EMS Annual Meeting Abstracts
Vol. 18, EMS2021-411, 2021
EMS Annual Meeting 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Experience from the RealClimate.org blog and lessons learned

Rasmus Benestad
Rasmus Benestad
  • Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Norway

The blog RealClimate.org was launched December 2004, and one interesting question is what came out of our involvement with climate blogging. The times have changed for sure between 2004 and 2020, with a completely level of public awareness of climate change and political landscape that was barely conceivable then. My personal involvement in RealClimate.org brought exposure but also an opportunity to learn about what questions that people outside the scientific community had. This also had an impact on my production of scientific papers, and six scientific papers originated from ideas and the engagement connected to RealClimate.org. Some of these papers have resulted in various appearances in the media, from a report in Scientific American to TV documentary.

My involvement at RealClimate has earned me both acknowledgement and enemies. Climate science was a contentious issue within the political sphere already when we started blogging, something we quickly learned through the comments on our posts. One question we discussed was how to deal with comments. We decided to moderate them fairly strictly in the start, which set the culture. All spam and ad hominem was banned. We also decided to deal with trolls was to set up a page called "The Bore Hole", where we could move false information and troll-like comments. The readers appreciated the platform as a place for discussion, so at a later stage, we established monthly threads with the title 'Unforced variations'.

Today, we may ask what difference did RealClimate make and what would the world look like without such blogs where scientists reach out.

How to cite: Benestad, R.: Experience from the RealClimate.org blog and lessons learned, EMS Annual Meeting 2021, online, 6–10 Sep 2021, EMS2021-411, https://doi.org/10.5194/ems2021-411, 2021.

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