The Met Office has announced plans to publish its gridded climate monitoring products under an “open” license on 31 July. The United Kingdom believes that there is high value in making this move, which will enable national meteorological services and governments to use the gridded data for any purpose. For example, the data may be useful in producing climate adaptation and resilience strategy for sectors that are essential to society such as energy or transport.
In many cases, reports of this nature are considered commercial and, therefore, in breach of any non-open use policy. However, Met Office climate monitoring products use data that are freely transmitted over the GTS and from historical agreements of data sharing. These data have been processed to create gridded products from which it is impossible to retrieve any of the raw station data. Thus, there is no conflict with third parties own holdings of the original station series. To create Met Office gridded monitoring products (for example, HadCRUT4 monthly mean surface temperature, HadlSDH monthly mean surface humidity), the data used have been quality controlled, averaged with other stations, averaged to monthly resolution and, in many cases, converted to anomalies from a 30-year reference period.
The data used in Met Office products constitute both “essential” and “additional” data under the WMO Resolution 40 Annex 1 description. The Met Office plans to use the UK's Open Government License, a national standard document, for this purpose. The license can be found online in the UK National Archives.