It’s not like anyone thinks Trump’s appointees will delete or suppress valuable troves of data including CO2 levels, sea and land surface temperatures, ice sheet thickness, sea-level rise maps, changes in the Gulf Stream, and more … right?
Just in case, scientists have started to make copies of vast historical data sets currently housed on government servers, the Washington Post reports. Climate Mirror, a project duplicating important public data sets, launched with a tweet from journalist Eric Holthaus and is organized by University of California at Davis environmental researcher Nick Santos.
Santos told the Post, “Something that seemed a little paranoid to me before all of a sudden seems potentially realistic.” With openly science-denying fossil fuel boosters heading agencies that collect and host this key research, the scientific community is understandably worried.
It wouldn’t be the first time that researchers were muzzled by a conservative administration: During the Bush years, climate scientists were “systematically” censored, according to a 2007 report from the House Oversight Committee.
Other efforts to protect this data include “guerrilla archiving” events and End of Term, a nonpartisan Library of Congress project to preserve a copy of all .gov sites as they stand at the end of the 2016 administration.