July 26, 2009

CYBER WAG ALERT!stochastic weather generator killing nuts in California

Our erstwhile computer modellers have a new weapon in their Cyber Wag (computer generated wild ass guess) arsenal. This little known tool is called a stochastic weather generator. It's use? Well as far as we know here at Skeptic's Corner this stochastic weather generator has thus far only been deployed to the impoverished state of California to kill nuts and fruits (oh that it were true!). It probably has been deployed here because of California's lack of resources to combat this well funded Cyber Wag menace. As proof we submit this article from the highly respected and objective ECO Worldly web site:

California to Lose Crops to Climate Change by 2109

California’s Central Valley currently grows $9 Billion dollars worth of apples, walnuts, cherries, prunes, peaches, pistachios and almonds.
The study is the result of work on climate modeling based on the effects of likely climate change in California’s Central Valley. Temperatures have been rising a degree Fahreneheit for the last 30 years in California. Researchers project that the region will lose more than half its winter chill by the year 2100.

Within a century, warm winters will end production of these fruit and nut crops.

Right off we can see that this warrants a CYBER WAG ALERT, the entire study the result models CYBER WAG. But the true malevolence comes out when ECO WORLDLY actually begins to quote the study:

“Winter chill determines the ability of many deciduous trees from temperate climates to break their dormancy in the spring. Each species or cultivar has a specific chilling requirement, which if not met results in erratic growth patterns and economically unsuccessful fruit or nut production.

For each scenario, 100 replications of the yearly temperature record were produced, using a stochastic weather generator. We then introduced and mapped a novel climatic statistic, “safe winter chill”, the 10% quantile of the resulting chilling distributions. This metric can be interpreted as the amount of chilling that growers can safely expect under each scenario.

Winter chill declined substantially for all emissions scenarios, with the area of safe winter chill for many tree species or cultivars decreasing 50–75% by mid-21st century, and 90–100% by late century.”
Oh those dastardly scenarios! Will they never stop!
See how they slide that new weapon in there without much fanfare. How devious these merchants of death, CYBER WAGS, have become-Killing nuts and fruits with this heinous stochastic weather generator. A quick journey to Wiki World reveals some idea of how deceptively cruel this new weapon may be:

A stochastic process is one whose behavior is non-deterministic in that a system's subsequent state is determined both by the process's predictable actions and by a random element. Stochastic crafts are complex systems whose practitioners, even if experts, acknowledge that outcomes result from both known and unknown causes. Examples are warfare, meteorology, and rhetoric, where success and failure are so difficult to predict that explicit allowances are made for uncertainty.


The report continues:

California’s economy will be seriously affected. But we could abandon those orchards and start again in another part of the state:

“Locations with cooler microclimatic conditions might be found along major rivers, in the foothills of Sierra Nevada and Coastal Range, where cold air tends to drain, as
well as close to the Sacramento Delta and in those parts of the Central Valley
where frequent fogs reduce temperatures during the winter.”

Well let's just start digging up the trees now and moving them to Mt Shasta!

Or we could get out of the crop business altogether in California, since
according to the study “the projected scarcity and increasing price of
irrigation water might also affect the economics of tree production.”

Or perhaps we will genetically modify these plants to grow in hotter climates. Already we are learning how to grow crops in salt water, now that we’re running out of fresh water because of climate change and consequent drought. We will need to grow food despite climate change. (Another milestone was when we learned to cook with fire in the snow 200,000 years ago.)

WOW yeah I forgot about that one! Boy that old human race they sure are inventive. Cook with fire in snow-then there was Einstein. The report continues:

By 2150 we could be eating cherries again!

Maybe we will find some way around this little problem too. Perhaps we will develop giant greenhouses to cover California’s orchards. Seriously, though, for tree crops like these, it’s probably too late.

Too Late! Too bad I was beginning to look forward to those salt water cherries.

“Areas where safe winter chill exists for growing walnuts, pistachios, peaches, apricots, plums and cherries are likely to almost completely disappear by the end of the 21st century. For cultivars with chilling requirements above 1000 Chilling Hours, such as apples, cherries and pears, very few locations with safe chilling levels were found to exist today, and our modeling results project that virtually none will exist by mid century.”

Or we could slow climate change by switching to renewable energy. After all, we have made big changes before. We invented fire.


Now who would of thunk it, there is a defense against the stochastic weather generator that the CYBER WAGS have invented. We burn our corn crops to save our fruits and nuts-makes sense to me after all we invented fire. Hum.... I wonder where fire came from before man was around? I guess there wasn't any-we are like GODS!


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