WaPo's Brady Dennis informs us that "scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference:"
In recent weeks, President-elect Donald Trump has nominated a growing list of Cabinet members who have questioned the overwhelming scientific consensus around global warming. [...]
Those moves have stoked fears among the scientific community that Trump, who has called the notion of man-made climate change "a hoax" and vowed to reverse environmental policies put in place by President Obama, could try to alter or dismantle parts of the federal government's repository of data on everything from rising sea levels to the number of wildfires in the country.
There is, sadly, historical precedent for just this sort of disappearing data:
Climate data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been politically vulnerable. When Tom Karl, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information, and his colleagues published a study in 2015 seeking to challenge the idea that there had been a global warming "slowdown" or "pause" during the 2000s, they relied, in significant part, on updates to NOAA's ocean temperature data set, saying the data "do not support the notion of a global warming 'hiatus.'"
In response, the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee chair, Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-Tex.), tried to subpoena the scientists and their records.
Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M, commented:
"If you can just get rid of the data, you're in a stronger position to argue we should do nothing about climate change."