Wenhong Li

Wenhong Li

Associate Professor of Climate

Primary Appointment

Earth & Ocean Sciences Division

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.

In The News


Zhu, J, Sun, G, Li, W, Zhang, Y, Miao, G, Noormets, A, McNulty, SG, King, JS, Kumar, M, and Wang, X. "Modeling the potential impacts of climate change on the water table level of selected forested wetlands in the southeastern United States." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 21, no. 12 (December 13, 2017): 6289-6305.
Brown, PT, Ming, Y, Li, W, and Hill, SA. "Change in the magnitude and mechanisms of global temperature variability with warming." Nature Climate Change 7, no. 10 (September 4, 2017): 743-748.
Maxwell, R, Harley, G, Maxwell, J, Rayback, S, Pederson, N, Cook, E, Barclay, D, Li, W, and Rayburn, J. "An interbasin comparison of tree-ring reconstructed streamflow in the eastern United States." Hydrological Processes 31, no. 13 (June 30, 2017): 2381-2394.
Wei, W, Li, W, Deng, Y, Yang, S, Jiang, JH, Huang, L, and Liu, WT. "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.
Brown, PT, Li, W, Jiang, JH, and Su, H. "Spread in the magnitude of climate model interdecadal global temperature variability traced to disagreements over high-latitude oceans." Geophysical research letters 43, no. 24 (December 21, 2016): 12543-12549.
Brown, PT, Lozier, MS, Zhang, R, and Li, W. "The necessity of cloud feedback for a basin-scale Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation." Geophysical Research Letters 43, no. 8 (April 28, 2016): 3955-3963.
Zheng, J, Sun, G, Li, W, Yu, X, Zhang, C, Gong, Y, and Tu, L. "Impacts of land use change and climate variations on annual inflow into the Miyun Reservoir, Beijing, China." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20, no. 4 (2016): 1561-1572.
Gao, H, Zhang, S, Fu, R, Li, W, and Dickinson, RE. "Interannual Variation of the Surface Temperature of Tropical Forests from Satellite Observations." Advances in Meteorology 2016 (2016): 1-11.
Li, F, Chen, D, Tang, Q, Li, W, and Zhang, X. "Hydrological Response of East China to the Variation of East Asian Summer Monsoon." Advances in Meteorology 2016 (2016): 1-12.
Tang, T, Li, W, and Sun, G. "Impact of two different types of El Niño events on runoff over the conterminous United States." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 20, no. 1 (2016): 27-37.
Yuan, J, Li, W, and Deng, Y. "Amplified subtropical stationary waves in boreal summer and their implications for regional water extremes." Environmental Research Letters 10, no. 10 (October 1, 2015): 104009-104009.
Li, Laifang, , Li, W, Ballard, Tristan, , Ge Sun, , Jeuland, and Marc, . "CMIP5 model simulations of Ethiopian Kiremt-season precipitation: current climate and future changes." Climate Dynamics 46, no. 9-10 (July 2015): 2883-2895.
Park, T-W, Deng, Y, Li, W, Yang, S, and Cai, M. "Mass Footprints of the North Pacific Atmospheric Blocking Highs." Journal of Climate 28, no. 12 (June 2015): 4941-4949.
◦Brown, P.T., W. Li, E.C. Cordero, and S.A. Mauget, . "Comparing the Model-Simulated Global Warming Signal to Observations Using Empirical Estimates of Unforced Noise." Scientific Reports 5 (April 21, 2015).
Brown, PT, Li, W, and Xie, S-P. "Regions of significant influence on unforced global mean surface air temperature variability in climate models." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 120, no. 2 (January 27, 2015): 480-494.
Brown, PT, Li, W, Li, L, and Ming, Y. "Top-of-atmosphere radiative contribution to unforced decadal global temperature variability in climate models." Geophysical Research Letters 41, no. 14 (July 28, 2014): 5175-5183.
Yin, L, Fu, R, Zhang, Y-F, Arias, PA, Fernando, DN, Li, W, Fernandes, K, and Bowerman, AR. "What controls the interannual variation of the wet season onsets over the Amazon?." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 119, no. 5 (March 16, 2014): 2314-2328.
Wuebbles, D, Meehl, G, Hayhoe, K, Karl, TR, Kunkel, K, Santer, B, Wehner, M, Colle, B, Fischer, EM, Fu, R, Goodman, A, Janssen, E, Lee, H, Li, W, Long, LN, Olsen, S, Sheffield, J, and Sun, L. "CMIP5 Climate Model Analyses: Climate Extremes in the United States." The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (2014).
Li, L, and Li, W. "Southeastern United States summer rainfall framework and its implication for seasonal prediction." Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 4 (December 1, 2013): 044017-044017.
Li, W, Li, L, Fu, R, Deng, Y, and Wang, H. "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): 3083-3085.
Li, W, Li, L, Ting, M, Deng, Y, Kushnir, Y, Liu, Y, Lu, Y, Wang, C, and Zhang, P. "Intensification of the Southern Hemisphere summertime subtropical anticyclones in a warming climate." Geophysical Research Letters 40, no. 22 (November 28, 2013): 5959-5964.
Fu, R, Yin, L, Li, W, Arias, PA, Dickinson, RE, Huang, L, Chakraborty, S, Fernandes, K, Liebmann, B, Fisher, R, and Myneni, RB. "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 (November 5, 2013): 18110-18115.
Li, L, Li, W, and Deng, Y. "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): 340-354.
Li, W, Li, L, Fu, R, Deng, Y, and Wang, H. "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). (Academic Article)
Li, W, Li, L, Ting, M, and Liu, Y. "Intensification of Northern Hemisphere subtropical highs in a warming climate." Nature Geoscience 5, no. 11 (2012): 830-834.
Arias, PA, Fu, R, Hoyos, CD, Li, W, and Zhou, L. "Changes in cloudiness over the Amazon rainforests during the last two decades: Diagnostic and potential causes." Climate Dynamics 37, no. 5 (2011): 1151-1164.
Li, W, Zhang, P, Ye, J, Li, L, and Baker, PA. "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.
Wang, H, Fu, R, Kumar, A, and Li, W. "Intensification of summer rainfall variability in the southeastern United States during recent decades." Journal of Hydrometeorology 11, no. 4 (2010): 1007-1018.
Arias, P, Fu, R, Hoyos, CD, Li, W, and Zhou, L. "Changes in cloudiness during the last two decades over the Amazon forests." Climate Dynamics (2010). (Academic Article)
Negrón Juárez, RI, Li, W, Fu, R, Fernandes, K, and Cardoso, A. "Comparison of precipitation dataset over tropical lands." Journal of Hydrometeorology (February 2009). (Academic Article)
Malhi, Y, Roberts, JT, Betts, RA, Killeen, TJ, Li, W, and Nobre, CA. "Climate Change, deforestation and the fate of the Amazon." Science 319, no. 5860 (2008): 169-172.
Li, W, Fu, R, Juárez, RIN, and Fernandes, K. "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): 1767-1772.
Li, W, Dickinson, RE, Fu, R, Niu, G-Y, Yang, Z-L, and Canadell, JG. "Future precipitation changes and their implications for tropical peatlands." Geophysical Research Letters 34, no. 1 (2007).
Li, W, and Fu, R. "Influence of cold air intrusions on the wet season onset over Amazonia." Journal of Climate 19, no. 1 (2006): 257-275.
Li, W, Fu, R, and Dickinson, RE. "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).
Fu, R, and Li, W. "Influence of land surface on transition from dry to wet season in Amazonia." Theoretical & Applied Climatology 78, no. 1-3 (2004): 97-110.

Recent Grants


EOS 365: Introduction to Weather and Climate (EOS 365: Introduction to Weather and Climate)
ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
EOS 511: The Climate System (EOS 511: The Climate System)
EOS 391: Independent Study (EOS 391: Independent Study)
ENVIRON 899: Master's Project (ENVIRON 899: Master's Project)

Contact Information

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
5113 Environment Hall
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology (2003)