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Fundamental and Computational Sciences Directorate

Staff information

Po-Lun Ma

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

Research Interests

  • Aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions
  • Global and regional earth system modeling
  • Cloud physics
  • Satellite simulator
  • Uncertainty quantification

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 2010
  • M.S.E.L., cum laude, Vermont Law School, South Royalton, VT, 2002
  • M.S., Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, 2002
  • B.S., Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, 1999

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Member, American Geophysical Union, 2006-present
  • Member, American Meteorological Society, 2006-present
  • Aerosol Liaison, CESM Chemistry-Climate Working Group, 2012-2014

Awards and Recognitions

  • Outstanding Contribution Award, ACME, 2016
  • Outstanding Performance Award, PNNL, 2014
  • Exceptional Contribution Program Award, PNNL, 2013
  • Goddard Summer Internship, JCET/UMBC, 2006
  • Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 2005
  • Certification for System Operation, Global Imaging Inc., 2003
  • Dean's Award, National Taiwan University, 2001

PNNL Publications


  • Berg L.K., Y. Liu, B. Yang, Y. Qian, J. Olson, M.S. Pekour, and P. Ma, et al. 2019. "Sensitivity of Turbine-Height Wind Speeds to Parameters in Planetary Boundary-Layer Parametrization Used in the Weather Research and Forecasting Model: Extension to Wintertime Conditions." Boundary-Layer Meteorology 170, no. 3:507-518. PNNL-SA-132420. doi:10.1007/s10546-018-0406-y


  • Burrows S.M., A. Dasgupta, S.M. Reehl, L.M. Bramer, P. Ma, P.J. Rasch, and Y. Qian. 2018. "Characterizing the relative importance assigned to physical variables by climate scientists when assessing atmospheric climate model fidelity." Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 35, no. 9:1101-1113. PNNL-SA-129346. doi:10.1007/s00376-018-7300-x
  • Chen Y., H. Wang, B. Singh, P. Ma, P.J. Rasch, and T.C. Bond. 2018. "Investigating the linear dependence of direct and indirect radiative forcing on emission of carbonaceous aerosols in a global climate model." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 123, no. 3:1657-1672. PNNL-SA-126780. doi:10.1002/2017JD027244
  • China S., S.M. Burrows, B. Wang, T. Harder, J. Weis, M. Tanarhte, and L.V. Rizzo, et al. 2018. "Fungal spores as a source of sodium salt particles in the Amazon basin." Nature Communications 9. PNNL-SA-130861. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07066-4
  • Fan T., X. Liu, P. Ma, Q. Zhang, Z. Li, Y. Jiang, and F. Zhang, et al. 2018. "Emission or atmospheric processes? An attempt to attribute the source of large bias of aerosols in eastern China simulated by global climate models." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 18, no. 2:1395-1417. PNNL-SA-130097. doi:10.5194/acp-18-1395-2018
  • Harrop B.E., P. Ma, P.J. Rasch, R. Neale, and C. Hannay. 2018. "The Role of Convective Gustiness in Reducing Seasonal Precipitation Biases in the Tropical West Pacific." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 10, no. 4:961-970. PNNL-SA-128772. doi:10.1002/2017MS001157
  • Lin G., S.J. Ghan, M. Wang, P. Ma, R.C. Easter, M. Ovchinnikov, and J. Fan, et al. 2018. "Development and evaluation of an explicit treatment of aerosol processes at cloud scale within a multi-scale modeling framework (MMF)." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 10, no. 7:1663-1679. PNNL-SA-136107. doi:10.1029/2018MS001287
  • Ma P., P.J. Rasch, H. Chepfer, D. Winker, and S.J. Ghan. 2018. "Observational Constraint on Cloud Susceptibility Weakened by Aerosol Retrieval Limitations." Nature Communications 9, no. 1:2640. PNNL-SA-118058. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05028-4
  • Qian Y., H. Wan, B. Yang, J. Golaz, B.E. Harrop, Z. Hou, and V.E. Larson, et al. 2018. "Parametric Sensitivity and Uncertainty Quantification in the Version 1 of E3SM Atmosphere Model Based on Short Perturbed Parameter Ensemble Simulations." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 123, no. 23:13046-13073. PNNL-SA-138521. doi:10.1029/2018JD028927
  • Song H., Z. Zhang, P. Ma, S.J. Ghan, and M. Wang. 2018. "An Evaluation of Marine Boundary Layer Cloud Property Simulations in Community Atmosphere Model Using Satellite Observations: Conventional Sub-grid Parameterizations vs. CLUBB." Journal of Climate 31, no. 6:2299-2320. PNNL-SA-125816. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0277.1
  • Wang Y., P. Ma, J. Peng, R. Zhang, J. Jiang, R.C. Easter, and Y. Yung. 2018. "Constraining Aging Processes of Black Carbon in the Community Atmosphere Model Using Environmental Chamber Measurements." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 10, no. 10:2514-2526. PNNL-SA-139085. doi:10.1029/2018MS001387
  • Wu M., X. Liu, L. Zhang, C. Wu, Z. Lu, P. Ma, and H. Wang, et al. 2018. "Impacts of Aerosol Dry Deposition on Black Carbon Spatial Distributions and Radiative Effects in the Community Atmosphere Model CAM5." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 10, no. 5:1150-1171. PNNL-SA-129957. doi:10.1029/2017MS001219
  • Xie S., W. Lin, P.J. Rasch, P. Ma, R. Neale, V. Larson, and Y. Qian, et al. 2018. "Understanding Cloud and Convective Characteristics in Version 1 of the E3SM Atmosphere Model." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 10, no. 10:2618-2644. PNNL-SA-135860. doi:10.1029/2018MS001350
  • Zhang K., P.J. Rasch, M. Taylor, H. Wan, L. Leung, P. Ma, and J. Golaz, et al. 2018. "Impact of numerical choices on water conservation in the E3SM Atmosphere Model Version 1 (EAM V1)." Geoscientific Model Development 11, no. 5:1971-1988. PNNL-SA-129738. doi:10.5194/gmd-11-1971-2018


  • Kassianov E.I., M.S. Pekour, C.J. Flynn, L.K. Berg, J. Beranek, A. Zelenyuk, and C. Zhao, et al. 2017. "Large Contribution of Coarse Mode to Aerosol Microphysical and Optical Properties: Evidence from Ground-based Observations of a Transpacific Dust Outbreak at a High-Elevation North American Site." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 74, no. 5:1431-1443. PNNL-SA-118075. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-16-0256.1
  • Wall C.J., D.L. Hartmann, and P. Ma. 2017. "Instantaneous linkages between clouds and large-scale meteorology over the Southern Ocean in observations and a climate model." Journal of Climate 30, no. 23:9455-9474. PNNL-SA-128556. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0156.1
  • Yang B., Y. Qian, L.K. Berg, P. Ma, S. Wharton, V. Bulaevskaya, and H. Yan, et al. 2017. "Sensitivity of Turbine-Height Wind Speeds to Parameters in Planetary Boundary-Layer and Surface-Layer Schemes in the Weather Research and Forecasting Model." Boundary-Layer Meteorology 162, no. 1:117-142. PNNL-SA-112272. doi:10.1007/s10546-016-0185-2
  • Yang Y., H. Wang, S.J. Smith, P. Ma, and P.J. Rasch. 2017. "Source attribution of black carbon and its direct radiative forcing in China." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 17, no. 6:4319-4336. PNNL-SA-122611. doi:10.5194/acp-17-4319-2017
  • Yang Y., H. Wang, S.J. Smith, R.C. Easter, P. Ma, Y. Qian, and H. Yu, et al. 2017. "Global source attribution of sulfate concentration and direct and indirect radiative forcing." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 17, no. 14:8903-8922. PNNL-SA-125012. doi:10.5194/acp-17-8903-2017
  • Yun Y., J. Fan, H. Xiao, G. Zhang, S.J. Ghan, K. Xu, and P. Ma, et al. 2017. "Assessing the Resolution Adaptability of the Zhang-McFarlane Cumulus Parameterization with Spatial and Temporal Averaging." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 9, no. 7:2753-2770. PNNL-SA-125729. doi:10.1002/2017MS001035
  • Zhang Z., X. Dong, B. Xi, H. Song, P. Ma, S.J. Ghan, and S. Platnick, et al. 2017. "Intercomparisons of marine boundary layer cloud properties from the ARM CAP-MBL campaign and two MODIS cloud products." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 122, no. 4:2351-2365. PNNL-SA-119327. doi:10.1002/2016JD025763


  • Kristiansen N.I., A. Stohl, D.J. Olivie, B. Croft, O.A. Sovde, H. Klein, and T. Christoudias, et al. 2016. "Evaluation of observed and modelled aerosol lifetimes using radioactive tracers of opportunity and an ensemble of 19 global models." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 16, no. 5:3525-3561. PNNL-SA-112717. doi:10.5194/acp-16-3525-2016
  • Liu X., P. Ma, H. Wang, S. Tilmes, B. Singh, R.C. Easter, and S.J. Ghan, et al. 2016. "Description and Evaluation of a New Four-Mode Version of the Modal Aerosol Module (MAM4) within Version 5.3 of the Community Atmosphere Model." Geoscientific Model Development 9, no. 2:505-522. PNNL-SA-110649. doi:10.5194/gmd-9-505-2016
  • Wang Y., P. Ma, J. Jiang, H. Su, and P.J. Rasch. 2016. "Toward reconciling the influence of atmospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases on light precipitation changes in Eastern China." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 121, no. 10:5878-5887. PNNL-SA-114060. doi:10.1002/2016JD024845


  • Gustafson W.I., P. Ma, and B. Singh. 2015. "Precipitation characteristics of CAM5 physics at mesoscale resolution during MC3E and the impact of convective timescale choice." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 6, no. 4:1271-1287. PNNL-SA-101950. doi:10.1002/2014ms000334
  • Ma H., C.C. Chuang, S.A. Klein, M.H. Lo, Y. Zhang, X. Shaocheng, and P. Ma, et al. 2015. "An improved hindcast approach for evaluation and diagnosis of physical processes in global climate models." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 7, no. 4:1810-1827. PNNL-SA-110968. doi:10.1002/2015MS000490
  • Ma P., P.J. Rasch, M. Wang, H. Wang, S.J. Ghan, R.C. Easter, and W.I. Gustafson, et al. 2015. "How Does Increasing Horizontal Resolution in a Global Climate Model Improve the Simulation of Aerosol-Cloud Interactions?." Geophysical Research Letters 42, no. 12:5058-5065. PNNL-SA-109623. doi:10.1002/2015GL064183
  • Martini M., W.I. Gustafson, T.A. O'Brien, and P. Ma. 2015. "Evaluation of Tropical Channel Refinement using MPAS-A Aquaplanet Simulations." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 7, no. 3:1351-1367. PNNL-SA-109622. doi:10.1002/2015MS000470
  • McCoy D., S.M. Burrows, R. Wood, D.P. Grosvenor, S. Elliott, P. Ma, and P.J. Rasch, et al. 2015. "Natural Aerosols Explain Seasonal and Spatial Patterns of Southern Ocean Cloud Albedo." Science Advances 1, no. 6:Art. No. e1500157. PNNL-SA-106456. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1500157
  • Shrivastava M.B., R.C. Easter, X. Liu, A. Zelenyuk, B. Singh, K. Zhang, and P. Ma, et al. 2015. "Global transformation and fate of SOA: Implications of Low Volatility SOA and Gas-Phase Fragmentation Reactions." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 120, no. 9:4169-4195. PNNL-SA-105095. doi:10.1002/2014JD022563
  • Tilmes S., J. Lamarque, L. Emmons, D.E. Kinnison, P. Ma, X. Liu, and S.J. Ghan, et al. 2015. "Description and Evaluation of Tropospheric Chemistry and Aerosols in the Community Earth System Model (CESM1.2)." Geoscientific Model Development 8, no. 5:1395-1426. PNNL-SA-107008. doi:10.5194/gmd-8-1395-2015
  • Zhang R., H. Wang, D.A. Hegg, Y. Qian, S.J. Doherty, C. Dang, and P. Ma, et al. 2015. "Quantifying sources of black carbon in Western North America using observationally based analysis and an emission tagging technique in the Community Atmosphere Model." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 15, no. 22:12805-12822. PNNL-SA-108978. doi:10.5194/acp-15-12805-2015
  • Zhang R., H. Wang, Y. Qian, P.J. Rasch, R.C. Easter, P. Ma, and B. Singh, et al. 2015. "Quantifying sources, transport, deposition, and radiative forcing of black carbon over the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 15, no. 11:6205-6223. PNNL-SA-106208. doi:10.5194/acp-15-6205-2015


  • Lim K., J. Fan, L.R. Leung, P. Ma, B. Singh, C. Zhao, and Y. Zhang, et al. 2014. "Investigation of Aerosol Indirect Effects using a Cumulus Microphysics Parameterization in a Regional Climate Model." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 119, no. 2:906-926. PNNL-SA-98519. doi:10.1002/2013JD020958
  • Ma P., P.J. Rasch, J.D. Fast, R.C. Easter, W.I. Gustafson, X. Liu, and S.J. Ghan, et al. 2014. "Assessing the CAM5 Physics Suite in the WRF-Chem Model: Implementation, Resolution Sensitivity, and a First Evaluation for a Regional Case Study." Geoscientific Model Development 7, no. 3:755-778. PNNL-SA-98517. doi:10.5194/gmd-7-755-2014
  • Vinoj V., P.J. Rasch, H. Wang, J. Yoon, P. Ma, K. Landu, and B. Singh. 2014. "Short-term modulation of Indian summer monsoon rainfall by West Asian dust." Nature Geoscience 7. PNNL-SA-85785. doi:10.1038/NGEO2107
  • Wang H., P.J. Rasch, R.C. Easter, B. Singh, R. Zhang, P. Ma, and Y. Qian, et al. 2014. "Using an Explicit Emission Tagging Method in Global Modeling of Source-Receptor Relationships for Black Carbon in the Arctic: Variations, Sources and Transport Pathways." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 119, no. 12:12,888-12,909. PNNL-SA-103903. doi:10.1002/2014JD022297
  • Zhang K., H. Wan, X. Liu, S.J. Ghan, G.J. Kooperman, P. Ma, and P.J. Rasch, et al. 2014. "Technical Note: On the Use of Nudging for Aerosol-Climate Model Intercomparison Studies." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 14, no. 16:8631-8645. PNNL-SA-101696. doi:10.5194/acp-14-8631-2014


  • Gustafson W.I., P. Ma, H. Xiao, B. Singh, P.J. Rasch, and J.D. Fast. 2013. "The Separate Physics and Dynamics Experiment (SPADE) framework for determining resolution awareness: A case study of microphysics." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 118, no. 16:9258-9276. PNNL-SA-92473. doi:10.1002/jgrd.50711
  • Ma P., J.R. Gattiker, X. Liu, and P.J. Rasch. 2013. "A Novel Approach for Determining Source-Receptor Relationships in Model Simulations: A Case Study of Black Carbon Transport in Northern Hemisphere Winter." Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 2:Article No. 02042. PNNL-SA-92957. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024042
  • Ma P., P.J. Rasch, H. Wang, K. Zhang, R.C. Easter, S. Tilmes, and J.D. Fast, et al. 2013. "The Role of Circulation Features on Black Carbon Transport into the Arctic in the Community Atmosphere Model Version 5 (CAM5)." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 118, no. 10:4657-4669. PNNL-SA-88828. doi:10.1002/jgrd.50411
  • Wang H., R.C. Easter, P.J. Rasch, M. Wang, X. Liu, S.J. Ghan, and Y. Qian, et al. 2013. "Sensitivity of Remote Aerosol Distributions to Representation of Cloud-Aerosol Interactions in a Global Climate Model." Geoscientific Model Development 6, no. 3:765-782. PNNL-SA-87038. doi:10.5194/gmd-6-765-2013
  • Zhao C., X. Liu, Y. Qian, J. Yoon, Z. Hou, G. Lin, and S.A. McFarlane, et al. 2013. "A Sensitivity Study of Radiative Fluxes at the Top of Atmosphere to Cloud-Microphysics and Aerosol Parameters in the Community Atmosphere Model CAM5." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13. PNNL-SA-94914. doi:10.5194/acp-13-10969-2013


  • Ma P., K. Zhang, J. Shi, T. Matsui, and A. Arking. 2012. "Direct Radiative Effect of Mineral Dust on the Development of African Easterly Waves in Late Summer, 2003-07." Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology 51, no. 12:2090-2104. PNNL-SA-82966. doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-11-0215.1
  • Yoon J., and P. Ma. 2012. "Ocean General Circulation Models." In Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, edited by RA Meyers. 7365-7381. New York, New York:Springer. PNNL-SA-80499.

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