The Challenges of Sharing Data in an Era of Politicized Science | Medical Journals and Publishing | JAMA | JAMA Network

“Virtually every time JAMA publishes an article on the effects of pollution or climate change on health, the journal immediately receives demands from critics to retract the article for various reasons. Some individuals and groups simply do not believe that pollution or climate change affects human health….

Although the sharing of data may have numerous benefits, it also comes with substantial challenges particularly in highly contentious and politicized areas, such as the effects of climate change and pollution on health, in which the public dialogue appears to be based on as much fiction as fact. The sharing of data, whether mandated by funders, including foundations and government, or volunteered by scientists who believe in the principle of data transparency, is a complicated issue in the evolving world of science, analysis, skepticism, and communication. Above all, the scientific process—including original research and reanalysis of shared data—must prevail, and the inherent search for evidence, facts, and truth must not be compromised by special interests, coercive influences, or politicized perspectives. There are no simple answers, just words of caution and concern.”

Factors affecting global flow of scientific knowledge in environmental sciences – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  Here we present our view on the current Open Access debate, predatory journals and the on-going publication and promotion strategy of some countries and research institutions. We urge the world’s researchers, journals and grant holders in collaboration to carefully consider how best to ensure continuous high-quality scientific publications in the future in a way so that limited funding results in important data and information being unpublished.


The Executive Branch Must Stop Suppressing Science – Scientific American Blog Network

“For much of my time in public service, there were some things government officials did just because they were the right things to do—and that included respecting the research done by government scientists. That respect has faded over recent presidencies. Sharpie-gate may have been its death knell. …

Earlier this year, General Robert Neller, then commandant of the Marine Corps, wrote to the Secretary of the Navy about the damage from storms: “The combat readiness of II Marine Expeditionary Force—1/3 the combat power of the Marine Corps—is degraded and will continue to degrade,” he asserted. We have to be better prepared for the impacts of climate change. But that goal will be impossible if political officials act in bad faith by distorting or suppressing government research on climate science….


To help rebuild ethics, integrity and trust in government—including trust in its research and data—I joined a nonpartisan task force of former government officials concerned about the executive branch’s growing disregard for norms and unwritten rules that had formerly kept its power in check. Recently,our group, the National Task Force on Rule of Law & Democracy—a project of the Brennan Center for Justice—published a report proposing legislation that would effectively respond to the numerous instances we catalogued of federal officials censoring scientific information, changing scientific findings to suit political agendas and retaliating against government scientists because their research was politically inconvenient….”

I’m a scientist. Under Trump I lost my job for refusing to hide climate crisis facts | Maria Caffrey | Opinion | The Guardian

“The Trump administration’s hostility towards climate science is not new. Interior climate staffer Joel Clement’s reassignment and the blocking of intelligence aide Rod Schoonover’s climate testimony, which forced both federal employees to resign in protest, are just two of the innumerable examples. These attempts to suppress climate science can manifest themselves in many ways. It starts with burying important climate reports and becomes something more insidious like stopping climate scientists from doing their jobs. In February 2019, I lost my job because I was a climate scientist in a climate-denying administration. And yet my story is no longer unique.

This is why on 22 July I filed a whistleblower complaint against the Trump administration. But this is not the only part to my story; I will also speak to Congress on 25 July about my treatment and the need for stronger scientific integrity protections….

It was while I was on leave that I received an email from another climate scientist at the NPS who warned me that the senior leadership was ordering changes to my report without my knowledge. They had scrubbed of any mention of the human causes of the climate crisis. This was not normal editorial adjustment. This was climate science denial….

The NPS [National Parks Service] continued to retaliate against me. I was forced to accept pay cuts and demotions while I continued to lead several other projects. By February of this year, the NPS declined to renew my funding, despite common knowledge that my branch at the time had ample surplus funding….”

ASR – Interactive open access to climate observations from Germany

Abstract:  During recent years, Germany’s national meteorological service (Deutscher Wetterdienst, DWD) has significantly expanded the open access to its climate observations. A first step was a simple FTP-site with the possibility for downloading archives with various categories of data, e.g. national and international station-based meteorological data, derived parameters, gridded products and special categories as e.g. phenological data. The data are based on the observing systems of DWD for Germany as well as international activities of DWD. To improve the interactive and user-friendly access to the data, a new portal has been developed. The portal serves a variety of user requirements that result from the broad range of applications of DWD’s climate data. Here we provide an overview of the new climate data portal of DWD. It is based on a systematic implementation of OGC-based technologies. It allows easy graphical access to the station data, but also supports access via technical interfaces, esp. Web-Map- and Web-Feature-Services.

White House Tried to Stop Climate Science Testimony, Documents Show – The New York Times

The White House tried to stop a State Department senior intelligence analyst from discussing climate science in congressional testimony this week, internal emails and documents show.

The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research declined to make changes to the proposed testimony and the analyst, Rod Schoonover, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, was ultimately allowed to speak before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday.

But in a highly unusual move, the White House refused to approve Dr. Schoonover’s written testimony for entry into the permanent Congressional Record. The reasoning, according to a June 4 email seen by The New York Times, was that the science did not match the Trump administration’s views….”

Methodical approach to the estimation of possible energy production by wind and solar power plants using weather station data – NASA/ADS

Abstract:  The expediency of using several sources of information on climate factors for estimating the potential of wind and solar energy is substantiated. Specific features of the methodology and developed software for estimating the generation of energy by wind power plants based on weather stations open access data are considered. The possibility of taking into account the results of aerodynamic modeling of the flow of the terrain by the wind flow is realized. The methodology is implemented in the form of a computer program called Wind-MCA. It includes a module for analyzing wind power potential, a module for analyzing wind turbines, an economic analysis module, and a multi-criteria analysis module. Specific features of the methodology and developed software for estimating the generation of energy by solar power plants based on data on the transparency of the atmosphere, temperature and cloudiness are considered. The technique is implemented in the form of a computer program called Sun-MCA. The estimation of the wind energy and solar energy potential of several settlements in the central zone of the Baikal region is carried out taking into account the climate change in the region.

Opinion | The Senate Should Reject Trump’s NOAA Nominee – The New York Times

The safety and economic well-being of Americans will be put at risk if the Senate confirms Barry Lee Myers as the next administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As a nonscientist, Mr. Myers lacks the professional credentials to lead a science-centric agency responsible for daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, climate monitoring, fisheries management, coastal restoration and support for marine commerce.

As the former chief executive of the private weather-forecasting company AccuWeather, which relies on data from NOAA’s National Weather Service, he spent years trying to privatize NOAA’s public weather information so his company could profit from it. His family continues to run the family-owned company, raising concerns that they could benefit from decisions he might make as NOAA’s administrator….”

How Shared, Open Data Can Help Us Better Overcome Disasters | WIRED

“Hopefully, interest in data about air quality and the difficulty in getting a comprehensive view will drive more people to consider an open data and approach over proprietary ones. Right now, big companies and governments are the largest users of data that we’ve handed to them—mostly for free—to lock up in their vaults. Pharmaceutical firms, for instance, use the data to develop drugs that save lives, but they could save more lives if their data were shared. We need to start using data for more than commercial exploitation, deploying it to understand the long-term effects of policy, and create transparency around those in power—not of private citizens. We need to flip the model from short-term commercial use to long-term societal benefit….”

OCLE: A European open access database on climate change effects on littoral and oceanic ecosystems – ScienceDirect

“Studies on historical and future distribution of marine species are frequently limited by the lack of relevant data on abiotic components (IPCC, 2014), especially when working over large areas (Robinson et al., 2017). Important advances have been achieved in the last years regarding availability of global information on physical and chemical driven forces affecting species distributions. WorldClim (Hijmans et al., 2005) marked a milestone in terrestrial species distribution studies, as it opened the opportunity to address global research studies with high resolution. Other databases including historical and projected variables in the terrestrial environment, mainly temperature and precipitation, such as Climond (Kriticos et al., 2012), Climate wizard (Girvetz et al., 2009) or Chelsea (Karger et al., 2016) have emerged recently. However, in the marine environment the number of global databases is limited. Bio-Oracle is the most valuable reference because it provides surface and benthic layers for water temperature, salinity, nutrients, chlorophyll, sea ice, current velocity, phytoplankton, primary productivity, iron and light at high resolution and global coverage (Assis et al., 2017; Tyberghein et al., 2012). Other remarkable databases are MARSPEC (Sbrocco and Barber, 2013), offering variables derived from bathymetry, slope, salinity and sea surface temperature, Aquamaps (Ready et al., 2010), focused on marine animals, or Hexacoral (Fautin and Buddemeier, 2002), with the aim to understand spatial and temporal patterns in biogeochemistry and biogeography. Some databases cover both land and sea areas, such as the MERRAclim (Vega et al., 2017), which offers decadal data of 19 derived variables of air temperature and humidity atmospheric water vapour….

Trying to comply with these requirements and using the best data available, to our best knowledge, this study presents the open access database on climate change effects on littoral and oceanic ecosystems (OCLE), an ecological-driven database of present and future hazards for marine life in Europe….”