Here are links to a few wildfire and climate syntheses.
(1) This one is by Cliff Maas, a University of Washington meteorologist, and describes the southern California weather and climate models specifically and in detail. It’s interesting because there is no forest, forestry, nor forest industry getting in the way of dealing with fire. Here are his conclusions:
Those that are claiming the global warming is having an impact are doing so either out of ignorance or their wish to use coastal wildfires for their own purposes. For politicians, claiming that the big wildfires are the result of global warming provides a convenient excuse not to address the real problems:
*Irresponsible development of homes and buildings in natural areas that had a long history of wildfires.
*Many decades of fire suppression that have left some areas vulnerable to catastrophic fires.
*Lack of planning or maintenance of electrical infrastructure, making ignition of fires more probable when strong winds blow.
*Lack of attention to emergency management, or to providing sufficient fire fighting resources
*Poor building codes, improper building materials (wood shake roofs), and lack of protective space around homes/buildings.
And to be extremely cynical, some politicians on the left see the fires as a convenient partisan tool.
Wildfires are not a global warming issue, but a sustainable and resilience issue that our society, on both sides of the political spectrum, must deal with.
I would add that some politicians on the right in other parts of the country also use as a convenient partisan tool ;).
The below two pieces are not related to Southern Calfornia coastal fires specifically.
(2) This one is a round-up of literature by Larry Kummer, editor of a blog called Fabius Maximus. I think it’s interesting because he looks at a variety of literature that we have touched on, but not all at once, and his background is in finance and climate. It’s very long, but covers much the same ground as we do in our discussions but from a different, more climate-y angle.
In (3) this 2016 paper, “Global trends in wildfire and its impacts: perceptions versus realities in a changing world”, the authors take a world wide view of wildfire and why it is an issue. I think it’s interesting because there is no general increase in wildfires across the world- that still doesn’t mean that locally it can’t be a problem.
Please feel free to quote and give your ideas about any of these papers or posts in the comments. Bill Gabbert has a comprehensive round-up of all the possible other reasons for increased fire acreage here.
My question is “does anyone have ideas for how our “living with fire” responses would change if it were 60% climate (on the high side) or 20% climate (on the low side).” compared to all the other reasons that fire is a problem. Does proportion of the problem created by climate actually affect what options might be chosen to live with fire? In what way? My point being that maybe all the research funds on attribution (which we will never know for sure, despite all the computing power that exists) might be more profitably used to work on improving fire models. What if we could decide “we will never know this for sure” and moved on?