Former Nasa chief scientist says access to federal data is critical

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NOAA

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Data including information on sea surface temperature is collected by Federal agencies

Limiting access to federal research would do an “enormous disservice” to the US and the world according to former Nasa chief scientist.

Dr Waleed Abdalati told the BBC the that continued access to data is in “everyone’s best interest”.

Many US scientists are rushing to copy information onto servers outside the control of the federal government.

They are afraid the Trump administration will curb access to climate and other research.

Flat Earth

The President-elect has blown hot and cold on the issue of climate change, having previously tweeted about global warming being a hoax.

On Wednesday, one of his advisers compared scientists who support the mainstream view on global warming to flat-Earthers.

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Getty Images

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Nasa’s Operation IceBridge maps changes to the Antarctic ice mass

“There was an overwhelming science that the Earth was flat and there was an overwhelming science that we were the centre of the world,” said Anthony Scaramucci, a member of the Trump transition committee, on CNN.

“We get a lot of things wrong in the scientific community.”

Now at the Co-operative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Dr Abdalati served as Nasa’s chief scientist in 2011, for two years.

He says it is too early to tell if this type of rhetoric from the Trump team will be backed up by action against scientists working on climate issues.

“I do think that when it comes to access to federal databases, and information that the taxpayers have paid for, there would have to be a tremendous paradigm shift to actively take steps to make those data unavailable, and I think doing so would be an enormous disservice to the citizens of this country and to the world in general,” he said via email.

Former Nasa chief scientist says access to federal data is critical

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