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Staff information

Jian Lu

Earth Systems Analysis & Modeling
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
MSIN: K9-30
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Jian Lu specializes in the area of climate dynamics, which is about the inner working of the atmosphere-ocean-land-cryosphere interactions in shaping the spatio-temporal structures in the climate system. The recent research of Dr. Lu has been focused on the dynamical aspects of the climate change, such as how the atmospheric circulations, sea surface temperature and ocean circulation, the major climate variability modes, and the global hydrological cycle are going to respond to the change of the atmospheric composition. His main methodology is putting the question in a hierarchy of numerical models with decreasing complexity so as to unravel the key processes that lead to and essential elements that control the phenomena observed in the real climate or the fully-blown models. At PNNL, Dr. Lu strives to understand how the large-scale circulation changes might modulate the distribution of climate and weather extremes and how to build confidence in the representation of the extremes by the not-yet-perfect climate models.

Before joining PNNL, Dr. Jian Lu was an assistant professor in climate dynamics at George Mason University and a research scientist at COLA. Prior to that, he was an ASP postdoctoral fellow at NCAR and a VSP fellow at GFDL/NOAA.

Research Interests

  • Hadley Cell Dynamics
  • Circulation and Global Warming
  • Eddy-Mean Flow Interaction
  • Air-Sea Interaction
  • Dynamics of Extremes

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D, Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, 2003
  • Ph.D, Physical Oceanography, Ocean University of China, 1999
  • B.Sc., Meteorology, Ocean University of China, 1992

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Meteorological Society

PNNL Publications


  • Liu F, Y Luo, J Lu, and X Wan. 2017. "Response of the Tropical Pacific Ocean to El Nino Versus Global Warming." Climate Dynamics 48(3):935-956.  doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3119-2
  • Palipane E, J Lu, P Staten, G Chen, and EK Schneider. 2017. "Investigating the zonal wind response to SST warming using transient ensemble AGCM experiments." Climate Dynamics 48(1):523-540.  doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3092-9


  • Gao Y, J Lu, and LYR Leung. 2016. "Uncertainties in projecting future changes in atmospheric rivers and their impacts on heavy precipitation over Europe." Journal of Climate 29(18):6711-6726.  doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0088.1
  • Sakaguchi K, J Lu, LY Leung, C Zhao, Y Li, and SM Hagos. 2016. "Sources and Pathways of the Upscale Effects on the Southern Hemisphere Jet in MPAS-CAM4 Variable-Resolution Simulations." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 8(4):1786-1805.  doi:10.1002/2016MS000743
  • Balaguru K, RL Leung, J Lu, and GR Foltz. 2016. "A meridional dipole in pre-monsoon Bay of Bengal tropical cyclone activity induced by ENSO." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 121(12):6954-6968.  doi:10.1002/2016JD024936
  • Choi J, J Lu, SW Son, DM Frierson, and JH Yoon. 2016. "Uncertainty in future projections of the North Pacific subtropical high and its implication for California winter precipitation change." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 121(2):795-806.  doi:10.1002/2015JD023858
  • Haarsma RJ, MJ Roberts, PL Vidale, CA Senior, A Bellucci, Q Bao, P Chang, S Corti, NS Fuckar, V Guemas, J Von Hardenberg, W Hazeleger, C Kodama, T Koenigk, LY Leung, J Lu, JJ Luo, J Mao, MS Mizielinski, R Mizuta, P Nobre, M Satoh, E Scoccimarro, T Semmler, J Small, and JS Von Storch. 2016. "High Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP v1.0) for CMIP6." Geoscientific Model Development 9(11):4185-4208.  doi:10.5194/gmd-9-4185-2016
  • 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
  • Liu W, SP Xie, and J Lu. 2016. "Tracking ocean heat uptake during the surface warming hiatus." Nature Communications 7:Article No. 10926.  doi:10.1038/ncomms10926
  • Luo Y, J Lu, F Liu, and X Wan. 2016. "The Positive Indian Ocean Dipole–like Response in the Tropical Indian Ocean to Global Warming." Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 33(4):476-488.  doi:10.1007/s00376-015-5027-5
  • Zhao C, LYR Leung, S Park, SM Hagos, J Lu, K Sakaguchi, JH Yoon, BE Harrop, W Skamarock, and M Duda. 2016. "Exploring the impacts of physics and resolution on aqua-planet simulations from a non-hydrostatic global variable-resolution modeling framework." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 8(4):1751-1768.  doi:10.1002/2016MS000727


  • 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
  • Lu J, and GA Vecchi. 2015. "TROPICAL METEOROLOGY & Climate: Hadley Circulation." In Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences. 2nd ed., ed. J Pyle and F Zhang, pp. 113-120  Elsevier Ltd., Waltham, MA. 
  • Sakaguchi K, LYR Leung, C Zhao, Q Yang, J Lu, SM Hagos, S Rauscher, L Dong, T Ringler, and PH Lauritzen. 2015. "Exploring a Multi-resolution Approach Using AMIP Simulations." Journal of Climate 28(14):5549–5574.  doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00729.1
  • Chen G, J Lu, AD Burrows, and LYR Leung. 2015. "Local finite-amplitude wave activity as an objective diagnostic of midlatitude extreme weather." Geophysical Research Letters 42(24):10,952-10,960.  doi:10.1002/2015GL066959
  • Hagos SM, LYR Leung, Q Yang, C Zhao, and J Lu. 2015. "Resolution and Dynamical Core Dependence of Atmospheric River Frequency in Global Model Simulations." Journal of Climate 28(7):2764-2776.  doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00567.1
  • Liu W, J Lu, LYR Leung, SP Xie, Z Liu, and J Zhu. 2015. "The de-correlation of westerly winds and westerly-wind stress over the Southern Ocean during the Last Glacial Maximum." Climate Dynamics 45(11):3157-3168.  doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2530-4
  • Lu J, G Chen, LYR Leung, DA Burrows, Q Yang, K Sakaguchi, and SM Hagos. 2015. "Toward the Dynamical Convergence on the Jet Stream in Aquaplanet AGCMs." Journal of Climate 28(17):6763–6782.  doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00761.1
  • Luo Y, J Lu, F Liu, and W Liu. 2015. "Understanding the El Niño-like Oceanic Response in the Tropical Pacific to Global Warming." Climate Dynamics 45(7):1945-1964.  doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2448-2


  • 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
  • Lu J, L Sun, Y Wu, and G Chen. 2014. "The Role of Subtropical Irreversible PV Mixing in the Zonal Mean Circulation Response to Global Warming-like Thermal Forcing." Journal of Climate 27(6):2297–2316.  doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00372.1
  • Lu J, LYR Leung, Q Yang, G Chen, WD Collins, F Li, Z Hou, and X Feng. 2014. "The Robust Dynamical Contribution to Precipitation Extremes in Idealized Warming Simulations across Model Resolutions." Geophysical Research Letters 41(8):2971–2978.  doi:10.1002/2014GL059532
  • Lu J. 2014. "Climate Science: Tropical Expansion by Ocean Swing." Nature Geoscience 7(4):250-251.  doi:10.1038/ngeo2124
  • Choi J, SW Son, J Lu, and SK Min. 2014. "Further Observational Evidence of Hadley Cell Widening in the Southern Hemisphere." Geophysical Research Letters 41(7):2590–2597.  doi:10.1002/2014GL059426
  • Staten P, T Reichler, and J Lu. 2014. "The Transient Circulation Response to Radiative Forcings and Sea Surface Warming." Journal of Climate 27(24):9323–9336.  doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00035.1

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