I’ve mentioned the Clear Climate Code project before, but it’s time to give them an even bigger shout out, as the project is a great example of of the kind of thing I’m calling for in my grand challenge paper. The project is building an open source community around the data processing software used in climate science. Their showcase project is an open source Python re-implementation of gistemp, and very impressive it is too.

Now they’ve gone one better, and launched the Climate Code Foundation, a non-profit organisation aimed at “improving the public understanding of climate science through the improvement and publication of climate science software”. The idea is for it to become an umbrella body that will nurture many more open source projects, and promote greater openness of the software tools and data used for the science.

I had a long chat with Nick Barnes, one of the founders of CCF, on the train to Exeter last night, and was very impressed with his enthusiasm and energy. He’s actively seeking more participants, more open source projects for the foundation to support, and of course, for funding to keep the work going. I think this could be the start of something beautiful.


  1. Maybe they can see if “Harry” at UEA needs a hand. Great project and a great way to get outside expertise involved.

  2. Steve- Did you get a sense for how much climate science expertise there is within the group? Or are they mainly software experts? How do they learn what they need to know about the science?

  3. Steve,

    Are you heading to ExoClimes in Exeter ? It would be worth having your opinion on climate models in exoplanet work – interesting discussions were happening here on the difference between the Earth climate modeling communities and exoplanet climate model groups.

  4. Thanks for the link, Steve. It was good to meet you and exchange ideas and insights; I look forward to our paths crossing again.

    In response to ‘Archer’: none of the members of the Climate Code Foundation has a background in climate science. The meeting this week was the first time I met climate scientists face-to-face. However, we do have long experience in our own fields (in my case: in software, and many years ago in computer science) and we have been following work in climate science more and more closely over the last several years. We read papers, reports, and books, we talk to and exchange emails with scientists. I used to emphasize (e.g. on the Clear Climate Code blog) that I am not a scientist, but that is beginning to change: we are starting to write and submit papers for publication (the litmus test).

    We are still considering what sort of membership or other affiliation of the Foundation might be appropriate for individuals, institutions, or organisations. Several climate scientists have expressed an interest, and this is another way in which the Foundation may acquire climate science expertise and experience.

    ‘Deech56’: you can see in my submission to the Muir Russell enquiry, page 5, that I do take a view on Harry. It might not be what you expect.

  5. Alastair: No, I missed the ExoClimes conference – I was in Exeter for the Surface Temperatures Workshop. Exoplanet modeling sounds fascinating, but I’ll have to put off finding out more until I’ve finished my current project examining earth system modeling in more depth…

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