Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



May 8, 2015

Yunyan Zhang has been selected by the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research as a recipient of a DOE Office of Science Early Career Research Program (ECRP) financial award. These awards provide $500K/year for five years to support the development of individual research programs by outstanding scientists early in their careers, and stimulate research careers in disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science. This year, there were 44 awardees; 27 awardees were at universities and 17 at National Laboratories.

Zhang's project, entitled The effect of soil moisture and surface heterogeneity on clouds and precipitation: inferences from ARM observations and large eddy simulations, will be a process-level study of the interactions between the land, the atmospheric boundary layer, and clouds that makes use of long-term data records from the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) site in the southern Great Plains and cloud-scale simulations that incorporate realistic land-surface models.

Photo of Yunyan Zhang

Yunyan Zhang

The goal of the research is to improve our understanding of how soil moisture and surface heterogeneity affect the formation of clouds and the initiation of precipitation events. The work will bridge a gap between ARM data and regional/global climate models by providing observational constrains for model validation and improvement, ultimately reducing uncertainties in climate projections.

Zhang joins the Lab's twelve previous ECRP award winners: Jennifer Pett-Ridge and Todd Gamblin in 2014, Yuan Ping in 2013; CĂ©line Bonfils, Gianpaolo Carosi, Andreas Kemp, and Jaime Marian in 2012; Yongqin Jiao, Peter Lindstrom, and Sofia Quaglioni in 2011; and Vlad Soukhanovskii and Greg Bronevetsky in 2010.