De-Zheng Sun, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences
University of Colorado/ NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
Physical Science Division
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 8030-3337
Voice: (303) 497-6272
FAX: (303) 497-6449

Date and Place of Birth



Research Interests

Teaching Interests

Courses Taught at CU

Postdoctoral students advised

Research Grants Awarded:



  1. Sun, D.-Z. and F. Bryan (eds), 2010: Climate Dynamics: Why Does Climate Vary?". AGU Monograph, 216 pages, AGU.

Journal Articles & Book Chapters

  1. Hua, L., Y. Yu, and D.-Z. Sun, 2015: A Further Study of ENSO Rectification: Results From an OGCM With a Seasonal Cycle. J. Climate, 28, 1362–1382.

  2. Zhang, T. and D.-Z. Sun, 2014: ENSO Asymmetry in CMIP5 models. J. Climate, 27, 4070–4093.

  3. Sun, D.-Z., T. Zhang, Y. Sun, and Y. Yu, 2014: Rectification of El Nino-Southern Oscillation into Climate Anomalies of Decadal and Longer Time-scales: Results from Forced Ocean GCM Experiments. J. Climate, 27 , 2545-2561.

  4. Shuai, J., Z. Zhang, D.-Z. Sun, F. Tao, and P. Shi, 2013: ENSO, climate variability and crop yields in China. Clim. Res., 58, 133-148.

  5. Chen, L., Y. Yu, and D.-Z. Sun, 2013: Cloud and Water Vapor Feedbacks To El Nino Warming: Are They Still Biased in CMIP5 Models? J. Climate, 26, 4947-4961

  6. Ogata, T., S.-P. Xie, A. Wittenberg, and D.-Z. Sun, 2013: Interdecadal amplitude modulation of El Nino/Southern Oscillation and its impacts on tropical Pacific decadal variability. J. Climate, 26, 7280–7297.

  7. Liang, J., X.-Q. Yang, and D.-Z. Sun, 2012: The effect of ENSO events on the Tropical Pacific Mean Climate: Insights from an Analytical Model. J. Climate, 25 , 7590-7606.

  8. Sheffield, J., S.J. Camargo, R. Fu, Q. Hu, X. Jiang, N. Johnson, K.B. Karnauskas, J. Kinter, S. Kumar, B. Langenbrunner, E. Maloney, A.a Mariotti, J. E. Meyerson, D. Neelin, Z. Pan, A. Ruiz-Barradas, R Seager; Y. L Serra, D.-Z. Sun, C. Wang, S.-P. Xie, J.Y. Yu, T. Zhang, M. Zhao, 2012: North American Climate in CMIP5 Experiments. Part II: Evaluation of 20th Century Intra-Seasonal to Decadal Variability. J. Climate, 26 (23), 9247-9290.

  9. Sun, Y., D.-Z. Sun, F. Wang, and L. Wu, 2012: The Western Pacific Warmpool and ENSO Asymmetry in CMIP3 Models. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 30, 940-953doi: 10.1007/s00376-012-2161-1.

  10. Eric Guilyardi, Wenju Cai, Mat Collins, Alexey Fedorov, Fei-Fei Jin, Arun Kumar, De-Zheng Sun, Andrew Wittenberg, 2011: New strategies for evaluating ENSO processes in climate models. BAMS, 236, 235-238.

  11. Wu, C., T. Zhou, D.-Z. Sun, Q. Bao, 2011: Water vapor and cloud radiative forcings over the Pacific Ocean simulated by the LASG/IAP AGCM: Sensitivity to convection schemes Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 28, 809-98.

  12. Zhang, T., M.P. Hoerling, J. Perlwitz, D.-Z. Sun, and D. Murray, 2010 Physics of U.S. surface temperature response to ENSO. J. Climate, 24, 4874-4887.

  13. Sun, D.-Z., and F.O. Bryan, 2010: Preface. "Climate Dynamics: Why Does Climate Vary?". AGU Geophysical Monograph, Edited by D.-Z. Sun and F. Bryan, AGU.

  14. Sun, D.-Z. and F.O. Bryan, 2010: Introduction. page 1-2, "Climate Dynamics: Why Does Climate Vary?". AGU Geophysical Monograph, Edited by D.-Z. Sun and F. Bryan, AGU.

  15. Sura, P. and D.-Z. Sun, 2009: Ocean-Atmosphere Coupling-Preface. Special Issue on Ocean-Atmosphere Coupling, Atmospheric Research, 94 , 1-2((doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2009.07.003)

  16. Sun, D.-Z., 2010: The Diabatic and Nonlinear Aspects of El Nino Southern Oscillation: Implications for its Past and Future Behavior. page 79-104. "Climate Dynamics: Why Does Climate Vary?". AGU Geophysical Monograph, Edited by D.-Z. Sun and F. Bryan, AGU.

  17. Penland C., D.-Z.Sun, and A. Capontondi, 2010: An Introduction to El Nino and La Nina. page 53--64. "Climate Dynamics: Why Does Climate Vary?". AGU Geophysical Monograph, Edited by D.-Z. Sun and F. Bryan, AGU.

  18. Wu, C., T. Zhou, and D.-Z. Sun, 2010: Atmospheric Feedbacks over the Tropical Pacific in Observations and Atmospheric General Circulation Models: An Extended Assessment. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, Submitted.
    Abstract / PDF

  19. Zhang,T.,D.-Z. Sun, R. Neal, and P. Rasch, 2009: An Evaluation of ENSO Asymmetry in the Community Climate System Models: A View from the Subsurface. J.Climate, 22, 5933-5961. Abstract / PDF

  20. Yu, Y., and D.-Z. Sun, 2009: Response of ENSO and the Mean State of the Tropical Pacific to Extratropical Cooling/Warming: A Study Using the IAP Coupled Model. J. Climate, 22 5902-5917.

  21. Wu, C., T. Zhou, R. Yu, and D.-Z.Sun, 2010: Regime behavior in the SST-cloud forcing relationships over the Pacific cold-tongue region. Atmos. Oceanic Sci. Lett., 3, 271-276.

  22. Sun, D.-Z., Y. Yu, and T. Zhang, 2009: Tropical Water Vapor and Cloud Feedbacks in Climate Models: A Further Assessment Using Coupled Simulations. J. Climate, 22, 1287-1304.
    Abstract / PDF

  23. Zhang, T., and D.-Z. Sun, 2008: What Causes the Excessive Response of the Clear-Sky Greenhouse Effect to El Nin˜o Warming in the NCAR Community Atmosphere Models? J. Geophys. Research, 113, D02108, doi:10.1029/2007JD009247.
    Abstract / PDF

  24. Sun, D.-Z., 2007: The Role of ENSO in Regulating its Background State. In "Nonlinear Dynamics in Geosciences", pages 537-555, Springer New York, 604 pages, Edited by J. Elsner and A. Tsonis.
    Abstract / PDF

  25. Sun, D.-Z. and T. Zhang 2006: A Regulatory Effect of ENSO on the Time-Mean Thermal Stratification of the Equatorial Upper Ocean. Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 33, L07710, doi:10.1029/2005GL025296.
    Abstract / PDF

  26. Sun, D.-Z., T. Zhang, C. Covey,S. Klein, W.D. Collins, J.J. Hack, J.T. Kiehl, G.A. Meehl, I.M. Held, and M. Suarez, 2006 : Radiative and Dynamical Feedbacks Over the Equatorial Cold-tongue: Results from Nine Atmospheric GCMs. J. Climate , 19 , 4059-4074.
    Abstract / PDF

  27. Zhang, T. and D.-Z. Sun, 2006 :Response of water vapor and clouds to El Nino warming in three NCAR models J. Geophys. Res.,111 , D17103, doi:10.1029/2005JD006700 .
    Abstract / PDF

  28. Sun, D.-Z., 2004: The Control of Meridional Differential Heating Over the Level of ENSO activity: A Heat-Pump Hypothesis. page 71--83. In Earth's Climate: The Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction, AGU Geophysical Monograph, Vol. 147, 414 pages. Edited by C. Wang, S.-P. Xie, and J. Carton.
    Abstract / PDF

  29. Sun, D.-Z., T. Zhang, and S.-I. Shin, 2004 : The effect of subtropical cooling on the amplitude of ENSO: a numerical study. J. Climate , 17, 3786-3798.
    Abstract / PDF

  30. Sun, D.-Z., J. Fasullo, T. Zhang, and A. Roubicek, 2003:On the Radiative and Dynamical Feedbacks over the Equatorial Cold-tongue. J. Climate, 16. 2425-2432
    Abstract / PDF

  31. Sun, D.-Z., 2003:A Possible Effect of An Increase in the Warm-pool SST on the Magnitude of El Niño Warming. J. Climate, 16, 185-205
    Abstract / PDF

  32. Sun, D.-Z., C. Covey, and R.S. Lindzen, 2001: Vertical correlations of water vapor in GCMs. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28 , 259-262.
    Abstract / PDF)

  33. Fasullo, J., and D.-Z. Sun , 2001: Radiative sensitivies to tropical water vapor under all-sky conditions. J. Climate, 14, 2798-2807
    Abstract / PDF).

  34. Sun, D.-Z., 2000b: The heat sources and sinks of the 1986-87 El Niño, J. Climate, 13, 3533-3550.
    Abstract / PDF).

  35. Sun, D.-Z., 2000a: Global climate change and ENSO: a theoretical framework. El Niño: Historical and Paleoclimatic Aspects of the Southern Oscillation, Multiscale variability and Global and Regional Impacts .443-463. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, edited by Diaz H. F. and V. Markgraf, 476 pp.
    Abstract / PDF).

  36. Sun, D.-Z. and K.E. Trenberth, 1998 : Coordinated heat removal from the equatorial Pacific during the 1986-87 El Niño. Geophys. Res. Lett., , 25, 2659-2662

  37. Sun, D.-Z., 1997: El Niño: a coupled response to radiative heating? Geophys. Res. Lett., 24, 2031-2034.

  38. Sun, D.-Z. and Z. Liu, 1996 : Dynamic ocean-atmosphere coupling: a thermostat for the tropics. Science, 272, 1148-1150.

  39. Sun, D.-Z. and I.M. Held, 1996 : A comparison of modeled and observed relationships between interannual variations of water vapor and temperature. J. Climate, 9, 665-675.

  40. Sun, D.-Z. and A.H. Oort, 1995 : Humidity-temperature relationships in the tropical troposphere. J. Climate, 8, 1974-1987.

  41. Sun, D.Z. and R.S. Lindzen, 1994 : A PV view of the zonal mean distribution of temperature and wind in the extratropical troposphere. J. Atmos. Sci., 51, 757-772.

  42. Sun, D.-Z. and R.S. Lindzen, 1993a : Distribution of tropical tropospheric water vapor. J. Atmos. Sci., 50, 1643-1660.

  43. Sun, D.-Z. and R.S. Lindzen, 1993b: Water vapor feedback and the ice age snowline record. Ann. Geophys., 11, 204-215.

  44. Wallace J.M., X. Cheng, and D.-Z. Sun, 1991: Does low-frequency atmospheric variability exhibit regime-like behavior? Tellus, 43 AB, 16-26.

Honors and Awards to De-Zheng Sun

Honors and Awards



Services by De-Zheng Sun, Senior Research Scientist, University of Colorado/Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences & NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory

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