Minghua Zhang of Stony Brook University was appointed in October to lead the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (JGR: Atmospheres). He took over as editor in chief of the journal, a publication of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), from Steven Ghan of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
In 2007, Zhang was recognized for his contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former vice president Al Gore for “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”
Zhang, a professor at Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, is currently on partial leave at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In a recent interview via email, he discussed his new editorial role, his research, and his vision for JGR: Atmospheres.
AGU: What does it mean to you to be the editor in chief of JGR: Atmospheres?
Zhang: It means a lot of responsibilities—to the authors, the journal, AGU, and our discipline. I will be thinking constantly on how to be fair and helpful to the authors, how to make the publication process faster and more convenient and the journal more impactful, and how to promote new topical areas and research by young scientists. It also means that I will be on the JGR: Atmospheres GEMS system (AGU’s manuscript submission system) almost every day reading abstracts, reviews, and papers and communicating with authors, reviewers, AGU Publications staff, and my editorial board, as well as editors of other AGU journals.
AGU: What research are you working on right now?
Zhang: I am currently working on three research projects. One project is to better understand atmospheric moist physical processes at the subgrid scale of global climate models and to improve their parameterizations in these models. The physical processes include clouds, convection, and moist turbulence. The second is the development and application of Earth system models (ESM). I am coordinating a research activity on the development and application of the Chinese Academy of Sciences ESM. The third is about the application of global and regional climate models to study predictability and prediction on timescales from subseasonal to decadal.
AGU: What is your vision for the journal? Do you have any plans to change the scope? If so, how?
Zhang: My vision is to make JGR: Atmospheres the preferred journal of publications in our discipline by scientists worldwide because of the impact of its published papers and the ease, speed, and reward of the publication process. I would also like the journal to be a facilitating platform to new areas of research and successful careers of young scientists.
The landscape of scientific publications is changing rapidly. We need to be proactive and creative to stay competitive as a legacy journal. I plan to revisit the scope of the journal. Some of the things that I will discuss with the editorial board about the scope include the topic of climate change, important atmospheric data sets, and papers about regional and global models.
AGU: Where do you see growth or emerging research in atmospheric science?
Zhang: I see growth in research in the atmospheric processes associated with regional and global climate change, the application of more and better remote sensing products of atmospheric properties, and coupling of atmospheric processes with other components of the Earth system, including human dimensions.
AGU: What advice would you give to someone submitting to JGR: Atmospheres?
Zhang: Distill your results to convince yourself first and put in your best effort in the writing to assist the readers, then submit the paper.
—Jamie Liu (email: [email protected]), Marketing Manager, AGU