Best wishes for 2012 everyone, and thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. It is gratifying to be able to provide food for thought and a forum for discussion.
Another year of blogging gone by. According to wordpress this blog was viewed 140,000 times in 2011, which is a bit less than in 2010. I’ve averaged a bit less than one post a week (I read much more than I write, and I’m probably too perfectionist in my writing to be a prolific blogger).
A rather peculiar stat is about the search terms that people used to find my blog: Number one by far is Harry Potter (I wrote a sarcastic post once about the Harry Potter Theory of Climate, making the point that climate doesn’t change very much without being forced to (conservation of energy and all that). Other popular search terms such as dinosaurus and Sinterklaas don’t have much to do with climate either. Guess I should ramp up on my SEO, or alternatively capitulate to the thought that most people search the internet for entertainment rather than for information.
“NIPCC” remains the most popular climate related search term (unless you count “bart climate” as well), which is good, because it means that people searching for it will find my rebuttal to the rather misleading 2009 report (which has not been discussed much by other mainstreamers afaik).
These are the posts that got the most views in 2011 (though most of my posts are viewable from the root, so these posts were not necessarily the most read) :
- 1 Revkin on Steig, O’Donnell, peer review and solid scientific basics 541 comments February 2011
- 2 Harry Potter theory of Boating 36 comments April 2011
- 3 How science does and does not work (and how skeptics mostly fall in the latter category) 451 comments June 2011
- 4 Biodiversity, extinction and climate change 437 comments February 2011
- 5 Spencer and Braswell fundamentally flawed, journal editor resigns 226 comments September 2011
What else happened in 2011 with this blog? I received the Woody Guthrie award for a thinking blogger and I split my blog in two: This one for English posts and discussions, and Klimaatverandering for the Dutch speakers.
Looking back, I wrote relatively fewer original articles and did more copy and pasting from others. That sounds rather negative, but in some cases I’m actually rather pleased with the result, e.g. when I retell a discussion between some heavyweights in the climate scene that took place deep in comment threads elsewhere. To myself at least this serves the purpose of putting such a discussion in a context and preserving it in a more readable (i.e. without the off-topic ranting from the fanclubs) and more searchable format. I hope that for others it’s informative as well. Examples include the back and forth between Gavin Schmidt and Roger Pielke Sr about ocean heat content, between Richard Tol and Judith Curry about publicizing nonsense, and between Jeff Id and Chris Colose about the merits of bringing up Venus as a greenhouse example.
The last two examples have the added benefit of highlighting an interesting discussion that took place on blogs that most readers of my blog would not otherwise have read. In that same vein I reproduced a very interesting post and discussion from Bishop Hill about areas we agree on, from climate scientist Eric Wolff.
Sometimes I draft a post based on a discussion that ensued at my own blog (e.g. on walking the talk and on biodiversity and climate change), usually spontaneously and in an off-topic fashion. Since it’s dreadful to find an off-topic discussion back after a while, and since most discussions derail, I find it useful to condense the interesting parts in a separate post. In fact, I wish I had time to do that more often, because there are still many interesting discussions buried in off-topic comment threads (e.g. on Arrhenius or on consensus). Another possibility would of course be if people stayed on topic and requested a thread on a topic of their liking. Perhaps an idea for a newyears’ resolution…
Some other posts I like:
“Different approaches to the climate problem“, with some archetypical ways to view climate change and proposed solutions, that in many cases reveal a lot about underlying motives and agenda’s.
A policy relevant post is about conditions needed to get political action: strong evidence, realistic solutions, political pull, and sense of urgency. This post and the previous example are both influenced by a colleague of mine with decades of environmental policy experience.
Science communication: Who is responsible for its failing? (also an attempt the synthesize discussions on this ongoing theme from various blogs)
Using aerosol forcing as a wildcard to claim low sensitivity: Some (NIPCC) claim high aerosol forcing and thus low sensitivity, others (Lindzen, Crok) claim low aerosol forcing and thus low sensitivity. They can’t both be right and probably neither are. Both arguments use the existing uncertainty to argue for an implausible end of the probability spectrum. This post got reproduced at SkS.
And these twin posts on sea level rise:
Both with some adapted graphs, context and many links.
For 2012 I expect lighter blogging, both for personal and for professional reasons.