Friday, September 6, 2013

The Perils of Exposure

Deep Cold started off in 2010 as a way that I could share Interior and northern Alaska weather and climate factiods and analyses with friends and colleagues without clogging up their email inboxes.

As anyone who has read the blog can plainly see, I never get into second order attribution of events. I have done a few posts on climate variability, mostly in regard to PDO, which, being nothing more than a way to characterize North Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly patterns, is an important factor in Alaska (south of the Brooks Range) decadal-scale climate.

Readership has always been tiny. The blog received enough comments to know that a few folks had found the blog useful. Typical page views were in the 15 to 45 range. This is so tiny that I wound up using the blog as a place to "store" graphics, typically plots of some data or another, so that I could get to them regardless of where I was at or what computer I was on, suspecting that they would be of minimal interest to anyone else.

As my personal circumstances changed, I had less time for posting, and after some thought, I invited a couple of folks to contribute to Deep Cold who are very knowledge about high latitude weather and climate and have insights and analytical skills complimentary to my own. As a result, the blog now has more frequent posts and more the content is "beefier". And the small readership seemed to agree.

So it was with great dismay that a well known political website picked up a short post on record low temperatures over the weekend.  In three days this blog had nearly a quarter million page views, more than five times the total in the previous three years combined.

More importantly, the record cold post was swamped with comments that had nothing to do with Alaska weather and climate. Personal attacks on politicians have nothing to do with Alaska weather and climate and are not welcome here, nor is this a blog about climate change. A as a result I turned off comments.  There are a myriad of websites that cater to those. This is not one of them.

I'm interested in Alaska weather and climate and I'm interested in having a blog that addresses that. It would be nice if a few of the quarter million visitors stick around because they are interested in the same things, but this is not the place for political arguments. If you're interested in Alaska weather and climate for its own sake, then thanks for visiting Deep Cold