Rep. Markey on Wildfire-Climate Connection 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 26 Oct 2007 20:35:00 GMT

Last week, Markey sent this dear colleague letter (forwarded to Hill Heat) on the connection between wildfires and global warming, the subject of a Global Warming Committee hearing next week:

Record-Breaking Forest Fires in Western United State Increasingly Fueled By Global Warming

October 19, 2007

Dear Colleague,

Evidence shows that as a result of global warming, forest fires in our western states are burning more frequently and with greater intensity than we have ever seen before. Last year was the worst fire season in recorded history and this season is already second, with eight million acres burned.

What has brought this change about? A study published in the journal Science in 2006 revealed the frightening conclusion that global warming is contributing to the increased loss of our forests to fire. This publication revealed the impact of global warming, even while controlling for land use and management practices which also effect forest fires.

According to the Science paper, “Wildfires have consumed increasing areas of western United States forests in recent years, and fire-fighting expenditures by federal land-management agencies now regularly exceed US$1 billion/year. Hundreds of homes are burned annually by wildfires, and damages to natural resources are sometimes extreme and irreversible.” [1]

Global Warming’s impact on fires in the West and the threat that an increasing number of wild fires pose will be featured on 60 Minutes this Sunday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. 60 Minutes will speak with author Tom Swetnam, an author on the 2006 Science paper, on the role global warming has played on the frequency and intensity of these mega-fires. I encourage you watch this program to learn more about this important issue.


Edward J. Markey

Member of Congress

[1] C. Whitlock, Nature 432, 28 (2004).

See also Is Global Warming Causing More, Larger Wildfires? (Running, Science v313. no.5789, pp. 927-928) and Warming and Earlier Spring Increase Western U.S. Forest Wildfire Activity (Westerling et al., Science v313 no.5789, pp. 940-943)


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  1. Deirdre Holzweiler Thu, 01 Nov 2007 00:09:01 GMT

    Global warming is happening all over Alaska.From the Glaciers melting at an alarming rate on the Coasts,to the Permafrost melting & buckling the roads…in the Interior,to the Ice Cap forming further & further out every year & Endangering the Polar Bear & the way of Life for Alaksas Inuit & other Native Peoples.Its very scary & alarming.

  2. Catherine Fri, 21 Nov 2008 21:38:06 GMT

    Cannot stop Nature’s own Global Warming—Recently there have been articles and reviews on the melting Arctic ice and the warming temperatures. While we may blame humans for “global warming,” Nature itself has provide a much greater source of greenhouse gases in the form of “Burning Ice” (Methane Hydrates) that in the geological past have outgassed in massive amounts periodically into the atmosphere. I will review the megatons of burning ice later on, but first there is a technical scientific issue to resolve.

    The issue of “global warming” brings up the need for good mathematics in analyzing the various data sources to determine the true causes-and-effects (“inputs” and “outputs”) and to filter out those causes that either do not affect the output, or in minor ways, or in combined effects that do not show up until certain conditions are correct. As I have spent time in R&D and also getting my series of degrees, I have found that very few scientists and researchers know how to use statistics properly to be able to filter and view data for the actual, true cause-and-effects. Too many times statistical regression methods are used that assume a direct relationship between the causes and effect, which may not be real. Although there are several books on the market, one of the best books I know of that can help researchers, analysts, and scientists is a book entitled, “Statistics for Experimenters,” by Box, Hunter, and Hunter.

    When it comes to global warming, there are more causes than most scientists have considered. For example, the increase in the number and intensity of solar eruptions has a much higher statistical correlation than the other causes/inputs. There are not many web pages that show these in good ways, but here are two articles for present the correlations rather easily.

    Although these graphs are from the late 1990s, the use of this type of statistical tool, SPC charting, has hardly ever been used by scientific researchers and investigators. Most of them have used other mathematical methods that assume a direct correlation between greenhouse gases and Global warming, as directed and determined by the process modeler. This traditional “assumption” may not be correct, and in some cases may potentially mislead scientists and modelers. These other tools can allow a scientist to purposely minimize the effects from natural causes and to maximize the effects of human sources.

    Mars also has Global Warming (and from the Solar Sun, NOT human-causes)

    Some researchers say that they know all the effects that the increased solar flux has on the atmosphere and have included this in their models, and stated that there are no real effects from the solar flux. But then there are other scientists with different theories on the effects of increased flux that present different scenarios for atmospheric reactions, such as the geomagnetic fields and changes, volcanics and their outgassings, etc. You do not hear much in the news about these other scientists and their results.

    People should be very cautious about assuming that the global warming “effect” is due solely to “greenhouse” gases. Also, it should be noted that recent satellite data has shown that upper atmosphere is actually cooling: (some of these links may not be working due to computer changes since 9-11)

    Some researchers say that their theory and modeling shows that this cooling should occur, while others show differing effects. We see that there are still not complete agreements on the causes and especially the effects of global warming. Then there are some researchers who have purposely manipulated their models, formulas, and analyses to purposely disregard all other inputs and only tie the temperatures to greenhouse gases.

    There is the other issue of how some scientists and researchers can purposely change the structure of the formulas used in their models, the mathematical terms used in the formulas, the parameters and scaling factors in the formulas, and the values of any exponentials so as to obtain predetermined results that the scientists wanted to get anyway.

    This allows the scientist to minimize effects from natural causes and to maximize the effects of human sources. This is “tampering” with the formulas so as to get the predetermined results that someone might want to get, no matter what the real processes are.

    In my experiences in the scientific / R&D cultures, I have seen this happen several times, even with Peer Reviews. Peer Reviews are “supposed” to catch incorrect things, inconsistencies, and errors. But this does not always occur. In some cases, the scientific peers involved in those Peer Reviews also wanted “certain” results to come out of the modeling and designs that they were reviewing. In other cases, the peers were not paying attention to critical items and issues.

    Also the issue of temperature collection has not been properly resolved. Temperatures are taken in cities that have the heat island effect. I have seen several different approached to handling and correcting these heat effects, but these approaches vary and also give various results. Then there is the issue of thermometer calibration. I have observed where some thermometers for city temperatures were not calibrated properly at the required intervals, and some times not calibrated at all. How can we trust the temperature data if there are these variations in the instruments?

    When it comes to Nature’s greenhouse generators through the Burning Ice (Methane Hydrates), we soon realize that our gases are very small when compared to the megatons of methane hydrates that are held within our oceans in a manner similar to a bathtub ring. Also the Earth has had major accumulations and releases in its geological past over the eons, some of which scientists now believe may have lead to some great temperature increases in the Earth’s past, long before humans were ever around.

    Let me give you some web sites that describe the characteristics and issues with the Earth’s Burning Ice and the natural abundance of methane greenhouse gases:

    General information on chemistry and biology of Methane Hydrates: —>








    U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) fact sheets: —>




    Germany’s research: —>


    In the geological records and how dramatically and even violently the climate has changed, long before modern man came around. There is very strong geological and scientific evidence that the massive Extinction in the Permian Era many millions of years ago in the Earth’s geological past was caused both by massive volcanism and by Methane Hydrates.

    Climate models overheat Antarctica incorrectly Shame on those computer models!

    Study breaks ice on ancient Arctic thaw: (previous periods of global warming)

    And then there is the aspect of climate change from meteors:

    Outgassing of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from volcanoes:

    Inaccuracies in measurements of climates:

    Ancient Climate Studies Suggest Earth On Fast Track To Global Warming

    Green plants also cause Global Warming:

    Farming Provides Wildlife Habitat And Reduces Global Warming

    Prehistoric warming helped preserve fossils:

    Ancient tropical warming and nature’s greenhouse gases

    Volcanic impacts on ocean levels:

    Climate change and massive flooding:

    Late Pleistocene Americans Faced Chaotic Climate Change Environments:

    Global Warming evidence from 55 million years ago:

    Tropical ice cores shows two abrupt Global Climate shifts:

    How continental splits resulted in global cooling:

    Earth’s burping from wobbling also affects climate:

    Geomagnetism as one factor in rain / weather:

    None of the environmentalists or businesses involved in reducing carbon emissions can go and blame massive climate changes in the past on power plants and vehicles!

    It is not wise to make international policies on theories that are not agreed upon by the scientists who have been studying these causes and effects. Other scientists have published their works dealing with other causes, but have not been given the publicity such as the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has received.

    But if the Solar Sun is the major, primary cause and we are just a minor contributor, then our Governments are imposing on us a major compliance issue that will NOT solve the problem. Control of carbon emissions does NOT equal Control of the Solar Sun and its flux intensities on us. Several environmental groups have told us and openly admitted at other times that they want to use the idea of human sources in order to shut down industrial activities—their words, not ours.

    Retired Univ. of California technical staff member Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA.