Dr. Fu’s research aims at understanding the role of the atmospheric hydrological cycle in determining the stability of the Earth’s climate. She uses satellite and in situ observations and numerical models to identify the mechanisms that control this interaction between water cycle and surface climate, and use them to explain natural variability and anthropogenic forced changes in rainfall, cloudiness and water vapor distribution. In recent years, her research has been focused on the coupling between rainfall, rainforest and biomass burning in the Amazon, and on convective transport of water vapor in the tropics and over the Tibetan Plateau.
Dr. Fu has served on a variety of national and international panels and programs, including the National Research Council Committee on Report of Challenges and Opportunities in Earth Surface Processes, the review panels for NASA Carbon Cycle Science program, Cloud and aerosol program, the NOAA and NSF panels for Climate Prediction and Drought research, and the panels for the US and International CLIVAR. She is also a long-term member of NASA Aura, SeaWinds and UARS Science Teams.