Scientists Race To Copy Climate Data In Case It Disappears Under Trump


Scientists have started copying United States climate data onto non-government servers out of fear that the data could disappear under Donald Trump’s administration, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Trump has not said that he will delete data climate data from government servers. However, the President-elect has selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a climate change skeptic, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, and the transition team has asked for a list of the names of Energy Department staffers who were engaged in climate policy under the Obama administration.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, along with Open Data Philly and Azavea, a software company, have met to discuss ways to preserve data currently made available to the public by the federal government, according to the Washington Post.

Researchers at the University of Toronto also held a “guerrilla archiving” event to preserve EPA data and scientists have used a Google spreadsheet to compile important datasets that need to be preserved and will set out to archive them for the public, according to the Pos report.

Nick Santos, a researcher at the University of California at Davis, told the Post that he has begun copying climate data to a nongovernment server himself.

“Something that seemed a little paranoid to me before all of a sudden seems potentially realistic, or at least something you’d want to hedge against,” he said. “Doing this can only be a good thing. Hopefully they leave everything in place. But if not, we’re planning for that.”