Yongxin Zhang

Postdoc Research Associate, Climate Impacts Group

YongxinBorn and raised on the Tibetan Plateau, Yongxin was always fascinated with weather phenomena such as clouds, rain, snow, thunder, lighting and rainbows. His curiosity in weather led him to the Nanjing Institute of Meteorology (NIM) where he learned the basic science behind those intriguing weather phenomena. Yongxin got his MSc in meteorology in 1992 from NIM and then worked eight years as a research meteorologist, air pollution specialist and weather forecaster on the Tibetan Plateau. He returned to school in 1999 and obtained his PhD. in meteorology from the University of Hawaii. His research there focused on understanding orographic and thermal effects under trade wind and high-impact weather conditions over the Hawaiian Islands.

Yongxin worked as a post-doc at the Los Alamos National Laboratory between 2005 and 2007. One of his research projects was investigating the regional and global effects of aerosols emissions. In this work, two largely contrasting scenarios reflecting current and future emissions trends were examined; first, with Asian aerosols emissions increased by a factor of 3 then with global aerosol emissions decreased by a factor of 10. Another project was to validate the Weather Research and Forecasting/Chemistry (WRF/Chem) simulations over Mexico City. This was done using aircraft and satellite measurements as well as studying the atmospheric processes leading to the transport and transformation of megacity pollutants on local and regional scales. Yongxin also examined the impacts of rising Asian emissions on air quality over North America using the WRF/Chem model.

Yongxin and his son in TibetWith the UW Climate Impacts Group Yongxin focuses on dynamic downscaling of global climate model simulations over the continental United States at 36-km resolution and over the Pacific Northwest at 12-km resolution. He has been using the Weather Research and Forecasting model to downscale CCSM3 and ECHAM5 simulations for current and future decades. The simulations are being analyzed for climate variability, long-term climate trends, and extreme weather events such as floods, drought and heat wave on regional and local scales. The downscaled data are also used to provide meteorological information for hydrological and air quality models.

Outside of work Yongxin likes to spend time with his son Dorjee and wife Lhamtso watching movies and sports, exploring parks, lakes and forests in the area and cooking (he is the soup man in the family). He also likes to play basketball and ping-pong games in his free time.