The media jumped on his article to debunk it and politically correct theoretical physicists tried to interject their opinions about how wrong it was, but I use the term 'politically correct' because a 3-sigma result in climate science would be outstanding and any number of media sources and theoretical physicists, including the culturally pandering ones who claimed the LHC had a 95% chance of finding the Higgs (his physics is theoretical but his exaggeration is real!), have accepted 2-sigma events in climate science as rock-solid and everyone who was unconvinced was called a Holocaust-denier level of anti-science hatemonger.
But we accept that different sorts of science don't lend themselves to the rigor particle physics does. Climate science is not wrong because it doesn't have a 5-sigma result, or even 3, it just requires some calibration, just like polls done by social scientists - because a political poll says Person X is leading does not mean Y should stop campaigning.
In hard science, open data is always better than telling people they are too stupid to understand something. There are a great many people with better grasp of statistics than some climate scientists so giving them access would not hurt, it would instead help. Transparency wins, in science.
A group called the Climate Code Foundation, based in England, seems to agree and are creating code that will allow people to understand raw climate data, much the way the software used by Hansen at the Goddard Institute does.
The Climate Code Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in August 2010, to promote the public understanding of climate science. The founders have been working for several years on the Clear Climate Code project, improving the clarity of the source code of climate science software. They have also started work on the Open Climate Code project, to encourage the publication of more source code in climate science.
An upward curve without hockey stick hype.
None of the founders are climate scientists but are instead engineers - so the assumption is they write good code and don't have any sort of subversive agenda against global warming proponents and want to debunk the solid work being done. I assume they are not, since at their first official climate science meeting, the Surface Temperatures workshop at the Met Office in Exeter two weeks ago, they were "made welcome, our motivation and focus was respected, and our voices were heard. The project principles established at the meeting include a strong commitment to openness and transparency, and although some scientists don’t share our conviction of the importance of code publication, the project is committed to publishing all its code."
Which is a much kinder response than other fields might have gotten. One other quote from their site:
A mind-boggling side-light: estimates of the volume of non-digitized or hard-copy data range in the hundreds of millions of pages; NCDC alone has a digital archive of 56 million page images, and literally thousands of boxes of unscanned hard-copy in their basement. Many national weather services, and other governmental, non-governmental, and commercial organisations also have large paper or imaged archivesThere's a lot of data out there that could be used to get accurate pictures of what is happening now, why it is happening and what actions are best to take. Here's hoping more open science can be a big step toward that.
Get the code here.