Basic Information

Prof. Hai Cheng


Institute of Global Environmental Change

Xi'an Jiaotong University

No.19 Building, Western China Science and Technology Innovation Harbour, No.999 Siyuan Round South Road, Fengxi New City, Xixian New Area,  Xi'an, 712000, Shaanxi, China

Tel: 86-29-88965119




Nanjing University, China ,Geochemistry ,B.S.1982

Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, China , Geochemistry , M.S.1985

Nanjing University, China, Geochemistry, Ph.D.1988


Technical specialization

Thermal ionization mass spectroscopy

MC-ICP mass spectroscopy

Trace metal separation techniques

U-series dating techniques

Triple-oxygen-isotope analytical technique for speleothem

Gradual students/Postdocs

 Master degree students: 9

 PhD degree students: 12

 Postdocs:  9


Recent Award

The Chinese National Science Fund for Distinguished Oversea Young Scholars (2003)

The Gary C. Comer Abrupt Climate Change Fellowship (2007)

Thomson Reuters China Citation Laureates 2014 Highly Cited Researcher

Thomson Reuters China Citation Laureates 2014 International Citation Impact Award  (The only one from the entire Chinese geoscience community up to now)

Sanqin Friendship Award (2014)

Geochemical Fellow of Geochemical Society and European Association of Geochemistry (2015)

Ten major scientific and technological progresses of China's colleges and Universities (2016)

Highly Cited Researches (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) (Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics)

Highly Cited Scholars in China (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) (Elsevier)

AGU Fellow (2017)

Best Researcher Award    Xi’an Jiaotong University (2018)

MEL Distinguished Visiting Fellowship (2019)

AGU Eminiani Lecture (2019) (to honor the life and work of the renowned paleoceanography/paleoclimate researcher)

First-class Science and Technology Award  Shaanxi Academy of Sciencean  (2020)

MEL Distinguished Visiting Fellowship  (2020)


      Academica Sinica, Beijing           Postdoctoral Fellow                            1988

      Kyoto University                          Research Fellow                                  1989

Macquarie University                   Research Fellow                                  1991-1992

University of Minnesota               Senior Research Scientist                    1993-2009

Xi’an Jiaotong University            Professor                                              2010-present


Professional Society Memberships

American Geophysical Union

Geochemical Society and European Association of Geochemistry

Chinese Geological Society

Chinese Association for Quaternary Research

Recent Service


Associate Editor of Science Bulletin, and editorial board member of Quaternary Geochronology, Speleology, Journal of Earth Environment, Science China-Earth Sciences, Scientific Report, Geological Review, and Quaternary Sciences

Member of the Earth System Panel of the European Research Council.  Member of the Geochemical Fellows Award Committee of the Geochemical Society and the European Association for Geochemistry.  Member of the ACS (American Chemistry Society) Earth & Space Chemistry Editor Search Committee.  Members of several panels of Chinese National Natural Science Foundation of China, etc.

Recent significant publications related to our current projects

1. Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L. Southon, J., Matsumoto, K., Feinberg, J.M., Sinha, A., Zhou, W.J., Li, H.Y., Li, X.L., Xu, Y., Chen, S.T. Tan, M., Quan Wang, Yongjin Wang, Youfeng Ning. (2018). Atmospheric 14C/12C changes during the last glacial period from Hulu Cave. Science, 362(6420), 1293-1297.

2. Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Sinha, A., Spötl, C., Yi, L., Chen, S.T., Kelly, M., Kathayat, G., Wang, XF., Li, X.L., Kong, X.G., Wang, Y.J., Ning, Y.F. & Zhang, H.W. 2016, The Asian monsoon over the past 640,000 years and ice age terminations, Nature 534:640-646. DOI:10.1038/nature18591.

3. Cheng H.,Spötl, C.,Breitenbach, S.F.M., Sinha, A., Wassenburg, J.A., Jochum, K.P., Scholz, D., Li, X.L., Yi, L., Peng, Y.B., Lv, Y.B., Zhang, P.Z., Votintseva, A., Loginov, V., Ning, Y.F., Kathayat, G., Edwards, R.L. 2016. Climate variations of Central Asia on orbital to millennial timescales. Sci. Rep. 6, 36975; doi: 10.1038/srep36975 (2016).

4.Kathayat, G., Cheng, H., Sinha, A., Spötl, C., Edwards, R.L., Zhang, H.W., Li, X.L., Yi, L. 2016, Indian monsoon variability on millennial-orbital timescales, Sci. Rep. 6, 24374,  DOI:  10.1038/srep24374.

5. Cheng, H., Sinha, A., Verheyden, S., Nader, F.H., Li, X.L., Zhang, P.Z., Yin, J.J., Yi, L., Peng, Y.B.,  Rao, Z.G., Ning, Y.F., Edwards, R.L. 2015. The climate variability in northern Levant over the past 20,000 years. Geophys. Res. Lett.42, 8641–8650.

6. Sinha, A., Kathayat, G., Cheng, H., Breitenbach, S.F.M., Berkelhammer, M., Mudelsee, M., Biswas, J., Edwards, R.L. 2015. Trends, Oscillations and Anomalies in the Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall over the Last Two Millennia. Nature Communications 6:6309 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7309.

7. Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Shen, C-C., Woodhead, J., Hellstrom, J., Wang, Y.J., Kong, X.G., Spötl, C., Wang, X.F., Alexander, Jr, E.C. 2013.  Improvements in 230Th dating, 230Th and 234U half-life values, and U-Th isotopic measurements by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Earth and Planet. Sci. Lett., 371–372, 82–91.

8. Cheng, H., Sinha, A., Cruz, F.W. Edwards, R.L., d’Horta, F.M., Ribas, C.C., Wang, X.F., Auler, A.S., 2013. Climate change patterns in South America over the past 250 ka and tropical biodiversity. Nature Comm. 4, 1411. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2415.

9. Cheng, H., Zhang, P.Z., Spötl, C. Edwards, R.L., Cai, Y.J., Zhang, D.Z., Sang, W.C., Tan, M., An, Z.S., 2012. The climate cyclicity in arid central Asia over the past 500,000 years. Geophys. Res. Lett. 39, L01705, doi:10.1029/2011GL050202.

10. Cheng, H., Sinha, A., Wang, X.F., Cruz, F.W. 2012. The Global Paleomonsoon as seen through speleothem records from Asia and South America. Climate Dynamics 39, 1045–1062. DOI 10.1007/s00382-012-1363-7.

11. Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Broecker, W.S., Denton, G.H., Kong, X.G., Wang, Y.J., Zhang, R., Wang, X.F., 2009. Ice Age Terminations. Science 326, 248–252.

12. Cheng, H., Fleitmann, D.,  Edwards, R.L., Wang, X.F., Cruz, F.W., Auler, A.S., Mangini, A. Wang, Y.J., Burns, S.J., Matter, A. 2009. Timing and structure of the 8.2 ky event inferred from d18O records of stalagmites from China, Oman and Brazil. Geology 37, 10071010.

13. Wang, Y.J., Cheng, H*., Edwards, R.L., Kong, X.G., Shao, X.H., Wu, J.Y., An, Z.S. 2008. Millennial- and orbital- scale changes in the East Asian Monsoon over the past 224,000 years. Nature 451,1090-1093.

14. Zhang, P.Z., Cheng, H*., Edwards, R.L., Chen, F.H., Wang, Y.J., Yang, X.L., Liu, J., Tan, M., Wang, X.F., Liu, J.H., An, C.L., Dai, Z.B., Zhou, J., Zhang, D.Z., Jia, J.H., Jin, L.Y., Johnson, K.R. 2008. A test of climate, sun, and culture relationships from a 1810-year Chinese Cave record. Science 322, 940–942.

15. Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Wang, Y.J., Kong, X.G., Ming, Y.F., C. D. Gallup, Kelly, M.J., Wang, X.F. and Liu, W.G. 2006. A penultimate glacial monsoon record from Hulu Cave and two-phase glacial terminations. Geology. 34, 217-220.

16. Wang, Y.J., Cheng, H*., Edwards, R.L., He, Y.Q., Kong, X.G., An, Z.S., Wu, J.Y., Kelly, M.G., and Dykoski, C.A.  2005.  The Holocene Asian Monsoon:  links to solar changes and North Atlantic climate.  Science 308, 854-857.


Synergistic Activities

Role in development of mass spectrometric 231Pa dating techniques of carbonates (coral and speleothems) and 231Pa/235U measurement of igneous rocks.

Re-determine half-live of U-234 and Th-230 for 230Th dating.

Development of Uranium-thorium-protactinium dating systematics.

Development of MC-ICP MS U-series dating technique

Development of triple-oxygen-isotope analytical technique

Speleothem study and paleo-climate reconstruction

Establishing the Asian monsoon and the Westerlies climate changes over the past 650 ka and their correlations to global climate change on orbital-decadal timescales.


Recent Collaborators

J. Adkins (US), K.D. Adams (US), Z.S. An (China), Y. Asmerom (US), A.S. Auler (Brazil), S. Bayari (Turkey), M. Bender (US), R. Boch (Austria), W. S. Broecker (US), G.A. Brook (US), S.J. Burns (US), C.D. Charles (US), P. Clark (US), K.M. Cobb (US), F.W. Cruz (Brazil), G.H. Denton (US), D. Domínguez-Villar (Spain), J.A. Dorale (US), R. Drysdale (Australia), H.N. Edmonds (UK), R.L. Edwards (US), V. Ersek (UK), D. Fleitmann (Swiss), M. Gagan (Australia), C.D. Gallup (US), Z.T. Guo (China), P. Hearty (Australia), J. Hellstrom (Australia), Inoue (Japan), A. Klimchouk (Ukraine), M.S., Lachniet (US), Z.H. Li (US); D. McGee (US), A. Mix (US), F.H. Nader (Lebanon), B. Plessen (Germany), R. Potts (US), H. Qing (Canada), J. Quade (US), M.K. Reagan (US), D.A. Richards (UK), B. Sebastian(Swiss), C.C. Shen (Taiwan), A. Sinha (US), K. Sieh (Singapore), J. Southern (US), R. Speed (US), C. Spotl (Austria), G.S. Springer (US), L.D. Stott (US), V.C. Tewari (India), M. Tan (China), S. Verheyden (Belgium), R.C. Walter (US), Y.J. Wang (China), X.F. Wang (US), J.F. Wehmiller (US), K.S. Woo (Korean), J. Woodhead (Australia), F.Y. Wu (China), D.X. Yuan (China), P.Z. Zhang (China), B. Luz (Israel), Q.Z. Yin (US), Krause, C.E. (Australian). Y.F. Zheng (China), F.H. Chen (China), H.Y. Lv (China), N.Q. Wu(China). H.Y. Lu (China), H.C. Zhang (China), C.Y. Hu (China).

Invited speeches and lectures

1996 Spring AGU Meeting; 1997 Fall AGU Meeting; 2000, 2002 and 2009 Institute of Karst Geology; 2003 University of Paris;  2004 and 2006, Lanzhou University; 2004 Nanjing University; 2005 Taiwan National University; 2005  Institute of Geology;  2005 University of Southern California; Taiwan; 2005  Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University; 2005 Southern China Normal University; 2005 and 2009 Institute of Geochemistry, Guangzhou; 2006; IQUA Congress; 2006 Goldschmidt Conference;  2007 Institute of Speleology and Karstology, Simferopol, Ukraine; 2007 EGU Meeting, Vienna; 2007 9th International Conference on Paleoceanography;  2008 University of Bern; 2008 EGU Meeting, Vienna; 2008 European Science Foundation; 2009 L'Institut national de recherches archéologiques preventives, France;  2009 U-series and sea-level workshop, WHOI;  2009 University of Sau Poulo. 2010 AGU Taipei Meeting, Taiwan. 2010 AGU Brazil Meeting, Iguassu, Brazil; 2010 Shanghai Global Monsoon Meeting; 2010 Oregon Syntrace Synthesis Workshop; 2011 Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences; 2011 Global climate change workshop, Chinese NSF; 2011 INQUA (Geochronology session); 2012 Modes of Variability in the Climate System: Past-Present-Future, Obergurgl, Austria (PAGES). AOGS-AGU (WPGM), Singapore, 2012. Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam, Deutsches GFZ, Germany, 2012. Symposium on the interplaying between high and low latitude climate systems, Fuzhou, China, 2012. International Symposium on Climate Change- Past, Present and Future, Trends, Variations and Impacts, Agadir, Morocco, 2012. Growth of the Tibetan Plateau and Eastern Asia Climate: Clues to Understanding the Hydrological Cycle, Workshop, Xian, China 2012; 2013. 02 Wadia Institute Of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, India; 2013. 04, International Symposium on Karst Water under Global Change Pressure, Guilin, China,  2013.08, Conference on Isotopes of Carbon, Water, and Geotracers in Paleoclimate Research, Bern, Switzerland; 2013.11, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany; 2013.11, Geography Department, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany2014.10, Comer Abrupt Climate Change Meeting, Wisconsin, US; 2015.10, Comer Climate Conference, Wisconsin, US; 2016 Goldschmidt Conference, Japan; 2016.8, 35th International Geological Congress, Capetown, South Africa; 2016.7, 4th Conference on Earth System Science, Shanghai, China; 2016.12, AGU Fall Meeting, US; 2017.5, IntCal Working Group Meeting, Belfast, UK; 2017.06, SISAL Workshop, Duplin, Ireland; 2017.09, IODP-PAGES Workshop on Global Monsoon in Long-term Records, Shanghai, China; 2019.11, University of Science and Technology of China, He Fei, China; 2019 AGU Fall Meeting, Sanfrancisco, US; 2020.10, Workshop of Abrupt Climate and Ecosystem Transitions in Paleoclimate, Copenhagen.