The Arctic Sea Ice Blog is close to reaching the 25,000 comments-mark. Thanks to disappearing sea ice and great interest therein the blog was off to a flying start right from the very beginning, with traffic peaking last record melting season (especially when the cyclone hit).
There is a clear correlation between blog traffic and what happens in the Arctic. I guess when we hit 1 million pageviews a day, sea ice area/extent will have gone below 1 million km2. ;-)
This, of course, is great, as one of the reasons I started the blog - aside from personal interest and getting a knowledgeable community together - has to do with the philosophy of limits to growth. If AGW is a serious event (I think it is), it will constitute a very hard limit that just cannot be denied, except by the you-know-who. The Arctic is at the forefront of AGW, so this is where it all starts. And the more people are aware of it, the better, if not merrier.
But there's a downside to every upside, as Johan Cruijff is wont to say (in the picture on the right).
As more eyes start to see, more mouths start to talk. However, Arctic sea ice decline and its consequences make it difficult to stay on-topic.
Together we jump from the subject at hand to AGW in general, to solar power, to CT global SIA numbers, to methane burps, to booms with or without the sonic, etc. All of this is only logical, but the noise can become too much, especially during the melting season.
It makes it more burdensome for me to keep track of everything, and it also makes it more difficult to find those interesting and inspiring tidbits observed by one commenter or other. I've already spent many hours looking for something someone had said perhaps only weeks earlier, but not knowing which thread as it was off-topic. That can become really annoying.
I figured things would run much more smoothly if there was a separate forum where people can open topics themselves. And so with the help of an early commenter and the feedback of several others I've set up the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, that together with blog and daily graphs forms the holy Arctic Trinity.
Mind you, on advice of security manager Lodger I'm linking to the forum that has https in front of its address as this makes the forum much safer to use (as explained here). Your browser will come with a warning about security certificates, so make an exemption for the forum as the https actually makes it more secure, or if you're not comfortable with that, just remove the 's' from https or go here.
In this Arctic Sea Ice Forum it's possible to discuss everything you like, from Cryosphere (Arctic, Antarctic, GIS, glaciers) to AGW in general and climate policy. It also makes it possible to start your own polls. At the bottom of the page you can choose to be notified of new threads and comments. You can post images that will be re-sized to 660px when bigger. There are probably many more functions I don't know about yet, which is why there's a section where you can comment on the forum itself.
This doesn't mean that you can't comment on blog posts on the Arctic Sea Ice Blog, feel free to keep doing that. You can even go a bit off-topic every now and again. But if you want your thoughts to be more on target and easier to track, make use of the forum.
With a bit of luck I think the Arctic Sea Ice Forum can become an even better resource than the blog already is. I will update the Arctic Sea Ice Graphs page in the month to come, which will essentially make us ready for the 2013 melting season.