The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) offers gridded 1/2 degree historical climate data for the world. I used R to format unprojected data and made animated gifs of temperature and precipitation for 1981-1990:
The data are text files in which each cell and month is a 5-byte string (e.g. -9999 9 9 9 10-9999-9999) with '-9999' representing NOT APPLICABLE (ocean or Antarctica).
All programming is in the R language. Most of the work went into constructing palettes. Both spatio-temporal time series are shown as 127 hues: Temperature on a 'blue-gray-red' palette, and precipitation on an 'orange-yellow-green' palette but strongly shifted to green to compensate for the skewness of the data.
The frames were assembled into an endless animated gif loop at a time-scale of 1 second = 1 month (e.g. 1:2,600,000).