Preserving Palaeoclimate Records


The Trump Administration could be very bad for climate reseasrch. Several authors have recently voiced their concerns that the White House will soon begin defunding various scientific organizations engaged in climate research—specifically, NASA—and they may even take down websites like the NOAA online data repository. In response, a number of scholars have been furiously downloading all of the available climate records curated by the NOAA so that scientists don't lose access to them entirely—which, of course, would be horrible for climate research in general.

Since much of my research involves analyzing palaeoclimate records stored on the NOAA website, my future research plans are similarly at risk. So, my supervisor instructed me to download the available data before Trump has a chance to remove it all.

To deal with the threat, I've created an Amazon S3 bucket—it's essentially just online data storage—and copied all of the palaeoclimate data from the NOAA website to the bucket. The bucket can be accessed by anyone, so if the NOAA website does indeed go down the data are safe and available to those who need it. For now, I haven't put much effort into making the access pretty, but it's serviceable. When you click on the link below, you will be taken to a simple webpage with a hierarchical file tree structure. Since I haven't added any kind of search functionality, you'll need to know what you're looking for in advance. Click the relevant links when you find what you're looking for and the files will be downloaded to your computer. In the future, if there's time and funding, I'll build a search app to make it easier to access the data. In the meantime, just click the link below:

NOAA Palaeoclimate Data

Hopefully, the Trump Administration will come to its senses and all of this worry about preserving essential scientific data will be for not. Of course, I'm not holding my breath.

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Joel 10 months, 1 week ago

Hey Chris,
Good to see. I have heard that this is happening in a lot of disciplines. Do you know if anyone is creating a directory of mirrored sites and the like to make finding things easier?

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ccarleton 10 months, 1 week ago

Hi Joel,

As far as I know, there is only one project attempting to centralize things. It's called the DataRefuge. They're trying to gather data from everywhere, not just the NOAA. Here's a link to a spreadsheet that now seems inactive and the projects new (to me, anyway) website:

I'll likely get in touch with them and offer to connect—though, I assume they will already have the palaeo data in there somewhere.

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