Five years

Turns out today is the fifth anniversary of me starting this blog. It’s been an interesting journey and I feel that I should reflect on what I’ve done, what I’ve learned, what I would have done differently, and what I’m proud of doing. However, I’m not really sure what to say. I understand some things better than I did before, and I’m more confused about things I thought were obvious. As usual, I don’t really know where this is going, if anywhere. In retrospect, I would probably have done some things differently, but that’s easy to say given what I know now.

I find it harder to write posts, partly because I’ve become busier, partly because I’m not as motivated as I once was, and partly because I’ve said almost all I can about what I enjoy writing about (science) and don’t have a great deal of interest in simply repeating myself. The comment threads are still quite active, but I’m finding it more and more difficult to follow all the comments.

Anyway, I’m still slightly surprised that it’s been as long as five years. It’s been difficult and frustrating at times, but also enjoyable and challenging. I don’t know what I plan for the future; will just have to wait and see. I’m always open to ideas, but I don’t have any great expectations; it’s just a blog.

This entry was posted in Personal, Philosophy for Bloggers, physicists, Science, Scientists and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Five years

  1. John Matheson says:

    Five years of blogging on a topic not directly related to your career is an eternity! I’ve been privileged to follow your blog for most of those five years. Thank you for delivering a well grounded, unemotional and non-ideologically drive commentary on climate science. And be assured your posts are often more valuable than you might think.

  2. John,
    Thanks, appreciated.

    I haven’t counted wrong, have I?

  3. > I haven’t counted wrong, have I?

    No. I’m just surprised. Time flies.

    As a gift, something from otter space:

  4. Joshua says:

    Happy 5th birthday, Anders.

  5. how about your thoughts on the AMOC news? Michael Mann says AMOC slowdown is about a century ahead of schedule suggested by the models. That seems like quite a lot ahead of schedule, does it not?
    Next five year stint should be interesting. Please post about any dire AGW situation that is proceeding slower than expected. That would be welcome news. I just never come across that kind of story. Why is that? Why have the models consistently underestimated the pace of AGW change in so many ways?

  6. Congratulations!

    One thing to suggest … and something which keeps me interested in my blog: From time to time invest the time to study and write up something completely different. Now I have no where the readership that ATTP has. That’s probably because it was never a priority for me, and, as a consequence, my style and quality is uneven, and many times I don’t communicate well. So, in a way, it’s presumptuous of me to offer advice.

    But, here it is, and it’s the best I can offer on your anniversary.

    Wish you the best.

    I find the community of minds here at at Eli’s people that I enjoy, and truly miss when I don’t have time to visit.

  7. Brigitte says:

    Congratulations! For writing so regularly and not getting to ‘het up’ about things! I am glad you are not stopping.

  8. David B. Benson says:

    Useful blog. Thanks.

  9. angech says:

    Happy Birthday and many more.

  10. Well done! You should certainly be proud of the contribution the blog has made to understanding of climate science, I’ve learned a lot from it. The articles on astronomy are also great, be keen for there to me more of them!

  11. Dave_Geologist says:

    Happy Birthday!

  12. Magma says:

    Congratulations as well! I find this blog a must-read, even if I sometimes detach when the reader commentary gets a bit too circularly philosophical. But the topics and scientific areas discussed are almost always of great interest.

    [Starts a cheer] FIVE MORE YEARS! FIVE MORE YEARS!
    [AT: Oh dear god, no.]

    [AT, Magma, AT. -W]

  13. Congratulations.

    On the positive side, due to this moronic American culture war people are interested in science who would otherwise waste their precious short time on Earth reading novels.

  14. Be of good courage- the Prime Minister of Australia has just reminded us of the necessity of persisting in such ventures.

    [Fixed. -W]

  15. Vinny Burgoo says:


  16. verytallguy says:

    Well done AT, and at last, an opportunity to get on to the true purpose of the internet.

    Snow leopard or otter: which is cuter?

  17. @verytallguy,

    Nahhh, that’s a special case of solving “Someone is wrong on the Internet” (XKCD):

  18. BBD says:

    ‘kinell. Five years? Wow. But it was all worth it because humanity has the answer at last:


    Thanks, again.

  19. Congratulations ATTP on keeping it up, but your following suggests that the effort has been worthwhile.

    When I started seriously getting into learning about climate change four years ago I cast around for somewhere online where I could get answers to some fundamentsal questions, and it was often your blog that often provided it; in part due to the depth and thoughtful nature of the posts but also because and cadre of obviously credible commentators who provided a lot of weight to the exploration of topics.

    This really helped fast track my learning and I will be forever grateful to you for that. As we all move forward to spending more time on impacts and solutions (and less time of the denialist agendas that even the denialists struggle to express with any conviction), it is inevitable that the possible topics that you might cover may take you beyond the core physical science, and perhaps beyond your comfort zone.

    But I think you have a lot of people who trust you to provide a helping hand in exploring these topics, and I hope you continue to do so, because being comfortable is no longer an option!

  20. AdamR says:

    Thanks for your efforts in maintaining this blog. It has been a pleasure to follow.

  21. I am a little alarmed about the AMOC disruption and I am getting some pushback from folks who think that the 15% slowdown being reported might be simply natural variation. I think that is clearly not the case, but my math chops to back up my opinion are very weak. Do you have time to crunch numbers on AMOC variation and the slowdown?



  22. @smallbluemike,

    I don’t have time to crunch numbers, but I may be able to find you a set of papers tracking the history of it. I’m connected (as a financial supporter) with WHOI and they did a lot of work on this, so, naturally, I like to watch what comes of this. Just ask.

    There is some variation, and since it has been studied there was more variation seen than oceanographers expected. But I think the recent message is that whatever drives it seems to be struggling. From the looks of things, just empirically, it looks like it might stop in a given year, and possibly resume. But I don’t know the dynamical ramifications of it stopping.

    The message has long been that we’d better mount a much bigger campaign to keep an eye on it. Naturally, like most field work, this is expensive. That’s why the preference is to use floats and gliders, because these can remain on station for long periods relatively cheaply.

  23. verytallguy says:


    From the horse’s mouth, so perhaps *even* better than an ATTP analysis (please forgive me)!

    Back on topic, here’s a jaguar in a box.

  24. Michael 2 says:

    Seems like a lot longer than the four years I’ve been reading here.

  25. Michael 2 says:

    Victor Venema writes: “…people are interested in science who would otherwise waste their precious short time on Earth reading novels.”

    They are interested in this thing called “science” yet I suspect most have little regard for what it actually is (if indeed it can be said to be precisely defined).

    Headline: “An antiscience political climate is driving scientists to run for office” [https]://

    What is this opposition to science? “Watching members of Congress from poor states like Mississippi vote against health care funding was ‘shocking,’ he says. ‘I couldn’t understand the logic and I came back frustrated.'”


  26. jac. says:

    I am with Richard Erskine (7.58 pm).
    Learned (still learning) a lot by listening/lurking, very often heard it first here, thoughtful comments of civilised, knowledgeable and credible commentators helped me shape my own thoughts, and useful links; thanks for graciously hosting it all.


  27. Mal Adapted - moderator, please note my email address change says:

    When was this blog linked from I’ve been following RC for 10 years now, and have typically arrived here from there. The discussion here around the physics, economics and politics of anthropogenic global warming is almost always worth reading, and when it’s not, it’s not because of the OP ;^) (‘enough said’)!

    I’m currently more interested in the economics and politics of capping the warming. More than once in my self-important fashion, I’ve mentioned my prolonged formal education in Earth Sciences and Biology before I, erm, changed careers. It’s presumably why a simple working out of basic physics, followed by recognition of the immediate and future costs in money, human tragedy and global biodiversity, made the reality and urgency of AGW clear for me upon Hansen’s historic Congressional testimony in 1988.

    Your discerning intellectual hospitality is perhaps equally important. I’ve remarked as well on the high signal-to-noise ratio here. The regulars here are pretty smart even when they’re talking smack. As a chronic SIWOTI sufferer, I’ve lately been doing most of my commenting here, on account of there are too many people wrong on RC to keep up with anymore 8^| (‘hmmph’).

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