Wenhong Li

Associate Professor of Climate

Dr. Li's research interests focus primarily on climate dynamics, land-atmosphere interaction, hydroclimatology, and climate modeling. Her current research is to understand how the hydrological cycle changes in the current and future climate and their impacts on the ecosystems, subtropical high variability and change, unforced global temperature variability, and climate and health issues.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor of Climate

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2003

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Marie Tharp Fellowship. Columbia University. 2013

Courses Taught

  • ECS 365: Introduction to Weather and Climate
  • ECS 511: The Climate System
  • ENVIRON 368: Introduction to Weather and Climate
  • ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study
  • ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects
  • ENVIRON 898: Program Area Seminar
  • ENVIRON 899: Master's Project
  • EOS 365: Introduction to Weather and Climate
  • EOS 393: Research Independent Study
  • EOS 511: The Climate System
  • EOS 791: Independent Study

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Huang, X., L. Hao, G. Sun, Z. L. Yang, W. Li, and D. Chen. “Urbanization Aggravates Effects of Global Warming on Local Atmospheric Drying.” Geophysical Research Letters 49, no. 2 (January 28, 2022). https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL095709.
  • Chen, Pan, Yongping Yuan, Wenhong Li, Stephen D. LeDuc, Tyler J. Lark, Xuesong Zhang, and Christopher Clark. “Assessing the Impacts of Recent Crop Expansion on Water Quality in the Missouri River Basin Using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool.” Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 13, no. 6 (May 2021). https://doi.org/10.1029/2020ms002284.
  • Ng, C. P., Q. Zhang, and W. Li. “Changes in Hourly Extreme Precipitation Over Eastern China From 1970 to 2019 Dominated by Synoptic-Scale Precipitation.” Geophysical Research Letters 48, no. 5 (March 1, 2021). https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL090620.
  • Wei, Y., X. Zhang, W. Li, N. Hou, W. Zhang, J. Xu, C. Feng, et al. “Trends and Variability of Atmospheric Downward Longwave Radiation Over China From 1958 to 2015.” Earth and Space Science 8, no. 2 (February 1, 2021). https://doi.org/10.1029/2020EA001370.
  • Haile, Gebremedhin Gebremeskel, Qiuhong Tang, Wenhong Li, Xingcai Liu, and Xuejun Zhang. “Drought: Progress in broadening its understanding.” Wires Water 7, no. 2 (March 2020). https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1407.
  • Zhao, S., Y. Deng, and W. Li. “A nonmodal instability perspective of the declining northern midlatitude synoptic variability in boreal summer.” Journal of Climate 33, no. 3 (February 1, 2020): 1177–92. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0799.1.
  • Hao, Z., W. Li, V. P. Singh, Y. Xia, X. Zhang, and F. Hao. “Impact of dependence changes on the likelihood of hot extremes under drought conditions in the United States.” Journal of Hydrology 581 (February 1, 2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.124410.
  • Layton, J Bradley, Wenhong Li, Jiacan Yuan, Joshua P. Gilman, Daniel B. Horton, and Soko Setoguchi. “Heatwaves, medications, and heat-related hospitalization in older Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions.” Plos One 15, no. 12 (January 2020): e0243665. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0243665.
  • Wei, W., R. Zhang, S. Yang, W. Li, and M. Wen. “Quasi-Biweekly Oscillation of the South Asian High and Its Role in Connecting the Indian and East Asian Summer Rainfalls.” Geophysical Research Letters 46, no. 24 (December 28, 2019): 14742–50. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL086180.
  • Wei, W., R. Zhang, M. Wen, S. Yang, and W. Li. “Dynamic effect of the South Asian high on the interannual zonal extension of the western North Pacific subtropical high.” International Journal of Climatology 39, no. 14 (November 30, 2019): 5367–79. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.6160.
  • Yuan, Jiacan, W. Li, Robert Kopp, and Yi Deng. “Response of subtropical stationary waves and hydrological extremes to climate warming in boreal summer.” Journal of Climate 31 (November 30, 2018): 10165–80. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0401.1.
  • Zhang, yu, W. Li, ge Sun, and John King. “Coastal Wetland Resilience to Climate Variability: A Hydrologic Perspective.” Journal of Hydrology 568 (October 27, 2018): 275–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.10.048.
  • Hao, L., X. Huang, M. Qin, Y. Liu, W. Li, and G. Sun. “Ecohydrological Processes Explain Urban Dry Island Effects in a Wet Region, Southern China.” Water Resources Research, September 23, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR023002.
  • zhang, yu, W. Li, ge sun, Guofang Miao, Asko Noormets, Ryan Emanuel, and John King. “Understanding coastal wetland hydrology with a new regional scale process-based hydrologic mode.” Hydrological Processes, July 27, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13247.
  • Wei, Wei, Wenhong Li, Yi Deng, and Song Yang. “Intraseasonal variation of the summer rainfall over the Southeastern United States.” Climate Dynamics 51 (July 6, 2018): 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-018-4345-6.
  • Zou, Tian, Qinghong Zhang, W. E. N. H. O. N. G. Li, and Jihong Li. “Responses of Hail and Storm Days to Climate Change in the Tibetan Plateau.” Geophysical Research Letters, April 30, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL077069.
  • Zhu, J., G. Sun, W. Li, Y. zhang, G. Miao, A. Noormets, S. G. McNulty, J. S. King, M. Kumar, and X. Wang. “Modeling the Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the hydrology of selected forested wetlands in the Southeastern United States.” Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, October 29, 2017.
  • Brown, P. T., Y. Ming, W. Li, and S. A. Hill. “Change in the magnitude and mechanisms of global temperature variability with warming.” Nature Climate Change, September 4, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate3381.
  • Maxwell, R. S., G. L. Harley, J. T. Maxwell, S. A. Rayback, N. Pederson, E. R. Cook, D. J. Barclay, W. Li, and J. A. Rayburn. “An interbasin comparison of tree-ring reconstructed streamflow in the eastern United States.” Hydrological Processes 31, no. 13 (June 30, 2017): 2381–94. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.11188.
  • Wei, W., W. Li, Y. Deng, S. Yang, J. H. Jiang, L. Huang, and W. T. Liu. “Dynamical and thermodynamical coupling between the North Atlantic subtropical high and the marine boundary layer clouds in boreal summer.” Climate Dynamics, June 10, 2017, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-017-3750-6.
  • Tang, T., W. Li, and G. Sun. “Impact of two different types of El Niño events on runoff over the conterminous United States.” Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20 (January 15, 2016): 27–37. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-20-27-2016.
  • Li, Laifang, Wenhong Li, Qiuhong Tang, Pengfei Zhang, and Yimin Liu. “Warm season heavy rainfall events over the Huaihe River Valley and their linkage with wintertime thermal condition of the tropical oceans.” Climate Dynamics 46, no. 1–2 (January 2016): 71–82. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-015-2569-2.
  • Brown, PT, James A., James A. Lozier S, James A. Zhang R, and James A. Li, W. “The necessity of cloud feedback for a basin-scale Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.” Geophysical Research Letters, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL068303.
  • Li, F., D. Chen, Q. Tang, W. Li, and X. Zhang. “Hydrological Response of East China to the Variation of East Asian Summer Monsoon.” Advances in Meteorology 2016 (2016): 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/4038703.
  • Brown, P. T., W. Li, J. Jiang, and H. Su. “Unforced surface air temperature variability and its contrasting relationship with the anomalous TOA energy flux at local and global spatial scales.” Journal of Climate, December 8, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0384.1.
  • Yuan, J., W. Li, and Y. Deng. “Amplified subtropical stationary waves in boreal summer and their implications for regional water extremes.” Environmental Research Letters 10 (October 14, 2015). https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/10/10/104009.
  • Li, L., and W. Li. “Thermodynamic and dynamic contributions to future changes in regional precipitation variance: focus on the Southeastern United States.” Climate Dynamics 45, no. 1–2 (July 26, 2015): 67–82. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-014-2216-3.
  • Li, L., W. Li, and J. Jin. “Contribution of the North Atlantic subtropical high to regional climate model (RCM) skill in simulating southeastern United States summer precipitation.” Climate Dynamics 45, no. 1–2 (July 26, 2015): 477–91. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-014-2352-9.
  • Li, W., W. Li, L, and W. Deng, Y. “Impact of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation on Tropical Cyclone Activity in the North Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific.” Scientific Reports 5 (July 24, 2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep12358.
  • Li, Laifang, Sarah, W. Li, W. Ballard, Tristan, W. Ge Sun, and W. Jeuland, Marc. “CMIP5 model simulations of Ethiopian Kiremt-season precipitation: current climate and future changes.” Climate Dynamics 46, no. 9–10 (July 2015): 2883–95. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-015-2737-4.
  • Gao, H, A. M., A. M. Zhang, S, A. M. Fu, R, A. M. Li, W, and A. M. Dickinson, RE. “Interannual variation of the surface temperature of tropical forests from satellite observations.” Advances in Meteorology 2016 (May 17, 2015). https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/4741390.
  • ◦Brown, P.T., W. Li, E.C. Cordero, S.A. Mauget, Kathleen J. “Comparing the Model-Simulated Global Warming Signal to Observations Using Empirical Estimates of Unforced Noise.” Scientific Reports 5 (April 21, 2015).
  • Park, T. W., Y. Deng, W. Li, S. Yang, and M. Cai. “Mass footprints of the north pacific atmospheric blocking highs.” Journal of Climate 28, no. 12 (January 1, 2015): 4941–49. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00598.1.
  • Brown, PT, W. Li, S Xie, Stefano. “Regions of Significant Influence on Unforced Global Mean Surface Temperature Variability in Climate Models.” Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1002/2014JD022576.
  • Li, Laifang, Wenhong Li, and Jiming Jin. “Improvements in WRF simulation skills of southeastern United States summer rainfall: physical parameterization and horizontal resolution.” Climate Dynamics 43, no. 7–8 (October 2014): 2077–91. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-013-2031-2.
  • Brown, P. T., W. Li, L. Li, and Y. Ming. “Top-of-atmosphere radiative contribution to unforced decadal global temperature variability in climate models.” Geophysical Research Letters 41, no. 14 (July 28, 2014): 5175–83. https://doi.org/10.1002/2014GL060625.
  • Yin, L., R. Fu, Y. F. Zhang, P. A. Arias, D. Nelun Fernando, W. Li, K. Fernandes, and A. R. Bowerman. “What controls the interannual variation of the wet season onsets over the amazon?” Journal of Geophysical Research 119, no. 5 (March 16, 2014): 2314–28. https://doi.org/10.1002/2013JD021349.
  • Wuebbles, D., G. Meehl, K. Hayhoe, T. R. Karl, K. Kunkel, B. Santer, M. Wehner, et al. “CMIP5 Climate Model Analyses: Climate Extremes in the United States.” The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2014.
  • Li, W., L. Li, R. Fu, Y. Deng, and H. Wang. “Comments on 'Influences of the Bermuda High and atmospheric moistening on changes in summer rainfall in the Atlanta, Georgia region, USA'.” International Journal of Climatology 33, no. 14 (November 30, 2013): 3083–85. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.3675.
  • Li, W., L. Li, M. Ting, Y. Deng, Y. Kushnir, Y. Liu, Y. Lu, C. Wang, and P. Zhang. “Intensification of the Southern Hemisphere summertime subtropical anticyclones in a warming climate.” Geophysical Research Letters 40, no. 22 (November 28, 2013): 5959–64. https://doi.org/10.1002/2013GL058124.
  • Li, L., and W. Li. “Southeastern United States summer rainfall framework and its implication for seasonal prediction.” Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 4 (January 1, 2013). https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/8/4/044017.
  • Li, Wenhong, Laifang Li, Rong Fu, Yi Deng, and Hui Wang. “Reply to "Comments on 'Changes to the North Atlantic Subtropical High and Its Role in the Intensification of Summer Rainfall Variability in the Southeastern United States'".” Journal of Climate 26, no. 2 (January 2013): 683–88. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00674.1.
  • Fu, Rong, Lei Yin, Wenhong Li, Paola A. Arias, Robert E. Dickinson, Lei Huang, Sudip Chakraborty, et al. “Increased dry-season length over southern Amazonia in recent decades and its implication for future climate projection.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110, no. 45 (2013): 18110–15. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1302584110.
  • Li, L., W. Li, and Y. Deng. “Summer rainfall variability over the Southeastern United States in the 21st century as assessed by the CMIP5 Models.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 118 (2013): 340–54. https://doi.org/10.1002/jgrd.50136.
  • Jiang, T., Y. Deng, and W. Li. “Local kinetic energy budget of high-frequency and intermediate-frequency eddies: winter climatology and interannual variability.” Climate Dynamics, 2013, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-013-1684-1.
  • Ye, J., W. Li, L. Li, and F. Zhang. “"North drying and south wetting" summer precipitation trend over China and its potential linkage with aerosol loading.” Atmospheric Research 125–126 (2013): 12–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2013.01.007.
  • Li, L., W. Li, and Y. Kushnir. “Variation of the North Atlantic subtropical high western ridge and its implication to Southeastern US summer precipitation.” Climate Dynamics 39, no. 6 (2012): 1401–12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-011-1214-y.
  • Jiang, T., Y. Deng, and W. Li. “Local kinetic energy budget of high-frequency and intermediate-frequency eddies: winter climatology, subseasonal variability and ENSO impact. Climate Dynamics (Submitted).” Climate Dynamics, 2012.
  • Li, W., L. Li, M. Ting, and Y. Liu. “Intensification of Northern Hemisphere subtropical highs in a warming climate.” Nature Geoscience 5, no. 11 (2012): 830–34. https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo1590.
  • Li, W., L. Li, R. Fu, Y. Deng, and H. Wang. “Comments on “Influences of the Bermuda High and atmospheric moistening on changes in summer rainfall in the Atlanta, Georgia region, USA” (Accepted).” International Journal of Climatology, 2012.
  • Li, W., P. Zhang, J. Ye, L. Li, and P. A. Baker. “Impact of two different types of El Niño events on the Amazon climate and ecosystem productivity.” Journal of Plant Ecology 4, no. 1–2 (2011): 91–99. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpe/rtq039.
  • Li, L., W. Li, and A. P. Barros. “Atmospheric moisture budget and its regulation of the summer precipitation variability over the Southeastern United States (Submitted).” Climate Dynamics, 2011.
  • Li, W., L. Li, R. Fu, Y. Deng, and H. Wang. “Changes to the North Atlantic subtropical high and its role in the intensification of summer rainfall variability in the southeastern United States.” Journal of Climate 24, no. 5 (2011): 1499–1506. https://doi.org/10.1175/2010JCLI3829.1.
  • Arias, P. A., R. Fu, C. D. Hoyos, W. Li, and L. Zhou. “Changes in cloudiness over the Amazon rainforests during the last two decades: Diagnostic and potential causes.” Climate Dynamics 37, no. 5 (2011): 1151–64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-010-0903-2.
  • Wang, H., R. Fu, A. Kumar, and W. Li. “Intensification of summer rainfall variability in the southeastern United States during recent decades.” Journal of Hydrometeorology 11, no. 4 (2010): 1007–18. https://doi.org/10.1175/2010JHM1229.1.
  • Arias, P., R. Fu, C. D. Hoyos, W. Li, and L. Zhou. “Changes in cloudiness during the last two decades over the Amazon forests.” Climate Dynamics, 2010.
  • Negrón Juárez, R. I., W. Li, R. Fu, K. Fernandes, and A. Cardoso. “Comparison of precipitation dataset over tropical lands.” Journal of Hydrometeorology, February 2009.
  • Malhi, Y., J. T. Roberts, R. A. Betts, T. J. Killeen, W. Li, and C. A. Nobre. “Climate Change, deforestation and the fate of the Amazon.” Science 319, no. 5860 (2008): 169–72. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1146961.
  • Li, W., R. Fu, R. I. N. Juárez, and K. Fernandes. “Observed change of the standardized precipitation index, its potential cause and implications to future climate change in the Amazon region.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 363, no. 1498 (2008): 1767–72. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2007.0022.
  • Li, W., R. E. Dickinson, R. Fu, G. Y. Niu, Z. L. Yang, and J. G. Canadell. “Future precipitation changes and their implications for tropical peatlands.” Geophysical Research Letters 34, no. 1 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1029/2006GL028364.
  • Li, W., and R. Fu. “Influence of cold air intrusions on the wet season onset over Amazonia.” Journal of Climate 19, no. 1 (2006): 257–75. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI3614.1.
  • Li, W., R. Fu, and R. E. Dickinson. “Rainfall and its seasonality over the Amazon in the 21st century as assessed by the coupled models for the IPCC AR4.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 111, no. 2 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1029/2005JD006355.
  • Li, W., and R. Fu. “Transition of the large-scale atmospheric and land surface conditions from the dry to the wet season over Amazonia as diagnosed by the ECMWF re-analysis.” Journal of Climate 17, no. 13 (2004): 2637–51. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(2004)0172.0.CO;2.
  • Fu, R., and W. Li. “Influence of land surface on transition from dry to wet season in Amazonia.” Theoretical & Applied Climatology 78, no. 1–3 (2004): 97–110. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-004-0046-7.
  • Zheng, J., G. Sun, W. Li, Y. Gong, and L. Tu. “Impacts of land use change and climate variations on annual inflow into Miyun Reservoir,Beijing, China.” Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20 (n.d.): 1561–72.
  • Brown, P., W. Li, J. Jiang, and H. Su. “Spread in the magnitude of climate model interdecadal global temperature variability traced to disagreements over high-latitude oceans.” Geophysical Research Letters, n.d. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL071442.
  • Li, Wenhong, Tian Zou, laifang Li, Yi Deng, Victor Sun, Qinghong Zhang, Bradley Layton, and Soko Setoguchi. “Impacts of the North Atlantic Subtropical High on Interannual Variation of Summertime Heat Stress over the Conterminous United States.” Climate Dynamics, n.d. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-019-04708-1.