In Reverse of Bush Policy, CIA to Share Data with Scientists

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Leading scientists from academia, industry and government are now gaining access to information on climate change that’s collected by spy agencies. The data, which includes high resolution images taken from intelligence satellites, is helping researchers better understand changes happening to the earth as a result of global warming, such as melting ice at the poles and expanding deserts. The CIA, led by Director Leon Panetta, is running the collaborative effort that shares classified information with about 60 scientists, and the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates the nation’s fleet of spy satellites, is providing much of the data.

The program is not something new. From 1992 to 2001 Medea (Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis) shared intelligence information with scientists—until President George W. Bush shut it down. Former Vice President Al Gore is credited with helping restart the collaboration by urging Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to convince the CIA and others it was time to bring Medea back to life.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
C.I.A. Is Sharing Data With Climate Scientists (by William Broad, New York Times)


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