News - February 9, 2017

Student is helping to save climate data

Anne van der Heijden

Climate researchers worldwide fear that the new US government under Donald Trump will remove important climate data from the Internet. The Wageningen student Ewout Oonk is helping to save that data and is looking for fellow students also willing to help.

Photo: Anne van der Heijden

Back in December, the Soil, Water and Atmosphere Bachelor’s student joined the Climate Mirror voluntary organization, which is trying to download as much climate data as possible and publish the data again on as many new sites as possible to make it more difficult for people to be denied access to the information. Ewout has also recently joined Data Refuge, an organization that secures climate data for scientific use by storing it on a central system.

Ewout decided that he wanted to do something after reading an article about the potential threat that the Trump administration formed for climate data. He now spends at least one hour a day preparing downloads and keeping in contact via forums. He has purchased an extra computer so that it can spend entire days downloading.

Last week, Ewout gave a lunchtime workshop on campus about Data Refuge. He hopes eventually to find enough students to set up a Wageningen working group for the organization. ‘I think it’s important that students and researchers should still be able to use data on the environment in the future.’

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