There’s an excellent article in the inaugural issue of Nature Climate Change this month, written by Kurt Kleiner, entitled Data on Demand. Kurt interviewed many of the people who are active in making climate code and data more open: Gavin Schmidt from NASA GISS, Nick Barnes, of the Climate Code Foundation, John Wilbanks of Creative Commons, Peter Murray-Rust at Cambridge University, David Randall, at Colorado State U, David Carlson, Director of the International Polar Year Programme, Mark Parsons of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Cameron Neylon, of the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, Greg Wilson of Software Carpentry, and me.


  1. Climate Code Foundation is a mentoring organisation for Google Summer of Code this year. If you are a student with some programming experience, wanting to improve the public understanding of climate science, consider applying. The closing date is 8th April, at 19:00 UTC. For more information, see
    To find out more about the Summer of Code in general, see

  2. ‘Tis indeed a nice article. Lotsa familiar names. Good points, too.

  3. Though I agree, to some extent, with the idea that climate scientists should make their code more accessible. I disagree that it is a sensible way for expert scientists (or their technical gurus) to make code easy to run. I think code should be available for others willing to put time and energy into understanding it and using it. Otherwise all that happens is the community spending enormous amounts of time on stuff that will hardly be taken up.

    A good rule of thumb is do only do what is necessary for the job in hand but refactor as needed!

  4. Pingback: Data: Where can I get large datasets open to the public? - Quora

  5. I have been working on tools for do-it-yourself citizen climate scientists:

    1. Online, up to date csv file with 17 monthly climate time series here

    2. R scripts to help citizen scientists create their own analysis of climate data here

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