just in case
Scientists bracing for the incoming Donald Trump administration are now taking steps to protect valuable data and research on climate change, The Washington Post reports. "Doing this can only be a good thing," said environmental researcher Nick Santos. "Hopefully they leave everything in place. But if not, we're planning for that."
Although Trump has expressed that he is open to the belief that humans have contributed to global climate change, he has also called the phenomenon a Chinese "hoax" and appointed climate change deniers to his Cabinet. Trump is even reportedly planning to sap NASA of funds for climate research to refocus the organization on space exploration. "If you can just get rid of the data, you're in a stronger position to argue we should do nothing about climate change," cautioned Andrew Dressler, who teaches atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University.
Scientists are responding by collectively copying and saving climate change data, with meetings across North America taking place to discuss how to store all the information. At the University of Toronto this coming weekend, researchers plan to "guerrilla archive" environmental data to "[preserve] information and data from the Environmental Protection Agency, which has programs and data at high risk of being removed from online public access or even deleted."
"People have felt a call to arms," said scientist Adam Campbell, who studies the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, to The Washington Post. "We need to be outspoken."