Python for climate scientists

Why python?

Note, a more up-to-date version of this page is available here.

Bryan Lawrence blog article: The choice is python
http://home.badc.rl.ac.uk/lawrence/blog/2010/10/13/the_choice_is_python
Bryan argues why he thinks python is the best choice for BADC, and the similar considerations apply generally to atmospheric science.

Ray Pierrehumbert's python introduction, very to-the-point and clear.
http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/PrinciplesPlanetaryClimate/Python/pytho...
It is supplementary material to his textbook, but is of general use to someone starting to use python.

An astronomer's pros/cons list for IDL vs python. A little out of date now, but perhaps still useful.
http://www.astrobetter.com/idl-vs-python/

Lists of IDL-to-python function equivalents.
http://mathesaurus.sourceforge.net/idl-python-xref.pdf

Will's Code Academy link

A rough list of the python climate packages, which it seems are (roughly in order of what I gather to be their sophistication, though this is a bit of a guess):

cdat/cdms (developed at US DOE)
iris (developed at Met Office)
cf-python
pynio (the IO component of the NCAR stuff - handles nc files etc)
jasmin-cis (the one Philip Stier's group is involved in)
pygeode (stalled?)
pyclimate (seems no longer updated)

And then for plotting specifically:

matplotlib
basemap
pyngl
cf-plot
WxMAP2
GRADS interface to python
chaco

(Of course cdat, iris,... contain plotting packages as part of the overall deal, but here I'm listing plotting packages specifically.)