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Atmospheric Science & Global Change

Staff information

Jian Lu

Regional and Cloud Modeling
Earth Scientist
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


  • Chen G., P. Zhang, and J. Lu. 2020. "Sensitivity of the latitude of the westerly jet stream to climate forcing." Geophysical Research Letters 47, no. 4:Article No. e2019GL086563. PNNL-SA-150063. doi:10.1029/2019GL086563
  • Liu F., J. Lu, Y. Huang, L. Leung, B.E. Harrop, and Y. Luo. 2020. "Sensitivity of surface temperature to oceanic forcing via q-Flux Green’s function experiments. Part III: asymmetric response to warming and cooling." Journal of Climate 33, no. 4:1283–1297. PNNL-SA-149208. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0131.1
  • Lu J., F. Liu, L. Leung, and H. Lei. 2020. "Neutral modes of surface temperature and the optimal ocean thermal forcing for global cooling." npj Climate and Atmospheric Science 3, no. 1:UNSP 9. PNNL-SA-144325. doi:10.1038/s41612-020-0112-6
  • Zhou C., J. Lu, Y. Hu, and M. Zelinka. 2020. "Responses of the Hadley Circulation to regional sea surface temperature changes." Journal of Climate 33, no. 2:429-441. PNNL-SA-143197. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0315.1


  • Baxter I., Q. Ding, A. Schweiger, M. L'Heureux, S.H. Baxter, T. Wang, and Q. Zhang, et al. 2019. "How Tropical Pacific Surface Cooling Contributed to Accelerated Sea Ice Melt from 2007 to 2012 as Ice is Thinned by Anthropogenic Forcing." Journal of Climate 32, no. 24:8583–8602. PNNL-SA-142510. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0783.1
  • Chen G., J. Norris, D. Neelin, J. Lu, L. Leung, and K. Sakaguchi. 2019. "Thermodynamic and Dynamic Mechanisms for Hydrological Cycle Intensification over the Full Probability Distribution of Precipitation Events." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 76, no. 2:497-516. PNNL-SA-132710. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-18-0067.1
  • Dong L., L. Leung, J. Lu, and F. Song. 2019. "Mechanisms for an amplified precipitation seasonal cycle in the U.S. West Coast under global warming." Journal of Climate 32, no. 15:4681-4698. PNNL-SA-140936. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0093.1
  • Dong L., L. Leung, J. Lu, and Y. Gao. 2019. "Contributions of extreme and non-extreme precipitation to California precipitation seasonality changes under warming." Geophysical Research Letters 46, no. 22:13470-13478. PNNL-SA-149215. doi:10.1029/2019GL084225
  • Feng X., C. Liu, F. Xie, J. Lu, L.S. Chiu, G. Tintera, and B. Chen. 2019. "Precipitation Characteristic Changes due to Global Warming in a High Resolution (16-km) ECMWF Simulation." Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 145, no. 718:303-317. PNNL-SA-140378. doi:10.1002/qj.3432
  • Harrop B.E., J. Lu, and L. Leung. 2019. "Correction to: Sub-cloud moist entropy curvature as a predictor for changes in the seasonal cycle of tropical precipitation." Climate Dynamics 53, no. 9-10:6521-6521. PNNL-SA-147399. doi:10.1007/s00382-019-04995-8
  • Harrop B.E., J. Lu, and L. Leung. 2019. "Sub-cloud moist entropy curvature as a predictor for changes in the seasonal cycle of tropical precipitation." Climate Dynamics 53, no. 5-6:3463-3479. PNNL-SA-132417. doi:10.1007/s00382-019-04715-2
  • Li C., F. Zwiers, X. Zhang, G. Chen, J. Lu, G. Li, and J. Norris, et al. 2019. "Larger increases in more extreme local precipitation events in as climate warms." Geophysical Research Letters 46, no. 12:6885-6891. PNNL-SA-141875. doi:10.1029/2019GL082908
  • Lou S., Y. Yang, H. Wang, J. Lu, S.J. Smith, F. Liu, and P.J. Rasch. 2019. "Black carbon increases frequency of extreme ENSO events." Journal of Climate 32, no. 23:8323-8333. PNNL-SA-141442. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0549.1
  • Wang P., L. Leung, J. Lu, F. Song, and J. Tang. 2019. "Extreme Wet-Bulb Temperatures in China: The Significant Role of Moisture." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 124, no. 22:11,944-11,960. PNNL-SA-148736. doi:10.1029/2019JD031477
  • Wang Y., Y. Luo, J. Lu, and F. Liu. 2019. "Changes in ENSO amplitude under climate warming and cooling." Climate Dynamics 52, no. 3-4:1871-1882. PNNL-SA-130743. doi:10.1007/s00382-018-4224-1
  • Wu Y., J. Lu, and O. Pauluis. 2019. "Weakening of Upward Mass but Intensification of Upward Energy Transport in a Warming Climate." Geophysical Research Letters 46, no. 3:1672-1680. PNNL-SA-140383. doi:10.1029/2018GL081399


  • Garuba O.A., J. Lu, H. Singh, F. Liu, and P.J. Rasch. 2018. "On the relative roles of the atmosphere and ocean in the Atlantic Multi-decadal Variability." Geophysical Research Letters 45, no. 17:9186-9196. PNNL-SA-131430. doi:10.1029/2018GL078882
  • Harrop B.E., J. Lu, F. Liu, O.A. Garuba, and L. Leung. 2018. "Sensitivity of the ITCZ Location to Ocean Forcing via q-flux Green’s Function Experiments." Geophysical Research Letters 45, no. 23:13116-13123. PNNL-SA-134658. doi:10.1029/2018GL080772
  • Kelly P.J., B.S. Kravitz, J. Lu, and L. Leung. 2018. "Remote drying in the North Atlantic as a common response to precessional changes and CO2 increase over land." Geophysical Research Letters 45, no. 8:3615-3624. PNNL-SA-131183. doi:10.1002/2017GL076669
  • Lu J., D. Xue, Y. Gao, G. Chen, L. Leung, and P.W. Staten. 2018. "Enhanced hydrological extremes in the western United States under global warming through the lens of water vapor wave activity." npj Climate and Atmospheric Science 1. PNNL-SA-126188. doi:10.1038/s41612-018-0017-9
  • Song F., L. Leung, J. Lu, and L. Dong. 2018. "Future Changes in Seasonality of the North Pacific and North Atlantic Subtropical Highs." Geophysical Research Letters 45, no. 21:11959-11968. PNNL-SA-136261. doi:10.1029/2018GL079940
  • Wang L., J. Lu, and Z. Kuang. 2018. "A Robust Increase of the Intraseasonal Periodic Behavior of the Precipitation and Eddy Kinetic Energy in a Warming Climate." Geophysical Research Letters 45, no. 15:7790-7799. PNNL-SA-131409. doi:10.1029/2018GL078495
  • Xue D., J. Lu, and L. Leung. 2018. "Response of the hydrological cycle in Asian monsoon systems to global warming through the lens of water vapor wave activity analysis." Geophysical Research Letters 45, no. 21:11904-11912. PNNL-SA-135250. doi:10.1029/2018GL078998


  • 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, no. 3:935-956. PNNL-SA-112184. doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3119-2
  • Liu F., Y. Luo, J. Lu, O.A. Garuba, and X. Wan. 2017. "Asymmetric response of the equatorial Pacific SST to climate warming and cooling." Journal of Climate 30, no. 18:7255-7270. PNNL-SA-126797. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0011.1
  • Lu J., K. Sakaguchi, Q. Yang, L. Leung, G. Chen, C. Zhao, and E. Swenson, et al. 2017. "Examining the Hydrological Variations in an Aquaplanet World using Wave Activity Transformation." Journal of Climate 30, no. 7:2559-2576. PNNL-SA-123595. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0561.1
  • Luo Y., J. Lu, F. Liu, and O.A. Garuba. 2017. "The role of ocean dynamical thermostat in delaying the El Nino-like response over the equatorial Pacific to climate warming." Journal of Climate 30, no. 8:2811-2827. PNNL-SA-121871. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0454.1
  • Palipane E., J. Lu, P. Staten, G. Chen, and E.K. Schneider. 2017. "Investigating the zonal wind response to SST warming using transient ensemble AGCM experiments." Climate Dynamics 48, no. 1:523-540. PNNL-SA-109246. doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3092-9
  • Xue D., J. Lu, L. Sun, G. Chen, and Y. Zhang. 2017. "Local increase of anticyclonic wave activity over Northern Eurasia under amplified Arctic warming." Geophysical Research Letters 44, no. 7:3299-3308. PNNL-SA-125601. doi:10.1002/2017GL072649
  • Yang Q., L. Leung, J. Lu, Y. Lin, S.M. Hagos, K. Sakaguchi, and Y. Gao. 2017. "Exploring the effects of a nonhydrostatic dynamical core in high-resolution aquaplanet simulations." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 122, no. 6:3245-3265. PNNL-SA-124394. doi:10.1002/2016JD025287


  • Balaguru K., L. Leung, J. Lu, and G.R. Foltz. 2016. "A meridional dipole in pre-monsoon Bay of Bengal tropical cyclone activity induced by ENSO." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 121, no. 12:6954-6968. PNNL-SA-113075. doi:10.1002/2016JD024936
  • Choi J., J. Lu, S. Son, D.M. Frierson, and J. 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, no. 2:795-806. PNNL-SA-115560. doi:10.1002/2015JD023858
  • Gao Y., J. Lu, and L.R. Leung. 2016. "Uncertainties in projecting future changes in atmospheric rivers and their impacts on heavy precipitation over Europe." Journal of Climate 29, no. 18:6711-6726. PNNL-SA-115660. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0088.1
  • Haarsma R.J., M.J. Roberts, P.L. Vidale, C.A. Senior, A. Bellucci, Q. Bao, and P. Chang, et al. 2016. "High Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP v1.0) for CMIP6." Geoscientific Model Development 9, no. 11:4185-4208. PNNL-SA-123045. doi:10.5194/gmd-9-4185-2016
  • Hagos S.M., L.R. Leung, J. 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, no. 3:1357-1363. PNNL-SA-115451. doi:10.1002/2015GL067392
  • Liu W., S. Xie, and J. Lu. 2016. "Tracking ocean heat uptake during the surface warming hiatus." Nature Communications 7. PNNL-SA-111949. 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, no. 4:476-488. PNNL-SA-108666. doi:10.1007/s00376-015-5027-5
  • Sakaguchi K., J. Lu, L. Leung, C. Zhao, Y. Li, and S.M. 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, no. 4:1786-1805. PNNL-SA-120998. doi:10.1002/2016MS000743
  • Voigt A., M. Biasutti, J. Scheff, J. Bader, S. Bordoni, F. Codron, and R.D. Dixon, et al. 2016. "The Tropical Rain belts with an Annual cycle and a Continent Model Intercomparison Project: TRACMIP." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 8, no. 4:1868-1891. PNNL-SA-123120. doi:10.1002/2016MS000748
  • Zhao C., L.R. Leung, S. Park, S.M. Hagos, J. Lu, K. Sakaguchi, and J. Yoon, et al. 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, no. 4:1751-1768. PNNL-SA-118452. doi:10.1002/2016MS000727


  • Chen G., J. Lu, A.D. Burrows, and L.R. Leung. 2015. "Local finite-amplitude wave activity as an objective diagnostic of midlatitude extreme weather." Geophysical Research Letters 42, no. 24:10,952-10,960. PNNL-SA-116218. doi:10.1002/2015GL066959
  • Gao Y., J. Lu, L.R. Leung, Q. Yang, S.M. Hagos, and Y. Qian. 2015. "Dynamical and thermodynamical modulations of future changes in landfalling atmospheric rivers over North America." Geophysical Research Letters 42, no. 17:7179-7186. PNNL-SA-110116. doi:10.1002/2015GL065435
  • Gao Y., L.R. Leung, J. Lu, and G. Masato. 2015. "Persistent Cold Air Outbreaks over North America in a Warming Climate." Environmental Research Letters 10, no. 4:Article No. 044001. PNNL-SA-103947. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/4/044001
  • Hagos S.M., L.R. 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, no. 7:2764-2776. PNNL-SA-104683. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00567.1
  • Liu W., J. Lu, L.R. Leung, S. 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, no. 11:3157-3168. PNNL-SA-101878. doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2530-4
  • Lu J., and G.A. Vecchi. 2015. "TROPICAL METEOROLOGY & Climate: Hadley Circulation." In Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences. 2nd ed., edited by J Pyle and F Zhang. 113-120. Waltham, Massachusetts:Elsevier Ltd. PNNL-SA-106795.
  • Lu J., G. Chen, L.R. Leung, D.A. Burrows, Q. Yang, K. Sakaguchi, and S.M. Hagos. 2015. "Toward the Dynamical Convergence on the Jet Stream in Aquaplanet AGCMs." Journal of Climate 28, no. 17:6763–6782. PNNL-SA-111542. 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, no. 7:1945-1964. PNNL-SA-104684. doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2448-2
  • Sakaguchi K., L.R. Leung, C. Zhao, Q. Yang, J. Lu, S.M. Hagos, and S. Rauscher, et al. 2015. "Exploring a Multi-resolution Approach Using AMIP Simulations." Journal of Climate 28, no. 14:5549–5574. PNNL-SA-106250. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00729.1


  • Choi J., S. Son, J. Lu, and S. Min. 2014. "Further Observational Evidence of Hadley Cell Widening in the Southern Hemisphere." Geophysical Research Letters 41, no. 7:2590–2597. PNNL-SA-100967. doi:10.1002/2014GL059426
  • Gao Y., L.R. 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. PNNL-SA-100352. doi:10.1002/2014GL059562
  • Lu J. 2014. "Climate Science: Tropical Expansion by Ocean Swing." Nature Geoscience 7, no. 4:250-251. PNNL-SA-101316. doi:10.1038/ngeo2124
  • 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, no. 6:2297–2316. PNNL-SA-99712. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00372.1
  • Lu J., L.R. Leung, Q. Yang, G. Chen, W.D. Collins, F. Li, and Z. Hou, et al. 2014. "The Robust Dynamical Contribution to Precipitation Extremes in Idealized Warming Simulations across Model Resolutions." Geophysical Research Letters 41, no. 8:2971–2978. PNNL-SA-100968. doi:10.1002/2014GL059532
  • Staten P., T. Reichler, and J. Lu. 2014. "The Transient Circulation Response to Radiative Forcings and Sea Surface Warming." Journal of Climate 27, no. 24:9323–9336. PNNL-SA-100042. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00035.1

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