Well, not a final farewell. There's a good chance the blog will wake from hibernation when next year's melting season starts. In the meantime there will be one or several open threads for discussing the slow winter action (yes, even slower than summer action, or is it?), perhaps an update here and there when something interesting happens, like CryoSat-2 data becoming available. I might even upgrade to a paid version of TypePad, so I can add more functionality, widgets, guest authors, etc. Not too much, as I have really gotten to like this simple set-up.
It all depends on time, of course. It was an extremely interesting experience to do this blog for the first season. I have learned an amazing amount of things, from reading weather maps to making graphs and animations, besides all the complex info on the Arctic and its sea ice cover. But it was tough too, in between work and family life. It makes me respect people like Michael Tobis, DeepClimate, Gareth Renowden, Patrick Lockerby, Eli Rabett, Tamino, Tim Lambert and all those other bloggers even more than I already did. So it was tough at times, but extremely gratifying and like they say in Holland: He who says A, must say B too.
Like I've said from the start my main goal was to attract people who, like me, enjoyed keeping a close eye on the Arctic during the melting season but didn't have a place of their own. I can say now that this was a success, especially because everybody brought their knowledge and theories to the comment sections. This made the whole blog a) more interesting, because it provided a lot of stuff that I couldn't by myself, being the Arctic n00b I am, and b) gave me great ideas for blog posts, like the one about the CAPIE/compactness ratio, the North Hole and many other things.
So after 114 posts, 2685 comments and a million new things learned I like to thank you, you and you! Keep an eye out for sea ice area anomaly, Arctic and global. Read the NSIDC monthly updates to have an idea of what winter is doing to the ice. Keep checking that PIOMAS graph until CryoSat-2 date settles all volume/thickness doubts. And go to my Arctic sea ice graphs Google page if you want to have an overview of all the major graphs and maps out there.
Here's a song I listened to a lot during those long nights making animations and writing blog posts. In a sense it's the theme song of this blog for me (especially the chorus):
We are watching the canary in the coal mine. Let's hope it doesn't turn out to be a black swan.