Climate Data

If you’re worried about what might happen to environmental policy and climate change action following the inauguration of Donald Trump and his administration, you’re not alone.

A group of concerned scientists and the Azimuth Climate Data Backup Project (a project of the University of California at Riverside’s math department) have banded together to quickly back up the many climate databases held by US government agencies, just to be safe.

The project team is led by Jan Galkowski, a statistician at Akamai Technologies, John Baez, a mathematician and well-known science blogger at U. C. Riverside,  Scott Maxwell, site reliability engineer at Google (and former Mars rover driver at NASA), and Sakari Maaranen, a systems architect at Finnish firm Ubisecure.

The project is currently on Kickstarter and here is their goal:

We are downloading climate databases now. We are paying 50 euros a month for a server that provides us with 10 terabytes of storage, gigabit per second bandwidth and 30 terabytes of a monthly traffic. We can expand the storage space as needed.

The challenge is to back up as many of the most important databases as possible, preferably by January 20th. Some databases are on ftp sites and are comparatively easy to download. Others have more complicated formats and require more care. We want not only to back them up, but to be able to prove our copies are correct.

Nearly 1 terabyte of climate data, from NASA and other agencies, has already been collected and backed up by volunteers.

Although the campaign has already surpassed its $5,000 goal – the total currently sits at $8,471 – there are still 27 days left to contribute, and the team has vowed to use any additional contributions to “back up more data, create a better interface for getting it, and put more work into making sure it’s error-free and authenticated.”

Kickstarter campaign here.

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