XJTU professor wins top global award for climate change research

2021-11-05  []


Cheng Hai, a professor at the Institute of Global Environmental Change, Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU), won the 2022 Milutin Milankovic Medal in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of stalagmite paleoclimate research and uranium series technology development on November 3.  

Cheng Hai, professor at the Institute of Global Environmental Change, Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU)



The award was issued by the European Geosciences Union (EGU), a leading organization for Earth, planetary and space science research in Europe, to honor scientists who do outstanding research on long-term climatic changes and modeling.  


The medal was established in 1993 and has been awarded to 31 scientists so far.  


Cheng is the second Chinese scientist to receive this honor. The first was Wang Pinxian, a marine geologist and CAS member (academician of the Chinese Academy of Science).  


Cheng has been at the forefront of uranium technology development for the past three decades.


He developed the world's leading U-series mass spectrometry measurement technology, provided many important and accurate absolute chronological scales of late Quaternary climate change, and precise measurement of some very trace elements and their isotopes in geological samples such as sea water.  


These technologies are widely used in paleoclimatology, paleoceanography and global climate change research.  


He improved the U-series age-dating technology in the 231Pa and 230Th age-dating system, and re-determined the half-life period of 230Th and 234U. His work has been widely accepted and used in the field of uranium age-dating.  


Cheng is also one of the world's leading experts in stalagmite palaeoclimate research and has made many breakthrough discoveries. He has published more than 480 papers in international journals, including Science and Nature, and their sub-journals. His papers have been cited more than 50,000 times.    


He was listed consecutively in "Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics Highly-Cited Researchers" and "Elsevier Highly Cited Chinese Researchers" from 2014 to 2020.