On demand


from £49/ free


Immediate access!


Online (self-paced learning in your own time on our learning platform UKCEH LearnWorlds).
To give you a feel for what this online learning is like, we put together this video about our online learning platform, UKCEH LearnWorlds . (external link to YouTube)


Students: £49 (Use Coupon Code STUDENT)
Professionals: £99
Sign up online here now! (credit & debit cards accepted; for student & professional tickets; external link to UKCEH LearnWorlds)

Learners from Overseas Development Assistance countries: free!
For free ODA tickets, please go here (external link to our Mitingu sign-up platform)

Short course description

This on-demand course has 11 sessions with 6 exercises and 14 videos. It is an introductory level course to help you plot, manipulate and analyse NetCDF climate data using python. The course focuses on gridded climate model outputs. You can easily extend the concepts and techniques taught to other forms of NetCDF data (e.g. observations). Requirements: The total learning time is approximately one day.

Learning Outcome

By the end of the course, you will be able to view information about, manipulate and plot netcdf climate data using the python packages xarray and cartopy.

Course Objectives

  1. Use the online python platform, pythonanywhere
  2. View basic information about netcdf files in python
  3. Subset netcdf data files to required data and perform common arithmetic on them (e.g. calculating a climatology)
  4. Produce plots of the data: line graphs, spatial plots and maps
  5. Customise and edit these plots
  6. Add topographic and political features (e.g. rivers, coastlines, country borders) to map plots

Target audience:

Undergraduate and postgraduate students
Researchers in climate science and wider environmental science



Some basic understanding of programming concepts (in any language) is recommended. We provide some materials at the start of the course to help you with this. You will not need access to a python installation as the course will guide you through using the online python platform pythonanywhere. You are welcome to use your own python installation if you  prefer.

Hardware and software requirements:

You will need a laptop, desktop or tablet and access to the internet.

Course material developed by:  

Matt Brown, Numerical Modeller (course presenter)
Dr Ingo Schüder, Commercial Training Manager

Development of the course was funded under the Newton Fund Programme “Understanding of the Impacts of Hydrometeorological Hazards in South East Asia” awarded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).