Scientists: help archive climate data before Trump presidency

Brittany A. Roston - Dec 13, 2016, 6:13 pm CST
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Scientists: help archive climate data before Trump presidency

An effort is underway that highlights the sad state of climate change affairs: researchers are rushing to download and thus preserve climate change data ahead of Trump’s presidency. Statements made by Trump — followed by certain individuals he has nominated — have raised serious concerns about the future of climate change research. There have been indications that NASA’s Earth science division may be hard hit, among other things, and so researchers are scrambling to save the related government data now.

Fear is increasingly gripping the scientific community as it prepares for a hostile presidency under Donald Trump, someone who has loudly proclaimed skepticism about global warming. The president-elect has been assembling a team composed of vocal climate change deniers, among others, as well as individuals with business interests at odds with climate change efforts.

Researchers worry the administration will unravel decades’ worth of research efforts, but they’re taking steps to minimize any potential data loss. The University of Toronto, for example, recently announced a ‘guerrilla archiving event’ that has the goal of ‘saving environmental data from Trump.’

The event, which is scheduled to take place on December 17, aims to ‘archive federal online pages and data that are in danger of disappearing during the Trump administration.’

A particular focus is given to EPA data, which is facing an uncertain future under Trump. The preservation effort is taking place as part of the Internet Archive’s ‘End of Term’ archiving effort, something that itself focuses on saving U.S. government data that may disappear when a new president takes over.

Though some call it paranoid, many researchers are highlighting the preservation efforts as necessary preparation for the future of humanity. In addition to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, many researchers and Web archivists are working to download climate data from both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA, among many others.

The various individuals working on this effort have put together various destinations accessible to the public. You can view links to this data via the Climate Mirror website, including links leading to ways you can help preserve the info.

SOURCE: University of Toronto


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