Xuebin Zhang

Image Xuebin Zhang
Senior Research Scientist

Current research and/or projects

Activities that contribute to the understanding of the state, trends, variability and extremes of climate at both global and regional scales

  • Climate change detection and attribution at global and regional scales
  • Methodological development for the analysis of extremes in the changing climate

Professional activities / interests

Convening Lead Author, Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Chapter 11.

Lead Author, Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Chapter 10.

Lead Author, IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation, Chapter 3 

Co-Chair, World Climate Research Program Grand Challenge on Weather and Climate Extremes

Education and awards

Ph.D. Physics (Climatology), University of Lisbon, Portugal, 1995



Key publications

Li, C., F. Zwiers, X. Zhang, G. Li, 2018: How much information is required to well-constrain local estimates of future precipitation extremes. Earth’s Future,10.1029/2018EF001001.

Sun, Y., T. Hu, X. Zhang, 2018: Substantial increase in heatwave risks in China in a future warmer world. Earth’s Future, 10.1029/2018EF000963.

Vincent, L.A., X. Zhang, E. Mekis, H. Wan, E. J. Bush, 2018: Monitoring changes in Canada’s climate: Trends in temperature and precipitation indices based on daily monitoring data. Atmosphere-Ocean, doi: 10.1080/07055900.2018.1514579.

Tandon, N. F., J. Nie, X. Zhang, 2018 : Strong influence of eddy length on boreal summertime extreme precipitation projections. Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2018GL079327.

Zscheischler, J., S. Westra, B.J.J.M. van den Hurk, S. I. Seneviratne, P. J. Ward, A. Pitman, A. AghaKouchak, D. N. Bresch, M. Leonard, T. Wahl, X. Zhang, 2018: Future climate risk: the challenge of compound events. Nature Climate Change, doi: 10.1038/s41558-018-0156-3.

Kharin, V.V., G.M. Flato, X. Zhang, N.P. Gillett, F.W. Zwiers, K. Anderson, 2018: Risks from climate extremes change differently from 1.5C to 2.0C depending on rarity, Earth's Future. DOI:10.1002/2018EF000813

Tandon N.F., X. Zhang. A.H. Sobel, 2018 : Understanding the dynamics of future changes in extreme precipitation intensity. Geophysical Research Letters, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL076361.

Ben Alaya, M.A., F.W. Zwiers, X. Zhang, 2018: Probable maximum precipitation: its estimation and uncertainty quantification using bivariate extreme value analysis. Journal of Hydrometeorology, doi: 10.1175/JHM-D-17-0110.1

Wan, H., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, 2018: Human influence on Canadian temperatures. Climate Dynamics. doi:10.1007/s00382-018-4145-z.

Li, G., Zhang, X., A. Cannon, T. Murdock, S. Sobie, F.W. Zwiers, K. Anderson, B. Qian, 2018: Indices of Canada's future climate for general and agricultural adaptation applications. Climatic Change. Doi: 10.1007/s10584-018-2199-x

Sillmann, J., T. Thorarinsdottir, N. Keenlyside, N. Schaller, L. V. Alexander, G. Hegerl, S. I. Seneviratne, R. Vautard, X. Zhang, and F. W. Zwiers. 2017: Understanding, modeling and predicting weather and climate extremes: Challenges and opportunities. Weather and Climate Extremes, 18, 65-74, doi:10.1016/j.wace.2017.10.003.

Li, C., X. Zhang, F. Zwiers, Y. Fang, and A. Michalak, 2017: Recent very hot summers in northern hemispheric land areas measured by wet bulb globe temperature will be the norm within 20 years. Earth’s Future, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000639.

Fyfe, J. C., C. Derksen, L. Mudryk, G. M. Flato, B. D. Santer, N. C. Swart, N. P. Molotch, X. Zhang, H. Wan, V. K. Arora, J. Scinocca & Y. Jiao, 2017: Large near-term projected snowpack loss over the western United States. Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/ncomms14996.

Gudmundsson, L., S.I. Seneviratne, X. Zhang, 2017: Anthropogenic climate change detected in European renewable freshwater resources. Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate3416.

Wang, Z., Y. Jiang, H. Wan, J. Yan, X. Zhang, 2017: Detection and attribution of changes in extreme temperatures at regional scale. J. Climate, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0835.1.

Zhang, X., F. W. Zwiers, G. Li, H. Wan, A. J. Cannon, 2017: Complexity in estimating past and future extreme short-duration rainfall.  Nature Geoscience,doi: 10.1038/ngeo2911.

Mueller, B., X. Zhang, F.W. Zwiers, 2016: Historically hottest summers projected to be the norm for more than half of the world’s population within 20 years.  Environmental Research Letters, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/044011. (ERL Featured Article).

Christoph Schär,∗, N. Ban, E.M. Fischer, J. Rajczak, J. Schmidli, C. Frei, F. Giorgi, T.R. Karl, E. J. Kendon, A. Klein Tank, P. A. O’Gorman, J. Sillmann, X. Zhang, F. W. Zwiers, 2016:  Percentile indices for assessing changes in heavy precipitation events, Climatic Change, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-016-1669-2.

Sun Y., X. Zhang, G. Ren, F. Zwiers, T. Hu, 2016: Contribution of urbanization to warming in China, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE2956.

Mueller, B., and X. Zhang, 2015: Causes of drying trends in northern hemispheric land areas in reconstructed soil moisture data, Climatic Change, doi 10.1007/s10584-015-1499-7.

Kim, Y.-H., S.-K. Min, X. Zhang, F. Zwiers, L. V. Alexander, M. G. Donat, and Y.-S. Tung, 2015: Attribution of Extreme Temperature Changes during 1951-2010, Climate Dynamics, doi: 10.1007/s00382-015-2674-2.

Vincent, L.A.,  X. Zhang, R. D. Brown, Y. Feng, E. Mekis, E. J. Milewska, H. Wan and X. L. Wang, 2015: Observed trends in Canada’s climate and influence of low frequency variability modes, J. Climate. Doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00697.1.


Research facility

4905 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON M3H 5T4


Adjunct Professor, Department of Math and Statistics, York University

Invited Professor, Institut national de la recherché scientifique (INRs), University of Quebec

Member of Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) and American Meteorological Society (AMS)