skip to primary navigation skip to content

Xingran Gao

Xingran Gao

PhD candidate

Xingran's research focused on using model to assessing the aerosol influence on the urban weather and climate both in recent and future years.



  • 2018-Present University of Cambridge PhD about Environmental Modelling in the Department of Geography
  • 2017-2018 Imperial College London Environmental Engineering (MSc)
    Dissertation about pipe leakage in London
    Student membership of CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management) and CIWM (The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management).
  • 2015-2017 The University of Manchester BSc (Hons) Environmental Science (First Class)
    Dissertation using WRF-Chem modelling the organic carbon change according to emission.
  • 2012-2015 Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology
    BSc Atmospheric Science (First Class) in each years


  • School of Earth and Environmental Sciences Visitor (Internship) The University of Manchester (2017)
  • Internship in Shanghai Centre for Environmental Meteorology, Shanghai Meteorological Bureau; Internship, Baoshan, Shanghai Meteorological Bureau (2016)


  • Awarded as the 'most service to school' (2015-2017), University of Manchester
  • Scholarship for Academic Achievements in China (2012-2015)


Air pollution in the form of aerosols not only reflect and absorb radiation but also alter cloud properties and precipitation. Pollution plumes in urban areas can have a large effects on local temperatures and climate. Numerical models are needed to quantify aerosol effects. Predictions for future climate require global climate models. Climate models, however, include only a crude representation of aerosol effects and do not represent urban pollution plumes. However, climate models cannot resolve spatial scales that are relevant for urban areas. Dynamical downscaling with a regional model can be used to provide the necessary details on smaller spatial scales. The case study of urban climate situation is focused on Chongqing, located in the Sichuan Basin of China. Chongqing has undergone rapid urbanisation over the last 20 years. Chongqing is one of the most polluted city in China, with over 30 million people live in the area.

This PhD project will continue previous work on dynamical downscaling of climate for the Sichuan Basin and Chongqing. To test the ability of the regional model WRF to represent the regional and urban climate, WRF will be forced with present day situation from reanalysis data and a climate model. WRF output will be compared against available observations before applied to future climate projections. However, WRF does not include effects of air pollution. To assess the effects of aerosols on radiation and clouds an extended version of WRF, WRF-Chem, will be used. WRF-Chem can not only represent atmospheric chemistry but also aerosol particles and their interaction with radiation and clouds. Aerosol concentrations and emissions will be based on existing data sets and observations. Different future aerosol scenarios will be developed. The effects of aerosols on clouds and their radiative properties will be assessed.



  • LoHCool conference in Chongqing (2019). Urban climate model using WRF.

External activities

  • Darwin College debate team, punting society
  • Cambridge philosophy and Chinese Society
  • Created a movie for the international new students of the University of Manchester.
  • SCA: Barista Skills Foundation and Coffee Brewing Intermediate
  • WSET: Level 1 Award in Wine and Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits, Bartender in the college
  • Certification for the 'Camino de Santiago'