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Atmospheric Science

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Xiaohong Liu, Professor
Wyoming Excellence Chair in Climate Science

Room 6050, Engineering Building
Office Phone: (307) 766-3225

Dr. Liu's personal website


  • Ph.D., Atmospheric Science, Nanjing University, P.R. China, 1992
  • M.S., Atmospheric Science, Nanjing University, P.R. China, 1989
  • B.S., (Highest honors) Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University, P.R. China, 1986

Research Statement

Dr. Xiaohong Liu is a professor at the Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming (UW). He is the Endowed “Wyoming Excellence Chair” in Climate Science.
Dr. Liu is an internationally well-known scientist in the fields of aerosol modeling, and aerosol-cloud interactions and impact on the climate system. He has made significant contributions to the understanding of aerosol effects on clouds, especially on cold cirrus and mixed-phase clouds. In addition, he has been involved in the development of climate models, and is a key member of the development team of the NCAR’s Community Atmosphere Model versions 5 and 6 (CAM5 and CAM6), the atmospheric component of the Community Earth System Model (CESM). He has developed aerosol modules to study the microphysics and life cycle of aerosols in the atmosphere. He has developed ice nucleation parameterizations and implemented them in climate models to investigate aerosol effects on cirrus and mixed-phase clouds. Using global and regional models he investigated effects of aerosols (e.g., mineral dust, wildfire aerosols, pollution aerosols) on clouds and the hydrological cycles over North Africa, southern Africa, Western US, and East Asia. He has published ~160 peer-reviewed papers (as of November 2017) and was named to the Thomas Reuters' list as one of the world’s most highly cited researchers in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.  He is currently the co-Chair of NCAR CESM Chemistry-Climate Working Group, and an editor of journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Current Projects/Research Areas

  • Physics and Dynamics of Climate
  • Aerosols, Clouds, Precipitation and Climate Interactions
  • Global and Regional Modeling of Aerosols and Impacts on Climate

Selected Publications (out of ~160)

  • Liu, X., P.-L. Ma, H. Wang, S. Tilmes, B. Singh, R. C. Easter, S. J. Ghan, and P. J. Rasch (2016), Description and evaluation of a new 4-mode version of Modal Aerosol Module (MAM4) within version 5.3 of the Community Atmosphere Model, Geoscientific Model Development, 9, 505–522, doi:10.5194/gmd-9-505-2016.
  • Shi, X., and X. Liu (2016), Effect of cloud-scale vertical velocity on the contribution of homogeneous nucleation to cirrus formation and radiative forcing, Geophysical Research Letter, 43, 6588–6595, doi:10.1002/2016GL069531.
  • Jiang, Y., X. Liu, X.-Q. Yang, and M. Wang (2013), A numerical study of the effect of different aerosol types on East Asian summer clouds and precipitation, Atmospheric Environment, 70, 51-63, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2012.12.039.
  • Liu, X., X. Shi, K. Zhang, E. J. Jensen, A. Gettelman, D. Barahona, A. Nenes, and P. Lawson (2012), Sensitivity studies of dust ice nuclei effect on cirrus clouds with the Community Atmosphere Model CAM5, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12, 12061-12079, doi:10.5194/acp-12-12061-2012.
  • Liu, X., R. C. Easter, S. J. Ghan, R. Zaveri, P. Rasch, X. Shi, J.-F. Lamarque, A. Gettelman, H. Morrison, F. Vitt, A. Conley, S. Park, R. Neale, C. Hannay, A. Ekman, P. Hess, N. Mahowald, W. Collins, M. Iacono, C. Bretherton, M. Flanner, and D. Mitchell (2012), Toward a minimal representation of aerosols in climate models: Description and evaluation in the Community Atmosphere Model CAM5, Geoscientific Model Development, 5, 709-739, doi:10.5194/gmd-5-709-2012.
  • Zhao, C., X. Liu, L. R. Leung, B. Johnson, S. McFarlane, W. I. Gustafson, J. D. Fast, and R. C. Easter (2010), The spatial distribution of dust and its shortwave radiative forcing over North Africa: Modeling sensitivity to dust emissions and aerosol size treatments, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10, 8821-8838.
  • DeMott, P. J., A. Prenni, X. Liu et al. (2010), Predicting global atmospheric ice nuclei distributions and their impacts on climate, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, 107, 11217-11222, doi:10.1073/pnas.0910818107.
  • Liu, X., J. E. Penner, S. J. Ghan, and M. Wang (2007), Inclusion of ice microphysics in the NCAR Community Atmospheric Model Version 3 (CAM3), Journal of Climate, 20, 4526-4547.
  • Liu, X., J. E. Penner, and M. Herzog (2005), Global simulation of aerosol dynamics: Model description, evaluation, and interactions between sulfate and nonsulfate aerosols, Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, No. D18, D18206, doi:10.1029/2004JD005674.
  • Liu, X., and J. E. Penner (2005), Ice nucleation parameterization for global models, Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 14, No.4, 499-514.

A list of Liu's publications

Honors and Awards:

  • Named to the list “Highly Cited Researchers” by Thomson-Reuters, 2014; 2015; 2016; 2017;
  • Exceptional Contribution Program (ECP) Award, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2012;
  • Outstanding Performance Award, Fundamental and Computational Science Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2010;
  • World Meteorology Organization (WMO) Young Scientist Award, 2001;
  • China Meteorological Agency (CMA) Prof. Tu Chang-Wang Young Scientist Award (1st class), 2000;
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Mariolopoulos-Kanaginis Award (Honorable Mention, 3rd place), for paper in Atmospheric Environmental Research, 1998;
  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Germany, 1996-1997;
  • Elected into "100 Talent Program" of Chinese Academy of Science, 1996-1999;

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