Python wrapper for the simple climate model MAGICC
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Pymagicc is a Python wrapper around the reduced complexity climate model MAGICC6. It wraps the CC-BY-NC-SA licensed MAGICC6 binary. Pymagicc itself is AGPL licensed.

MAGICC (Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change) is widely used in the assessment of future emissions pathways in climate policy analyses, e.g. in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or to model the physical aspects of climate change in Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs).

Pymagicc makes the MAGICC model easily installable and usable from Python and allows for the easy modification of all MAGICC model parameters and emissions scenarios directly from Python. In climate research it can, for example, be used in the analysis of mitigation scenarios, in Integrated Assessment Models, complex climate model emulation, and uncertainty analyses, as well as in climate science education and communication.

See and Meinshausen et al. 2011 for further information.

Basic Usage

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

import pymagicc
from pymagicc import scenarios

for name, scen in scenarios.items():
    results =
    results_df = results.df
    results_df.set_index("time", inplace=True)

    global_temp_time_rows = (
        (results_df.variable == "Surface Temperature")
        & (results_df.region == "World")

    temp = (
        - results_df.value[global_temp_time_rows].loc[1850:1900].mean()

plt.title("Global Mean Temperature Projection")
plt.ylabel("°C over pre-industrial (1850-1900 mean)");
# Run `` to display the plot when running this example
# interactively or add `%matplotlib inline` on top when in a Jupyter Notebook.


For more example usage see this Jupyter Notebook. Thanks to the Binder project the Notebook can be run and modified without installing anything locally. A small interactive demo app using Jupyter Notebook's appmode extension is also available.


pip install pymagicc

On Linux and OS X the original compiled Windows binary available on and included in Pymagicc can run using Wine.

On modern 64-bit systems one needs to use the 32-bit version of Wine

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get install wine32

On 32-bit systems Debian/Ubuntu-based systems wine can be installed with

sudo apt-get install wine

On OS X wine is available in the Homebrew package manager:

brew install wine

It should also be available in other package managers, as well as directly from the Wine project.

Note that after the first install the first run of Pymagicc might be slow due to setting up of the wine configuration and be accompanied by pop-ups or debug output.

To run an example session using Jupyter Notebook and Python 3 you can run the following commands to create a virtual environment venv and install an editable version for local development:

git clone

cd pymagicc
make venv
./venv/bin/pip install --editable .
./venv/bin/jupyter-notebook notebooks/Example.ipynb



For local development, install dependencies and an editable version of Pymagicc from a clone or download of the Pymagicc repository with

make venv
./venv/bin/pip install --editable .

Running the tests

To run the tests run

./venv/bin/pytest tests --verbose

To skip tests which run MAGICC and take longer use

./venv/bin/pytest tests --skip-slow

To get a test coverage report, run

./venv/bin/pytest --cov


To unify coding style, allowing us to focus more on writing useful code and less time worrying about formatting, black is used.

To format the files in pymagicc and tests as well as run

make black

In our miscellaneous csv's, for example the definitional csv's, we follow the following conventions to make our lives easier:

  • column names are all lower case, with underscores as separators (i.e. no spaces)

Building the documentation

The docs use Sphinx and can be rebuilt locally in docs/builds/html/ with

make docs

More usage examples

Use an included scenario

from pymagicc import rcp26


Read a MAGICC scenario file

from pymagicc import read_scen_file

scenario = read_scen_file("PATHWAY.SCEN")

Run MAGICC for a scenario

results =
results_df = results.df
results_df.set_index("time", inplace=True)

global_temp_time_rows = (
    (results_df.variable == "Surface Temperature")
    & (results_df.region == "World")

temp = (
    - results_df.value[global_temp_time_rows].loc[1850:1900].mean()

Using a different MAGICC version

A custom version of MAGICC may be used with pymagicc using the MAGICC_EXECUTABLE_6 and MAGICC_EXECUTABLE_7 environment variables for MAGICC6 and MAGICC7 respectively. These environment variables should be set to the location of the magicc executable (either magicc for linux/mac or magicc.exe for Windows). For example, a custom MAGICC7 folder located at /tmp/magicc can be used on under Linux by setting MAGICC_EXECUTABLE_7 to /tmp/magicc/run/magicc.

Example usage in Bash:

MAGICC_EXECUTABLE_7=/tmp/magicc/run/magicc.exe make test

Or in a script:

export MAGICC_EXECUTABLE_7=tmp/magicc/run/magicc.exe
make test


Please report issues or discuss feature requests on Pymagicc's issue tracker.

You can also contact the pymagicc authors via email:,


The compiled MAGICC binary by Tom Wigley, Sarah Raper, and Malte Meinshausen included in this package is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

See also the MAGICC website and Wiki for further information.

The pymagicc wrapper is free software under the GNU Affero General Public License v3, see LICENSE.


If you make any use of MAGICC, its license requires citing of:

M. Meinshausen, S. C. B. Raper and T. M. L. Wigley (2011). "Emulating coupled atmosphere-ocean and carbon cycle models with a simpler model, MAGICC6: Part I "Model Description and Calibration." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 11: 1417-1456.

If you use Pymagicc in your research, please additionally cite

R. Gieseke, S. N. Willner and M. Mengel, (2018). Pymagicc: A Python wrapper for the simple climate model MAGICC. Journal of Open Source Software, 3(22), 516,

For proper reproducibility please reference the version of Pymagicc used. In Python it can be printed with

import pymagicc

Pymagicc releases are archived at Zenodo and the version used should also be cited.