Ocean Surface in Square Meters

Hello everyone,
is there an easy way to extract the ocean surface in square meters, that is used for specific calculation (for example when examining the total heat loss through the ocean surface).
As far as I have seen the energy loss is only given at a single grid-points so that it’s not possible to simply sum them up right?
I am sure there is an easy way to solve this ‘problem’, but since I am fairly new to working with such models I need your help.

Thanks for your effort


What you’re talking about is converting an intensive property (e.g. W/m^2) to an extensive one (e.g. W). In order to do this, you need to know the area represented by each grid point. Here it would be good to know what dataset you are working with. If you’re working with ocean model data, most ocean models include this in their output. For example, in CM 2.6, it’s stored in the grid file as area_t / area_u.

If you have observational data on a lat / lon grid, you will need to use geometry to calculate the effective area.

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Thank you very much! Since I’m working with the CM 2.6, the variables area_t and/or area_u will do the job hopefully. Is there anything I need to be aware of when working with this variables?

Nothing comes to mind, but feel free to keep asking questions! :smile:

May I ask you a short question right below here?

I am trying to analyze the heat stored in a certain region of the ocean. Therefor I need to calculate the integral of the temperature for the whole volume. But so far I couldn’t find a way to realize this in PANGEO.
What would be a good way to achieve this?

Analogously to the area integral, for the volume integral, you will need the volume element of each cell. The temperature integral of a region is computed, in pseudo-xarray-code, as

total_heat_content = rho_0 * cp * (conservative_temperature *  volume_element).sum(dim=['x', 'y', 'z'])

This is not really specific to Pangeo. It’s finite-volume analysis.