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# Saving climate data

edited December 2016

Climate scientists are watching with increasing alarm the inquiries and movements of the incoming Trump administration not only with respect to pursuit and funding of climate science, but also ejecting climate scientists who have contributed to it at NOAA and NASA and, presumably, related government-funding organizations. Worse, there is a concern that the climate observing assets so carefully built up over two decades will be shut down, and possibly destroyed, with data loss. See

Accordingly meteorologist Eric Holthaus has begun an effort to download, document, and stash in safe places all climate related data stored on .gov computers. There's a lot of it, and I do not know details about this effort, especially pertaining to how they will be sure the metadata are preserved. I have reached out to ask.

Given the importance and prominence of these data to work done at Azimuth, I thought the membership would be interested in knowing about this, if not helping.

I would suggest communications about it be kept as much off social media as possible.

Thanks. I'll let people know when I learn anything more.

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edited December 2016

We're happy to help, but it's a big job and it would go faster if it were put on social media. In any event, Eric Holthaus is already tweeting about it. For example this tweet of his was shared 495 times two hours after he posted it:

Scientists: Do you have a US .gov climate database that you don't want to see disappear? Add it here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12-__RqTqQxuxHNOln3H5ciVztsDMJcZ2SVs1BrfqYCc/edit#gid=0 Please share

Let us know what we can do.

Comment Source:We're happy to help, but it's a big job and it would go faster if it were put _on_ social media. In any event, Eric Holthaus is already tweeting about it. For example [this tweet](https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/807802102416228352) of his was shared 495 times two hours after he posted it: > Scientists: Do you have a US .gov climate database that you don't want to see disappear? Add it here: [https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12-__RqTqQxuxHNOln3H5ciVztsDMJcZ2SVs1BrfqYCc/edit#gid=0](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12-__RqTqQxuxHNOln3H5ciVztsDMJcZ2SVs1BrfqYCc/edit#gid=0) Please share Let us know what we can do.
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edited December 2016

We're happy to help, but it's a big job and it would go faster if it were put on social media.

I am not sure wether this "stashing in safe places all climate related data stored on .gov computers." is a good idea. At least it should be made dammed clear that the amount of information which is lost by such a "rushed transfer" is huge.

Like if I think of the methane measurements all the info about concrete measurements procedures etc. would not be included. In the end it may in some cases mean that the corresponding data is completely useless without the missing context info (which is by the way bad in itself with regard to future uses -but thats another topic).

I think those "climate deniers" you are talking about and Trump himself understand that for example data like a "Storm events database" is not only important for climate science but also for air and space travel, likewise "Sea level trends" for nautical purposes etc. It is harder to explain that even "paleoclimatology datasets" might be useful for this purposes, but you know it can be done in principle. They should know that if they destroy the corresponding infrastructure than this is combined with a total or at least huge loss of this data. I can't imagine that they would like to take responsibility for that unless they are in bad autodestruct mode - which unfortunately happens not too seldom with leaders if they are on the losing side (see e.g. the example of germans sending their own youth (or here) into a lost battle) , but this is not the case here at least not right now.

Comment Source:>We're happy to help, but it's a big job and it would go faster if it were put on social media. I am not sure wether this "stashing in safe places all climate related data stored on .gov computers." is a good idea. At least it should be made dammed clear that the amount of information which is lost by such a "rushed transfer" is huge. Like if I think of the methane measurements all the info about concrete measurements procedures etc. would not be included. In the end it may in some cases mean that the corresponding data is completely useless without the missing context info (which is by the way bad in itself with regard to future uses -but thats another topic). I think those "climate deniers" you are talking about and Trump himself understand that for example data like a <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12-__RqTqQxuxHNOln3H5ciVztsDMJcZ2SVs1BrfqYCc/edit#gid=0">"Storm events database"</a> is not only important for climate science but also for air and space travel, likewise "Sea level trends" for nautical purposes etc. It is harder to explain that even "paleoclimatology datasets" might be useful for this purposes, but you know it can be done in principle. They should know that if they destroy the corresponding infrastructure than this is combined with a total or at least huge loss of this data. I can't imagine that they would like to take responsibility for that unless they are in bad autodestruct mode - which unfortunately happens not too seldom with leaders if they are on the losing side (see e.g. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkssturm">the example of germans</a> sending their own <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Volkssturm?uselang=de#/media/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-J28021,_16_-_J%C3%A4hriger_im_Volkssturm.jpg">youth</a> (or <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Volkssturm?uselang=de#/media/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-J28836A,_Jungvolk-Zugf%C3%BChrer_mit_Eisernen_Kreuz_II._Klasse.jpg">here</a>) into a lost battle) , but this is not the case here at least not right now. 
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edited December 2016

I agree that it might be overreacting to assume Trump will want to destroy all repositories of climate data. However, it's hard to estimate the probability that he'll do this, so it makes some sense to back it up as a precaution. It would actually be good to do this regardless of what happens - events other than the election of Trump could someday destroy this data.

Of course it's also good for people to try to prevent Trump from trying to destroy the government repositories. These are independent activities.

Apparently some people at Google and other big internet companies are helping Holthaus. I need to find out if that's true. If they're doing a good enough job, I can focus on adding databases to the list.

Everything suggests that Trump and his cabinet may want to completely stop climate research. First, the guy managing his EPA (Enviornmental Protection Agency) transition team is one of the world's most effective climate change deniers, and under George W. Bush he had tried to get the head of the EPA fired:

Second, Trump's planned head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, led 28 states in a lawsuit against the EPA to block Obama's Clean Power Plan:

Third, his favored candidate for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was the head of Exxon and won a contract for exploring Arctic waters for oil:

Fourth and fifth:

This last story is what's getting people really scared.

So, I'll keep adding databases to the list.

Comment Source:I agree that it might be overreacting to assume Trump will want to destroy all repositories of climate data. However, it's hard to estimate the probability that he'll do this, so it makes some sense to back it up as a precaution. It would actually be good to do this _regardless_ of what happens - events other than the election of Trump could someday destroy this data. Of course it's _also_ good for people to try to prevent Trump from trying to destroy the government repositories. These are independent activities. Apparently some people at Google and other big internet companies are helping Holthaus. I need to find out if that's true. If they're doing a good enough job, I can focus on adding databases to the list. Everything suggests that Trump and his cabinet may want to completely stop climate research. First, the guy managing his EPA (Enviornmental Protection Agency) transition team is one of the world's most effective climate change deniers, and under George W. Bush he had tried to get the head of the EPA fired: * John Baez, [This man must be stopped](https://plus.google.com/u/0/117663015413546257905/posts/1tKE8kik9sx), 10 November 2016. Second, Trump's planned head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, led 28 states in a lawsuit against the EPA to block Obama's Clean Power Plan: * Matt McGrath, [Trump nominee to rekindle climate battle?](http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38249208), _BBC_, 9 December 2016. Third, his favored candidate for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was the head of Exxon and won a contract for exploring Arctic waters for oil: * Philip Bump, [Who is Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil chairman who may become secretary of state?](https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/12/10/who-is-rex-tillerson-the-exxonmobil-chairman-who-may-become-secretary-of-state/), _Washington Post_, 10 December 2016. Fourth and fifth: * Jason Samesnow, [Trump adviser proposes dismantling NASA climate research](https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/11/23/trump-adviser-proposes-dismantling-nasa-climate-research/?tid=a_inl), _Washington Post_, 23 November 2016. * Christopher Dean Hopkins, [Trump transition asks Energy Department which employees work on climate change](http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/09/505041927/trump-transition-asks-energy-dept-which-employees-work-on-climate-change), _National Public Radio_, 9 December 2016. This last story is what's getting people really scared. So, I'll keep adding databases to the list.
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edited December 2016

so it makes some sense to back it up as a precaution

My whole point above was that I think that this is unfortunately not a "backup" and that some people might be lured into thinking that this is a "backup". It's not.

Comment Source:>so it makes some sense to back it up as a precaution My whole point above was that I think that this is unfortunately not a "backup" and that some people might be lured into thinking that this is a "backup". It's not.
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Well, presumably if the Web sites themselves are mirrored, any and all files documenting methodology, calibration, collection techniques, and interpretations would be saved as well. If there are paper-only records which are at risk, not much we can do to help about them. Moreover, a truly paranoid person might want to provide an alternate control plane for the observational platforms in question, with encrypted controls, given as a safeguard to scientists in another government, with a way of locking out the existing controls.

Comment Source:Well, presumably if the Web sites themselves are mirrored, any and all files documenting methodology, calibration, collection techniques, and interpretations would be saved as well. If there are paper-only records which are at risk, not much we can do to help about them. Moreover, a truly paranoid person might want to provide an alternate control plane for the observational platforms in question, with encrypted controls, given as a safeguard to scientists in another government, with a way of locking out the existing controls.
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Do people mirror entire ftp sites like those on the list to be saved? Of course I assume the US government has them backed up, but we're talking about backing them up in some other way.

So far I haven't seen any evidence that anyone is actually doing anything about this problem, other than listing the databases that need to be saved. I emailed a bunch of people about this, and I'll email a bunch more, but if you learn anything helpful let me know! I don't myself have the technical ability to efficiently copy an entire database.

Comment Source:Do people mirror entire ftp sites like those [on the list to be saved](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12-__RqTqQxuxHNOln3H5ciVztsDMJcZ2SVs1BrfqYCc/edit#gid=0)? Of course I assume the US government has them backed up, but we're talking about backing them up in some _other_ way. So far I haven't seen any evidence that anyone is actually doing anything about this problem, other than listing the databases that need to be saved. I emailed a bunch of people about this, and I'll email a bunch more, but if you learn anything helpful let me know! I don't myself have the technical ability to efficiently copy an entire database.
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edited December 2016

John, so I have just started trying to mirror all of CDIAC. We'll see. I'll put it in a tarball, and then throw it up on Google. It should keep everything intact. Using WinHTTrack. I have coordinated with Eric via Twitter, creating, per your suggestion, a new personal account which I am using exclusively to follow the principals.

Once CDIAC is done, and checked over, I'll move on to other sites.

There are things beyond our control, such as paper records, or records which are online but are not within visibility of the public.

Oh, and I've formally requested time off from work for latter half of December so I can work this on vacation. (I have a number of other projects I want to work in parallel, anyway.)

Comment Source:John, so I have just started trying to mirror all of CDIAC. We'll see. I'll put it in a tarball, and then throw it up on Google. It should keep everything intact. Using WinHTTrack. I have coordinated with Eric via Twitter, creating, per your suggestion, a new personal account which I am using exclusively to follow the principals. Once CDIAC is done, and checked over, I'll move on to other sites. There are things beyond our control, such as paper records, or records which are online but are not within visibility of the public. Oh, and I've formally requested time off from work for latter half of December so I can work this on vacation. (I have a number of other projects I want to work in parallel, anyway.) 
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edited December 2016

Great, Jan! That's really good news! Anything I can do to help? Any resources you need?

Comment Source:**Great, Jan!** That's really good news! Anything I can do to help? Any resources you need?
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Do people mirror entire ftp sites

I never worked with HTTrack, but it doesn't look as if it mirrors ftp contents: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTrack Does it?

But even if -a lot of ftp sites are only accessible per (non-public) login. And then again you miss out specifications written on paper and a lot of other knowledge in particular the one which is in the brain of the scientists.

But apart from that "download technicalities" it is moreover crucial that curves are updated, like this Carbon dioxide curve:

In short, Jan what you do is somewhat "taking fotographs" of the climate science webcontent. This is of course better than nothing, but it doesn't replace the "living thing". So again - I think it is important to make clear that THIS IS NO BACKUP and one shouldn't lure politics into believing that it is!

By the way by looking at the CO2 curve I asked myself how one could express the whole problemacy of CO2 emissions a bit more directly.

From the curve I picked three points (by handwaving read off estimation). That is in 1960 one had a CO2 microfraction of 310, 25 years later 340 and 50 years later in 2010 one had a microfraction of 410. Or in direct air fractions 0.00031, 0.00034 and 0.0004 that is 0.031, 0.034 and 0.041 per cent. If I make the ansatz that this is some curve obeying the function $$C+B e^{A*T}$$ and set 1960 to be start time (I.e. T=0) I get: $$287.5+22.5e^{0.0339 T}$$ as an approximating curve. For this you don't need big maths, just e-function and quadratic equations, i.e. undergraduate college math.

According to Wikipedia Donald Trump graduated from Penn in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics, so this kind of math should have been part of his education i.e. eventually with a little fresh up he could in principle perform the calculations himself.

So with this approximation one reaches a value of 70000 microfractions, i.e. 0.07, i.e. 7 percent air fraction at which you get already mental confusion due to CO2 poisoning within 237 years- if I haven't messed up somewhere in the calculations (please check!). Or in other words:

if CO2 emissions go on like this then even people hiding out on mountains to avoid CO2 laden cities will be poisoned within only 237 years.

Again this is a calculation where you dont need big models of climate science, you just need to trust the measurements or use your own homemade measurements (which will be analogous).

And yes this is only an ansatz but even if this would not be 237 years but 1000 years or worse in the other direction within the lifetime of our kids- it is clear that mankind leaves a carbon footprint which might have the sooner or later even direct health effects. Maybe one should communicate these directly to understand facts, rather then say "climate scientists calculated."

Comment Source:>Do people mirror entire ftp sites I never worked with HTTrack, but it doesn't look as if it mirrors ftp contents: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTrack Does it? But even if -a lot of ftp sites are only accessible per (non-public) login. And then again you miss out specifications written on paper and a lot of other knowledge in particular the one which is in the brain of the scientists. But apart from that "download technicalities" it is moreover crucial that curves are updated, like this Carbon dioxide curve: ![carbondioxide](https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c5/Mauna_Loa_CO2_monthly_mean_concentration.svg/708px-Mauna_Loa_CO2_monthly_mean_concentration.svg.png) In short, Jan what you do is somewhat "taking fotographs" of the climate science webcontent. This is of course better than nothing, but it doesn't replace the "living thing". So again - I think it is important to make clear that THIS IS NO BACKUP and one shouldn't lure politics into believing that it is! By the way by looking at the CO2 curve I asked myself how one could express the whole problemacy of CO2 emissions a bit more directly. From the curve I picked three points (by handwaving read off estimation). That is in 1960 one had a CO2 microfraction of 310, 25 years later 340 and 50 years later in 2010 one had a microfraction of 410. Or in direct air fractions 0.00031, 0.00034 and 0.0004 that is 0.031, 0.034 and 0.041 per cent. If I make the ansatz that this is some curve obeying the function $$C+B e^{A*T}$$ and set 1960 to be start time (I.e. T=0) I get: $$287.5+22.5e^{0.0339 T}$$ as an approximating curve. For this you don't need big maths, just <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_function">e-function</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadratic_equation">quadratic equations</a>, i.e. undergraduate college math. According to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump">Wikipedia</a> Donald Trump graduated from Penn in May 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics, so this kind of math should have been part of his education i.e. eventually with a little fresh up he could in principle perform the calculations himself. So with this approximation one reaches a value of 70000 microfractions, i.e. 0.07, i.e. 7 percent air fraction at which you get already mental confusion due to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercapnia">CO2 poisoning</a> within 237 years- if I haven't messed up somewhere in the calculations (please check!). Or in other words: >if CO2 emissions go on like this then even people hiding out on mountains to avoid CO2 laden cities will be poisoned within only 237 years. Again this is a calculation where you dont need big models of climate science, you just need to trust the measurements or use your own homemade measurements (which will be analogous). And yes this is only an ansatz but even if this would not be 237 years but 1000 years or worse in the other direction within the lifetime of our kids- it is clear that mankind leaves a carbon footprint which might have the sooner or later even direct health effects. Maybe one should communicate these directly to understand facts, rather then say "climate scientists calculated." 
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Thanks, nad. It's possible HTTrack cannot do the FTP portions. I am setting up an FTP client to copy the FTP portion of CDIAC as well. Note they indicate that site was going to be migrated in September of 2017 anyway. I do not know if that migration will happen. (Who can tell?)

Again, I hope this kind of measure is completely unnecessary, but who can tell? I don't hold out much hope of communicating with the new executive staff in a convincing manner, no matter who is doing the talking or what they say. In fact, I expect some disingenuity on the listeners' part. Again, who can tell?

I also do not expect this will capture "the 'living thing'", only act as a partial safeguard against some deliberate damage and misrepresentation.

Comment Source:Thanks, nad. It's possible HTTrack cannot do the FTP portions. I am setting up an FTP client to copy the FTP portion of CDIAC as well. Note they indicate that site was going to be migrated in September of 2017 anyway. I do not know if that migration will happen. (Who can tell?) Again, I hope this kind of measure is completely unnecessary, but who can tell? I don't hold out much hope of communicating with the new executive staff in a convincing manner, no matter who is doing the talking or what they say. In fact, I expect some disingenuity on the listeners' part. Again, who can tell? I also do not expect this will capture "the 'living thing'", only act as a partial safeguard against some deliberate damage and misrepresentation.
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So again - I think it is important to make clear that THIS IS NO BACKUP and one shouldn't lure politics into believing that it is!

Right. I consider this obvious, but we should make it clear. I think of this as similar to running into a burning house and rescuing some precious things. It's not the same as saving the house. It's the organizational structure of the EPA, with its scientists doing their work, that's the living "house".

Comment Source:Nad wrote: > So again - I think it is important to make clear that THIS IS NO BACKUP and one shouldn't lure politics into believing that it is! Right. I consider this obvious, but we should make it clear. I think of this as similar to running into a burning house and rescuing some precious things. It's not the same as saving the house. It's the organizational structure of the EPA, with its scientists doing their work, that's the living "house".
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edited December 2016

I am at AGU and the speaker now talking says they generate 400 terabytes of data per day. No use saving all of it. You have to do realtime analysis and deal with it that way.

Comment Source:I am at AGU and the speaker now talking says they generate 400 terabytes of data per day. No use saving all of it. You have to do realtime analysis and deal with it that way.
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edited December 2016

Hi, well we are trying to save distilled products, WebHubTel. An issue very much a part of this discussion, and hopefully AGU will address, at least behind the scenes, is what happens if the Witch Hunt scenario plays out, the people who know how to operate the climate observing national assets are canned without capturing knowledge, and the control interfaces are either mothballed without care, or subjected to mischief. This can't be stopped without court orders and Congressional oversight, but, unlike military assets, there's no way these can be protected against malice. My view is what would you do if a bunch of undisciplined teenagers were let loose in control rooms. I entirely realize my imagination may be running away with me, but, again, I heard in Eric's request a plea to defend against a worst case possibility. I mean, we just don't know, but with Lamar Smith getting his way, and Tillerson as SecState and the EPA head believing there should not be one, and identifying the lists of people who contributed, I feel it is very wrong to think this "will just be okay.''

Concern is shared and summarized at: https://climatecrocks.com/2016/12/12/while-scientists-meet-trumpputin-make-lists/

Comment Source:Hi, well we are trying to save distilled products, WebHubTel. An issue very much a part of *this* discussion, and hopefully AGU will address, at least behind the scenes, is what happens if the Witch Hunt scenario plays out, the people who know how to operate the climate observing national assets are canned without capturing knowledge, and the control interfaces are either mothballed without care, or subjected to mischief. This can't be stopped without court orders and Congressional oversight, but, unlike military assets, there's no way these can be protected against malice. My view is what would you do if a bunch of undisciplined teenagers were let loose in control rooms. I entirely realize my imagination may be running away with me, but, again, I heard in Eric's request a plea to defend against a worst case possibility. I mean, we just don't know, but with Lamar Smith getting his way, and Tillerson as SecState and the EPA head believing there should not be one, and identifying the lists of people who contributed, I feel it is very wrong to think this "will just be okay.'' Concern is shared and summarized at: https://climatecrocks.com/2016/12/12/while-scientists-meet-trumpputin-make-lists/
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By the way, nad, your exponential curves ... 1938 ... Callendar .... https://goo.gl/JkqdkN

Comment Source:By the way, nad, your exponential curves ... 1938 ... Callendar .... https://goo.gl/JkqdkN
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Sound bite: Halting climate research, destroying or failing to preserve governmental climate databases, or targeting climate researchers -- any of these would amount to a declaration of war against science, and so they should be opposed by scientists across the board.

Comment Source:Sound bite: Halting climate research, destroying or failing to preserve governmental climate databases, or targeting climate researchers -- any of these would amount to a declaration of war against science, and so they should be opposed by scientists across the board.
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edited December 2016

Under the Freedom of Information Act, would it be illegal for the government to delete public data? If so, perhaps an injunction could be obtained now to prevent it.

Comment Source:Under the Freedom of Information Act, would it be illegal for the government to delete public data? If so, perhaps an injunction could be obtained now to prevent it.
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Does anyone know lawyers to whom such a question could be posed? Even if the answer is no, the question might get them thinking about how to start mounting a defense now.

Comment Source:Does anyone know lawyers to whom such a question could be posed? Even if the answer is no, the question might get them thinking about how to start mounting a defense now.
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edited December 2016

Jan wrote:

I heard in Eric's request a plea to defend against a worst case possibility.

Yes, exactly. This is not supposed to be a substitute for lobbying, protests, other mass actions - whatever may be required. It's just an obvious thing to do, to prepare for a worst-case scenario.

I was listening to the National Public Radio show On Point just a few minutes ago, and I was surprised to hear them discuss exactly this scenario: the mass deletion of climate databases by the Trump Administration. So it's entering the public mind, for better or worse.

Comment Source:Jan wrote: > I heard in Eric's request a plea to defend against a worst case possibility. Yes, exactly. This is not supposed to be a substitute for lobbying, protests, other mass actions - whatever may be required. It's just an obvious thing to do, to prepare for a worst-case scenario. I was listening to the National Public Radio show _On Point_ just a few minutes ago, and I was surprised to hear them discuss exactly this scenario: the mass deletion of climate databases by the Trump Administration. So it's entering the public mind, for better or worse. 
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To this question, an attorney friend of my replied; One would think.

Comment Source:To this question, an attorney friend of my replied; One would think.
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edited December 2016

The reason why corruption if not destruction of databases and scientific capabilities is even countenanced is because Trump and his group don't value evidence at all. Worse, if one posits that the common connection between Putin and Tillerson and Trump is wanting to give fossil fuel energy a new lease on life, it is natural to think that it would be attractive to take measures which put off a public outcry for stringent fossil fuel emissions mitigation as far into the future as possible. Accordingly, if the science is blinded, and if the careful collections and calibrations of datasets are disrupted, if the groups and organizational knowledge within agencies and at universities is disrupted in the form of a "legal witch hunt" or lawsuits, or other kinds of intimidation, then, when large climate events begin happening, the natural caution of the sciences will say that, because of these impediments, they can no longer attribute large events to climate change, or even have a good calibration on what's happening. What happens if Operation Ice Bridge goes completely away? What happens if they don't care so much about what they see as the supposed connection of climate knowledge to improved weather forecasting? If there are cries from other countries, a Trump or a Trump lookalike can claim that, just as climate scientists pushed an "alarmist leftist campaign", other countries are espousing these positions not because they are true ("What IS Truth?"), but because they want to take advantage of U.S. business or, as Trump already claimed on the Fox News interview, to take U.S. jobs away. I have seen these arguments advanced, that the near term costs of mitigation are "just too high" in terms of economic dislocation or doing things differently. They may well seem to be. But, as Dr Katharine Hayhoe points out, arguing this is driving down a highway by looking only back through the rearview mirror. And as I illustrate, it is skeet shooting by aiming where the skeet is now, not where it will be.

Trump and company have shown blatant disregard for existing procedures and guidelines, with his personal eschewing of not only intelligence briefings, and disrespect for the intelligence community and its deep, like it or not, engineering and scientific capability, but shortcutting the standard education President-elects get about the nuclear arsenal and U.S. intelligence and armed services capabilities. Mr Trump describes these as "boring" and "not necessary." He hasn't a care about cybersecurity or cyberattacks, and probably doesn't understand them, and does not want to. Why should such a boor have ANY appreciation or care for science or academic expertise?

It will be interesting to see what the Masters of High Tech come out with, although that, too, could be just another show, like Romney, Gore, DiCaprio. And the interesting thing about a short-sighted demagogue is that he can be as much a puppet as a master.

Sorry to belabor this political stuff, but I felt the things I see and feel might be useful to put out there so people understand why I feel taking what are admittedly extreme protective measures is wise. I certainly wouldn't expect that if these observations are true to have the ability a minute past the inauguration. And there won't be any Congressional or judicial intervention right then: It'll happen too darn fast.

Comment Source:The reason why corruption if not destruction of databases and scientific capabilities is even countenanced is because Trump and his group don't value evidence at all. Worse, if one posits that the common connection between Putin and Tillerson and Trump is wanting to give fossil fuel energy a new lease on life, it is natural to think that it would be attractive to take measures which put off a public outcry for stringent fossil fuel emissions mitigation as far into the future as possible. Accordingly, if the science is blinded, and if the careful collections and calibrations of datasets are disrupted, if the groups and organizational knowledge within agencies and at universities is disrupted in the form of a "legal witch hunt" or lawsuits, or other kinds of intimidation, then, when large climate events begin happening, the natural caution of the sciences will say that, because of these impediments, they can no longer attribute large events to climate change, or even have a good calibration on what's happening. What happens if Operation Ice Bridge goes completely away? What happens if they don't care so much about what they see as the supposed connection of climate knowledge to improved weather forecasting? If there are cries from other countries, a Trump or a Trump lookalike can claim that, just as climate scientists pushed an "alarmist leftist campaign", other countries are espousing these positions not because they are true ("What IS Truth?"), but because they want to take advantage of U.S. business or, as Trump already claimed on the Fox News interview, to take U.S. jobs away. I have seen these arguments advanced, that the near term costs of mitigation are "just too high" in terms of economic dislocation or doing things differently. They may well seem to be. But, as Dr Katharine Hayhoe points out, arguing this is driving down a highway by looking only back through the rearview mirror. And as I illustrate, it is skeet shooting by aiming where the skeet is now, not where it will be. Trump and company have shown blatant disregard for existing procedures and guidelines, with his personal eschewing of not only intelligence briefings, and disrespect for the intelligence community and its deep, like it or not, engineering and scientific capability, but shortcutting the standard education President-elects get about the nuclear arsenal and U.S. intelligence and armed services capabilities. Mr Trump describes these as "boring" and "not necessary." He hasn't a care about cybersecurity or cyberattacks, and probably doesn't understand them, and does not want to. Why should such a boor have ANY appreciation or care for science or academic expertise? It will be interesting to see what the Masters of High Tech come out with, although that, too, could be just another show, like Romney, Gore, DiCaprio. And the interesting thing about a short-sighted demagogue is that he can be as much a puppet as a master. Sorry to belabor this political stuff, but I felt the things I see and feel might be useful to put out there so people understand why I feel taking what are admittedly extreme protective measures is wise. I certainly wouldn't expect that if these observations are true to have the ability a minute past the inauguration. And there won't be any Congressional or judicial intervention right then: It'll happen too darn fast. 
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21.
edited December 2016

...but got the following Nay from another attorney:

I applaud and share the impulse but climate data exists in so many places already that it is hard to imagine being able effectively to delete it. Furthermore, "talk" about Trump deleting it would not support an application for an injunction, and I doubt the FOIA is the the right vehicle. Unfortunately, we have to wait for at least one shoe to drop.

Comment Source:...but got the following Nay from another attorney: > I applaud and share the impulse but climate data exists in so many places already that it is hard to imagine being able effectively to delete it. Furthermore, "talk" about Trump deleting it would not support an application for an injunction, and I doubt the FOIA is the the right vehicle. Unfortunately, we have to wait for at least one shoe to drop.
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22.
edited December 2016

Can you help me to analyze this response? I would like to follow up with him.

First, although sympathetic, he appears to underestimate the seriousness of the problem. Sure, climate data en mass won't be deleted, and will still exist in Europe, universities, etc. But NASA is on the leading edge of a massive data collection effort, and those databases will be under the jurisdiction of the new head.

Furthermore, these "shoes" may be dropped silently, and concurrently.

So there is the potential here, not for deleting climate data per se, but for amputating a critical branch of modern day climate science.

Comment Source:Can you help me to analyze this response? I would like to follow up with him. First, although sympathetic, he appears to underestimate the seriousness of the problem. Sure, climate data en mass won't be deleted, and will still exist in Europe, universities, etc. But NASA is on the leading edge of a massive data collection effort, and those databases will be under the jurisdiction of the new head. Furthermore, these "shoes" may be dropped silently, and concurrently. So there is the potential here, not for deleting climate data per se, but for amputating a critical branch of modern day climate science.
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23.
edited December 2016

The data was collected using public funds.

I have the right to access that data under the FOIA.

Don't I have a continued right to this access?

Comment Source:The data was collected using public funds. I have the right to access that data under the FOIA. Don't I have a continued right to this access? 
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24.

If the FOIA is not the right vehicle, then what is?

Comment Source:If the FOIA is not the right vehicle, then what is? 
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25.

I think the problem is the disruption of continuity of the data. Even if an act is illegal, a department or administrator can claim ignorance, even Trump can claim ignorance and that "I've now put a stop to it." But, by that time, the damage is done. The core data, as WebHubTel points out, are too large to save. Saving that is on the order of saving the calibration data for satellites and instruments. And nad is correct, what we can save might be inconsequential for the core science. But the question is, would such an administration really be able to shut down, not only Ice Bridge, but Argo and OCO-2? As important as it is, isn't defending OCO-2 tough to do on the basis of meteorology, if one assumes there's no connection between climate and weather, as silly as that claim is?

Comment Source:I think the problem is the disruption of continuity of the data. Even if an act is illegal, a department or administrator can claim ignorance, even Trump can claim ignorance and that "I've now put a stop to it." But, by that time, the damage is done. The core data, as WebHubTel points out, are too large to save. Saving that is on the order of saving the calibration data for satellites and instruments. And nad is correct, what we can save might be inconsequential for the core science. But the question is, would such an administration really be able to shut down, not only Ice Bridge, but Argo and OCO-2? As important as it is, isn't defending OCO-2 tough to do on the basis of meteorology, if one assumes there's no connection between climate and weather, as silly as that claim is?
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26.

Jan wrote in 20:

but shortcutting the standard education President-elects get about the nuclear arsenal and U.S. intelligence and armed services capabilities. Mr Trump describes these as "boring" and "not necessary."

Really? Do you have a source for that?

Comment Source:Jan wrote in 20: >but shortcutting the standard education President-elects get about the nuclear arsenal and U.S. intelligence and armed services capabilities. Mr Trump describes these as "boring" and "not necessary." Really? Do you have a source for that?
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27.
edited December 2016

@nad, I do, and it's probably the Sunday New York Times, but I would have to dig to find right now, and don't have time. Need to get to work in Cambridge (MA).

Comment Source:@nad, I do, and it's probably the Sunday _New York Times_, but I would have to dig to find right now, and don't have time. Need to get to work in Cambridge (MA).
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28.

@Jan I googled but couldnt find anything on that. I wondered about your comment because if I understood correctly he was asking about the use of nuclear weapons:

Donald Trump, Perhaps Unwittingly, Exposes Paradox of Nuclear Arms

Comment Source:@Jan I googled but couldnt find anything on that. I wondered about your comment because if I understood correctly he was asking about the use of nuclear weapons: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/04/world/donald-trump-nuclear-weapons.html">Donald Trump, Perhaps Unwittingly, Exposes Paradox of Nuclear Arms</a>
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29.

The attempt to save climate data has hit the news:

I'll only quote the parts that describe these efforts, not why they're needed:

“What are the most important .gov climate assets?” Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and self-proclaimed “climate hawk,” tweeted from his Arizona home Saturday evening. “Scientists: Do you have a US .gov climate database that you don’t want to see disappear?”

Within hours, responses flooded in from around the country. Scientists added links to dozens of government databases to a Google spreadsheet. Investors offered to help fund efforts to copy and safeguard key climate data. Lawyers offered pro bono legal help. Database experts offered help organizing mountains of data and free server space to house it. In California, Santos began building an online repository to “make sure these data sets remain freely and broadly accessible.”

[...]

That effort launched by Holthaus is one of several underway to preserve key federal scientific data.

In Philadelphia, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, along with members of groups such as Open Data Philly and the software company Azavea, have been meeting to figure out ways to harvest and store important data sets.

At the University of Toronto this weekend, researchers are holding what they call a “guerrilla archiving” event to catalogue key federal environmental data ahead of Trump’s inauguration. The event “is focused on preserving information and data from the Environmental Protection Agency, which has programs and data at high risk of being removed from online public access or even deleted,” the organizers wrote. “This includes climate change, water, air, toxics programs.”

The event is part of a broader effort to help San Francisco-based Internet Archive with its End of Term 2016 project, an effort by university, government and nonprofit officials to find and archive valuable pages on federal websites. The project has existed through several presidential transitions.

Comment Source:The attempt to save climate data has hit the news: * Brady Dennis, [Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump](https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/scientists-are-frantically-copying-u-s-climate-data-fearing-it-might-vanish-under-trump/), _Washington Post_, 13 December 2016. I'll only quote the parts that describe these efforts, not why they're needed: > “What are the most important .gov climate assets?” Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and self-proclaimed “climate hawk,” tweeted from his Arizona home Saturday evening. “Scientists: Do you have a US .gov climate database that you don’t want to see disappear?” > Within hours, responses flooded in from around the country. Scientists added links to dozens of government databases to a [Google spreadsheet](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12-__RqTqQxuxHNOln3H5ciVztsDMJcZ2SVs1BrfqYCc/edit#gid=0). Investors offered to help fund efforts to copy and safeguard key climate data. Lawyers offered pro bono legal help. Database experts offered help organizing mountains of data and free server space to house it. In California, Santos began building an online repository to “make sure these data sets remain freely and broadly accessible.” [...] > That effort launched by Holthaus is one of several underway to preserve key federal scientific data. > In Philadelphia, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, along with members of groups such as Open Data Philly and the software company Azavea, [have been meeting](http://www.ppehlab.org/blogposts/2016/12/7/precarious-data-a-meeting-at-penn) to figure out ways to harvest and store important data sets. > At the University of Toronto this weekend, researchers are holding what they call a “guerrilla archiving” event to catalogue key federal environmental data ahead of Trump’s inauguration. The event “is focused on preserving information and data from the Environmental Protection Agency, which has programs and data at high risk of being removed from online public access or even deleted,” the organizers wrote. “This includes climate change, water, air, toxics programs.” > The event is part of a broader effort to help San Francisco-based [Internet Archive](https://archive.org/about/) with its [End of Term 2016](http://eotarchive.cdlib.org/2016.html) project, an effort by university, government and nonprofit officials to find and archive valuable pages on federal websites. The project has existed through several presidential transitions.
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30.

An emailing from climatetruth.org:

Climate scientists have plenty of reasons to feel worried. For decades, fossil fuel interests have spread climate science disinformation and funded climate change denying politicians.

Now, science and scientific institutions face unprecedented challenges with a new administration that proposes to gut science funding, pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and derail the Clean Power Plan. In addition, Donald Trump has packed his cabinet with climate change deniers and fossil fuel industry magnates, including Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. But scientists won’t be silenced. This week, at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) annual conference in San Francisco, the largest gathering of Earth scientists since the election is happening — and scientists will be rallying on the streets right outside. They’ll be joined by representatives from frontline communities and allies from the climate movement. Sign the pledge to #StandUpForScience in solidarity with those rallying for a safe planet for all of us. The rally will feature some true star power: famous climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann (he created the “hockey-stick” graph of rising carbon emissions over time), Harvard professor and Merchants of Doubt author Naomi Oreskes, the executive director of Amazon Watch Leila Salazar-López, and even more climate heroes. At the rally, scientists will join indigenous groups and allies from the climate movement to call on the incoming administration to: Acknowledge that climate change is a real, human-caused, and urgent threat. Uphold the United States' commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Protect scientific integrity in policymaking. Protect government scientists from censorship or suppression. Reduce carbon pollution and U.S. dependence on fossil fuels. Make the U.S. a clean energy leader, and champion the just transition to a new energy era that works for all of us. If you can’t be there in person, we’ll be streaming the rally live at 3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT, on our Facebook page — so don’t miss out. When you pledge to #StandUpForScience, we will share your notes with the scientists rallying in San Francisco today. Thank you for supporting those who are doing the important work of understanding the planet we call home. Let’s work with them to protect it for generations to come. Truthfully yours, Amanda, Brandy, Emily, Brant, Daniela, and the rest of the ClimateTruth.org team P.S. After public pressure from hundreds of scientists and over 61,000 petition signers, the AGU announced that Exxon will not be a sponsor at this year's conference. This is a victory. Let’s keep the scientists’ spirits up by standing with them today.

MORE INFORMATION Facebook event: Rally to Stop the Attack on Science, December 13 at 12pm PT in San Francisco https://act.climatetruth.org/go/1459?t=9&akid=5442.298567.Y_ij0b “Trump transition team for Energy department seeks names of employees involved in climate meetings,” Washington Post, 12-09-2016 https://act.climatetruth.org/go/1474?t=11&akid=5442.298567.Y_ij0b “Trump picks Scott Pruitt, climate change denialist, to head E.P.A.,” New York Times, 12-07-2016 http://act.climatetruth.org/go/1475?t=13&akid=5442.298567.Y_ij0b “A climate denier is leading the NASA transition,” Climate Central, 12-06-2016 http://act.climatetruth.org/go/1476?t=15&akid=5442.298567.Y_ij0b “Exxon won’t sponsor AGU, a win of sorts for oil giant’s opponents,” InsideClimate News, 12-05-2016 https://act.climatetruth.org/go/1461?t=17&akid=5442.298567.Y_ij0b

Comment Source:An emailing from climatetruth.org: Climate scientists have plenty of reasons to feel worried. For decades, fossil fuel interests have spread climate science disinformation and funded climate change denying politicians. Now, science and scientific institutions face unprecedented challenges with a new administration that proposes to gut science funding, pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, and derail the Clean Power Plan. In addition, Donald Trump has packed his cabinet with climate change deniers and fossil fuel industry magnates, including Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. But scientists won’t be silenced. This week, at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) annual conference in San Francisco, the largest gathering of Earth scientists since the election is happening — and scientists will be rallying on the streets right outside. They’ll be joined by representatives from frontline communities and allies from the climate movement. Sign the pledge to #StandUpForScience in solidarity with those rallying for a safe planet for all of us. The rally will feature some true star power: famous climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann (he created the “hockey-stick” graph of rising carbon emissions over time), Harvard professor and Merchants of Doubt author Naomi Oreskes, the executive director of Amazon Watch Leila Salazar-López, and even more climate heroes. At the rally, scientists will join indigenous groups and allies from the climate movement to call on the incoming administration to: Acknowledge that climate change is a real, human-caused, and urgent threat. Uphold the United States' commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Protect scientific integrity in policymaking. Protect government scientists from censorship or suppression. Reduce carbon pollution and U.S. dependence on fossil fuels. Make the U.S. a clean energy leader, and champion the just transition to a new energy era that works for all of us. If you can’t be there in person, we’ll be streaming the rally live at 3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT, on our Facebook page — so don’t miss out. When you pledge to #StandUpForScience, we will share your notes with the scientists rallying in San Francisco today. Thank you for supporting those who are doing the important work of understanding the planet we call home. Let’s work with them to protect it for generations to come. Truthfully yours, Amanda, Brandy, Emily, Brant, Daniela, and the rest of the ClimateTruth.org team P.S. After public pressure from hundreds of scientists and over 61,000 petition signers, the AGU announced that Exxon will not be a sponsor at this year's conference. This is a victory. Let’s keep the scientists’ spirits up by standing with them today. MORE INFORMATION Facebook event: Rally to Stop the Attack on Science, December 13 at 12pm PT in San Francisco https://act.climatetruth.org/go/1459?t=9&akid=5442.298567.Y_ij0b “Trump transition team for Energy department seeks names of employees involved in climate meetings,” Washington Post, 12-09-2016 https://act.climatetruth.org/go/1474?t=11&akid=5442.298567.Y_ij0b “Trump picks Scott Pruitt, climate change denialist, to head E.P.A.,” New York Times, 12-07-2016 http://act.climatetruth.org/go/1475?t=13&akid=5442.298567.Y_ij0b “A climate denier is leading the NASA transition,” Climate Central, 12-06-2016 http://act.climatetruth.org/go/1476?t=15&akid=5442.298567.Y_ij0b “Exxon won’t sponsor AGU, a win of sorts for oil giant’s opponents,” InsideClimate News, 12-05-2016 https://act.climatetruth.org/go/1461?t=17&akid=5442.298567.Y_ij0b
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31.

Science emerging as a political constituency. Many had hoped that it would just be about truth, but here you have it, when truth is attempted to be thwarted.

Comment Source:Science emerging as a political constituency. Many had hoped that it would just be about truth, but here you have it, when truth is attempted to be thwarted.
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32.
edited December 2016

"Truth" had always been overshadowed by politics - I just say Galilei.

Comment Source:"Truth" had always been overshadowed by politics - I just say Galilei.
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33.

Between work and the underscored effort to try to protect important data assets, I could not find a Sunday Times reference to this, although there was a 2-3 page discussion of Trump's refusal to hear briefings from the IC more than once per week, and his willingness to not believe these. There was also an op-ed by former NSA head, Admiral Hayden, remarking on these developments. However, I did find:

and you might find these of limited credibility, but the day has, as Dr John has linked above, by this:

https://climatecrocks.com/2016/12/13/scientists-scramble-to-hold-off-a-new-dark-age/

Comment Source:Between work and the underscored effort to try to protect important data assets, I could not find a Sunday Times reference to this, although there was a 2-3 page discussion of Trump's refusal to hear briefings from the IC more than once per week, and his willingness to not believe these. There was also an op-ed by former NSA head, Admiral Hayden, remarking on these developments. However, I did find: http://reaction.life/trumps-bored-schoolboy-finger-nuclear-button/ https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/509621/ and you might find these of limited credibility, but the day has, as Dr John has linked above, by this: https://climatecrocks.com/2016/12/13/scientists-scramble-to-hold-off-a-new-dark-age/ 
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34.
edited December 2016

We’re having a lively discussion on my G+ post. Most comments have not been very practical. An exception is this by MK Taylor:

Former digital archivist here, if the groups involved with making backups of all gov data haven’t considered it, I’d strongly recommend trying to coordinate/contact the Society of American Archivists. There are groups who have been working for decades on issues related to long term archiving/preservation of digital only assets. Including scientific data. Primary SIG would be the Electronic Records Section, Metadata and Digital Objects Roundtable.

I put Nancy Beaumont, executive director of the Society of American Archivists, in touch with Bethany Wiggin, director of Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, which is leading the DataRefuge project. They are both very eager to have each other’s help, and we’re going to have a conference call on Thursday.﻿

Comment Source:We’re having a lively discussion on [my G+ post](https://plus.google.com/u/0/117663015413546257905/posts/TJ4WCRU4DQv). Most comments have not been very practical. An exception is this by MK Taylor: > Former digital archivist here, if the groups involved with making backups of all gov data haven’t considered it, I’d strongly recommend trying to coordinate/contact the Society of American Archivists. There are groups who have been working for decades on issues related to long term archiving/preservation of digital only assets. Including scientific data. Primary SIG would be the Electronic Records Section, Metadata and Digital Objects Roundtable. I put Nancy Beaumont, executive director of the Society of American Archivists, in touch with Bethany Wiggin, director of Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, which is leading the DataRefuge project. They are both very eager to have each other’s help, and we’re going to have a conference call on Thursday.﻿
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35.
edited December 2016

It hopes to become a mirror website for US government climate data. At the help form on this website you can nominate a dataset for rescue, claim a dataset to rescue, let them know about a data rescue event, or help in some other way (which you must specify).

Since you've already been saving some data, how about contacting them?

Comment Source:Jan: I hope you know about this: * [Climate Mirror](http://climatemirror.org/) It hopes to become a mirror website for US government climate data. At the help form on this website you can nominate a dataset for rescue, claim a dataset to rescue, let them know about a data rescue event, or help in some other way (which you must specify). Since you've already been saving some data, how about contacting them? 
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36.

The Climate Mirror website also says:

If you want to get even more plugged into this effort, contact me and I'll add you to a Slack team for this effort.

The link leads to a form that lets you email Nick Santos, one of the people coordinating the project.

Comment Source:The Climate Mirror website also says: > If you want to get even more plugged into this effort, [contact me](http://nicksantos.com/about-and-contact/) and I'll add you to a Slack team for this effort. The link leads to a form that lets you email Nick Santos, one of the people coordinating the project.
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37.

Between work and the underscored effort to try to protect important data assets, I could not find a Sunday Times reference to this, although there was a 2-3 page discussion of Trump's refusal to hear briefings from the IC more than once per week, and his willingness to not believe these.

thanks Jan for the links! The reaction article says:

This week, Greg Miller and Adam Entous at the Washington Post report that Trump has been rejecting the daily intelligence briefings offered to presidents-elect. .....So far, Trump has sat through only two, while finding time to meet with Indian business partners and TV network executives.

For Europeans it is not so easy to find out about the current status of things in the US, as you can see already at the example of the reaction article...i.e. even the English (!) get nervous about whats going on in US politics.

Apriori it seems to me that Trump is still willing to listen, but tries to get some clues from outside his presidential bubble. I see also his climate tweets a bit in this line. That is he eventually sends those out to see who is reacting how. As a business man he is probably aware of the principal-agent problem.

Comment Source:>Between work and the underscored effort to try to protect important data assets, I could not find a Sunday Times reference to this, although there was a 2-3 page discussion of Trump's refusal to hear briefings from the IC more than once per week, and his willingness to not believe these. thanks Jan for the links! The reaction article says: >This week, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-turning-away-intelligence-briefers-since-election-win/2016/11/23/5cc643c4-b1ae-11e6-be1c-8cec35b1ad25_story.html">Greg Miller and Adam Entous</a> at the Washington Post report that Trump has been rejecting the daily intelligence briefings offered to presidents-elect. .....So far, Trump has sat through only two, while finding time to meet with Indian business partners and TV network executives. For Europeans it is not so easy to find out about the current status of things in the US, as you can see already at the example of the reaction article...i.e. even the English (!) get nervous about whats going on in US politics. Apriori it seems to me that Trump is still willing to listen, but tries to get some clues from outside his presidential bubble. I see also his <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/427226424987385856">climate tweets a bit in this line</a>. That is he eventually sends those out to see who is reacting how. As a business man he is probably aware of the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal%E2%80%93agent_problem">principal-agent problem.</a> 
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38.

For an update on the situation see:

Saving climate data (part 2), Azimuth, 15 December 2016.

Comment Source:For an update on the situation see: &bull; [Saving climate data (part 2)](https://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/saving-climate-data-part-2/), _Azimuth_, 15 December 2016.