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Australia Barnaby Joyce says sun's magnetic fields cause bushfires. Science says...

10:20  12 november  2019
10:20  12 november  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

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Barnaby Joyce ’s claim that changes to the sun ’ s magnetic fields were linked to the bushfires burning out of control across NSW have been rubbished by climate scientists . The former deputy prime minister told Sky News he accepted that the climate crisis was making Australia hotter and drier.

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Video provided by Nine News

Barnaby Joyce’s claim that changes to the sun’s magnetic fields were linked to the bushfires burning out of control across NSW have been rubbished by climate scientists.

The former deputy prime minister told Sky News he accepted that the climate crisis was making Australia hotter and drier.

But the Nationals member for New England said other factors including changes to magnetic fields were also to blame.

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“There are a range of things that affect the climate and on a global scale, you should be part of it, and acknowledge it would have an effect and I acknowledge that there are other issues as well,” he said.

"There’s just the the oscillation of the seasons. There’s a change in the magnetic field of the sun."

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Jamie Fato tries to stop an out of control fire entering Owen Whalan's property at Koorainghat, near Taree in the Mid North Coast region of NSW, Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Associate Professor Nerilie Abram, a climate researcher at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, called his comments “ludicrous and grossly ill-informed”.

Dr Abram said she was unaware of any study suggesting changes to the sun’s magnetic field could increase Australia’s bushfire risk.

“I don’t know of any scientific study that says that," she said.

“Increasing temperatures, drought and fuel load all increase that bushfire risk.”

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The Deputy Prime Minister said he shook hands with Mr Joyce and said "we will move on and work There is no single cause for the fires. I know that fuel loads and build-up must be part of our forward Nationals leader Michael McCormack, fresh from his party room victory over Barnaby Joyce , has

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Dr Abram said changes to the sun’s magnetic fields had a tiny effect on the Earth’s climate.

“They are not causing climate change.

"We can measure the energy we get from the sun, and it does have a natural variability. But it’s very small, and it has not shown any long-term trend over the past century, when we have seen this dramatic warming.

“It is clearly not one of the factors that has caused this warming.”

a man looking at the camera: Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 31 July 2019. © Alex Ellinghausen Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 31 July 2019.

Associate Professor Pete Strutton, from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at theUniversity of Tasmania, said it was difficult to analyse Mr Joyce's claim because it was so bizarre.

“I don’t even know what he means. We know what causes climate change,” he said.

“What exactly would the magnetic fields influence? I can't even ... Are they influencing the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth? It is hard to respond to because it is so wacky.”

To find out the latest on the NSW and QLD bushfires, please refer to:

  • NSW RFS
  • QRFS
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