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Canadians help store US climate data before Trump presidency

Daksha Rangan
Digital Reporter

Sunday, December 18, 2016, 1:38 PM - Computer scientists and environmentalists from both sides of the border are recording environmental data before U.S. president-elect Donald Trump's upcoming inauguration.

The University of Toronto's faculty of information hosted a "guerrilla archiving" event on Dec. 17 to facilitate the copying and storing of data on independent servers. The event saw a team of professors and volunteers scan the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website to record environmental data.

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The EPA is home to large banks of research, including toxicity reports and satellite data that scientists say might be compromised under president-elect Trump's administration.

"The Trump transition team has been very explicit in its desire to cut particular environmental governance programs and have taken anti-science or non-evidence based approaches to their vision of environmental and climate regulation,” Michelle Murphy, director of the university's technoscience research unit, told the Toronto Star. 'We’re taking seriously those statements." Murphy was one of the event's organizers.

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The "guerrilla archiving" event is the first in a North American series that's part of the Internet Archive's End of Term 2016 project. The Internet Archive is a non-profit online library that has copied and stored U.S. government websites as each presidential administration came to an end.

Related Story: "Climate change is a hoax," the fight against climate change steps back.

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