NCO:ncap2 is the function to do it:

_ncap2 -s ‘new_var=var1+var2’ in_filename.nc outfilename.nc

The output file will have all of the variables that exist in the input file as well as the new_var. Add -O if your input and output files are the same (overwrite).

I do not know what the -s stands for.

BUT the new_var will have the same long_name as the first variable used for summing (i.e. it could make some things a bit confusing). To change it, use a very complicated (but allegedly also very powerful) NCO:ncatted. Fortunately, its documentation has just the right example:

Change the value of the `long_name` attribute for variable `T` from whatever it currently is to "temperature": > > > > ncatted -a long_name,T,o,c,temperature in.nc > > > >