Climate Change Information Removed from USDA Website

According to a report by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative:

“Tens of links from the homepage and regional Climate Hub pages were removed and most of the URLs for those removed links led to pages with an “Access Denied” message (like this one). Many of the pages that were removed, such as the “Focus on Croplands” page for the Midwest Climate Hub, contain rich information about the agricultural context and the effects of climate change on the agriculture in the region, often including links to useful resources outside of the federal government’s web domain. The Climate Hubs’ “Tools and Data” page, which was also removed, contains a “Climate Hubs Tool Shed” portal that allows users to search for analytic tools for understanding data, sourced by governmental and non-governmental entities, and links to resources. In a few cases, the links that were removed lead to resources that remained available online, like the assessment of climate change vulnerability for the Midwest Climate Hub, but public access to those pages was drastically reduced. Links from the Midwest Hub’s “Regional Data and Research” page that were removed lead to PDFs with data visualizations that were also not available from the removed pages.”

The removed information and links were returned on the afternoon of August 2, 2017 following media inquiries with USDA. A spokesperson for USDA stated that a technical issue had caused the removal and that no changes have been made to the website.