by Judith Curry
Before ringing in the New Year, its time to reflect on 2014.
At the end of each year, we see summaries of the the top ten most significant developments, biggest stories, etc. I’ve seen a few of these summaries already in the climate/energy space, not much that I’ve spotted that are worth linking to. The best IMO is by Breakthrough: The Year of Our High Energy Planet: Top Breakthroughs of 2014.
The main storyline from my perspective is that U.S. national and international policies on climate change have seen substantial action. Whether this ‘action’ is mere rhetoric or will be translated into enduring policies remains to be seen. At the same time, on the science front, we’ve seen the ‘hiatus’ dominating the science discussion, and also a very rational AR5 WG2 report that expresses much more uncertainty about AGW impacts. In other words, climate/energy policy has developed a life of its own that seems increasingly disconnected from actual scientific research (although unsupported alarmist versions of the science continue to be used as justifications for the policies).
Climate Etc’s greatest ‘hits’
At the end of each year, I take a look at the WordPress function that allows you to compile statistics on blog post ‘hits’. In looking at the stats for 2014, there were some surprises. Here is the list of top Climate Etc. posts for 2014:
Nate Silvers’ 538: inconvenient statistics
Mann versus Steyn
Causes and implications of the pause
Steyn et al. versus Mann
Understanding adjustments to temperature data
My WSJ op-ed: Global warming statistical meltdown
Fraudulent(?) hockey stick
APS reviews its Climate Change Statement
The 50-50 argument
The legacy of Climategate: 5 years later
Lewis and Curry: Climate sensitivity uncertainty
Spinning the ‘warmest year’
IPCC AR5 weakens the case for AGW
I’m relieved to see that at least some posts of substance made the greatest hits list. Unfortunately most of the greatest hits (i.e. public interest) comes from ‘climate wars’ issues. Anything related to Michael Mann and Climategate gets picked up by Mark Steyn, which guarantees a lot of hits. The Nate Silver/ RP Jr ‘won’ 2014 by a long shot; that was picked up by PJ Media if I recall.
A post at WUWT pointed me to the new WordPress stats page. Some interesting CE stats for 2014:
- overall ‘hits’ up about 20% relative to previous years
- 109,000 comments (comparable to previous few yrs)
- 750,000 individuals visited the site (up ~50% over 2013)
I would like to take this opportunity to the thank the Denizens who provided guest posts in 2014: Zeke Hausfather, Rud Istvan, Donald Morton, Planning Engineer, Carol Anne Clayson, Pete Rose, Matt Skaggs, Vitaly Khvorostyanov, Will Howard, Marcia Wyatt, Tom McClellan, Robert Ellison, Tomas Milanovic, Donald Rapp, Nic Lewis, Roger Pielke Sr, John Christy, Richard McNider, Dave Rutledge, Douglas Sheil, Dagfinn Reiersol, Garth Paltridge.
And also to thank all of the participants in the blog – readers and commenters.
Several relevant topics re 2015: predictions, and plans. We haven’t yet seen the punditocracy make predictions for 2015. And I am not going to make any predictions.
Well maybe a few. Somewhere I stated that I figured the 2015 sea ice extent would be about the same as 2014, continuing a recovery in the European Arctic but continuing low extent in eastern Arctic. In terms of global temperature, I expect the hiatus to continue at last another decade, but won’t pretend to predict year to year variations. In terms of U.S. politics, I expect the Republican dominated Senate to hold more congressional hearings related to climate/energy issues. I don’t expect much to be accomplished in the Paris UNFCCC meeting. And finally I predict that Michael Mann’s lawsuit against NRO/CEI/Steyn won’t be resolved in 2015. BTW, the uncertainty monster won’t let me bet much $$ from my own pocket on any of these predictions
Now for plans, which I have slightly more confidence in making. During much of 2015 I will be on sabbatical from Georgia Tech, exploring new research directions and working on the 2nd edition of my text Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans. In principle I will have more time for blogging, but for the next 3 weeks I am busy preparing a proposal and preparing a talk. I can’t really predict how busy I will be in terms of travel and external obligations, but I hope to have more time for blogging.
With respect to the blog, I felt that 2014 was a year where most of my posts responded to the issues du jour, rather than setting my own agenda (which is what I did the first two years of CE, largely with the uncertainty monster theme). Definitely not as satisfying/interesting for me. I am hoping to have more time to devote to developing new themes. Last weekend, I went through my file of draft posts (over 100), ranging from nearly completed posts to a file with a few web links, and knocked the list down to 77. I’m also expecting to have more time to participate in the Comments.
I’m spending more time on twitter, which increases my exposure to a younger and broader demographic. I’m starting to get the hang of it. However it can be a black hole for time.
Happy New Year
And finally, my very best wishes to all my readers for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
My new year’s resolution is to improve blog moderation, so mind your blog etiquette. Oh yes, and more cartoons (couldn’t find a good one for new year).