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Home » NOAA / GSL Staff Directory » Profile

Shan Sun

GSL Staff Profiles
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305-3328

Professional Profile

Chief, Earth and Chemistry Modeling Branch, Earth Prediction Advancement Division
Shan Sun is a meteorologist at GSL. She came to GSL more than 10 years ago from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, where she had worked for 12 years, developing a coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice model that became a member of the multi-model ensemble in IPCC AR5/AR6. Her focus at GSL is on the development of coupled models for sub-seasonal to seasonal applications. One such model, FIM-HYCOM, is generating sub-seasonal predictions in real-time. Her research interests range from short-term numerical weather prediction, sub-seasonal to seasonal predictability, ocean-atmosphere interaction, and oceanic thermohaline circulation to climate change and variability. Her research benefits from extensive hands-on experience with modeling of the atmosphere, ocean, ice, and aerosols. Her passion is to better understand the mechanics of the physical climate system and improve forecasts by increasing model fidelity through identifying and reducing systematic biases in the model. 

Research Interests

  • Develop coupled ocean-atmosphere-ice models for sub-seasonal to climate prediction 
  • Effects of aerosol interaction on weather and climate
  • Numerical weather prediction
  • Air-sea interaction
  • Climate change and climate variability
  • Ocean general circulation modeling


  • Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), University of Miami, Miami, FL.
  • M.Sc. in Physical Oceanography, RSMAS, University of Miami, Miami, FL.
  • B.Sc. in Meteorology, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China.

Membership and Service

  • Member, American Meteorological Society
  • Member, American Geophysical Union
  • Serves as an Associate Editor for Weather and Forecasting (American Meteorological Society)
  • Serves as a Reviewer for the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
  • Serves as a Reviewer for Monthly Weather Review
  • Serves as a Reviewer for Weather and Forecasting
  • Serves as Project Manager for NOAA’s High Impact Weather Prediction Project (HIWPP)


  • February 2019 - Current: Meteorologist, NOAA Global Systems Laboratory (GSL).
  • August 2009 - February 2019: Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado Boulder, and NOAA GSL. 
  • December 1997 - August 2009: Research Scientist, MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
  • August 1992 - August 1994: Meteorologist, Science & Technology Corp., and NOAA 

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Meteorological Society (AMS)
  • Member, American Geophysical Union
  • Serves as an Associate Editor for Weather and Forecasting (AMS)

Invited talks

Shan Sun, Invited Talk, “Subseasonal Forecasting with an Icosahedral, Vertically Quasi-Lagrangian Coupled Model: Systematic Errors and Deterministic/Probabilistic Forecast Skill”. NCEP, College Park, Maryland. March 23, 2018.

M.S. and Ph. D. committees have you served?

Served as a mentor for a graduate student from Colorado State University.


Miller, R.L., and coauthors, 2021: CMIP6 Historical Simulations (1850–2014) With GISS‐E2.1, J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 13, no. 1, e2019MS002034, doi:10.1029/2019MS002034.

Kelley, M., and coauthors, 2020: GISS‐E2.1: Configurations and Climatology. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 12, no. 8, e2019MS002025, doi:10.1029/2019MS002025.

Pegion, K. and coauthors, 2019: The Subseasonal Experiment (SubX): A Multimodel Subseasonal Prediction Experiment. BAMS, 100, 2043–2060, doi:

Sun, S., R. Bleck, S. G. Benjamin, B. W. Green, and G. A. Grell, 2018: Subseasonal forecasting with an icosahedral, vertically quasi-Lagrangian coupled model. Part I: Model overview and evaluation of systematic errors. Mon. Wea.  Rev., 146, 1601-1617.

Sun, S., B. W. Green, R. Bleck, and S. G. Benjamin, 2018: Subseasonal forecasting with an icosahedral, vertically quasi-Lagrangian coupled model. Part II: Probabilistic and deterministic forecast skill. Mon. Wea.  Rev., 146, 1619-1639.

Green, B. W., S. Sun, R. Bleck, S. G. Benjamin and G. A. Grell, 2017: Evaluation of MJO Predictive Skill in Multi-Physics and Multi-Model Global Ensembles. Mon. Wea.  Rev., 145, 2555-2574.

Danabasoglu, G. and coauthors, 2016: North Atlantic simulations in Coordinated Ocean-ice Reference Experiments phase II (CORE-II). Part II: Inter-annual to decadal variability. Ocean Modelling, 97, 65-90.

Bleck, R., and coauthors, 2015: A vertically flow-following icosahedral grid model for medium-range and seasonal prediction. Part I: model description. Mon. Wea.  Rev., 143, 2386-2403.

Guo, F., Q. Liu, S. Sun, and J. Yang, 2015: Three types of the Indian Ocean Dipoles. J. Climate, 28, 3073--3092.

Nazarenko, L., and coauthors, 2015: Future climate change under RCP emission scenarios with GISS ModelE2. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 7, no. 1, 244-267, doi:10.1002/2014MS000403.

Miller, R.L., and coauthors, 2014: CMIP historical simulations (1850-2012) with GISS ModelE2. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 6, no. 2, 441-477, doi:10.1002/2013MS000266.

Schmidt, G.A., and coauthors, 2014: Configuration and assessment of the GISS ModelE2 contributions to the CMIP5 archive. J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., 6, no. 1, 141-184, doi:10.1002/2013MS000265.

Liang, M., L. Lin, K. Tung, Y. Yung, and S. Sun, 2013: Transient climate response in coupled atmospheric-ocean general circulation models. J. Atmos. Sci., 70, 1291--1296.

Liang, M., L. Lin, K. Tung, Y. Yung, and S. Sun, 2013: Impact of climate drift on twenty-first-century projection in a coupled atmospheric-ocean general circulation model. J. Atmos. Sci., 70, 3321--3327.

Romanou, A., and coauthors, 2013: Natural air-sea flux of CO2 in simulations of the NASA-GISS climate model: Sensitivity to the physical ocean model formulation. Ocean Model., 66, 26-44, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2013.01.008.

Zhang, Y., S. Sun, S. Olsen, M. Dubey, and J. He, 2011: CCSM3 simulated regional effects of anthropogenic aerosols for two contrasting scenarios: rising Asian emissions and global reduction of aerosols. International J. of Climatology, 31, 95-114.

Hansen, J. and coauthors, 2007: Climate simulations for 1880-2003 with GISS modelE. Clim. Dyn., 29, 661-696, doi:10.1007/s00382-007-0255-8.

Hansen, J. and coauthors, 2007: Dangerous human-made interference with climate: A GISS modelE study. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 2287-2312, doi:10.5194/acp-7-2287-2007.

Schmidt, G.A., and coauthors, 2006: Present day atmospheric simulations using GISS ModelE: Comparison to in-situ, satellite and reanalysis data. J. Climate, 19, 153-192, doi:10.1175/JCLI3612.1.

Sun, S. and R. Bleck, 2006: Geographic distribution of the diapycnal component of thermohaline circulations in coupled climate models. Ocean Modeling, 15, 177-199.

Sun, S. and R. Bleck, 2006: Multi-Century Simulations with the Coupled GISS-HYCOM Climate Model: Control Experiments. Clim. Dyn., 26, 407-428.

Shindell, D.T., G. Faluvegi, R.L. Miller, G.A. Schmidt, J.E. Hansen, and S. Sun, 2006: Solar and anthropogenic forcing of tropical hydrology. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L24706, doi:10.1029/2006GL027468.

Hansen, J. and coauthors, 2005: Efficacy of climate forcings. J. Geophys. Res., 110, D18104, doi:10.1029/2005JD005776.

Bleck, R. and S. Sun, 2004: Diagnostics of the oceanic thermohaline circulation in a coupled climate model. Global and Planetary Change, 40, 233-248.

Sun, S. and J. Hansen, 2003: Climate simulations for 1951-2050 with a coupled atmosphere-ocean model. J. Climate, 16, 2807-2826.

Sun, S. and R. Bleck, 2001: Atlantic thermohaline circulation and its response to increasing CO2 in a coupled atmosphere-ocean Model. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 4223-4226.

Sun, S. and R. Bleck, 2001: Thermohaline circulation studies with an isopycnic coordinate ocean model. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 31, 2761-2782.

MacDonald, A.E., J.L. Lee and S. Sun, 2000: QNH: Design and test of a quasi-nonhydrostatic model for mesoscale weather prediction. Mon. Wea. Rev., 128, 1016-1036.

Sun, S., R. Bleck, C.G.H. Rooth, J. Dukowicz, E.P. Chassignet and P. Killworth, 1999: Inclusion of thermobaricity in isopycnic-coordinate ocean models. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 29, 2719-2729.

Sun, S., R. Bleck and E.P. Chassignet, 1993: Layer Outcropping in Numerical Models of Stratified Flows. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 23, 1877-1884.