Ariel Schwartz
January 6, 2010

[efoods]A government espionage organization joins up with climate researchers in a race to figure out what’s happening to our fragile planet. No, it isn’t the plot of a new action flick — it’s part of a new data-sharing initiative between the CIA and top scientists. The program will use spy satellites and other CIA tools to help scientists figure out what climate change is doing to cloud cover, forests, deserts, and more.

The CIA collaboration isn’t entirely new — it was an ongoing project from 1992 until 2001, when the Bush administration shut it down. The original program, known as Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis (Medea), also used CIA tools to observe changes to the environment. Now that the Medea project has been restarted, scientists will try to continue research that has been left unfinished since 2001.

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