Yinghui Liu

Space Science and Engineering Center
1225 West Dayton Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Phone: (608) 890-1893
Email : yinghuil(at)

Professional Experience:

Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Assistant Scientist (October 2015-present)

Researcher (October 2012-September 2015)

Associate Researcher (July 2009-September 2012)

Assistant Researcher (Dec 2007-June 2009)

Research Associate (Dec 2006-Nov 2007)


Yinghui Liu's research is in satellite meteorology and climatology of the polar regions. He has developed algorithms for use in the retrieval of cloud properties, ice characteristics, and surface and atmospheric properties from satellites. His current work focus on developing operational retrieval algorithm for the Suomi NPP VIIRS, future JPSS VIIRS and future GOES-R ABI ice products, and his climate research focuses on trends in polar cloud, sea ice properties, surface and atmospheric radiation properties, and the atmosphere-sea ice-ocean interactions.


Ph.D. Atmospheric Sciences Dec 2006, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Advisor: Professor Steve Ackerman, Dr. Jeffrey R. Key
Dissertation title: Possible causes of recent changes in Arctic cloud cover, surface temperature, and temperature inversions.
M.S. Atmospheric Sciences, July 2000, Beijing University, Beijing, China

B.S.  Atmospheric Sciences, July 1997, Beijing University, Beijing, China

Memberships and Service

¤    Member of American Geophysical Union

¤    Member of American Meteorological Society

¤    Professional reviews for: National Science Foundation, NASA/ROSES, NOAA/STAR, Natural Environment Research Council of the UK, Proceedings of the national Academy of Sciences, Journal of Climate, International Journal of Climatology, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Climate Dynamics, Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing of Environment, Optical Express, Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophysical Research Letters, IEEE J-STARS, Journal of Meteorological Research.


Ice Motion from VIIRS, AMSR2, and SAR –Development and Operational Applications, JPSS Program Office, PI, 2018-2020

Diagnosis and Analysis of Arctic Sea-ice Leads, NASA ROSES-2017, Co-I (PI: S. Ackerman), 2018-2020

Development, Generation, and Demonstration of New JPSS Ice Products in Support of a National Ice Center JPSS Proving Ground and Risk Reduction Activity, JPSS Program Office, PI, 2013-2014.

Implementing the GOES-R Future Capability Ice Products into the GOES-R Processing System, NOAA, PI of UW, 2015-2016.

Transition of the AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP) FCDR and APP-Extended (APP-x) TCDR to NCDC, NOAA, PI, 2013-2015.

An Algorithm to Determine the Spatial and Temporal Distributions of Sea-ice Leads in the Arctic, NASA, Co-I (PI: S. Ackerman), 2014-2016.

Science and Management Support for NPP VIIRS Snow and Ice EDRs, JPSS Program Office, PI of University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW), (PI: J. Key, NOAA/NESDIS), 2011-2015.

Estimate of Fractional Snow Cover with ABI,  NOAA, PI of University of Wisconsin, (PI: J. Key), 2014-2015

Cryosphere Products from Himawari-8 for the High-Latitude Proving Ground, NOAA, PI of UW, (PI: J. Key), 2015

NOAA Algorithm Continuity – Ice surface Temperature, Concentration, and Characterization, PI of UW, (PI: J. Key), 2013-2015

Sea Ice Thickness from Aqua and Terra Data: Generation, Evaluation and Application, NASA, Co-I (PI: J. Maslanik, University of Colorado)

NPP Science Team Participation in Support of Cryosphere Products, Co-I (PI: M.A. Tschudi, University of Colorado; PI: X. Wang, University of Wisconsin)


Honors and Awards

2014 NOAA-CIMSS Collaborative Award for increasing the scientific value of the Suomi satellite environmental cryosphere data products to meet NOAA usersƠ needs.

2009 NOAA-CIMSS Collaborative Award for innovative uses of operational weather satellites to understand climate change and to quantify trends in the global climate system


Peer-reviewed journal publications

Liu, Y., J. Key, and S. Vavrus, 2018, Time evolution of cloud response to moisture intrusions into the Arctic during winter, J. Climate (in revision).

Letterly, A., J. Key, and Y. Liu, 2018, Changes in Sea Ice Extent Will Outweigh Changes in Snow Cover in Future Arctic Climate Change, Science Advances (submitted February 2018)

Li, J., Richardson, M., Hong, Y., Lee, W.L., Wang, Y.H., Yu, J.Y., Fetzer, E., Stephens, G. and Liu, Y., 2017. Improved simulation of Antarctic sea ice due to the radiative effects of falling snow. Environmental Research Letters.

Baldwin, D., Tschudi, M., Pacifici, F. and Liu, Y., 2017. Validation of Suomi-NPP VIIRS sea ice concentration with very high-resolution satellite and airborne camera imagery. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 130, pp.122-138.

Liu, Y., Shupe, M. D., Wang, Z., and Mace, G.: Cloud vertical distribution from combined surface and space radar–lidar observations at two Arctic atmospheric observatories, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 5973-5989, doi:10.5194/acp-17-5973-2017, 2017.

Meier, W.N., J.S. Stewart, Y. Liu, J. Key, and J. Miller, 2017, Operational implementation of sea ice concentration estimates from the AMSR2 sensor, IEEE J. Selected Topics Appl. Earth Obs. Remote Sens. (J-STARS), doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2017.2693120.

Liu, Y. and J. Key, 2016, Assessment of Arctic cloud cover anomalies in atmospheric reanalysis products using satellite data, J. Climate, 29, 6065-6083, doi:

Liu, Y.; Key, J.; Mahoney, R. Sea and Freshwater Ice Concentration from VIIRS on Suomi NPP and the Future JPSS Satellites. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 523.

Key, J., Wang, X., Liu, Y., Dworak, R., and Letterly, A. (2016). The AVHRR Polar Pathfinder Climate Data Records. Remote Sensing8(3), 167.

Letterly, A., J. Key, and Y. Liu, 2016: The influence of winter cloud on summer sea ice in the Arctic, 1983–2013. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres.

Liu, Y.; Key, J.; Tschudi, M.; Dworak, R.; Mahoney, R.; Baldwin, D. Validation of the Suomi NPP VIIRS Ice Surface Temperature Environmental Data Record. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 17258-17271.

Liu, Y. , 2015, Estimating Errors in Cloud Amount and Cloud Optical Thickness due to Limited Spatial Sampling Using a Satellite Imager as a Proxy for Nadir-view Sensors, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 120, 6980–6991. doi: 10.1002/2015JD023507.

Wen, N., Z. Liu, and Y. Liu, 2015, Direct impact of El Ni–o on East Asian summer precipitation in the observation, Climate Dynamics, 44(11-12), 2979-2987.

Liu, Y. and J. Key, 2014, Less Winter Cloud Aids Summer 2013 Arctic Sea Ice Return from 2012 Minimum, Environ. Res. Lett. 9 044002.

Overland, J., J. Key, E. Hanna, I. Hanssen-Bauer, B.-M. Kim, S.-J. Kim, J. Walsh, M. Wang, U. Bhatt, Y. Liu, R. Stone, C. Cox, V. Walden, 2014, [Arctic] The Lower Atmosphere: Air Temperature, Clouds and Surface Radiation [in ̉State of the Climate in 2013Ó], Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 95(7), S115-S120.

Key, J. R., R. Mahoney, Y. Liu, P. Romanov, M. Tschudi, I. Appel, J. Maslanik, D. Baldwin, X. Wang, and P. Meade, 2013, Snow and ice products from Suomi NPP VIIRS, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 118.

Overland, J., J. Key, B.-M. Kim, S.-J. Kim, Y. Liu, J. Walsh, M. Wang, U. Bhatt, and R. Thoman, 2013, [Arctic] Air temperature, atmospheric circulation, and clouds [in ̉State of the Climate in 2012Ó], Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 94 (8), S121–S123.

Liu Y., J.R. Key, S.A. Ackerman, G.G. Mace, and Q. Zhang, 2012, Arctic Cloud Macrophysical Characteristics from CloudSat and CALIPSO, Remote Sensing of Environment, 124, 159–173

Wang, X., J. Key, Y. Liu, C. Fowler, J. Maslanik, and M. Tschudi, 2012, Arctic Climate Variability and Trends from Satellite Observations, Advances in Meteorology.

Liu, Y., J. R. Key, Z. Liu, X. Wang, and S. J. Vavrus, 2012, A cloudier Arctic expected with diminishing sea ice, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L05705, doi:10.1029/2012GL051251

Wang, X., J. Key, and Y. Liu, 2010, A thermodynamic model for estimating sea and lake ice thickness with optical satellite data, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 115, C12035, doi:10.1029/2009JC005857.

Liu, Y., S. Ackerman, B. Maddux, J. Key, and R. Frey, 2010: Errors in cloud detection over the Arctic using a satellite imager and implications for observing feedback mechanisms, J. Climate, 23(7), 1894-1907.

Liu, Y., J. Key, and X. Wang, 2009: Influence of changes in sea ice concentration and cloud cover on recent Arctic surface temperature trends, Geophys. Research Lett., 36, L20710, doi:10.1029/2009GL040708.

Liu, Y., J. Key, and X. Wang, 2008: The influence of changes in cloud cover on recent surface temperature trends in the Arctic, J. Climate, 21(4), 705-715.

Frey, R., S. Ackerman, Y. Liu, K. Strabala, H. Zhang, J. Key, and X. Wang, 2008, Cloud detection with MODIS. Part I: Improvements in the MODIS cloud mask for collection 5, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 25(7), 1057-1072.

Liu, Y., J. Key, J. Francis, and X. Wang, 2007: Possible causes of decreasing cloud cover in the Arctic winter, 1982-2000, Geophys. Res. Letter, 34, L14705,doi:10.1029/2007GL030042.

Evan, A. T., Liu, Y., and Maddux, B., 2008: State of the climate in 2007: Global cloudiness. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 89, Issue 7, S23-S26.

Liu, Y., J. R. Key, A. Schweiger, and J. Francis, 2006: Characteristics of satellite-derived clear-sky atmospheric temperature inversion strength in the Arctic, 1980-1996. J. Climate, 19(19), 4902-4913.

Liu Y., J. R. Key, R. Frey, S. Ackerman, and W.P. Menzel, 2004: Nighttime polar cloud detection with MODIS, Remote Sensing of Environment, 92, 181-194.

Liu, Y., and J. R. Key, 2003: Detection and analysis of clear sky, low-level atmospheric temperature inversions with MODIS, J. Atmos. Ocean. Tech., 20, 1727-1737.

Yao Zhanyu,Wang Guanghe,You Laiguang,Liu Yinghui,Li Wanbiao,Zhu Yuanjing,Zhao Bolin. 2001, MICROWAVE REMOTE SENSING OF CLOUD LIQUID WATER IN SHOUXIAN AREA[J].Quarterly Journal of Applied Meteorology,12(Z1):88-95.

Li Wanbiao, Liu Yinghui, Zhu Yuanjing, Zhao Bolin, 2001, An application of the measurements by the ground-based microwave radiometers in HUBEX. Climatic and Environmental Research (in Chinese),Vol. 6, No.2, 203-208, 2001.

Li Wanbiao, Liu Yinghui, Zhu Yuanjing, Zhao Bolin, 1998, Retrieval of atmospheric precipitable water with GMS-5 infrared measurements. ACTA SCIENTIARUM NATURALIUM UNIVERSITATIS PEKINENSIS (in Chinese), Vol 34, No.5, pp631-638, 1998.

Other Peer-reviewed journal publications

Key, J., Liu, Y., and A. Heidinger, 2015, Climate Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for the AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP), NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research and the National Climatic Data Center, 35 pp.

Liu, Y. and J. Key, 2011, Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for ABI ice cover and concentration, NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research, 25 pp.

Liu, Y., J. Key, and W. Straka III, 2011, Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document for ABI ice motion, NOAA/NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research, 24 pp.

Book Chapters

J. Key, X. Wang, and Y. Liu, 2013, Monitoring Change in the Arctic. In Satellite-based Applications on Climate Change, J. Qu, A. Powell, M.V.K. Sivakumar (eds.), Springer, 371 pp., ISBN 978-94-007-5872-8.