Muyin Wang

Climate Change Meteorologist

Muyin Wang in gardenDr. Muyin Wang is a meteorologist in title, but she does not forecast the weather. Instead, she studies climate change and its impact on the ecosystems, particularly over the Arctic and North Pacific.

Muyin earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Peking University, the most prestigious college in China. She got her Ph. D. degree from the University of Utah, under the tutelage of Jan Paegle. Muyin’s Ph.D. thesis was on the effects of low level jets on moisture transport in the Mississippi River Basin and in the Amazon Basin using a Limited Area Model, as part of the US GEWEX (Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment) program. Muyin was a postdoc fellow at Dalhousie University where she joined a Canadian team working on moisture budget study in the MAGS (Mackenzie GEWEX Study) program. She joined JISAO in 2000 as a research meteorologist. With each of her moves, Muyin’s latitude of residence becomes higher, as does her region of research interest.

Muyin works closely with Dr. Jim Overland of NOAA/PMEL and Dr. Nick Bond of JISAO on climate variability in the North Pacific and the Arctic, with a focus on impacts on the marine ecosystems of the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. Her early studies involved analyzing station and satellite data to identify decadal change signals in the Arctic. The Arctic is not just a fascinating and unique region but also plays an important role in the global climate system due to the positive feedbacks involving Arctic sea ice, and the “polar amplification” under the global warming scenarios. Yet there are so many unknowns about the Arctic.

In recent years Muyin has been deeply involved with the Climate Model Evaluation Project (CMEP), and has authored and co-authored four papers in this area. The simulation results from these coupled climate models are the key foundation of the recently published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment land surphace ait temperature anomalies over the arcticReport (IPCC AR4). The main findings of these papers include (1) the increase in Arctic land surface temperature in recent decades is more likely due to anthropogenic effects, i.e. enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations, instead of natural decadal variability; (2) the warming trend in the North Pacific sea surface temperature will surpass the decadal variability for most of the basin in about 50 years. (3) the decline of sea ice in the Arctic and the sub-arctic seas will be rapid, with projected reductions of about 40% by the better global climate models in the next 50 years. Muyin was lead author of the paper “Intrinsic Versus Forced Variation in Coupled Climate Model Simulations over the Arctic during the 20th Century” which was published in Journal of Climate and was nominated by OERD division leader, Stephen Hammond, for the outstanding research paper in NOAA/OAR in 2008.

Muyin is the proud mother of Andrew Fu and Megan Fu. Both Andrew and Megan are attending the Accelerated Progress Program (APP) in the Seattle School District. Muyin enjoys travel, especially with her family, hiking, reading and cooking. Her favorite spare times are when she’s home listening to her son play piano, or playing games with her daughter. Her husband, Qiang Fu, whose passion is science, is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington. They share a lot of common interests, including climate change.