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Kuan-Man Xu (NASA)

Title: Senior Research Scientist
Technical Focus Area: Climate Science
Mission/Project: CERES
Study Topics: Cloud and climate modeling, boundary layer turbulence, low clouds, deep convection and convective organization


Over 30 years of experience in cloud/climate modeling and 20 years of experience in satellite data analysis, focusing on improving cloud parameterizations, cloud-system resolving modeling, study of distinct cloud systems (“cloud object”) identified from satellite data, and improving higher-order turbulence closure and cloud microphysics parameterizations, as well as contributing to the improvement of multi-scale modeling framework (MMF). Dr. Xu was involved with the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program between 1991 and 2015. He was a partner of an NSF Science and Technology center between 2006 and 2016. He led case studies of the ARM/GCSS CRM and single-column model intercomparison. He led two NASA EOS interdisciplinary study projects and was a member of the NOAA-NSF Climate Process Team. Dr. Xu has published ~100 peer-reviewed papers. He served as an associate editor for Journal of Climate between 2001 and 2004, as an official reviewer for various international journals, NSF, DOE, NOAA, NASA, NERC (UK), CFCAS (Canada) and New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute proposals and as a member of various review panels within NASA and DOE.

Publication Bibliography:

Select Publications:

  •  Li, Z., K.-M. Xu, 2019: Arctic clouds simulated by a multiscale modeling framework and comparisons with observations and conventional GCMs. J. Geophys. Res., 124,
  • Xu, K.-M., Z. Li, A. Cheng, P. N. Blossey, and C. Stan, 2017: Differences in the hydrological cycle and sensitivity between multiscale modeling frameworks with and without a higher-order turbulence closure, J. Adv. Mod. Earth System, 9, 2120-2137. 
  • Xu, K.-M., and A. Cheng, 2016: Understanding the tropical cloud feedback from an analysis of the circulation and stability regimes simulated from an upgraded multiscale modeling framework. J. Adv. Mod. Earth System, 8, doi: 10.1002/2016MS000767. 
  • Cheng, A., and K.-M. Xu, 2015: Improved low-cloud simulation from the Community Atmosphere Model with an advanced third-order turbulence closure. J. Climate, 28, 5737–5762. 
  • Xu, K.-M, and A. Cheng, 2013a: Evaluating low cloud simulation from an upgraded multiscale modeling framework. Part I: Sensitivity to spatial resolution and climatology. J. Climate, 26, 5717-5740. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00200.1. 
  • Xu, K.-M, and A. Cheng, 2013b: Evaluating low cloud simulation from an upgraded multiscale modeling framework. Part II: Seasonal variations over the Eastern Pacific. J. Climate, 26, 5741-5760. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00276.1. 
  • Xu, K.-M., and coauthors, 2002: An intercomparison of cloud-resolving models with the ARM summer 1997 IOP data. Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 128, 593-624.
  • Xu, K.-M., and D. A. Randall, 1996a: A semi-empirical cloudiness parameterization for use in climate models. J. Atmos. Sci., 53, 3084-3102.
  • Xu, K.-M., and S. K. Krueger, 1991: Evaluation of cloudiness parameterizations using a cumulus ensemble model. Mon. Wea. Rev., 119, 342-367. 
  • Xu, K.-M., and K. A. Emanuel, 1989: Is the tropical atmosphere conditionally unstable? Mon. Wea. Rev., 117, 1471-1479.


  • NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, 2009
  • Henry J. E. Reid Award for best publication, Langley Research Center, 2008

Professional Memberships:

  • AGU
  • AMS
  • AOGS


  • Education Ph.D. – Atmospheric Sciences, UCLA, 1991
  • M.S. – Meteorology, MIT, 1987 B.A. – Marine Meteorology, Ocean University of China, 1982

Professional Experience:

  • Senior Research Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center (2000-present)
  • Research Associate & Scientist, Colorado State University (1991-2000)

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