Broadly trained as a physical geographer and a meteorologist, I have a strong interest in interdisciplinary research related to land-human-climate interactions, and aim at improving our understanding of the processes, coupling, interactions, feedbacks and teleconnections in the land-atmosphere interface from the perspectives of remote sensing, weather and climate. For example, I would like to investigate how changes in land surface modify local, regional and global climate and hydrology at diurnal, seasonal, and longer time scales, and how climate changes affect ecosystems, land surface processes, and our human systems.
I find it very exciting in using various remote sensed products in weather, climate, and environmental sciences to identify weather and climate model deficiencies in land and atmospheric processes and to improve model’s forecast and simulation capabilities. I am also fascinated with climate change associated with changes in land surface. I examine extensively changes in spatiotemporal patterns and magnitude in key hydro-climate variables from observations and model outputs. I combine some unique methods and techniques such as quantitative analyses (e.g., time series analysis, statistical and geospatial methods) of observational and remote sensing/GIS data with physical modeling of land-climate processes (e.g., via regional and global models). I am extending my research into the human dimension of land-climate interactions, focusing on quantifying and projecting social-economic consequences of climatic change and impacts of human activities on our ecosystems, weather and climate systems.
My studies have produced some important and interesting results, among which are the findings of warming-enhanced greening and biomass increases and lengthening in growing season in northern mid- to high-latitudes, drought-induced vegetation browning in the Congo rainforests, turbine- induced local nighttime warming over larges wind farms in U.S., urbanization-induced significant regional climate effects in China, desert amplification in a warming climate, the asymmetric diurnal warming of drought on maximum/minimum temperatures, an inverse linear relationship between albedo and emissivity over barren soils in North Africa, and the fingerprint of anthropogenic signals in observed and multi-model simulated extreme temperatures.
The overarching objective of my research is to advance our understanding of land-human-climate interactions through a synthetic analysis of surface observations and remotely sensed and GIS data with Earth system modeling. To be specific, I will use satellite and GIS data, in situ observations and economic/societal information, and Earth system models to understand physical processes/mechanisms and interactions of land-human-climate systems, and to improve our model capability to predict climate change and assess its impacts and consequence on our environment, currently, and in the future. Land surface processes related to vegetation dynamics, deforestation, afforestation, irrigation, fires, urbanization, desertification, and renewable energy are my emphases.
Land-atmosphere/climate interaction, land-surface remote sensing, land-surface modeling, and climate modeling.
Personal Page: http://www.atmos.albany.edu/facstaff/zhou/lzhou.html