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Tuesday
Feb022010

GISS wants to switch to freeware

According to the folks at ClearClimateCode, Reto Ruedy of NASA's GISS laboratory has indicated that GISS intends to start using the CCC version of GISS's global temperature index code at some point in the future.  This is a tribute to the skills of the CCC guys and says something fairly damning about how the funding that has been poured into GISS by the American taxpayer has been spent.

Scientifically though, it's the right thing to do.

 

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Reader Comments (5)

Scientifically though, it's the right thing to do.

And programmatically, GISS now have access to a cute bunch of programmers who understand the science of the data - how many times has that happened - anywhere?

Kudos to both CCC and Reudy.

Feb 2, 2010 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennis

I like the attitude and goals of the CCC guys - very welcome.

Feb 2, 2010 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

says something fairly damning about how the funding that has been poured into GISS by the American taxpayer has been spent.

As the founder of the Clear Climate Code project, I disagree.
Firstly, the GISTEMP source code is not unusually bad or unclear, for science software. Science code is rarely written with clarity as a primary goal, certainly not clarity to a general audience.
Secondly, I don't know anything about GISS funding - maybe you can enlighten us - but I very much doubt that money has been poured into GISTEMP. Most of the code was written in the 1980s, and running and maintaining it appears to be done on a very part-time basis by one or two individuals at GISS.
GISS does very, very, many things other than GISTEMP. I imagine that their funding is spent accordingly.

Feb 3, 2010 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterNick Barnes

"GISS does very, very, many things other than GISTEMP. I imagine that their funding is spent accordingly."

Like what? Do you have access to their budget? How expensive is it to run GISS out of a New York City office?

In my opinion, GISS produces nothing that is useful or couldn't be done at other NASA offices...

Feb 3, 2010 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank K.

"GISS does very, very, many things other than GISTEMP. I imagine that their funding is spent accordingly."

Like what? Do you have access to their budget? How expensive is it to run GISS out of a New York City office?

You didn't read the rest of my comment. Do you want to go back and try again? I have the same access to their budget that anyone else does, which is to say, I could probably find out quite a bit by either poking about on the web or by calling them up on the phone.

What other things does GISS do, other than GISTEMP? If you actually want to know, you might find their website quite useful. There are seven broad areas of research listed in the right-hand column of that page. I'd be astonished if any of them is cheaper than GISTEMP.

I imagine having offices at Columbia works out quite well for them, giving them good access to other academics, post-grad students, and so on. Almost all research institutes are colocated with universities, and usually have some staff who work for both organisations. Post-graduate students form an excellent very-high-skill very-low-pay labour pool.

In my opinion, GISS produces nothing that is useful or couldn't be done at other NASA offices...

Well, opinion is free. But who are you, and why should I care about your opinion?

Feb 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterNick Barnes

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