cited from here
I often use this command when the axis format of data is difference which CDO cannot recognize.
(ex: the axis name, “X136_360”, can not be recognized in CDO, but “X” can.)
This is handy when you obtain a file with unfortunate choices of variable, dimension, or attribute names.
ncrename -h -O -v old_variable_name,new_variable_name filename.nc
-h: do not add to the history variable
-O: (upper case) overwrite the file.
-d oldname,newname: to change a dimension name
-a oldname,newname: to change an attribute name