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Thu, 05 Dec 2019
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Wildfires

Fire

Lebanon battles worst wildfires in decades - 100 fires break out in 24 hours

Lebanon wildfires
© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
People inspect the remains of cars and shops that were burned in a wildfire overnight, in the town of Damour just over 15 kilometers south of Beirut, Lebanon, on October 15, 2019.
Firefighters and specialist aircraft in Lebanon are working to tackle a series of wildfires which have broken out during a period of high temperatures and strong winds.

The blazes started in Lebanon's western mountains, but have spread to other areas. The initial cause is not known.

Officials said on Tuesday that more than 100 fires had broken out in the space of 24 hours.


Arrow Up

Climate models are unreliable and predictions of warming "absurd" says German professor

Fritz Vahrenholt
© Marcelo Hernandez
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Aurubis AG and Member of the Board of the German Wild Animal Foundation: Fritz Vahrenholt was Environmental Senator from 1991 to 1997.
Yesterday the online Hamburg Abendblatt published an interview with Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt on the recent climate demonstrations and alarmism. Vahrenholt calls the demonstrations and demands "over-the-top", and a real threat to the economy. He says the climate models are unreliable and predictions of great warming "absurd".

Vehrenholt is one of founders of Germany's modern environmental movement, the founder of the country's largest renewable energy company, Innogy and a member of Germany's SPD socialist parties. Lately the retired professor has become renegade among his peers by criticizing the "over-the-top climate debate" and warning against "hasty reforms".

Atmosphere of fear and hysteria

Vahrenholt tells the Abendblatt the climate debate has become hysterical and that in fact "we don't have a climate emergency." He adds: "If Greta Thunberg's demands are implemented, global prosperity and development will be massively endangered."

Vahrenholt is one of the more prominent signatories of the letter to the UN: "There is no climate emergency."

In the interview with the Abendblatt, Vahrenholt rejects Thunberg's bleak world view, noting that human society has markedly improved on almost every front over the recent decades.

"The number of hungry people in the world has halved, life expectancy has doubled, and infant mortality has been reduced to tenths. These successes have been largely due to the supply of energy for electricity, heat, transport and nutrition," said Vahrenholt.

When asked why so few German scientists (12) signed letter to the UN, Vahrenholt told the Abendblatt: "People no longer dare to express themselves differently."

The German chemistry professor says spreading panic and fear is "irresponsible" and that we should: "Stop scaring the children - they are already getting delusions."

Camera

Alarmed locals share incredible images of blood-red sky in Jambi, Indonesia

Red skies in Indonesia
© Reuters/Willy Kurniawan
Horrified locals in Jambi, Indonesia have been posting incredible videos and photos online of bright orange and blood-red skies as fires in the region continue to burn, distorting the daylight.

Some residents have been posting their footage using the hashtag #prayforjambi and calling on the government to take stronger action to put out the fires and battle the haze.

Land-clearing fires are causing a high increase in the level of particulate pollutants in the air which filter out some of the sun's wavelengths, resulting in the intense red effect, according to a spokesman for Indonesia's Meteorology Climatology and Geophysics Agency.


Fire

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.


Fire

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:




Attention

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.




Fire

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.


Fire

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

Bolivia wildfires
© AFP
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


Fire

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.

Winter is Coming Cycles of Change Presentation: A comprehensive PDF slide presentation with accompanying MP3 narration of the slides by David DuByne, author of Climate Revolution. Over an hour of detailed explanation and documentation of the rapidly approaching periods of life-changing cold we will soon experience and how it will reduce global crop yields leading to a prolonged economic contraction.

Climate Revolution: A 'Must Read' for understanding our Sun driven climate as we progress deeper into the new Eddy Grand Solar Minimum. Weather extremes leading to Global food scarcity and high food prices are here now, and this book describes the expected changes, how to survive & thrive during future challenging times with practical preparations.


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


Magnify

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."