The Scientific Argument for Climate Change

July 24, 2013 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Daily Email Recap

Mark Cochrane: The Scientific Argument for Climate Change

Chris Martenson: Welcome to this Peak Prosperity podcast. I am your host, Chris Martenson, and as promised from an earlier interview, today we are going to discuss climate change with a well-known and widely published and cited scientist who also happens to chair the Climate Change thread at Peak Prosperity, for which he has my deep admiration for both the style and form of the conversation being held there.

We are talking with Dr. Mark Cochrane today, who is currently conducting climate-related research in the United States, Australia, Brazil, and Indonesia that explores how climate change is affecting the characteristics and impacts of wildfires on ecosystems and human societies. He is also professor and senior research scientist at the Geospatial Science Center of Excellence, the GSCE, at South Dakota State University, and he holds a Doctorate Degree in Ecology from Penn State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from MIT.

Mark’s earth-system science research focuses on understanding spatial patterns, interactions in synergisms between multiple physical and biological factors that affect ecosystems. This look at complexity is exactly what you need when you are looking at the economy, energy, or the environment – in this case, climate change. His interdisciplinary work combines ecology, climate science, remote sensing, and other fields of study to provide landscape perspectives of the dynamic processes involved in land cover change.

I have invited Mark on to share his expertise with all of us and publicly dig into the topic of climate change. Mark, thank you so much for your work on the site, and thank you for joining us today.

Mark Cochrane: You are welcome. Thank you for having me.

Chris Martenson: Mark, we hear a lot of discussion about climate change these days. What is your interpretation of the science?

Mark Cochrane: That is a good question. To discuss climate change, you first have to consider what climate actually is. We are worried about it changing, but we do not generally think about what climate is, because we live in it every day. Standard answer is that climate is simply average weather over a long period of time, where 30 years has become sort of a de facto standard unit of climate time. It could be more than that, but generally we need at least 30 years to feel like we have a good measure on a region’s climate.

What climate really describes, though, is the average patterns of energy redistribution that form as the solar energy that strikes the planet moves from warmer to cooler regions throughout the years. In any given year, the earth gets a fairly consistent amount of solar energy – or energy budget, if you will.

To read the full interview transcript at , please click here:

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