If you believe in climate related software being open, or even if you only believe in the ultimate triumph of Python over Fortran (personally I’m a Perlista when not rooting for embedded C, though I have respectable colleagues who adhere to the Python heresy, and who may convert me in time), then go visit:
where you can find a guide to the project history and some interesting results and their google code. This is all a free effort by Nick Barnes and David Jones and others at Ravenbrook, but they welcome others to join. So far they are concentrating on the instrumental series (gosh, how topical!), but Nick has ultimate ambitions to do palaeo stuff too. Maybe they will write a climate model one day (though that is a much much larger task). It looks like the UKMO has finally swung round the idea of an open analysis (well maybe; this can perhaps be read slightly differently. We’ll see what they release. I presume “We intend that as soon as possible we will also publish the specific computer code that aggregates the individual station temperatures into the global land temperature record.” means that they feel the need to scrub the code for embarassing comments first, otherwise what possible reason could there be for delay?).
I wonder if this is a good place to comment on programming languages? One of the reasons I left science was that I really didn’t want to spend the rest of my life writing Fortran. It does have some advantages – it is harder to do some of the really really stupid things that are fairly easy to do in C – but that isn’t a reason to be writing new code in it. It is a legacy problem – so much old code is on Fortran – but sometime someone has to gird up their loins and replace it. And retrain all the scientists who write Fortran.