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Collaborative Research: Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS)


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Ocean & fiord systems
Project topic
Computer science & e-learning
Education & Outreach

Project details

Science / project summary

The overall goal of FAMOS is a better understanding of the arctic climate system (with a focus on the marine environment) through the use of improving numerical models and observational tactics and strategies. The FAMOS project is focused on enhancing collaboration and coordination among arctic marine modelers, theoreticians, and observationalists. International teams of such scientists are represented at all levels of project activities starting from generating hypotheses, to planning, and to finalizing analyses. This work will be managed via teleconferences, virtual workshops, newsletters, and annual workshops with 1-2 day schools for young and developing arctic researchers. FAMOS will support synthesis across the suite of arctic models and observations by (i) Holding scientific workshops and schools for new investigators including virtual teleconferences; (ii) Creating teams of modelers, theoreticians, and observationalists to work on topical issues of arctic sea ice and oceanic dynamics and thermodynamics; (iii) Conducting collaboration with other similar projects focused on other aspects of arctic/global climate (atmospheric, terrestrial, cryospheric); (iv) Disseminating findings to broader communities and involve the larger community in discussions, coordinated modeling and observational field experiments; (v) Training a new generation of ocean and sea-ice observationalists and modelers. Intellectual Merit: Although the future focus of FAMOS projects will depend to a large degree on the interests of its participants, the vision is that there will be three broad areas of interest. The first area includes the use of observations for model forcing (including initial and boundary conditions) and validation. The second area is improvement of model numerics and parameterization of different processes (e.g. mixing, advection, eddy-driven processes) and implementation of new methods/algorithms/physics. The third area of model improvement will be the inclusion of processes important for the Arctic (e.g. fresh water dynamics, slope/basin exchange, wave-ice interaction, and CO2 air-sea flux, ecosystem changes). These research themes specifically address the the major program question "What do changes in the arctic system imply for the future?" and to understand the behavior of the arctic system' past, present, and future. Broader Impacts: FAMOS is an important and unique component of present-day arctic studies because it will help improve our understanding of oceanic and sea-ice processes. From this view point, the most significant FAMOS contributions will be: development of a regional and improvement of global climate models; identification of model errors and causes of these errors and model discrepancies, recommendations for improvements of existing regional coupled ice-ocean models and GCMs by implementing new physics and parameterizations for arctic processes. The coordinated community approach to the investigation of Arctic Ocean variability is the only way to assess the degree of uncertainty in results and conclusions made by different modelers, scientific groups, or institutions. One of the highest impacts of the FAMOS activity is educational (including the FAMOS school) because it promotes the growth of young scientists participating in the project, provides guidelines for critical analysis of the existing models, and fruitful improvements and developments of the arctic models by a new generation of arctic modelers.