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Yangang Liu

Senior Scientist

Liu is a Senior Scientist and Leader of the Climate and Process Modeling group. His scientific interests have been centering on atmospheric particle systems (aerosols, clouds and precipitation, associated processes and interactions with Earth’s climate. Research spans over a wide spectrum of topics, including aerosol/cloud physics, turbulence, light scattering, radiative transfer, remote sensing, and climate (change). Current research concentrates on development and evaluation of cloud-related parameterizations for models of various scales (from large eddy simulations to cloud-resolving models to numerical weather production models to climate models), and on the effects of aerosols on climate and climate change. Research activities combine development, application, and integration of theory, modeling, and observations. A related interest is to consider particle systems as special examples of broader multiscale complex systems, and seek to quantify fluctuations and explore theories as applied to such complex systems. Developing an entirely new framework of scale-dependent models has been one of my long-term research goals.

Research has resulted in 102 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals like Nature, Nature-Geo, and Physical Review Letter. Work has been featured by Nature News, American Physical Society, American Institute of Physics, American Geophysical Union, DOE Office of Science, and various news media.


  • University of Nevada-Reno, Ph.D., Atmospheric Sciences
  • Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST, former Nanjing Institute of Meteorology, China), M.S., Atmospheric Sciences
  • NUIST, China, B.S., Atmospheric Sciences

Professional Activities

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Meteorological Society
  • American Geophysical Union
  • U.S. Association of Table Tennis

Areas of Interest

  • Aerosol/cloud/precipitation physics
  • Fast physics in large scale models
  • Climate and climate change
  • Complex systems


  • Senior Scientist: 2011 to present
  • Tenured Scientist: 2008 to 2011
  • Scientist: 2006 to 2008, Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Associate Scientist: 2003 - 2006, Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Assistant Scientist: 2001-2003, Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Research Associate: 1998 to 2001, Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Adjunct Full Professor, Stony Brook University, 2010 to present
  • Guest Professor, NUIST, 2010 to present
  • Leader of Climate and Process Modeling Group, April 2014 to present
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmosphere
  • Co-leader of BNL Aerosol/Cloud group, 2007 to 2014.
  • Lead of the multi-institutional FASTER project, 2009-2014

External Service

  • Co-Chair on session “Cloud-scale processes: modeling, observation, and parameterization for larger scale models”, AGU Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 13-18 Dec 2015.
  • Co-Chair on session “Aerosol Impacts on Shallow Clouds”, 97th AMS Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, January 4-10, 2015.
  • Co-Chair for session on physics in climate models, AGU, San Francisco, Dec. 2014.
  • Co-Chair, session on fast physics, AGU, San Francisco, Dec 2013.
  • Co-Chair, session on fast physics, AGU, San Francisco, Dec 2012.
  • Co-Chair, session on climate, IYC Symposium on Stratospheric Ozone and Climate Change, DC, 7-10 Nov 2011.
  • Co-Chair, session on fast physics in climate models, AGU, San Francisco, 6-10 Dec 2011.
  • Discussion leader on cloud feedback, Gordon Research Conference on Climate and Radiation, Vermont, July 2011.
  • Co-Chair, session on fast physics in climate models, AGU, San Francisco, Dec 2010.
  • Associate Chief Scientist of the US Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program, 2005 to 2009 ( before ARM merging with Atmospheric Sciences Program (ASP) as Atmospheric Systems Research (ASR) Program.
  • Panelist NASA and DOE programs
  • Reviewers for over 20 journals
  • Reviewers for DOE, NASA, NSF, NOAA, CFCAS, California State, CCSPO, IPCC

Peer-Reviewed Publications (since 2009)

Wang, Y., Niu, S., Lu, C., Liu, Y., Chen, J., and Yang, W. An observational study on cloud spectral width in North China. Atmosphere, accepted (2019).

Liu, Q., Quan, J., Jia, X., Sun, Z., Li, X., Gao, Y., and Liu, Y. Vertical Profiles of Aerosol Composition over Beijing, China: Analysis of In Situ Aircraft Measurements. J. Atmos. Sci. 76, 231-245, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-18-0157.1 (2019).

Liu, Q., Jia, X., Quan, J., Li, J., Li, X., Wu, Y., Chen, D., Wang, Z., and Liu, Y. New positive feedback mechanism between boundary layer meteorology and secondary aerosol formation during severe haze events. Scientific Reports 8, 6095, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-24366-3 (2018).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., Zhu, B., Yum, S. S., Krueger, S. K., Qiu, Y., Niu, S., and Luo, S. On Which Microphysical Time Scales to Use in Studies of Entrainment-Mixing Mechanisms in Clouds. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 123, 3740-3756, doi:10.1002/2017JD027985 (2018).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., Niu, S., and Xue, Y. Broadening of Cloud Droplet Size Distributions and Warm Rain Initiation Associated with Turbulence: An Overview. Atmos. Oceanic Sci. Lettrs, online, doi:10.1080/16742834.2018.1410057 (2017).

Wang, Y., Vogel, J. M., Lin, Y., Pan, B., Hu, J., Liu, Y., Dong, X., Jiang, J. H., Yung, Y. L., and Zhang, R. Aerosol Microphysical and Radiative Effects on Continental Cloud Ensembles. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 35, 234-247, doi:10.1007/s00376-017-7091-5 (2018).

Xie, X., Zhang, H., Liu, X., Peng, Y., and Liu, Y. Role of Microphysical Parameterizations with Droplet Relative Dispersion in IAP AGCM 4.1. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 35, 248-259, doi:10.1007/s00376-017-7083-5 (2018).

Liu, G., Liu, Y., and Endo, S. Corrigendum to “Evaluation of Surface Flux Parameterizations with Long-Term ARM Observations”. Mon. Wea. Rev. 145, 405-409, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-16-0005.1 (2017).

Lin, Y., Wang, Y., Pan, B., Hu, J., Liu, Y., and Zhang, R. Distinct impacts of aerosols on an evolving continental cloud complex during the RACORO field campaign. J. Atmos. Sci. 73, 3681-3700, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-15-0361.1 (2016).

Chen, J., Liu, Y., Zhang, M., and Peng, Y. New understanding and quantification of the regime dependence of aerosol-cloud interaction for studying aerosol indirect effects. Geophys. Res. Lettrs 43, 1780-1787, doi:10.1002/2016GL067683 (2016).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., Zhang, G. J., Wu, X., Endo, S., Cao, L., Li, Y., and Guo, X. Improving Parameterization of Entrainment Rate for Shallow Convection with Aircraft Measurements and Large Eddy Simulation. J. Atmos. Sci. 73, 761-773, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-15-0050.1 (2016).

Xie, X., Wang, H., Liu, X., Li, J., Wang, Z., and Liu, Y. Distinct effects of anthropogenic aerosols on the East Asian summer monsoon between multi-decadal strong and weak monsoon stages. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 121, 7026-7040, doi:10.1002/2015JD024228 (2016).

Bi, X., Gao, Z., Liu, Y., Liu, F., Song, Q., Huang, J., Huang, H., Mao, W., and Liu, C. Observed drag coefficients in high winds in the near offshore of the South China Sea. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, 6444–6459, doi:10.1002/2015JD023172 (2015).

Cheng, M., Lu, C., and Liu, Y. Variation in entrainment rate and relationship with cloud microphysical properties on the scale of 5 m. Science Bull. 60, 707-717, doi:10.1007/s11434-015-0737-8 (2015).

Endo, S., Fridlind, A. M., Lin, W., Vogelmann, A. M., Toto, T., Ackerman, A. S., McFarquhar, G. M., Jackson, R. C., Jonsson, H. H., and Liu, Y. RACORO continental boundary layer cloud investigations. Part II: Large-eddy simulations of cumulus clouds and evaluation with in-situ and ground-based observations. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, 5993–6014, doi:10.1002/2014JD022525 (2015).

Feng, S., Li, Z., Liu, Y., Lin, W., Zhang, M., Toto, T., Vogelmann, A. M., and Endo, S. Development of fine-resolution analyses and expanded large-scale forcing properties: 2. Scale awareness and application to single-column model experiments. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, 667-677, doi:10.1002/2014JD022254 (2015).

Guo, X., Lu, C., Zhao, T., Zhang, G. J., and Liu, Y. An observational study of entrainment rate in deep convection. Atmosphere 6, 1362-1376, doi:10.3390/atmos6091362 (2015).

Li, Z., Feng, S., Liu, Y., Lin, W., Zhang, M., Toto, T., Vogelmann, A. M., and Endo, S. Development of fine-resolution analyses and expanded large-scale forcing properties: 1. Methodology and evaluation. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, 654-666, doi:10.1002/2014JD022245 (2015).

Lin, W., Liu, Y., Vogelmann, A. M., Fridlind, A., Endo, S., Song, H., Feng, S., Toto, T., Li, Z., and Zhang, M. RACORO Continental Boundary Layer Cloud Investigations. Part III: Separation of Parameterization Biases in Single-Column Model CAM5 Simulations of Shallow Cumulus.  J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, 6015–6033, doi:10.1002/2014JD022524 (2015).

Quan, J., Liu, Q., Li, X., Gao, Y., Jia, X., Sheng, J., and Liu, Y. Effect of heterogeneous aqueous reactions on the secondary formation of inorganic aerosols during haze events. Atmos. Environ. 122, 306-312, doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.09.068 (2015).

Vogelmann, A. M., Fridlind, A. M., Toto, T., Endo, S., Lin, W., Wang, J., Feng, S., Zhang, Y., Turner, D. D., Liu, Y., Li, Z., Xie, S., Ackerman, A. S., Zhang, M., and Khairoutdinov, M. RACORO Continental Boundary Layer Cloud Investigations. Part I: Case Study Development and Ensemble Large-Scale Forcings. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, 5962-5992, doi:10.1002/2014JD022713 (2015).

Xiao, H., Endo, S., Wong, M., Skamarock, W. C., Klemp, J. B., Fast, J. D., Gustafson, W. I., Vogelmann, A. M., Wang, H., Liu, Y., and Lin, W. Modifications to WRF's dynamical core to improve the treatment of moisture for large-eddy simulations. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst. 7, 1627-1642, doi:10.1002/2015MS000532 (2015).

Yum, S. S., Wang, J., Liu, Y., Senum, G., Springston, S., McGraw, R., and Yeom, J. M. Cloud microphysical relationships and their implication on entrainment and mixing mechanism for the stratocumulus clouds measured during the VOCALS project. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, 5047-5069, doi:10.1002/2014JD022802 (2015).

Zhang, N., Gao, Z., Liu, Y., and Li, D. Sensitivity of a Global Climate Model to the Critical Richardson Number in the Boundary Layer Parameterization. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, online, doi:10.1002/ 2014JD022015 (2015).

Fast, J. D., Allan, J., Bahreini, R., Craven, J., Emmons, L., Ferrare, R., Hayes, P. L., Hodzic, A., Holloway, J., Hostetler, C., Jimenez, J. L., Jonsson, H., Liu, S., Liu, Y., Metcalf, A., Middlebrook, A., Nowak, J., Pekour, M., Perring, A., Russell, L., Sedlacek, A., Seinfeld, J., Setyan, A., Shilling, J., Shrivastava, M., Springston, S., Song, C., Subramanian, R., Taylor, J. W., Vinoj, V., Yang, Q., Zaveri, R. A., and Zhang, Q. Modeling regional aerosol and aerosol precursor variability over California and its sensitivity to emissions and long-range transport during the 2010 CalNex and CARES campaigns.  Atmos. Chem. Phys. 14, 10013-10060, doi:10.5194/acp-14-10013-2014 (2014).

Huang, D., Campos, E., and Liu, Y. Statistical characteristics of cloud variability. Part 1: Retrieved cloud liquid water path at three ARM sites.  J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119, 10,813-10,828, doi:10.1002/2014JD022001 (2014).

Huang, D. and Liu, Y. Statistical characteristics of cloud variability. Part 2: Implication for parameterizations of microphysical and radiative transfer processes in climate models.  J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119, 10,829-10,843, doi:10.1002/2014JD022003 (2014).

Huang, D. and Liu, Y. A novel approach for introducing cloud spatial structure into cloud radiative transfer parameterizations.  Environ. Res. Lett. 9, 124022 (2014).

Liu, Y., Daum, P. H., and Lu, C. Comment on “Cloud droplet spectral width relationship to CCN spectra and vertical velocity” by Hudson et al.  J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 118, 1874-1877, doi:10.1002/2012JD019207 (2014).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., and Niu, S. Entrainment mixing parameterization in shallow cumuli and effects of secondary mixing events. Chinese Sci. Bull. 59, 896-903, doi:10.1007/s11434-013-0097-1 (2014).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., Niu, S., and Endo, S. Scale dependence of entrainment-mixing mechanisms in cumulus clouds. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119, 1-14, doi:10.1002/2014JD022265 (2014).

Song, H., Lin, W., Lin, Y., Wolf, A. B., Donner, L. J., Del Genio, A. D., Neggers, R., Endo, S., and Liu, Y. Evaluation of Precipitation Simulated by Seven SCMs against the ARM Observations at the SGP Site. J. Climate 27, 6698-6719, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00555.1 (2014).

Wu, W., Liu, Y., Jensen, M. P., Toto, T., Foster, M. J., and Long, C. N. A comparison of multiscale variations of decade-long cloud fractions from six different platforms over the Southern Great Plains in the United States. J. Geophys. Res. 119, 3438-3459, doi:10.1002/2013JD019813 (2014).

Xie, Y., Liu, Y., Long, C. N., and Min, Q. Retrievals of cloud fraction and cloud albedo from surface-based shortwave radiation measurements: A comparison of 16 year measurements. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119, 8925-8940, doi:10.1002/2014JD021705 (2014).

Liu, G., Liu, Y., and Endo, S. Evaluation of Surface Flux Parameterizations with Long-Term ARM Observations. Mon. Weather Rev. 141, 773-797, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-12-00095.1 (2013).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., Niu, S., and Zhao, L. Examination of microphysical relationships and corresponding microphysical processes in warm fogs. Acta Meteorologica Sinica 27, 832-848, doi:10.1007/s13351-013-0610-0 (2013).

Song, H., Lin, W., Lin, Y., Wolf, A., Neggers, R., Donner, L. J., Genio, A. D., and Liu, Y. Evaluation of Precipitation Simulated by Seven SCMs against the ARM Observation at the SGP Site. J. Clim. 26, 5467-5492, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00263.1 (2013).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., and Niu, S. A method for distinguishing and linking turbulent entrainment mixing and collision-coalescence in stratocumulus clouds. Chinese Sci. Bull. 58, 545-551, doi:10.1007/s11434-012-5556-6 (2013).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., Niu, S., Krueger, S., and Wagner, T. Exploring parameterization for turbulent entrainment-mixing processes in clouds.  J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 118, 185-194, doi:10.1029/2012JD018464 (2013).

Lu, C., Niu, S., Liu, Y., and Vogelmann, A. M. Empirical relationship between entrainment rate and microphysics in cumulus clouds. Geophys. Res. Lettrs 40, 2333–2338, doi:10.1002/grl.50445 (2013).

Li, Z., Zang, Z., Li, Q. B., Chao, Y., Chen, D., Ye, Z., Liu, Y., and Liou, K. N. A three-dimensional variational data assimilation system for multiple aerosol species with WRF/Chem and an application to PM2.5 prediction. Atmos. Chem. Phys. 13, 4265-4278, doi:10.5194/acp-13-4265-2013 (2013).

Blossey, P. N., Bretherton, C. S., Zhang, M., Cheng, A., Endo, S., Heus, T., Liu, Y., Lock, A. P., deRoode, S. R., and Xu, K.-M. Marine low cloud sensitivity to an idealized climate change: The CGILS LES intercomparison.  J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst. 5, 1-25, doi:10.1002/jame.20025 (2013).

Xie, Y. and Liu, Y. A new approach for simultaneously retrieving cloud albedo and cloud fraction from surface-based shortwave radiation measurements. Environ. Res. Lett. 8, 044023, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/4/044023 (2013).

Zhang, M., Bretherton, C. S., Blossey, P. N., Austin, P. H., Bacmeister, J. T., Bony, S., Brient, F., Cheedela, S. K., Cheng, A., Del Genio, A. D., De Roode, S. R., Endo, S., Franklin, C. N., Golaz, J.-C., Hannay, C., Heus, T., Isotta, F. A., Dufresne, J.-L., Kang, I.-S., Kawai, H., Köhler, M., Larson, V. E., Liu, Y., Lock, A. P., Lohmann, U., Khairoutdinov, M. F., Molod, A. M., Neggers, R. A. J., Rasch, P., Sandu, I., Senkbeil, R., Siebesma, A. P., Siegenthaler-Le Drian, C., Stevens, B., Suarez, M. J., Xu, K.-M., von Salzen, K., Webb, M. J., Wolf, A., and Zhao, M. CGILS: Results from the first phase of an international project to understand the physical mechanisms of low cloud feedbacks in single column models.  J. Adv. Modeling Earth Sys. 5, 826-842, doi:10.1002/2013MS000246 (2013).

Wu, W., Liu, Y., and Betts, A. K. Observationally-based evaluation of NWP reanalyses in modeling cloud properties over the Southern Great Plains. J. Geophys. Res. 117, D12202, doi:10.1029/2011JD016971 (2012).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., Yum, S. S., Niu, S., and Endo, S. A New Approach for Estimating Entrainment Rate in Cumulus Clouds. Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, L04802, doi:10.1029/2011GL050546 (2012).

Huang, D., Zhao, C., Dunn, M., Dong, X., Mace, G. G., Jensen, M. P., Xie, S., and Liu, Y. An intercomparison of radar-based liquid cloud microphysics retrievals and implications for model evaluation studies. Atmos. Meas. Technol. 5, 1409-1424, doi:10.5194/amt-5-1409-2012 (2012).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., Niu, S., and Vogelmann, A. M. Lateral Entrainment Rate in Shallow Cumuli: Dependence on dry air sources and probability density functions. Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, L20812, doi:10.1029/2012GL053646 (2012).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., Niu, S., and Vogelmann, A. M. Observed Impacts of Vertical Velocity on Cloud Microphysics and Implications for Aerosol Indirect Effects. Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, L21808, doi:10.1029/2012GL053599 (2012).

Wu, Q., Zhu, M., Gu, Y., Brown, P., Lu, X., Lin, W., and Liu, Y. A Distributed Workflow Management System with Case Study of Real-life Scientific Applications on Grids. J. Grid Computing 10, 367-393, doi:10.1007/s10723-012-9222-7 (2012).

Li, Z., Zang, Z., Li, Q. B., Chao, Y., Chen, D., Ye, Z., Liu, Y., and Liou, K.-N. A three-dimensional variational data assimilation system for multiple aerosol species with WRF/Chem and an application to PM2.5 prediction. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. 12, 13515-13552, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-13515-2012 (2012).

Wu, W., Y. Liu, and G. Wen, Spectral solar irradiance and its entropic effect on Earth's climate. Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss. 2, 45-70, 201, doi:10.5194/esdd-2-45-2011 (2011).

Li, Z., Niu, F., Fan, J., Liu, Y., Rosenfeld, D., and Ding, Y. Long-term impacts of aerosols on the vertical development of clouds and precipitation. Nature Geoscience 4, 889-894, doi:10.1038/NGEO1313 (2011).

Liu, Y., Wu, W., Jensen, M. P., and Toto, T. Relationship between cloud radiative forcing, cloud fraction and cloud albedo, and new surface-based approach for determining cloud albedo.  Atmos. Chem. Phys. 11, 7155-7170 (2011).

Lu, C., Liu, Y., and Niu, S. Examination of turbulent entrainment-mixing mechanisms using a combined approach. J. Geophys. Res. 116, D20207, doi:10.1029/2011JD015944 (2011).

Huang, D., Liu, Y., and Wiscombe, W. Replacing pixel representations by point-function schemes for reducing discretization error in ill-posed remote sensing problems, with examples from cloud tomography. IEEE Geosci. Remote Sensing Lettrs 1, 95-102 (2010).

Liu, Y. Comment on “Seasonal Variation of the Physical Properties of Marine Boundary Layer Clouds off the California Coast” by Lin et al.  J. Climate 23, 3416-3420, doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3407.1 (2010).

Niu, S., Jia, X., Sang, J., Liu, X., Lu, C., and Liu, Y. Distributions of raindrop sizes and fall velocities in a semi-arid plateau climate: Convective vs. stratiform rains. J. Applied Meteorol. Climatol. 49, 632-645 (2010).

Niu, S., Lu, C., Liu, Y., Zhao, L., Lv, J., and Yang, J. Analysis of the microphysical structure of heavy fog using a droplet spectrometer: A case study. Advances in Atmos. Sci. 27, 1259-1275 (2010).

Wu, W. and Liu, Y. A new one-dimensional radiative equilibrium model for investigating atmospheric radiation entropy flux. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 365, 1367-1376, doi:10.1098/rstb.2009.0301 (2010).

Wu, W. and Liu, Y. Radiation entropy flux and entropy production of the Earth system. Rev. Geophys. 48, RG2003, doi:10.1029/2008RG000275 (2010).

Huang, D., Johnson, K., Liu, Y., and Wiscombe, W. High resolution retrieval of cloud liquid water vertical distributions using collocated Ka-band and W-band cloud radars. Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L24807, doi:10.1029/2009GL041364 (2009).

Rotstayn, L. D. and Liu, Y. Cloud droplet spectral dispersion and the indirect aerosol effect: Comparison of two treatments in a GCM. Geophys. Res. Lettrs 36, L10801, doi:10.1029/2009GL038216 (2009).

Wang, J., Daum, P. H., Yum, S. S., Liu, Y., Senum, G. I., Lu, M.-L., Seinfeld, J. H., and Jonsson, H. Observations of marine stratocumulus microphysics and implications for processes controlling droplet spectra: results from the Marine Stratus/Stratocumulus Experiment (MASE). J. Geophys. Res. 114, D18210, doi:10.1029/2008JD011035 (2009).

Guo, H, Y. Liu, P. H. Daum, X. Zeng, X.Li, and W. Tao,  Effects of model resolutions on entrainment (inversion heights), cloud-radiation interactions, and cloud radiative forcing. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. 8, 20399-20425, doi:10.5194/acpd-8-20399-2008 (2008).