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Decluttering

Filed under: — gavin @ 21 January 2019

Given some unexpected down time this month (and maybe next month too!), I’ve been trying to go through key old posts on this site. The basic idea is to update links to other sites, references and figures that over the years have died (site domains that were abandoned, site redesigns, deliberate deletions etc.). Most notably, the IPCC website recently broke all the existing links to elements of the reports which we had referenced in hundreds of places. Thanks guys!

Some folk have been notifying us of issues they found (thanks Marcus!) and I’ve been fixing those as they come up, but obviously there are more. Links to old blog posts from Deltoid, Scienceblogs, Pielke Sr. or Prometheus generally don’t work anymore though they can sometimes be found on the wayback machine. It turns out a lot has changed since 2004 and many hotlinked images in particular have disappeared.

It’s obviously not worth finding replacements for every dead link, but digital uncluttering and fixing up is useful. So, please use this thread to notify us of any useful fixes we can make (and if you have an updated link,, that’d be perfect). Additionally, please let us know if any of the old content is still useful or interesting to you. We know there is still substantial traffic to the back catalog, so maybe it should be highlighted in some way?

To those of you who might ask whether blogging still brings me joy… of course it does!

10 Responses to “Decluttering”

  1. 1
    Windchasers says:

    Most notably, the IPCC website recently broke all the existing links to elements of the reports which we had referenced in hundreds of places.

    /sigh. C’mon, IPCC web guys, backwards-compatibility means retaining existing links, even if they’re deprecated and not available from the public-facing pages.

  2. 2
    SImon C says:

    I completely agree with the point Windchaser @1 – though it’s not always the website administrators making the decisions – sometimes other aspects of the logistics or decisions higher up the chain force these deletions and relocations/change of URL. It is a really good point that the old URLs are worth fighting for.The knock-on effects can be significant.

  3. 3
    Rocketeer says:

    I really appreciate the effort. I use the old articles a lot for my self-education on climate science.

  4. 4

    Yes, I have the same problem, albeit on a *much* smaller scale, on my Hubpages essays. Thanks for the effort, though, whatever ‘joy’ it may bring!

    And thanks for linking back to the ‘joy plots’–for various uninteresting reasons I missed them first time round. (Well, either that, or my memory is worsening faster than I thought.) Anyway, they are fun, in a grim sort of way.

  5. 5
    Danny Yee says:

    I just want to give you a big THANK YOU for doing this. Too many web sites just ignore old material, either leaving it to age or just removing it even though much of it is still useful.

    I will go through all the pages I’ve linked to over the years and try to send in fixes for those.

  6. 6
    prokaryotes says:

    It should be possible to fix all the old IPCC links with the Wayback Machine, inserting just the main url infront of the old URLS? However the wayback machine is currently down :) https://archive.org/web/

  7. 7
    Paul D. says:

    Over the past month – and maybe next, there is no access to any kind of weather station data – rain and snow depths, temperatures… All NOAA data websites redirect to this:

    https://governmentshutdown.noaa.gov/

  8. 8

    Have you tried one of the bad link finders. For example.

    https://validator.w3.org

    Also, Google Analytics might help with this.

  9. 9
    Science 2.0 says:

    On Scienceblogs, we may not know about a bad url either until someone tells us. So if you know of links that no longer work, please send an email and we can fix them by hand. The other commenters are right that old links may not send a lot of new traffic, but they do add search engine authority, so they are worth recovering.

  10. 10
    Al Bundy says:

    Gad, if I decluttered there’d be nothing left!

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