Ke Li

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Supervisor of Doctorate Candidates  
Supervisor of Master's Candidates  

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Atmospheric Chemistry & Climate Group

Group Leader: Prof. Ke Li

School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China 

Email:   See CV (updated in Sep 2021); Also in Publons Google scholar     

Ke's research interests include atmospheric chemistry, climate change, and environmental solutions. In 2018-2021, Ke worked on surface ozone polluton with Daniel Jacob within Harvard Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group. Ke obtained Ph.D. degree (2017) from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), Beijing. His Ph.D. research focused on understanding particulate matter pollution and its interaction with climate in China, using chemical transport model, climate model, and statistical methods. Ke also worked on climate change as a visiting graduate student for one year at CSIRO, Melbourne. Ke received undergraduate degree (2012) in atmospheric sciences at Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing.

Applications for graduate or postdoc positions are welcome. Please contact me (


2017   Ph.D.  Atmospheric Physics and Atmospheric Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), Beijing, China

2012   B.Sc., Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science Technology (NUIST), Nanjing, China

Research Interests

• Surface ozone formation and control in China 

• Chemical and physical drivers of air pollutants 

• Climate change and linkage to air quality 

• Modeling and remote sensing of atmospheric pollutants 

• Environmental and societal impacts of air pollution

• Big data analysis in atmospheric environmetal studies 


Accepted/Under Review

[32] Li, J.D., Hao, X., Liao, H., Wang, Y.H., Cai, W.J., Li, K., Yue, X., Yang, Y., Chen, H.S., Mao, Y.H., Fu, Y., Chen, L. and Zhu, J. Winter particulate pollution severity in North China driven by atmospheric teleconnections. Nature Geoscience In press.

[31] Yang, Y., Li, M.Y., Wang, H.L., Li, H.M., Wang, P.Y., Li, K., Gao, M., and Liao, H. ENSO modulation of summertime tropospheric ozone over China. Environmental Research Letters


[30] Wei, J., Li, Z.Q., Li, K., Dickerson, R.R., Pinker, R.T., Wang, J., Liu, X., Sun, L., Xue, W.H. and  Cribb, M. Full-coverage mapping and spatiotemporal variations of ground-level ozone (O3) pollution from 2013 to 2020 across China. Remote Sensing of Environment


[29] Ma, R.#, Li, K.#, Guo, Y.X., Zhang, B., Zhao, X.L., Linder, S., Guan, C.H., Chen, G.Q., Gan, Y.J. and Meng, J.  Mitigation potential of global ammonia emissions and related health impacts in the trade network. Nature Communications

[28] Li, K., Jacob, D. J., Liao, H., Qiu, Y.L., Shen, L., Zhai, S.X., Bates, K. H., Sulprizio, M. P., Song, S.J., Lu, X., Zhang, Q., Zheng, B., Zhang, Y.L., Zhang, J.Q., Lee, H.C. and Kuk, S.K. (2021). Ozone pollution in the North China Plain spreading into the late-winter haze season. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

[27] Gao, J.L., Guan, C.H., Zhang, B.*, and Li, K.* (2021) Decreasing methane emissions from China's coal mining with rebounded coal production, Environmental Research Letters

[26] Yin, H., Lu, X., Sun, Y.W., Li, K., Gao, M., Zheng, Bo., and Liu, C. Unprecedented decline in summertime surface ozone over eastern China in 2020 comparably attributable to anthropogenic emission reductions and meteorology, Environmental Research Letters[PDF]

[25] Bates, K., Jacob, D., Li, K., Ivatt, P., Evans, M., Yan, Y., and Lin, J. Development and evaluation of a new compact mechanism for aromatic oxidation in atmospheric models, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics[PDF]

[24] Qiu, Y., Ma, Z., Li, K., Huang, M., Sheng, J., Tian, P., Zhu, J., Pu, W., Tang, Y., Han, T., Zhou, H., and Liao, H. Measurement report: Fast photochemical production of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) over the rural North China Plain during haze events in autumn, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics[PDF]

[23] Yang, Y., Zhou, Y., Li, K., Wang, H.L., Ren, L.L., Zeng, L.Y., Li, H.M., Wang, P.Y., Li, B.J., Liao, H. (2021). Atmospheric circulation patterns conducive to severe haze in eastern China have shifted under climate change, Geophysical Research Letters[PDF]

[22] Zhai, S., Jacob, D. J., Brewer, J. F., Li, K., Moch, J. M., Kim, J., Lee, S., Lim, H., Lee, H. C., Kuk, S. K., Park, R. J., Jeong, J. I., Wang, X., Liu, P., Luo, G., Yu, F., Meng, J., Martin, R. V., Travis, K. R., Hair, J. W., Anderson, B. E., Dibb, J. E., Jimenez, J. L., Campuzano-Jost, P., Nault, B. A., Woo, J.-H., Kim, Y., Zhang, Q., and Liao, H. Interpretation of geostationary satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) over East Asia in relation to fine particulate matter (PM2.5): insights from the KORUS-AQ aircraft campaign and seasonality, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

[21] Lu, X., Ye, X., Zhou, M., Zhao, Y., Weng, H., Kong, H., Li, K., Gao, M., Zheng, B., Lin, J., Zhou, F., Zhang, Q., Wu, D., Zhang, L. and Zhang Y.H. (2021). The underappreciated role of agricultural soil nitrogen oxide emissions in ozone pollution regulation in North China. Nature Communications

[20] Zhai, S.X., Jacob, D.J., Wang, X., Liu, Z.R., Wen, T.X., Shah, V., Li, K., Moch, J., Bates, K.H., Song, S.J., Shen, L., Zhang, Y.Z., Luo, G., Yu, F.Q., Sun, Y.L., Wang, L.T., Qi, M.Y., Tao, J., Gui, K., Xu, H.H., Zhang, Q., Zhao, T.L., Wang, Y.S., Lee, H.C., Choi, H. and Liao, H. (2021). Control of particulate nitrate air pollution in China. Nature Geoscience

[19] Song, S.J., Ma, T., Zhang, Y., Shen, L., Liu, P., Li, K., Zhai, S., Zheng, H., Gao, M., Duan, F., He, K., and McElroy, M. B. (2021). Global modeling of heterogeneous hydroxymethanesulfonate chemistry. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics


[18] Li, K., Jacob, D.J., Shen, L., Lu, X., De Smedt, I. and Liao, H. (2020). Increases in surface ozone pollution in China from 2013 to 2019: anthropogenic and meteorological influences. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

[17] Qiu, Y.L., Ma, Z.Q.*, Li, K.*, Lin, W.L., Tang, Y.X., Dong, F. and Liao, H. (2020). Markedly enhanced levels of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) during COVID-19 in Beijing. Geophysical Research Letters

[16] Lu, X., Zhang, L., Wang, X.L., Gao, M., Li, K., Zhang, Y.Z., Yue, X. and Zhang, Y.H. (2020). Rapid increases in warm-season surface ozone and resulting health impact over China since 2013. Environmental Science & Technology Letters

[15] Shah, V., Jacob, D.J., Li, K., Silvern, R.F., Zhai, S.X., Liu, M.Y., Lin, J.T. and Zhang, Q. (2020). Effect of changing NOx lifetime on the seasonality and long-term trends of satellite-observed tropospheric NO2 columns over China. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

[14] Gu, Y.X., Li, K., Xu, J.M., Liao, H. and Zhou, G.Q. (2020). Observed dependence of surface ozone on increasing temperature in Shanghai, China. Atmospheric Environment


[13] Li, K., Jacob, D.J., Liao, H., Zhu, J., Shah, V., Shen, L., Bates, K.H., Zhang, Q. and Zhai, S.X. (2019). A two-pollutant strategy for improving ozone and particulate air quality in China. Nature Geoscience

[12] Li, K., Jacob, D.J., Liao, H., Shen, L., Zhang, Q. and Bates, K.H. (2019). Anthropogenic drivers of 2013-2017 trends in summer surface ozone in China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

[11] Zhai, S.X., Jacob, D.J., Wang, X., Shen, L., Li, K., Zhang, Y. Z., Gui, K., Zhao, T. L. and Liao, H. (2019). Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) trends in China, 2013–2018: separating contributions from anthropogenic emissions and meteorology. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

[10] Lu, X., Zhang, L., Chen, Y.F., Zhou, M., Zheng, B., Li, K., Liu, Y.M., Lin, J.T., Fu, T.M. and Zhang, Q. (2019). Exploring 2016-2017 surface ozone pollution over China: source contributions and meteorological influences. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

[9]  Shen. L., Jacob, D.J., Liu, X., Huang, G., Li, K., Liao, H., and Wang, T. (2019). An evaluation of the ability of the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to observe boundary layer ozone pollution across China: application to 2005–2017 ozone trends. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

[8]  Shen, L., Jacob, D.J., Zhu, L., Zhang, Q., Zheng, B., Sulprizio, M.P., Li, K., De Smedt, I., Gonzalo Abad, G., Cao, H., Fu, T.-M. and Liao, H. (2019). 2005-2016 trends of formaldehyde columns over China observed by satellites: increasing anthropogenic emissions of volatile organic compounds and decreasing agricultural fire emissions. Geophysical Research Letters

[7]  Qiu, Y.L., Lin, W.L., Li, K., Chen, L., Yao, Q., Tang, Y.X. and Ma, Z.Q. (2019). Vertical characteristics of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) from a 250m tower in northern China during September 2018. Atmospheric Environment

[6]  Qiu, Y.L. Ma, Z.Q. and Li, K. (2019). A modeling study of the peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) during a wintertime haze event in Beijing, China. Science of the Total Environment


[5]  Li, K., Liao, H., Cai, W.J. and Yang, Y. (2018). Attribution of anthropogenic influence on atmospheric patterns conducive to recent most severe haze over eastern China. Geophysical Research Letters

[4]  Zhang, Y., Liao, H., Ding, X., Jo, D. and Li, K. (2018). Implications of RCP emissions on future concentration and direct radiative forcing of secondary organic aerosol over China. Science of the Total Environment

2017 and before

[3]  Cai, W.J., Li, K., Liao, H., Wang, H.J. and Wu, L.X. (2017) Weather conditions conducive to Beijing severe haze more frequent under climate change. Nature Climate Change (Highlighted by Journal cover, News & Views)

[2]  Li, K., Liao, H., Zhu, J. and Moch. J. (2016). Implications of RCP emissions on future PM2.5 air quality and direct radiative forcing over China. Journal of Geophysical Research

[1]  Li, K., Liao, H., Mao, Y.H. and Ridley, D.A. (2016). Source sector and region contributions to concentration and direct radiative forcing of black carbon in China, Atmospheric Environment

Educational Experience

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Work Experience

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Social Affiliations

  • Reviewer for international journals, including PNAS, Nature Communications, Science Advances, One Earth, Geophysical Research Letters, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Environmental Science & Technology, Environmental Science & Technology Letters, Environmental Health Perspectives, Environmental Research Letters,
    Environmental Chemistry Letters, Atmospheric Environment, Environmental Pollution, Science of the Total
    Environment, Journal of Geophysical Research, Earth’s Future, Climate Dynamics

2021.3 Now

  • Co-lead, East Asia Focus Working Group, Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report (TOAR), Phase II

2021.3 Now

  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Climate

Research Focus

    • Drivers of air pollution complex in China

    • Joint PM2.5-ozone control strategies

    • Effect of climate change on air pollution 

    • Atmospheric chemistry modeling

    • Environemtal and societal impacts of air pollutants 

Research Group

Name of Research Group:Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Group

Description of Research Group:Ke's research interest is contributing to a deeper understanding of atmospheric chemistry, climate change, and their environmental impacts. -Tropospheric air pollutants, such as ozone and fine particles, threaten human health and also contribute to perturbing earth radiation balance. -Climate change has the potential to abate or worsen air pollution by influencing the formation, transport, and removal of air pollutants. Current projects:1) Response of atmospheric pollutants to the ongoing China Clean Air Action; 2) How does weather/climate change affect air quality.