One of the common images associated with global warming is that that of a blackened and burned forest. The voice-over with such images either directly or indirectly links those images of wildfire to a worsening climate that is undoubtedly caused by us (see here for example). And as we all know, the modern 24/7 media loves to splash photos and imagery of any massive wildfires. Take for example those that have recently happened in such diverse places as Malibu, California and eastern Australia. Other massive widespread wildfires have swept western North America many times in the recent past, such as during 1996, 2000, and 2002. The implication—again sometimes spoken and sometimes not—is that greenhouse climate change is somehow responsible for these horrible calamities.
Given that graphic and much hyped scenario, one might be surprised to learn that most large-scale fire events in the western United States over the last five hundred years has been fundamentally the result of natural ocean climate cycles, and not global warming.