There are plenty of discussions on the way that the CRU data leak has impacted the field of climate science. It was, for me, the final straw on demanding that data used for public policy analysis be publicly available.
Fortunately, somewhere around 80% of the climate data sets out there ARE publicly available, if not interoperable, and about 30% of the climate models are as well. Now it's time to put them to the test - myself, and a few others, are attempting to do an amateur run of a climate sim, then go through the data. The climate sim we're going to use is CCMS 3.0. If you're particularly brave, you can click that link and follow along with us.
I'm the mouthpiece and bandleader. I'm neither a mathematician, climate scientist, or computer programmer. I have access to some, who are curious about what comes of this. What I am is a writer.
I'll be editing a lot of what comes through here from other people who are running the sims and stitching them into a narrative. My model on this is Jerry Pournelle's "Computing At Chaos Manor", which is largely a narrative of a Very Bright Amateur doing Dumb Things so You Don't Have To. Jerry discovered that the secret to conveying a lot of computer stuff to his readers wasn't to come down like the Guy Who Knows Everything, but rather, to be The Ordinary Guy Who Wants To Know Why This *&#&ing Thing Doesn't Work, including the narrative of how he eventually resolved the problem. To people who were doing major IT planning, Pournelle's columns were far too simplistic. To the guy who has to set up his Aunt Minnie's computer after Christmas, they were cathartic, and moderately educational.
In one respect, we are breaking from Pournelle's formula - Pournelle does this with a lot of different things each month, and the thing that ends up in the column is whatever he managed to get working in the end, showing you all the mis-steps he took along the way. As he says, the key is to know the happy ending and work backwards from there.
We have no guarantee of a happy ending. Even with the talent pool I have available for this project, I figure there's at least a 50-60% chance we can't get this thing up and running at all. However, I'll document as we go along.