Dark Snow: A Meme Going Viral

September 22, 2014

The recent widely reposted Slate piece on Dark Snow Project, reported with some context here, was just a drop in a tidal wave of media coverage that’s been breaking since midsummer, and especially, since The Dark Snow project wrapped our 2014 Greenland camp.

President Obama tweeted Skeptical Science’s cartoon image of Dr. Box to 46 million followers.

The progressive web site Avaaz has a petition drive based on Dr. Box recent viral tweet, which has 2 plus million signatures and rapidly climbing.


Surprisingly, the usually reliably-in-climate-denial Daily Mail now has a prominent piece on Greenland’s Dark Snow.


Our twin goals of science+communication are playing out. The communication side is popping, and with the data gathered this past summer, I expect that I’ll be reporting on some significant science results in coming months.

Dr. Box concocted “Dark Snow” as a meme that encodes the emerging science of increasing ice melt in a vivid, contradictory image that is proving to be very “sticky”, and encodes in a simple phrase the science behind one of the arctic’s key positive feedbacks.

When I started producing videos several years ago, this was a pretty lonely pursuit, and scientists were grateful for anyone willing to do the hard work of telling their story.  They were waking up to the fact that just doing the science was not enough, that an aggressive and viral-friendly communication strategy was going to be key for bringing the science to the millions.

Sunday’s march in New York, and around the world, indicates that the science is breaking through.  In large part, this is because the planet itself has been speaking with a voice louder than all the combined blowhards of the science denialist media.

The Dark Snow team hopes to help fill the information gaps for those who are waking up to repeated hammering with more violent extremes and novel weather patterns.
While nobody has yet figured out the secret sauce behind what makes something blow up in social media, it seems clear that a small, focused team of fanatically hard working individuals, backed up by the generous contributions of a growing network of supporters, certainly can be part of it.

UPDATE: Latest coverage






2 Responses to “Dark Snow: A Meme Going Viral”

  1. Good to hear that Jason Box mentioned that Denmark was nice due to income equality and less guns around (or are used for hunting only at least). I think building a big middle class with equality is one of the more successful parts of Scandinavian politics.

  2. […] The recent widely reposted Slate piece on Dark Snow Project, reported with some context here, was just a drop in a tidal wave of media coverage that's been breaking since midsummer, and especially,…  […]

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