Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Aphids versus Computer Models?

Now there have been raging debates about the validity and accuracy (or not) of the complex computer models used to assess climate change possibilities and actualities; but this article from PhysOrg suggests that some of the UK's natural inhabitants, namely Aphids, are much better indicators of just what climate change is actually occurring.

One particular species is now appearing almost four weeks ahead of the 42 year average. The big problem is that these tiny little insects, although invaluable in the food chain for many native species, are a serious threat to many of our food crops. With the possible onset of an EU pesticide ban that could remove a whole raft of the chemical treatments used to protect UK crops, this could (yes, its that word 'could' again) lead to food shortages.
(OK, so the pesticide ban story is from the Daily Mail which actually used the word 'WILL', but you get the point.)

Next bout, Aphids versus Pesticides? Sounds like another interesting dilemma in the offing.


Peter said...

Oh, lor, that smacks of 'interesting' in the Chinese sense.

Time to start panic-buying and hoarding the MREs in the cellar!

Dave said...

At least you have a cellar....and, thanks to SV, its actually dry!

Mind you, a big enough flood and a cellar becomes what? ..... an interior swimming pool?

Cloe_F said...

Hi Dave, hope you don't mind me chipping in on your bits as well. If you do, just delete this comment - I won't be offended.. :)

The pesticides angle of this story is very interesting, I had missed completely so thanks for raising it. Here's some stuff that I found just now, although like all EU stories it's difficult to get beyond the simplistic/politicised veneer:

- PesticideInformation_blog, the most readable general info I could find (certainly for a lay-person like myself)
- EurActive_Ministers back ban, good website for EU news with links at bottom of page
- EurActive_EU remains divided on pesticides an earlier article with different links
- EC Environment_Sustainable Use of Pesticides, European commission page for pesticide strategy
- UK Pesticides Safety Directorate_EU Thematic Strategy for Pesticides, very techy but informative and gives access to relevant links
- Pesticide Action Network Europe, the main pro-ban NGO

Peter said...

I have added a PESTICIDES label to this post, and was actually surprised to see it has been used before, so this blog is noting this aspect.

Not sure it quite yet needs a category all of its own, but will monitor.

I found the piec eon natural pesticide evolution interesting.

Knowledge is Power said...

Nice blog !!

Peter said...

KIP - Ta very much (checked your link and you don't look like a bot - sorry, I have been suckered by a few;)

Dave.. Chlo_F, please take your bows.

Knowledge is indeed power in this arena, and supportive, info-rich posts like yours help make this blog useful.