Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name An, Zhisheng
Location Chinese Academy of Sciences
Primary Field Environmental Sciences and Ecology
Secondary Field Geology
 Election Citation
An is a leader in environmental research in China, particularly the Asian summer and winter monsoons, past, present and future. He has pioneered using geologic data to link environmental changes of Asia to events worldwide, and used climate models to understand how natural processes and human activities cause climate/environment change.
 Research Interests
An Zhisheng's research has focused on monsoon dynamics, global change, and sustainable development strategy for the Loess Plateau and for western China. An and his group pioneered Chinese loess and environment studies in the 1980s. Around 1990 An proposed the "paleomonsoon control theory" which hypothesized that East Asian environmental changes since the late Cenozoic were largely controlled by monsoon variations. An also pioneered the identification of proxies to determine the history, variability, and driving forcings of the East Asian monsoon within a global context. He has extended this exploration to the dynamics of the Indian monsoon, as well as studies of monsoon variability at global scale, by integrating the data of monsoons and paleomonsoons, and helping the understanding of the science of monsoon systems for a range of timescales. He has also carried out sustantial research on the sustainable development of the Loess Plateau and western China, and on urban air pollution control. He advocates balanced development between natural preservation and economic progress, emphasizing natural vegetation recovery principles.

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