Lin Receives 2017 Global Environmental Change Early Career Award


Prof. Jintai Lin of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Peking University, has been a leader in the strategic pursuit of innovative research addressing the intersection of human health, impacts on climate forcing, economic impacts, international negotiations, and the veracity of climate forecast models. His keen sense of how these factors are coupled and how that linkage must be recognized has established an international standard for these critical studies.

He has also made seminal contributions to the mapping of sulfate, black carbon, ozone, and CO satellite retrievals for both China and globally. While many of his published works have had a fundamental influence on the field, perhaps most notable was his Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) paper that won the prestigious Cozzarelli Prize, as one of the six out of 3,500 PNAS papers published in 2014. This was the first time a paper led by Chinese institutions in any field has ever won the award. That worknot only set the gold standard for coupled pollution transport mechanisms using advanced photochemistry and transport processes, but also established Jintai’s leadership analyzing the international impact of nitrate, sulfate, ozone, and carbon emissions. The PNAS paper has been downloaded more than 160,000 times from the PNAS website, and it has been cited 153 times by papers in various research disciplines, including but not limited to atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences, epidemiology, ecological sciences, economics, and management.

It is particularly important that a strong and trusted relationship between scientists in the United States and China become a top priority, because cooperation in science must precede joint public policy progress. Prof. Jintai Lin is a young scientist of such exceptional quality that this opportunity to explicitly strengthen these ties by awarding him the AGU Global Environmental Change Early Career Award will serve both science and society for decades.

—James G. Anderson, Harvard University, Mass.


Thank you, Jim, for your generous nomination and citation. It is my great honor to receive such a prestigious award. This would not be possible without the continuous kind help and support from my mentors, colleagues, and friends. Indeed, learning from my advisers Donald Wuebbles and Michael McElroy and other colleagues like Jim has given me the opportunity to put together perspectives, ideas, and tools from multiple disciplines to address the grand challenge of our times: air pollution.

My research focuses on understanding global air pollution, its impacts on public health and climate, and its interactions with socioeconomic development. My Ph.D. studies with Don took a modeling approach to evaluating ozone pollution and transboundary transport. My postdoc years with Mike further incorporated satellite measurements to quantify China’s fast changing environment and emissions. My work at Peking University has been integrating economic and emissions statistics with modeling and satellite measurements to understand how economic production and consumption are associated with global air pollution and various environmental and climate consequences.

I owe greatly to my colleagues from around the world whose important contributions have made such multidisciplinary studies possible, including Don, Mike, the Harvard modeling team, the Tsinghua emissions team, the CEADs team, Steven Davis, Randall Martin, Folkert Boersma, and many others. Interactions with leading scientists like Jim are inspiring. I have had continuous support from Yongyun Hu, other colleagues at Peking University, and my dear friends. I am grateful to all my students who have effectively turned abstract thoughts into concrete research. In particular, Da Pan’s exceptional work has led to our first study linking global air pollution to consumption and trade, which was published in PNAS.

Last, I would like to thank my wife, my son, and my parents, who have always been my strongest believers and supporters.

—Jintai Lin, Peking University, Beijing, China