.

It relentlessly flashes its luminous orange flames as local workers step back to watch the spectacle, before the camera turns to the barren and dried land surrounding the blaze.

Otherwise known as a 'fire devil', the bright flame arcs towards the sky with explosions at the base and a rising vortex towards its core.

It is the result of a clash between intense heat and turbulent wind conditions - and can reach a staggering 1,090 degrees.

Farm workers were clearing the land when the rare spectacle occurred.

At the time, the climate in the region was very dry and those at the scene reported the open country area was hit by strong winds.


Horseshoe fire: 200-acre brush fire forces mandatory evacuations near San Jacinto, California

brush fire juniper flats san jacinto ca sep 2019
A 200-acre brush fire that erupted Saturday in the Juniper Flats area between Perris and San Jacinto forced mandatory evacuations of more than 200 people and is 10% contained as of Sunday morning, authorities said.

It was reported at 5:52 p.m. in the 21000 block of Horseshoe Trail, Riverside County Fire Department spokesman Rob Roseen said.

The blaze was first reported at 10 acres but jumped to 75 acres by 6:40 p.m., Roseen said. Officials said the fire had grown to 100 acres by 8:40 p.m. There was no containment.

"The first arriving engine reported the fire burning in heavy fuels with a moderate rate of spread," he said.

Comment: Video from other local news:


Extreme weather displaced a record seven million in first half of 2019

Stranded passengers in a railway station in Kolkata, India, in May after trains were canceled because of Cyclone Fani
© Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters
Stranded passengers in a railway station in Kolkata, India, in May after trains were canceled because of Cyclone Fani.

Up to 22m people are estimated to be displaced by the end of the year

A record seven million people were displaced by disasters in the first half of 2019, suggesting that mass displacement due to extreme weather events is "becoming the norm," according to a new report.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, which uses data from governments, United Nations humanitarian agencies, and media coverage to create its reports, concluded that nearly twice as many people were displaced in the first half of the year by weather events than by conflict and violence. The report was compiled before Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas - the numbers affected by that storm are still unclear.

IDMC estimates that the number of new displacements associated with weather events will reach 22m by the end of the year, more than tripling the current number, and making 2019 one of the worst years for climate displacement since records began.

Comment: Watch SOTT's monthly Earth Changes Summary for extreme weather events that are occurring worldwide these days.


Australia's east coast battles more than 100 bushfires

A bushfire rages near the rural town of Canungra in the Scenic Rim region of South East Queensland, Australia, September 6, 2019.
© Regi Varghese
A bushfire rages near the rural town of Canungra in the Scenic Rim region of South East Queensland, Australia, September 6, 2019.
Australian firefighters battled strong winds and fast-moving blazes on Saturday as they worked to contain out-of-control bushfires that have destroyed at least 21 homes across two states on the country's east coast.

More than 100 fires were burning in the states of Queensland and New South Wales on Saturday, with the nation's weather bureau forecasting little reprieve for firefighters due to dry conditions caused by drought and little rainfall over winter.

In the north-eastern state of Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said 51 fires were active on Saturday and 17 homes had been destroyed, with the risk posed by fires remaining high for several days despite temperatures cooling.


Wildfires destroy more than one-million hectares of Bolivian rain forest

Bolivia wildfires
Bolivia is seeking help from China, Russia and France in fighting fires in its section of the Amazon. CGTN's Dan Collyns reports that more than one-million hectares of Bolivian rain forest have been destroyed.

Just when it seems like there's nothing left to burn, some of the fires in Bolivia have reignited in places already blackened. The firefighters, mostly made up of trained volunteers, are battling on multiple fronts.

In some areas of the forest, there are still hundreds of fires, some of which have reactivated. That's why the firefighters work at night, when it's much easier to see the embers and make sure they're fully extinguished. It's hot, the air is full of ash and smoke, and the ground is so hot you can feel it coming through your shoes.

Wielding machetes and shovels and water hoses, they douse the smoking remains.

"We're trying to reduce the fires to a minimum but they are still what we call a category 3, which is relatively strong in this area," said one fireman.

Comment: World on fire: Five times more wildfires are burning in southern Africa than in Brazil


Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: 60 million year old half truths and burning forests

amazon fires
© AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

Guardian claiming a plant in the UK hasn't reproduced in 60 million years but has begun to grow both male and female cones because of climate change, but the last inter-glacial 130,000 years prior was 2-3C warmer than today. Brazilian rain-forest losses far greater in 1995, 2004-2005 than today by a factor of 4X.

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Comment: World on fire: Five times more wildfires are burning in southern Africa than in Brazil


Annual Amazon farmland burn sets records for international outrage

amazon fires
© AP Photo/Eraldo Peres
Every year, farmers in the Amazon set fires to clear agricultural land during the dry season starting in August, but this year may be a record-setter, not for the number of fires, but for the global outrage.

The G-7 nations pledged Monday about $40 million to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest in response to the outcry from celebrities, media outlets and leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron, who said the blazes represented an "international crisis."

Climate scientist Roy Spencer had another term for the fires: "normal agriculture."

"I think the media focus on this is misplaced and exaggerated, as is virtually every weather-related story that appears these days," said Mr. Spencer, a former NASA scientist who does consulting on global crop-market forecasting.

"The driest years in Brazil will have the most fires set by farmers," the professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville said in an email. "That isn't a climate story, it's normal agriculture in a country where 50 million people living in poverty are trying to survive."


Wildfires ignite across Indonesia with 700 sites identified

A man watches on as forests helplessly burn on the Indonesian island of Sumatra
© Getty
A man watches on as forests helplessly burn on the Indonesian island of Sumatra
As fires rage in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, the south-east Asian nation of Indonesia is witnessing a similarly devastating ecological tragedy unfold.

The dry season has arrived in Indonesia - home to some of the world's oldest tropical forests - bringing with it its worst annual fire season since 2015.

Close to 700 hotspots have been identified in fire-prone regions in Sumatra, Kalimantan and the Riau islands.


World on fire: Five times more wildfires are burning in southern Africa than in Brazil

fires burning brazil
Blazes burning in the Amazon have put heat on the environmental policies of President Jair Bolsonaro, but Brazil is actually third in the world in wildfires over the last 48 hours, according to MODIS satellite data analyzed by Weather Source.

Weather Source has recorded 6,902 fires in Angola over the past 48 hours, compared to 3,395 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 2,127 in Brazil. It's not an uncommon phenomenon for Central Africa.
fires burning africa
According to NASA, which operates the Aqua satellite, over 67,000 fires were reported in a one-week period in June last year, as farmers employed slash and burn agriculture to clear land for crops.

Over the last 48 hours, Zambia placed fourth on the list, while Brazil's neighbor in the Amazon, Bolivia, placed sixth.
fires burning august 2019

Comment: Fires started by farmers are not wildfires, unless the burn gets out of control.

Now, the question is, how many of Brazil's wildfires are just controlled burns? Given the overall increase - year-on-year - in actual uncontrolled, naturally-started, or at least naturally-fueled, wildfires everywhere - from Alaska to California to Scotland to Siberia - in recent years, there's clearly a background rate of increase that the media is ignoring or conflating with man-made burns, all in service of the overall myth that climate change is driven by human activities.

It's not. After accounting for controlled, man-made burns, parts of the world are 'on fire' as part of increasing weather and other planetary extremes...


Wildfires scorch Africa but world's media stay focused on Brazil's blazes

A tract of burnt jungle in Boca Do Acre, Brazil
© Reuters / Bruno Kelly
A tract of burnt jungle in Boca Do Acre, Brazil
Forest fires are tearing through the Amazon rainforest, prompting worldwide protests and demands for action to protect the "lungs of the world." But, away from the spotlight, the Brazilian fires are dwarfed by blazes in Africa.

Fires visible from space are currently burning up the Amazon rainforest at a rate of three football fields per minute, according to Brazilian satellite data. Brazil's National Institute for Space Research reported an 83 percent increase in wildfires on last year, with more than 72,000 fires spotted, 9,000 last week alone.