FAMOUS (Smith et al. (Geosci. Model Dev. 2008)) is a fast Earth-system model, built around general circulation models of the atmosphere and ocean (AOGCM). FAMOUS originated as a low-resolution version of the widely used HadCM3 AOGCM, a configuration of the UK Met Office Unified Model (UM), intended for projects where long periods of simulated time were needed, because it runs about ten times faster than HadCM3 - up to 250 simulated years per day, using ~8 processors of a multicore UNIX server. FAMOUS contains much of the physics of a state-of-the-art AOGCM, providing a three-dimensional simulation of both atmosphere and ocean, including internally generated variability over periods from days to millennia and physically detailed representations of important processes such as clouds and precipitation. The name “FAMOUS” is a loose acronym of “Fast Met Office UK Universities Simulator”, but this full name is, understandably, never used.
The atmosphere component of FAMOUS runs on a 7.5deg longitude x 5deg latitude grid, with 11 levels in the vertical and a 1-hour timestep. The ocean component uses a 3.75deg longitude x 2.5deg latitude grid with 20 levels, with a 12-hour timestep (using a distorted momentum equation). FAMOUS does not use flux adjustments; in order to achieve this the ocean component of FAMOUS was developed with a few changes to the bathymetry of the North Atlantic to allow a more realistic representation of the ocean circulation, as described by Jones (J Atmos Ocean Tech, 2003). Owing to its lower resolution, the climate of FAMOUS is not as realistic as that of HadCM3, but the speed of FAMOUS made it possible to tune it using an iterative objective approach, which cannot be afforded with higher-resolution models. The initial tuning process and the resulting climate simulation are described by Jones et al. (Climate Dyn, 2005). Some later improvements and their impact on the simulated climate are described in Smith et al. (Geosci. Model Dev. 2008) and other papers listed on the Documentation? page.
Models of the terrestrial (MOSES2.2) and marine (HadOCC) carbon cycle have been implemented in FAMOUS, following HadCM3LC (Cox et al., Nature, 2000). We refer to a configuration of FAMOUS with the carbon cycle (including interactive vegetation, modelled by TRIFFID) as FAMOUS-C. FAMOUS can also be coupled to the Glimmer-CISM icesheet model, in a configuration known as FAMOUS-I. It can also be coupled in a much more complex, physically consistent manner to the BISICLES icesheet model.
FAMOUS is available for general use with support from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) on ARCHER, the current UK National HPC. FAMOUS runs at UM version 4.5. It can be installed on other platforms, but this is currently difficult. We hope to have a more portable system available soon.
FAMOUS is maintained by NCAS-Climate as part of the UK National Capability. Its development was a joint project of
Please contact us (famous-esm-info at lists.reading.ac.uk) if you would like to use FAMOUS.