Global Fires 2

In a previous post, Trend in Global Fires, I showed the global fire trend in the last 21 years. I found a source with more data, extending to 1982. It comes from a project funded by European Space Agency. Right here. Actual data is downloaded from UK servers, here.

Global Area Burned

1994 is missing in their data, but that’s alright. It’s obvious that carbon dioxide has zero effect on fires. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar, an imbecile, or just plain ignorant. The latter can be cured.

Short post. Enjoy 🙂 -Zoe


I just realize this data is also plotted at ESA’s site (they sponsored this data):


You see what they did there?

Stretched out the chart so you can barely notice any trend. Biased much?

Download My Data

You can download monthly data at


# Zoe Phin, 2022/06/05
# File:
# Run: .; require; download; index; plot
# Output: fire.csv, firearea.png

require() { sudo apt-get install -y nco gnuplot; }
download() {
    for y in {1982..1993} {1995..2018}; do for m in {01..12}; do
        echo "wget -cO $y$$y/$y${m}"
    done;done >; bash
index() {
    for y in {1982..1993} {1995..2018}; do for m in {01..12}; do
        echo -n "$y $m "
        ncks -HC --trd -v burned_area $y$ | awk -F '[= ]' '$8!=0 {
            S+=$8 } END { printf "%.3f\n",S/1e9 }' 
    done;done | tee fire.area
plot() { 
    awk '{ Y[$1]+=$3 } END {
        for (y in Y) { printf "%d %.3f\n",y,Y[y]/1000 }
    }' fire.area > fire.csv
    echo "set term png size 740,540; set nokey; 
    set title 'Global Area Burned (Million km²)'
    set xrange [1981:2019]; #set yrange [320:440]
    set mxtics 5
    set grid xtics ytics
    plot 'fire.csv' u 1:2 t 'Million m² Burned' w lines lw 2 lc rgb 'red'
    " | gnuplot > firearea.png 

Published by Zoe Phin

37 thoughts on “Global Fires 2

  1. What are the chances of finding a map of the earth and we monitor how much land we have installed pavement or asphalt since 1850? Sure would be interesting to see the amount of pavement and temperatures going up considering the NWS and NOAA have all of their weather stations near highways , airports and othe paved areas..co2 is not driving temperatures up

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the graph. For a long time it has seemed to me that if I carried a grudge from some distant land invaded by US DEA and whatnot to the point of wrecking the economy, it would be tempting to set forest fires and watch two equally despised alien factions blame each other for it. No good comes of forcibly meddling abroad, but a whole lotta harm could easily result, with proximate causes camouflaged by factions squabbling over the power to coerce.


  3. I “borrowed” your active fires chart from 2021
    for my climate science and energy blog.
    But I had to include a long explanation
    saying forest fires are believed to be
    90% man made and 10% natural,
    so I had no logical reason to assume
    a tiny change in the global average
    temperature would cause careless
    (and sometimes criminal) people
    to set more fires.

    And that if forests were already dry
    in California, for one example, and the
    forests were mismanaged
    (trees not trimmed around power lines
    and no clearing of dead trees), a few tenths
    of a degree warmer would not make the
    already dry forests any drier,
    and would not affect forest management.

    Meaning that borrowing your 2021 chart
    ended up causing a lot of typing work
    for me. So I’m not borrowing this new chart,
    because I’m allergic to work.

    Sorry, but I don’t see a good logical connection
    between tiny temperature changes and
    active fire counts (in the satellite age),
    or acres burned. There might be a correlation
    of forest fires and precipitation.


  4. Nice work. There is so much empty space in the ESA’s graphs due to the deceptive expansion of the ordinate scale, does the empty space also correspond to their minds or their scientific integrity? The later I suspect. So much deceptive manipulation going on in statistical analyses to support the narrative eg stratification that gives a strong trend for one strata where point estimates are subject to much greater uncertainty than the no trend strata and then use an unweighted average trend to get a stronger trend to support the narrative! See my expose here

    Liked by 1 person

      1. By “narrative” one aspect is “hide the decline”! Not sure what you mean about the X-axis. No chance to manipulate the X-axis since it’s year. Humans would love to and have fantasised about manipulating time but for good or bad we a stuck in the one-way flow.


        1. The “hide the decline” was another manipulation of removing tree growth ring data that didn’t positively correlate with the modern instrumental temperature record see Judith Curry’s articles


  5. Fair enough but not as ancient as yours truly. I was trying to make the point, not very proficiently, following on from your comment on the ESA graphs of some of the statistical dirty tricks used to support “the narrative” across a range of specific response variables eg global area burnt by wildfires, population trends in species X etc,


    1. I haven’t used R since university. Willis is the guy to ask. He shared some code with me, and it reminded me why I stopped using it. I use Bash/Awk/Gnuplot with some snippets of Python for speed. I also know a little JS and still remember some x86 assembly from my high-frequency trading days.


  6. “It’s obvious that carbon dioxide has zero effect on fires” is not a legitimate conclusion from the reduction of global area burned. Rather, reduction in area of fire due to changes in human behavior such as shifts in agricultural burning practices and locations of human settlements, so far has been offsetting the increased area burned from the increased number of *wild*fires that has been happening due to global warming and the consequent other climate changes.


    1. “has been happening due to global warming and the consequent other climate changes.”

      In other words … they have zero evidence for those claims but they say it anyway. They bring it into the realm of the unfalsifiable. Always excuses from these spin doctors.

      Try this one:
      If I wasn’t born the Earth would’ve imploded.

      See? You should worship me. You can’t debunk this!


    1. lol, Why do you play into what was already mentioned? Cherrypicking times and places and using affirming-the-consequent logical fallacy. Are you just seeking attention?


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