Licence agreement

This agreement is between The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford (“the University”) whose administrative offices are at:

Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 2JD

and any participant in the “” experiment (you, The Licensee). For the purposes of this licence, the University is acting on behalf of the experiment (“The Project”) whose aims and work are described below in Note 4.

The University wishes to sincerely acknowledge the valuable work of the partners who have contributed to this software and to the project. These are as follows:

  • The Met Office
  • The Open University
  • The University of Reading
  • The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

The University grants you a non-exclusive Licence to install and run the following for a period of up to three years following the date of acceptance of this agreement:

A precompiled executable version of the HadSM3, HadCM3L, HadCM3 or HadAM3 climate models (see Note 1), with associated forcing datasets, for bona fide research in connection with the Project on condition you accept the following conditions:

1) You accept that your name, e-mail address and machine details will be stored on a database whilst you are actively volunteering for The Project but these details will not be passed on to any third party.

2) You accept that your name and e-mail address will be erased from the database after 3 years of inactivity.

3) You will either return the results of your experiment to The Project unaltered or notify The Project that your experiment has been prematurely terminated, for whatever reason (see Note 2).

4) You will connect to the internet sufficiently frequently and for sufficient time for the client software to notify the server of your progress and return results (updates on data transfer requirements for different experiments will be posted regularly on the project web site).

5) You will not use this software or data for commercial exploitation, business use, resale or transfer to any third party.

6) You accept that the data and software have been developed for the purposes of The Met Office and The Project, that no warranty is given as to its suitability for use on the Licensee’s equipment and that no liability is accepted by The Met Office or The Project for any errors or omissions in the data, software or associated information and/or documentation.

7) You accept that the Met Office retains the intellectual property rights on the climate models HadSM3, HadCM3L, HadCM3 and developments therefrom, and The Project retains intellectual property rights on software developed to allow these models to be run securely on personal computers in a distributed environment, and reserve the right to require acknowledgements and/or co-authorship in any publication arising out of their use.

8) You accept that you will not add to, modify or transfer to any third party any part of the software, data files or documentation provided by the Project (unless instructed to by a representative of the Project).

9) You accept that your participation in the experiment is given without restrictions. The Project is under no requirement to acknowledge any individual participant in published papers or elsewhere (see Note 3).

10) You will only use this software and data on a computer system for which you have permission to do so.

11) If any of the above clauses are deemed invalid, this does not invalidate any other clause.

12) You accept that this Licence may be terminated without notice if you are in breach of any of these conditions.


The University, the Met Office or any of the participants in the Project are not liable for any damages, being direct, indirect, special or incidental or loss of profits arising from the use of software or other material supplied as part of the “” experiment. There is no obligation to supply maintenance, support, updates, enhancements or modifications for software or other material supplied.

Note 1: Regarding the availability of source code. To ensure the integrity of the experiment, this licence applies only to precompiled executable versions of the relevant climate models. The Met Office has a policy of allowing access to the entire model source code for specific bona fide research purposes. Any person or persons wishing to access the model source code (approx. 500,000 lines of Fortran) can make a written application to The Met Office stating the purpose and likely duration of their research. Please see Met Office website for more details.

Note 2: This is very important. Many of these models will fail, and finding out which these are is a major point of this experiment. So we need to know if your model fails, for whatever reason: the client software will notify us automatically if your model does fail provided you log on to the internet and let it do so. If you simply decide to discontinue, then the sooner you let us know, the sooner we can get someone else working on your model.

Note 3: Of course we are indebted to and will sincerely acknowledge participants collectively in any publications arising from this project, since without you we could not achieve any of this. If and only if you give us permission to do so, your participant name and the number of models you have successfully contributed will be made available electronically. When the software is sufficiently developed we hope to develop a “leader board” on the web site which shows the most active participants. Unfortunately, acknowledging all the individual participants explicitly in every journal article arising out of this unique project would be unfeasible in journals and elsewhere. This is why we need clause 8.

Note 4: The aim of the project is to quantify the uncertainties in climate forecasts. This is to be achieved by creating a massive ensemble of many forecasts made with slightly differing models which, together, provide an improved estimate of future climate than could any one simulation. This approach is known as ensemble forecasting and requires an enormous amount of computing power and the only practical solution is to appeal to distributed computing and combine the power of a very large number of ordinary PCs, each PC tackling one small but key part of the global problem. The list of contributors to the project can be found by looking at the website of the same name, however major contributors are listed in the acknowledgement above. In distributing and supporting the software covered in this licence the University is acting on behalf of these contributors to further the work of the project.