Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty

Yi Ming



I am a climate scientist interested in the inner workings of Earth’s climate system and the downstream impacts of climate change on humans and the environment. My published works center on elucidating the underlying processes of weather/climate phenomena across a wide range of spatio-temporal scales and applying the resulting understanding to practical issues of societal and policy importance. An example is how tiny aerosol particles can weaken the enormous South Asian monsoon, the lifeblood for 2 billion people. I use a hierarchy of climate models and observations for developing fundamental theories and structure my group’s research around an evolving set of “use cases” inspired by societal needs such as the Sahel drought. A leading question is on how climate change may affect regional precipitation patterns (e.g. droughts and floods) and extreme events (e.g. hurricanes, wildfires and winter storms). 

My education and research background is uniquely interdisciplinary. An engineer by training, I was drawn to physical climate science and related policy issues early on. The joint appointment between the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society and Earth and Environmental Sciences enables me both to pursue cutting-edge research at the core of physical climate science and to foster dialogues and collaborations among natural scientists, engineers, social scientists and policy researchers. I have mentored a number of Ph.D. students and postdocs, many of whom belong to historically under-represented groups.

I am currently looking for students and postdocs to join my research group. Do not hesitate to drop me a line if interested.

Recent Publications (*First-authored by students or postdocs supervised)
  • Hill*, S., Y. Ming, I.M. Held and M. Zhao, 2017: A moist static energy budget-based analysis of the Sahel rainfall response to uniform oceanic warming. Journal of Climate, 30(15), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0785.1.
  • Ming, Y., and I.M Held, 2018: Modeling Water Vapor and Clouds as Passive Tracers in an Idealized GCM. Journal of Climate, 31(2), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0812.1.
  • Smyth*, J.E., and Y. Ming, 2021: Investigating the impact of land surface characteristics on monsoon dynamics with idealized model simulations and theories. Journal of Climate, 34(19), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-20-0954.
  • Ming, Y., and co-authors, 2021: Assessing the influence of COVID-19 on the shortwave radiative fluxes over the East Asian Marginal Seas. Geophysical Research Letters, 48(3), DOI:10.1029/2020GL091699.
  • *MacDonald, C.G., and Y. Ming, 2022: Tropical Intraseasonal Variability Response to Zonally Asymmetric Forcing in an Idealized Moist GCM, Journal of Climate, 35(24), 4479-4501.