Welcome to Peidong Wang's page.


I am a second year graduate student in Dr. Susan Solomon's group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My research interest is in chemistry-climate interactions particularly focusing at the interface between physical oceanography and atmospheric chemistry. I'm also working with Dr. Paul O'Gorman using machine learning to improve parameterization in climate modeling.

Prior, I did my undergraduate study at University of Wisconsin-Madison with double major in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences and Applied Mathematics, and a certificate in Computer Science. During my undergraduate study, I was advised by Dr. Tracey Holloway combining satellite, ground measurement and model to study atmospheric chemistry. I also did my summer research with Dr. Caroline Ummenhofer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to study how volcanic eruptions influence hydroclimate from climate model and tree-ring records.

I am a fan of traveling, nature exploring, photography, and cooking. My favorite place on Earth is Antarctica, since I like cold weather, and that is one reason I choose to live in both Madison and Boston.


Summer time formaldehyde (HCHO) diurnal cycle from CMAQ model simulation

Background: Formaldehyde (HCHO) is considered as one of the most hazardous carcinogens in the ambient air. It is also a precursor of ground level ozone that triggers respiratory diseases. There has a limited number of ground-based monitor stations that measure HCHO on a regular basis. There are also several satellite instruments that observe HCHO and has been used to support the assessment of the ozone production regime combined with satellite-derived nitrogen dioxide.

I am focusing on analyzing spatial-temporal patterns of ambient HCHO both from AQS (Air Quality System from EPA) ground-based monitors and OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument from NASA) satellite observations in the U.S. over the past 10 years. I also combine temperature and emission profiles to explain possible drivers of the HCHO patterns shown in both monitor and satellite data.


Background: Volcanic activity exerts a global cooling effect on climate and thus can counteract anthropogenic global warming on short time scales. However, its effect on and interaction with modes of climate variability are not well known. In particular, climate responses in the higher latitudes and remote areas are also less studied due to lack of high-quality instrumental data.

I work on combining the Community Earth System Model Last Millennium Ensemble (CESM LME) and a newly developed tree-ring network across Labrador in Canada to understand North Atlantic climate responses to volcanic eruptions in the last millennium. Particularly, I am looking at how different modes of climate variability change in response to volcanic eruptions spatially and temporally, such as changes in Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), and lower tropospheric moisture transport, which as a combination change Labrador region precipitation and can be reflected in the tree-ring records.

Composite SST and AMOC anomalies 2-5 years after volcanic eruptions

2014 Sept. SO2 anomalies

Background: The understanding toward chemistry-climate interaction is still largely uncertain, particularly due to the complicated direct and indirect effects from aerosols. The 2014-15 Holuhraun eruption in Iceland could provide more insights on how atmospheric chemistry influences climate, given the relative pure environment around Iceland. During this eruption, it emitted about 120 kilo-tonnes of sulfur dioxide (SO2) per day into the atmosphere, which could form sulfate aerosols (SO4) and further influence aerosol-cloud interaction and climate.

The nudged GFDL model simulation AM3 (full chemistry) and AM4 (simple chemistry) have similar SO2 emission rate but totally different responses in SO2 and SO4 formations, leading to different climate responses. I am evaluating AM3 and AM4 with satellite observations from OMI, MODIS and CALIPSO to find what drives different responses in sulfur formation.


Background: Cloud computing is an emerging technology that allows individual to have the access to shared high performance computing machines remotely. This shortens the time of processing data and makes computationally expensive works in a relatively low cost.

I work on cloud computing in satellite data in atmospheric chemistry, particularly use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to perform WHIPS (Wisconsin Horizontal Interpolation Program for Satellites) to oversample level 2 satellite product to custom-gridded level 3 satellite product. More information of WHIPS could be found at WHIPS website. We have created a public AWS server with pre-installed WHIPS, please see the tutorial guide for running WHIPS on AWS on your own.

Cartoon demonstration of how AWS works for performing WHIPS

Light attenuation with aerosols in the atmosphere

Background: Aerosols are small liquid and solid particles hanging in the ambient air, and aerosol optical depth (AOD) is a measure of the light extinction in the atmosphere by these aerosols. There are satellite instruments that detect AOD, and has been used to infer ground level air quality, especially particulate matter (PM2.5). Regional models such as CMAQ (Community Multiscale Air Quality Model) also has simulations on PM2.5.

I am using an extinction model to calculate AOD from CMAQ and comparing with MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite observation of AOD in the U.S. in 2011.