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FAMOUS version xotzt (FAMOUS-ice): a general circulation model (GCM) capable of energy- and water-conserving coupling to an ice sheet model

Smith, R. S. ORCID:, George, S. ORCID: and Gregory, J. M. ORCID: (2021) FAMOUS version xotzt (FAMOUS-ice): a general circulation model (GCM) capable of energy- and water-conserving coupling to an ice sheet model. Geoscientific Model Development, 14 (9). pp. 5769-5787. ISSN 1991-9603

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/gmd-14-5769-2021


The physical interactions between ice sheets and their surroundings are major factors in determining the state of the climate system, yet many current Earth system models omit them entirely or approximate them in a heavily parameterised manner. In this work we have improved the snow and ice sheet surface physics in the FAMOUS climate model, with the aim of improving the representation of polar climate and implementing a bidirectional coupling to the Glimmer dynamic ice sheet model using the water and energy fluxes calculated by FAMOUS. FAMOUS and Glimmer are both low-resolution, computationally affordable models used for multi-millennial simulations. Glaciated surfaces in the new FAMOUS-ice are modelled using a multi-layer snow scheme capable of simulating compaction of firn and the percolation and refreezing of surface melt. The low horizontal resolution of FAMOUS compared to Glimmer is mitigated by implementing this snow model on sub-grid-scale tiles that represent different elevations on the ice sheet within each FAMOUS grid box. We show that with this approach FAMOUS-ice can simulate relevant physical processes on the surface of the modern Greenland ice sheet well compared to higher-resolution climate models and that the ice sheet state in the coupled FAMOUS-ice–Glimmer system does not drift unacceptably. FAMOUS-ice coupled to Glimmer is thus a useful tool for modelling the physics and co-evolution of climate and grounded ice sheets on centennial and millennial timescales, with applications to scientific questions relevant to both paleoclimate and future sea level rise.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:100683
Publisher:European Geosciences Union


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