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The Python modules PyNGL and PyNIO are used to read, write and visualize scientific data.

The Python language module PyNGL (pronounced "pingle") is used to visualize scientific data, with an emphasis on high quality 2D visualizations. It is based on the capabilities and functionality of NCL. In addition the PyNIO Python module is used for reading and writing files in several different data formats, including netCDF, netCDF 4, GRIB1, GRIB2, HDF 4, HDF-EOS 2 and HDF-EOS5, and CCM history files, similar to the NCL file input/output functionality.

PyNGL and PyNIO provide Python interfaces to most of the NCL functionality. A knowledge of NCL would give you a leg up in using these modules, but they are meant to be independent from NCL and used as a stand-alone suite of Python functions.

PyNGL/PyNIO is free available:


How to use the example scripts at DKRZ

On Mistral you have to load the python 2.7 module first:

module load python/2.7-ve0

The module python includes the PyNGL and PyNIO packages already.

Copy the example script you want to use to your work space. Not all example data sets are available but most files are stored in


Modify and execute the script:

python <script name>

For example



DKRZ has created a GitHub Python repository named PyEarthScience that contains Visualization, Analysis and IO example scripts. The sence of the repository is to establish a kind of a platform for Earth scientists for searching and representing Python scripts and packages using PyNGL/PYNIO, matplotlib, cartopy, etc.  The repository is still in progress.



 XY-plot  source code PyNGL xy-plot w400
 Map plot  source code PyNGL map settings w400
 Contour plot - rectilinear grid  source code PyNGL rectilinear grid contour plot w400
 Contour plot - curvilinear grid  source code PyNGL curvilinear grid contour plot w400
 Contour plot - unstructured data  source code PyNGL unstructured data contour plot w400
 ICON plot

    run time: 4.1s
 source code PyNGL unstructured ICON triangles w400

ICON plot Mollweide projection

ICON plot Winkel Tripel projection

source code
PyNGL unstructured ICON triangles projections w400
PyNGL unstructured ICON triangles 2 projections w400
 Slice plot  source code PyNGL rectilinear slice w400
 Vector plot  source code
PyNGL rectilinear vector 1 w400
PyNGL rectilinear vector 2 w400
 Panel plot  source code PyNGL panel plot w400