MIT EAPS Directory

Wanying Kang

Assistant Professor

Research Description

Wanying Kang's research focuses on the atmospheric dynamics of Earth and other planetary bodies. She has explored the dynamic teleconnection between the tropical Madden-Julian Oscillation and the breaking of the polar vortex, which provides implications for extreme weather in a future warmer climate. Meanwhile, she investigated the climate on high obliquity aquaplanets (a type of planets with their rotation axes pointed toward the host star) and made predictions that these planets would in general be warmer regardless of the existence of ice—which, together with other dynamic reasons, leads to a stratosphere that is orders of magnitude more moist. These findings may have important implications for habitability and observation.

Kang holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree in Physics from Peking University. She was an EAPS Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow working with John Marshall and Sara Seager.

Her major goal is to build up fundamental understandings of the atmospheric/oceanic dynamics on Earth and other planetary bodies, taking numerical simulations as a vehicle, and to find potentially observable consequences through the collaborations with other groups in EAPS. As she tries to find observables for atmospheric circulation on exoplanets, Kang is looking into the atmospheric circulation on the superhot lava worlds and the ocean circulation on icy moons, given the potential to observe them in more detail in the near future.


More Frequent Sudden Stratospheric Warming Events due to Enhanced MJO Forcing Expected in a Warmer Climate 
Kang, W. and E. Tziperman (Highlighted by Nature Climate Change) 
Journal of Climate 2017 30:21, 8727-8743 

The role of zonal asymmetry in the enhancement and suppression of sudden stratospheric warming variability by the Madden-Julian Oscillation 
Kang, W. and E. Tziperman 
Journal of Climate 2018, 31, 2399-2415 

The MJO-SSW teleconnection: interaction between MJO-forced waves and the mid-latitude
Kang, W. and E. Tziperman 
Geophysical Research Letter 2018, 45:9, 4400-4409, doi: 10.1029/2018gl077937

Tropical and Extratropical General Circulation with a Meridional Reversed Temperature Gradient as Expected in a High Obliquity Planet 
Kang, W., M. Cai and E. Tziperman 
Icarus (under review) 

Sudden Stratospheric Warming and extreme weathers in the future climate driven by the Madden-Julian Oscillation strengthening 
Kang, W. and E. Tziperman (in prep.) 


•     Harvard University Distinction in Teaching award, Spring semester 2018 •    Outstanding Student Paper Award, American Geophysical Union, 2017 •     First Prize (4th place), 'Jiang Zehan' Cup Numerical Modeling Tournament , China, 2013 •    Twice awarded the merit student prize, Peking University (PKU), 2012 and 2013 •    Twice awarded Weiming Undergrad. Physicist Scholarship (5000 CNY), PKU,2012 and 2013 •    The Tung OOCL Scholarship (6000 CNY, sponsored by Tung Foundation and Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd.), PKU, 2013 •     Awarded the Seagull Scholarship (6000 CNY), PKU, 2012 •    Weiming Elite Undergraduate Scientist funding (100,000CNY), PKU, 2011 •     First Prize, Physics Competition for Undergraduates in China, 2011 •     Bronze Prize, International Young Physicists Tournament, Austria, 2010 •     No.1 in Physics Olympic Competition, Tianjin Province, 2009. (1/>100,000 students) •     Silver Prize, Physics Olympic Competition China Final, 2009.

Contact Information


54-1610 (temporary)


PhD - Applied Mathematics School of Engineering - Harvard University
Physics Peking University

Administrative Assistant