Climate Dynamics

, Volume 25, Issue 2–3, pp 189–204 | Cite as

Systematic optimisation and climate simulation of FAMOUS, a fast version of HadCM3

  • Chris Jones
  • Jonathan Gregory
  • Robert Thorpe
  • Peter Cox
  • James Murphy
  • David Sexton
  • Paul Valdes


FAMOUS is an unfluxadjusted coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM) based on the Met Office Hadley Centre AOGCM HadCM3. Its parametrisations of physical and dynamical processes are almost identical to those of HadCM3, but by virtue of reduced horizontal and vertical resolution and increased timestep it runs about ten times faster. The speed of FAMOUS means that parameter sensitivities can be investigated more thoroughly than in slower higher-resolution models, with the result that it can be tuned closer to its target climatology. We demonstrate a simple method for systematic tuning of parameters, resulting in a configuration of FAMOUS whose climatology is significantly more realistic than would be expected for a model of its resolution and speed. FAMOUS has been tuned to reproduce the behaviour of HadCM3 as nearly as possible, in order that experiments with each model are of maximum relevance to the physical interpretation of the other. Analysis of the control climate and climate change simulation of FAMOUS show that it possesses sufficient skill for its intended purposes in Earth system science as a tool for long-timescale integrations and for large ensembles of integrations, when HadCM3 cannot be afforded. Thus, it can help to bridge the gap between models of intermediate complexity and the higher-resolution AOGCMs used for policy-relevant climate prediction.


Climate Sensitivity Skill Score Warm Bias Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Cloud Liquid Water 



This work was supported by the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Regional Affairs under contract PECD 7/12/37.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Jones
    • 1
  • Jonathan Gregory
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert Thorpe
    • 1
  • Peter Cox
    • 3
  • James Murphy
    • 1
  • David Sexton
    • 1
  • Paul Valdes
    • 4
  1. 1.Hadley CentreMet OfficeExeter, DevonUK
  2. 2.CGAM, Department of MeteorologyUniversity of ReadingReadingUK
  3. 3.Centre for Ecology and HydrologyWinfrith, DorsetUK
  4. 4.School of Geographical SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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