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Staff information


Yang Gao

Advanced Study & Development
Post Doctorate RA B
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: K9-24
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Gao has been recently working on using CMIP5 global climate models and a high resolution regional climate model to improve understanding of climate change impacts on extreme events. He has extensive experience in evaluating the extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, heat waves and cold air outbreaks, using CMIP5 and regional climate model results.

Dr. Gao has developed expertise in global and regional climate modeling. He developed dynamical downscaling techniques to link global models (CESM) and two regional models: the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model and the Community Multiscale Air Quality Modeling System (CMAQ). These results showed significant improvement of predicting extreme weather events by using a high resolution downscaling results. His research on extreme weather events using high resolution regional model WRF has been featured in Science daily, Environmental Research Web and more than 30 public media.

Research Interests

  • Regional climate and chemistry modeling
  • Extreme weather events
  • Climate impact on air quality and public health

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2012
  • M.S., Environmental Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, 2008.
  • B.S., Environmental Engineering, Jilin Institute of Chemical Technology, China, 2006.

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Member of American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Sigma Xi

Awards and Recognitions

  • Air & Waste Management Association “ Southern Section Scholarship(2010,2011)
  • Supplemental College of Engineering Fellowship, University of Tennessee, 2009

PNNL Publications


  • Hagos SM, LYR Leung, JH Yoon, J Lu, and Y Gao. 2016. "A Projection of Changes in Landfilling Atmospheric River Frequency and Extreme Precipitation over Western North America from the Large Ensemble CESM Simulations." Geophysical Research Letters 43(3):1357-1363.  doi:10.1002/2015GL067392


  • Gao Y, J Lu, LYR Leung, Q Yang, SM Hagos, and Y Qian. 2015. "Dynamical and thermodynamical modulations of future changes in landfalling atmospheric rivers over North America." Geophysical Research Letters 42(17):7179-7186.  doi:10.1002/2015GL065435
  • Gao Y, LYR Leung, J Lu, and G Masato. 2015. "Persistent Cold Air Outbreaks over North America in a Warming Climate." Environmental Research Letters 10(4):Article No. 044001.  doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/4/044001
  • Kim YM, Y Zhou, Y Gao, JS Fu, B Johnson, C Huang, and Y Liu. 2015. "Spatially Resolved Estimation of Ozone-related Mortality in the United States under Two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and their Uncertainty." Climatic Change 128(1-2):71-84.  doi:10.1007/s10584-014-1290-1
  • Sun J, JS Fu, K Huang, and Y Gao. 2015. "Estimation of Future PM2.5- and Ozone-related Mortality over the Continental United States in a Changing Climate: An application of High-resolution Dynamical Downscaling Technique." Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association 65(5):611-623.  doi:10.1080/10962247.2015.1033068
  • Wong D, CE Yang, JS Fu, K Wong, and Y Gao. 2015. "An Approach to Enhance pnetCDF Performance in Environmental Modeling Applications." Geoscientific Model Development 8(4):1033-1046.  doi:10.5194/gmd-8-1033-2015


  • Gao Y, LYR Leung, J Lu, Y Liu, M Huang, and Y Qian. 2014. "Robust Spring Drying in the Southwestern U.S. and Seasonal Migration of Wet/Dry Patterns in a Warmer Climate ." Geophysical Research Letters 41:1745-1751.  doi:10.1002/2014GL059562
  • Dong X, J Li, JS Fu, Y Gao, K Huang, and G Zhuang. 2014. "Inorganic aerosols responses to emission changes in Yangtze River Delta, China." Science of the Total Environment 481:522532.  doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.02.076
  • Hodges M, J Belle, E Carlton, S Liang, H Li, W Luo, MC Freeman, Y Liu, Y Gao, J Hess, and JV Remais. 2014. "Delays in Reducing Waterborne and Water-related Infectious Diseases in China under Climate Change." Nature Climate Change 4(12):11091115.  doi:10.1038/nclimate2428
  • Huang K, JS Fu, Y Gao, X Dong, G Zhuang, and Y Lin. 2014. "Role of Sectoral and Multi-pollutant Emission Control Strategies in Improving Atmospheric Visibility in the Yangtze River Delta, China." Environmental Pollution 184:426-434.  doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2013.09.029
  • Wu J, Y Zhou, Y Gao, JS Fu, B Johnson, C Huang, YM Kim, and Y Liu. 2014. "Estimation and Uncertainty Analysis of Impacts of Future Heat Waves on Mortality in the Eastern United States." Environmental Health Perspectives 122(1):10-16.  doi:10.1289/ehp.1306670


  • Gao Y, JS Fu, JB Drake, JF Lamarque, and Y Liu. 2013. "The Impact of Emission and Climate Change on Ozone in the United States under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13(18):9607-9621.  doi:doi:10.5194/acp-13-9607-2013
  • Dong X, Y Gao, JS Fu, J Li, K Huang, G Zhuang, and Y Zhou. 2013. "Probe into Gaseous Pollution and Assessment of Air Quality Benefit under Sector Dependent Emission Control Strategies over Megacities in Yangtze River Delta, China." Atmospheric Environment 79:841-852.  doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.07.041

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