Profile for William K.-M. Lau

Contact: E-mail
Code 610
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Office Phone: 301-614-6317
Fax: 301-614-6297

William K. M. Lau received his B. Sc. (Mathematics and Physics) in 1972, and B. Sc. Special (Applied Mathematics), in 1973 from University of Hong Kong, both with 1st Class Honors. He received his MS in Physics, and PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA. He is currently, Deputy Director for Atmospheres, Earth Science Division, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, which is a world class research center of over 250 PhD scientists, including government and university scientists. He is an Adjunct Professor of Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences U. of Maryland, and Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and is a senior science advisor of the Hong Kong Observatory. He frequently visits international research and academic institutions in countries and regions including China, India, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, North and South America, and Europe to present invited lectures, and keynote speeches to promote interests and awareness in regional impacts of climate change. His research work spans more than three decades covering a wide range of topics in climate dynamics, tropical and monsoon meteorology, ocean-atmosphere interaction, aerosol-water cycle interaction, climate variability and climate change.
Dr. Lau received many awards for his research and scientific leadership, including among others, the American Meteorological Society Meisinger Award for young scientist (1988), the NASA John Lindsay Award (1987), the Goddard Exceptional Achievement Medal (1991), the William Nordberg Award in Earth Science (1999). He is a Goddard Senior Fellow, a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He has served on numerous international science steering group and expert panels, including among others, the WMO Monsoon Climate Expert Panel, the GEWEX Science Steering Group, the ACPC (Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation-Climate) Science Working Group, and Committee on Himalayan Glacier and Impacts on Downstream Population, National Research Council, US National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Lau published 250 refereed papers, articles in encyclopedia, and book chapters. He was on the ISI Web of Science’s list of highly cited researchers among all fields since 2002, with total citation =17149, h-index =74 (Google Scholar, 2014). He is the principal author of a popular research reference book “ Intraseasonal Variability of the Tropical Ocean-Atmosphere Climate System ”, Praxis Springler Publisher, 1st edition 2006, 2nd edition 2012. In 2010, Dr. Lau was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Faculty of Science, HKU, for his outstanding contribution and leadership in Asian monsoon and climate change research. In 2011, he received the Honorary Professorship award from the School of Energy and Environment, City U. of Hong Kong. He was elected President-Elect (2013-2014), and President (2015-2016) of the Atmospheric Sciences Division, American Geophysical Union.


Updates to our publications records have been put on hold until a new storage and delivery system has been put in place. As a result, this information is currently out of date and does not include the most recent publications. For a more complete listing of publications, please visit the Sciences and Exporation Directorate.

Lee, D., Y.C. Sud, L. Oreopoulos, K.M. Kim, W. K. Lau, and I.-S. Kang (2014). Modeling the influences of aerosols on pre-monsoon circulation and rainfall over Southeast Asia Atmos. Chem. Phys, 14, 6853-6866

Reale, O., W. Lau, A. da Silva, and T. Matsui (2014). Impact of assimilated and interactive aerosol on Tropical Cyclogenesis Geophys. Res. Lett., 41.

Yasunari, T.J., W. Lau, S.P.P. Mahanama, P. R. Colarco, A. M. Da Silva, T. Aoki, K. Aoki, N. Murao, S. Yamagata, and Y. Kodama (2014). The GOddard SnoW Impurity Module (GOSWIM) for the NASA GEOS-5 Earth System Model: Preliminary comparisons with observations in Sapporo, Japan SOLA, 10, 50-56

Gautam, R., N. Hsu, T.F. Eck, B.N. Holben, S. Janjai, T. Jantarach, S. Tsay, and W. Lau (2013). Characterization of aerosols over the Indochina peninsula from satellite-surface observations during biomass burning pre-monsoon season Atmos. Environ., 78, 51-59

Gautam, R., N.C. Hsu, W.K.Lau, and T. Yasunari (2013). Satellite observations of desert dust-induced Himalayan snow darkening J. Geophy., Res, 40, (Issue 5), 988-993

Lau, W., H.T. Wu, and K. Kim (2013). A Canonical Response of Precipitation Characteristics to Global Warming from CMIP5 Models 2013, 40(12), 3163-3169

Tsay, S., N.C. Hsu, W.K.-M. Lau, C. Li, P.M. Gabriel, Q. Ji, B.N. Holben, E.J. Welton, A.X Nguyen, S. Janjai, N-H. Lin, J.S. Reid, J. Boonjawat, S.G. Howell, B.J. Huebert, J.S. Fu, R.A. Hansell, A.M. Sayer, R. Gautam, S-H. Wang, C.S. Goodloe, L.R. Miko, P.K. Shu, A.M. Loftus, J. Huang, J.Y. Kim, M.-J. Jeong, and P. Pantina (2013). From BASE-ASIA toward 7-SEAS: A satellite-surface perspective of boreal spring biomass-burning aerosols and clouds in Southeast Asia Atmos. Env, 78, 20-34

Yasunari, T.J., Q. Tin, W. Lau, P. Bonasoni, A. Marinoni, P. Laj, M. Menegoz, T. Takemura, and M. Chin (2013). Estimated range of black carbon dry deposition and the related snow albedo reduction over Himalayan glaciers during dry pre-monsoon periods Atmos. Environ., 78, 259-267

Zhou, Y., W. Lau, and C. Liu (2013). Rain characteristics and large-scale environments of precipitation objects with extreme rain volumes from TRMM observations J. Geophy., Res.,-Atmos, 118, online.

Lau, W., and Y. Zhou (2012). Observed recent trends in tropical cyclone rainfall over the North Atlantic and the North Pacific. J. Geophys. Res., 117(D03104).

Vadrevu, K., E. Ellicott, L. Giglio, K.V.S. Badarinath, E. Vermote, C. Justice, and W.K.M. Lau (2012). Vegetation fires in the himalayan region e Aerosol load, black carbon emissions and smoke plume heights Atmosph. Environ., 47, 241-251

Wang, Sheng-Hsiang, N. Hsu, S. Tsay, N.H. Lin, A. Sayer, S.-J. Huang, and W. Lau (2012). Can Asian dust trigger phytoplankton blooms in the oligotrophic northern South China Sea? Geophys. Res. Lett, 39, L05811.

Yasunari, T.J., R.D. Koster, K.M. Lau, T. Aoki, Y.C. Sud, T. Yamazaki, H. Motoyoshi, and Y. Kodama (2012). Correction to "Influence of dust and black carbon on the snow albedo in NASA Goddard Earth Observing System version 5 land surface model J. Geophy., Res, 117(D18).
DOI: 10.1029/2012JD018691

Gautam, R., N. Hsu, S. Tsay, W. Lau, B. Holben, S. Bell, A. Smirnov, C. Li, R. Hansell, Q. Ji, S. Payra, D. Aryal, R. Kayastha, and K. Kim (2011). Accumulation of Aerosols over the Indo-Gangetic Plains and Southern Slopes of the Himalayas: Distribution, Properties and Radiative Effects during the 2009 Pre-monsoon Season Atmos. Chem. Phys, 11, 12841-12863

Ji, Q., S. Tsay, W. Lau, R. Hansell, J.J. Butler, and J.W. Cooper (2011). A novel non-intrusive method to resolve the thermal-dome-effect of pyranometers: Radiometric calibration and implications J. Geophy., Res., Atmos, 116, D24105.

Lau, W., and H. Wu (2011). Climatology and changes in tropical oceanic rainfall characteristics inferred from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data (1998-2009) J. Geophys. Res., 116(D17111), 10pp

Gautam R., N.C. Hsu, and K.-M. Lau (2010). Premonsoon aerosol characterization and radiative effects over the Indo-Gangetic Plains: Implications for regional climate warming J. Geophys. Res., 115(D17208).

Kim, K.M., K. M. Lau, Y.C Sud, and G. Walker (2010). Influence of aerosol radiative forcings on the diurnal and seasonal cycles of rainfall over West Africa and Eastern Atlantic Ocean using GCM simulations Clim. Dynam, 35, 115-126

Lau, W., M. -K. Kim, K.-M. Kim, and W. -S. Lee (2010). Enhanced surface warming and accelerated snow melt in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau induced by absorbing aerosols Environ. Res. Lett, 5(2), 025204

Lau, W., and K. Kim (2010). Fingerprinting the impacts of aerosols on long-term trends of the Indian summer monsoon regional rainfall Geophys. Res. Lett, 37, L16705.

Lau, K-M., and H. Wu (2010). Characteristics of Precipitation, Cloud, and Latent Heating Associated with the Madden-Julian Oscillation J. Climate, 23(3), 504-518

Reale O., W. Lau, and A. Da Silva (2010). Impact of Interactive Aerosol on the African Easterly Jet in the NASA GEOS-5 Global Forecasting System Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 504-519

Shen, B., W. Tao, W. Lau, and Atlas R. (2010). Predicting tropical cyclogenesis with a global mesoscale model: Hierarchical multiscale interactions during the formation of tropical cyclone Nargis (2008) J. Geophys. Res., 115(D14102), 15 pages

Shen, B., W. Tao, W. Lau, and R. Atlas (2010). Predicting tropical cyclogenesis with a gobal mesoscale model: Hirarchical multiscale interactions during the formation of tropical cyclone Nargis (2008) J. Geophys. Res., 115, D14102

Wilcox E, W. Lau, and K. M. Kim (2010). A northward shift of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone in response to summertime Saharan dust outbreak Geophys. Res. Lett., L04804

Wilcox E.M., W.K.M. Lau, and Kim (2010). A Northward Shift of the North Atlantic Ocean Inter-tropical Convergence Zone in Response to Summertime Saharan Dust Outbreaks Geophys. Res. Lett., 37(L04804).

Yasunari T.J. , R. D. Koster , W. Lau, T. Aoki, Y. C. Sud, T. Yamazaki, H. Motoyoshi, and Y. Kodama (2010). Response to the reviewers on “Influence of dust and black carbon on the snow albedo in the NASA GEOS-5 land surface model”. J. Geophys. Res..

Zhou Y., K.-M. Lau, O. Real, and R. Rosenberg (2010). AIRS impact on precipitation analysis and forecast of tropical cyclones in a global data assimilation and forecasting system Geophys. Res. Lett, 37, L02806.

Gautam R, N. C. Hsu, K.-M. Lau, S.-C. Tsay, and M. Kafatos (2009). Enhanced pre-monsoon warming over the Himalayan-Gangetic region from 1979 to 2007 Geophys. Res. Lett., 36(L07704).

Gautam R., N.C. Hsu, K. M. Lau, S.C. Tsay, and M. Kafatos (2009). Enhanced Pre-Monsoon Warming over the Himalayan-Gangetic Region from 1979 to 2007 Geophys. Res. Lett., 36(L07704).

Krishnamurti T. N., A. Chakraborty, A. Martin, W.K. Lau, K.-M. Kim, Y. Sud, and G. Walker (2009). Impact of Arabian Sea Pollution on the Bay of Bengal Winter Monsoon Rains J. Geophys. Res., Atmos., 114(D06213).

Lau, W., K.M. Kim, C. Hsu, and B. Holben (2009). Possible influences of air pollution, dust and sandstorms on the Indian monsoon WMO Bulletin, 58(1), 22-30

Lau, W., and Wu, H.-T. (2009). Characteristics of rainfall, clouds and latent heating associated with the Madden and Julian Oscillation J. Climate, 504-518

Lau, W., Kim K. M. , Sud Y. C. , and Walker G. K. (2009). A GCM study of the response of the atmospheric water cycle of West Africa and the Atlantic to Saharan dust radiative forcing Ann. Geophys., 27(10), 4023-4037

Lau, K.-M., K.M. Kim, Y.C. Sud, and G.K. Walker (2009). A GCM study of the response of the atmospheric water cycle of West Africa and the Atlantic to Saharan dust radiative forcing Ann. Geophys., 27, 4023-4037

Lau, K.-M., K.-M. Kim, C. N. Hsu, and B. N. Holben (2009). Possible influences of air pollution, dust- and sandstorms on the Indian monsoon WMO Bulletin. 58(1), 22-30.

Pielke, R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood (2009, 10 November). Climate Change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases EOS Newsletter, 2-3

Reale O., W. Lau, J. Susskind, E. Brin, E. Liu, P. Riishojgaard, M. Fuentes, and R. Rosenberg (2009). AIRS Impact on the Analysis and Forecast Track of Tropical Cyclone Nargis in a Global Data Assimilation and Forecasting System Geophys. Res. Lett, 36(L068812).

Sun D, K. M. Lau, M. Kafatos, Z. Boybei, G. Leptoukh, and C. Yang (2009). A numerical simulation of the impacts of African dust aerosols and associated Saharan air layer on Atlantic tropical cyclone development J. Climate, 6230-6250

Tao W.-K., J. Chern, R. Atlas, D. Randall, X. Lin, M. Khairoutdinov, J. Li, D. Waliser, A. Hou, C. Peters-Lidard, W. Lau, and J. Simpson (2009). A Multi-scale modeling system: Development, applications and critical issues Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 90(4), 515-534

Lau, W., Y. Zhou, and H. Wu (2008). Have tropical cyclones been feeding more extreme rainfall? J. Geophys. Res., 113(D23113).

Lau, W., V. Ramanathan, G. -X. Wu, Z. Li, S.C. Tsay, N.C. Hsu, R. Sikka, B. Holben, D. Lu, G. Tartari, M. Chin, P. Koudelova, H. Chen, Y. Ma, J. Huang, K. Taniguchi, and R. Zhang (2008). The Joint Aerosol-Monsoon Experiment: A New Challenge for Monsoon Climate Research Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 89(3).

Sud Y.C., G.K. Walker, Y.P. Zhou, G. A. Schmidt, W.K.-M. Lau, and R.F. Cahalan (2008). Effects of doubled CO2 on tropical Sea-Surface Temperatures (SSTs) for onset of deep convection and maximum SST: Simulations based inferences Geophy. Res. Lett., 35( L12707).

Sud Y.C., G.K. Walker, Y.P. Zhou, and W.K.-M. Lau (2008). Influence of local and remote sea-surface temperatures on precipitation as inferred from changes in boundary layer moisture convergence and moist thermodynamics over global oceans Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 134(630), 147-163

Sui C.-H., X. Li, K.-M. Lau, W.-K. Tao, M.-D. Chou, and M.-J. Yang (2008). Convective-radiative-mixing processes in the Tropical Ocean-Atmosphere. Recent Progress in Atmospheric Sciences with Applications to the Asia-Pacific Region, World Scientific Publication, 496

Tao W.-K., C. Peters-Lidard, W. Lau, S. Lang, A. Hou, P. Houser, J. Chern, R. Atlas, D. Anderson, R. Kakar, S. Kumar, W. Lapenta, X. Li, T. Matsui, M. Rienecker, B.-W. Shen, J.J. Shi, J. Simpson, and X. Zeng (2008). A Goddard multi-scale modeling system with unified physics GEWEX News, 18(1), 6-8

Kim M. -K., W.K.M. Lau, K.-M. Kim, and W. -S. Lee (2007). A GCM study of effects of radiative forcing of sulfate aerosol on large scale circulation and rainfall in East Asia during boreal spring Geophys. Res. Lett., L24701, 34.

Lau, W., and H. Wu (2007). Detecting trends in tropical rainfall characteristics, 1979-2003 Int. J. Climatol., 27, 979-988

Lau, K.-M., K.-M. Kim, and M. -I. Lee (2007). Characteristics of Diurnal and Seasonal Cycles in Global Monsoon Systems J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 85A, 403-416.

Lau, K.-M., and K.M. Kim (2007). Cooling of the Atlantic by Saharan dust Geophys. Res. Lett., L23811, 34.

Lau, K.-M., and K.M. Kim (2007). How Nature Foiled the 2006 Hurricane Forecasts EOS Trans. AGU(9), 88, 105-107

Lau, K.-M., and K.-M. Kim (2007). Reply to Comment on "How Nature Foiled the 2006 Hurricane Forecasts" EOS Trans. AGU(26), 88, 271

Lau, K.-M., and K.-M. Kim (2007). Does aerosol weaken or strengthen the Asian monsoon?. (13-22). Mountains Witnesses of Global Changes-Research in the Himalaya and Karakoram: Share-Asia Project. Eds., R. Baudo, G. Tartari, and E. Vuillermoz. Elsevier.

Ramirez N., K. M. Lau, A. Winter, J. M. Castro, and N. R. Escalante (2007). Empirical probability models to predict precipitation levels over Puerto Rico stations Mon. Wea. Rev., 135, 877-890

Lau, K.-M., M. -K. Kim, and K.-M. Kim (2006). Asian summer monsoon anomalies induced by aerosol direct forcing - the role of the Tibetan Plateau Climate Dynamics (7-8), 36, 855-864

Lau, K.-M., S. S. P. Shen, K.-M. Kim, and H. Wang (2006). A multimodel study of the twentieth century simulations of Sahel drought from the 1970s to 1990s J. Geophys. Res., D07111, 111.

Lau, K.-M., and K.-M. Kim (2006). Observational relationship between aerosol and Asian monsoon circulation rainfall Geophys. Res. Lett., L21810, 33.

Lau, W., H. Wu, Y. Sud, and G. Walker (2005). Effects of cloud microphysics on tropical atmospheric hydrologic processes and intraseasonal variability in the GEOS GCM J. Climate, 18, 4731-4751

Lau, K.-M., K.-M. Kim, and N.C. Hsu (2005). Observational evidence of effects of absorbing aerosols on seasonal-to-interannual anomalies of the Asian monsoon CLIVAR Exchanges(3),., 10, 7-9

Lau, K.-M. (2005). Aerosol-hydrologic cycle interaction: a new challenge in monsoon climate research WCRP GEWEX Newsletter(1), 20, 15, 7-9

Lau, K.-M., and K.-M. Kim (2005). Characterizing monsoon systems using CEOP data CEOP Newsletter, 8, 5-7

Li Q., S. Yang, V. E. Kousky, R. W. Higgins, K. M. Lau, and P. Xie (2005). Features of cross-Pacific climate shown in the variability of Int. J. Climatology, 25, 1675-1696

Lau, K.-M., J.-Y. Lee, K.-M. Kim, and I. -S. Kang (2004). The North Pacific as a regulator of summertime climate over Eurasia and North America J. Climate (4), 17, 819-833

Lau, K.-M., K.-M. Kim, and J.-.Y. Lee (2004). Interannual variability, global teleconnection and potential predictability associated with the Asian summer monsoon East Asian Monsoon, Ed. C. P. Chang, World Scientific Publisher, 153-176

Li, X., C.-H. Sui, K.-M. Lau, and W.-K. Tao (2004). Tropical convective responses to microphysical and radiative processes: A sensitivity study with a 2D Cloud resolving model Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics.

Yang F., A. Kumar, and W.K.-M. Lau (2004). Potential predictability of US summer climate with "perfect" soil moisture J. Hydrometeorol., 5, 883-895

Lau, W., and H. Wu (2003). Warm rain processes over tropical oceans and climate implications Geophys. Res. Lett.(24), 30, 2290

Lau, W., and H. Wu (2002). Evolution of the Large Scale Circulation, Cloud Structure and Regional Water Cycle Associated with the South China Sea Monsoon during May-June, 1998 J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 80(5), 1129-1147

Lau, W., and H. Wu (2001). Principal Modes of Rainfall-SST Variability of the Asian Summer Monsoon: A Reassessment of the Monsoon-ENSO Relationship J. Climate, 14, 2880-2895

Lau, K.-M., Y. Ding, J.T. Wang, R. Johnson, T. Keenan, R. Cifelli, J. Gerlach, O. Thiele, T. Rickenbach, S.C. Tsay, and P. H. Lin (2000). A report of the field operations and early results of the South China Sea Monsoon Experiment (SCSMEX) Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 81, 1261-1270

Lau, W., and H. Wu (1999). Assessment of the Impacts of the 1997-98 El Nino on the Asian-Australian Monsoon Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79, 1871-1882

Li X., C. H. Sui, K. M. Lau, and M. D. Chou (1999). Large-scale forcing and cloud-radiation interaction in the Tropical Deep Convective Regime J. Atmos. Sci., 56, 3028-3042

Ho C. H., M. D. Chou, M. Suarez, and K. M. Lau (1998). Effect of ice cloud on GCM climate simulations Geophys. Res. Lett., 25, 71-74

Ho C. H., M. D. Chou, M. Suarez, K. M. Lau, and M.H. Yan (1998). Comparison of model-calculated and ERBE-retrieved clear-sky Outgoing Longwave Radiation J. Geophys. Res., 103, 11529-11536

Lau, W., H. Wu, and S. Yang (1998). Hydrologic processes Associated with the First Transition of the Asian Summer Monsoon: A Pilot Satellite Study Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79, 1871-1882

Lau, W., H. Wu, and S. Bony (1997). The Role of Large-scale Atmospheric Circulation in the Relationship between Tropical Convection and Sea Surface Temperature J. Climate, (3), 10, 381-392

Lau, K.-M., C. H. Ho, and M. D. Chou (1996). Water vapor and cloud feedback over the tropical oceans: Can we use ENSO as a surrogate for climate change? Geophys. Res. Lett., 23, 2971-2974

Lau, K.-M., J.-H. Kim, and Y.C. Sud (1996). Intercomparison of hydrologic processes in AMIP GCMs Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.(10), 77, 2209-2227

Lau, W., and H. Wu (1994). Large Scale Dynamics associated with Super Cloud Cluster Organization over the Tropical Western Pacific J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 72, 481-491

Lau, K.-M., V. Mehta, Y.C. Sud, and G.K. Walker (1994). Climatology and natural variability of the global hydrologic cycle in the GLA atmospheric general circulation model J. Geophys. Res. - Atmos.(D1), 99, 1329-1345

Lau, K.-M., C. -H. Sui, M. -D. Chou, and W.-K. Tao (1994). An inquiry into the Cirrus-Cloud Thermostat Effect for tropical sea surface temperature Geophys Res. Lett., 21, 1157-1160

Lau, K.-M., C. -H. Sui, M. -D. Chou, and W.-K. Tao (1994). Reply to Comment on paper: An inquiry into the Cirrus-Cloud Thermostat Effect for tropical sea surface temperature Geophys. Res. Lett., 21, 1187-1188

Hirst A., and W. Lau (1990). Intraseasonal and Interannual Variability in Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Models. J. Climate, 3, 713-725

Lau, W., and Peng L. (1990). Origin of Low-Frequency (intraseasonal) Oscillation in the Tropical Atmosphere Part III. Monsoon Dynamics. J. Atmos. Sci., 47, 1443-1462

Park C-K., Strauss D., and W. Lau (1990). An Evaluation of the Structure of Tropical Intraseasonal Oscillations in three General Circulation Models. J. Meteor. Soc., Japan, 68, 403-417

Lau, W., I-S Kang, and P.J. Sheu (1989). Principal Modes of Intraseasonal Oscillation in Angular Momentum and Tropical Convection. J. Geophys. Res., 94, 6319-6332

Lau, W., Peng C.H., and Nakazawa T. (1989). Dynamics of Super Cloud Clusters, Westerly Wind Bursts, 30-60 Day Oscillations and ENSO: An Unifying View. J. Met. Soc. Japan, 67, 205-219