• Reta A. Haynes Chair in Geosciences
  • Professor
Xiaohong Liu


Professional Links

Additional Information

2019.09-Present: Professor (tenured), Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, USA

2013.08-2019.08: Professor (tenured), Wyoming Excellence Chair in Climate Science, Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, USA

2006.01-2013.07: Senior Research Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, USA

2002.01-2005.12: Assistant Research Scientist (Research Faculty), Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

2000.02-2001.12: Research Fellow, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

1998.01-1998.04, 1999.10-2000.01: Visiting Scientist, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

1996.04-1997.05: Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, Fraunhofer Institute for Atmospheric Environmental Research (IFU), Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

1995.04-1996.03: Research Scientist, Working Group for Air Chemistry, Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus, Berlin, Germany

1994.07-1995.03, 1997.06-1999.09: Research Associate Professor, Research Professor, Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, P.R. China

1992.08-1994.07: Post-doctor, Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, P.R. China

Educational Background

  • 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 Interests

  • Dr. Liu and his group are interested in the following research areas: (1) Atmospheric aerosols and chemistry; (2) Cloud microphysics, especially aerosol-cloud interactions; (3) Model development and evaluation; and (4) Climate modeling.

    1. Atmospheric Aerosols and Chemistry: we have been studying the life cycles of atmospheric aerosols (e.g., dust from deserts, black carbon from wildfires, sulfate and nitrate aerosol from air pollution), including their emission, chemistry, transport, dry deposition, and wet scavenging. These studies are based on the simulations from the global Community Earth System Model (CESM), Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), and regional Weather Research and Forecasting Model with chemistry (WRF-Chem). The radiative forcings of these aerosols due to aerosol-radiation interactions, aerosol-cloud interactions, and through changing the surface albedo by deposition in snow are investigated.

    2. Cloud Microphysics and Aerosol-Cloud Interactions: we have been studying the microphysical processes (e.g., droplet activation, ice nucleation, Bergeron-Findeisen process) in clouds, particularly in mixed-phase and ice clouds. We investigated how the biomass burning aerosols from Western Africa interact with the marine stratocumulus over Southeast Atlantic by acting as cloud condensational nuclei (CCN), and how the mineral dust from deserts interacts with the Arctic mixed-phase clouds by acting as ice nucleating particles (INPs). These studies are validated with remote sensing and in situ aircraft and surface observations of cloud properties.

    3. Model Development and Evaluation: Xiaohong Liu has been in the development team of the NCAR’s CESM and DOE’s E3SM. We developed the Modal Aerosol Module (MAM) and schemes of ice nucleation in mixed-phase and ice clouds for CESM and E3SM. CESM and E3SM have participated in the IPCC Assessment Reports. Dr. Liu is the co-chair of the NCAR CESM Chemistry-Climate Working Group. We have also implemented the MAM in the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System Model version 5 (GEOS-5) for climate and data assimilation studies. We have been improving the treatment of wildfires, stratospheric sulfate from volcanos, and land-use dust in E3SM.

    4. Climate Modeling: we have been using the global and regional climate models to investigate the 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 South and East Asia. We found the important effects of black carbon deposition on Tibetan Plateau snowpacks on the South Asian Monsoon. We have been using variable resolution (VR) CESM model to study the effects of deposition of black carbon and dust on surface snow albedo and regional climate in the Rocky Mountain regions in the present-day and future warming scenarios.


    • Aerosols
    • cloud microphysics
    • aerosol-cloud interactions
    • climate model development
    • climate modeling

Awards & Honors

  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2023;
  • Fellow, American Meteorological Society (AMS), 2024;
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2022
  • Holder of Reta Haynes Chair in Geosciences, Texas A&M University, 2023
  • Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty Research, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, 2022
  • Named to the list “Highly Cited Researchers” by Thomson-Reuters (now Clarivate Analytics), 2014; 2015; 2016; 2017; 2018
  • Editors’ Citation For Excellence in Refereeing, Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR)–Atmospheres, 2017; 2018
  • Wyoming Excellence Chair in Climate Science, University of Wyoming, 2013-2019
  • Sam D. Hakes Outstanding Graduate Research and Teaching Award, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Wyoming, 2018
  • Exceptional Contribution Program (ECP) Award, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2012
  • Outstanding Performance Award, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2010
  • World Meteorology Organization (WMO) Young Scientist Award, 2001
  • China Meteorological Administration (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

Selected Publications

    • Wei, L., Z. Lu, Y. Wang, X. Liu W. Wang, C. Wu, X. Zhao, S. Rahimi, W. Xia, and Y. Jiang (2022),   Black carbon-climate interactions regulate dust burdens over India revealed during COVID-19,   Nature Communications 13, 1839.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-29468-1 .

    • •  Wu, C., Z. Lin, Y. Shao,  X. Liu , and Y. Li (2022),  Drivers of recent decline in dust storm activity over East Asia,  Nature Communications 13, 7105.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-34823-3 .

    • • Brown, H., X. Liu, R. Pokhrel, S. Murphy, Z. Lu, R. Saleh, T. Mielonen, H. Kokkola, T. Bergman, G. Myhre, R. B. Skeie, D. Watson-Paris, P. Stier, B. Johnson, N. Bellouin, M. Schultz, V. Vakkari, J. P. Beukes, P. G. van Zyl, S. Liu, and D. Chand (2021), Biomass burning aerosols in most climate models are too absorbing, Nature Communications, 12, 277.

    • • Wang, Y., W. Xia, X. Liu, S. Xie, W. Lin, Q. Tang, H.-Y. Ma, Y. Jiang, B. Wang, and G. J. Zhang (2021), Disproportionate control on aerosol burden by light rain, Nature Geoscience, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-00675-z.

    • • Zhao, B., Y. Wang, Y. Gu, K.-N. Liou, J. H. Jiang, J. Fan, X. Liu, L. Huang, and Y. L. Yung (2019), Ice nucleation by aerosols from anthropogenic pollution, Nature Geoscience, 12, 602–607, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-019-0389-4.

    • • Lu, Z., X. Liu, Z. Zhang, C. Zhao, K. Meyer, C. Rajapakshe, C. Wu, Z. Yang, and J. E. Penner (2018), Biomass smokes from southern Africa can significantly enhance the brightness of stratocumulus over southeastern Atlantic Ocean, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, 115, 2924–2929, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713703115.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • • 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.