Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Bailing LI


Bailing LI's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.286.6020
Org Code: 617
Mail Code 617
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Bailing Li is an assistant research scientist with the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Her research interest includes using remote sensing, in situ and modeling data to understand variability and changes in the hydrological cycle and providing satellite data based drought monitoring capabilities to users using data assimilation techniques. She was the lead researcher on assimilating GRACE/GRACE FO data into the NASA Catchment land surface model for global groundwater and drought monitoring ( and one of the lead developers on the Western Land Data Assimilation System (WLDAS,


Program Analyst/Task lead

SAIC - Silver Spring, MD

1999 - 2007

Program Analyst

SAIC/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

2007 - 2010

Research Associate/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

ESSIC University of Maryland - Greenbelt, MD

2010 - 2016

Assistant Research Scientist

ESSIC University of Maryland/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - College Park, Maryland

2017 - Present



2024. "Terrestrial water storage in 2023." Nature Reviews Earth & Environment 5 (4): 247-249 [Full Text] [10.1038/s43017-024-00545-x] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Correlating Groundwater Storage Change and Precipitation in Alabama, United States from 2000–2021 by Combining the Water Table Fluctuation Method and Statistical Analyses ." Sustainability [10.3390/su152115324] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "How have hydrological extremes changed over the past 20 years?." Journal of Climate [10.1175/jcli-d-23-0199.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Changing intensity of hydroclimatic extreme events revealed by GRACE and GRACE-FO." Nature Water 1 (3): [Full Text] [10.1038/s44221-023-00040-5] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "A High‐Resolution Land Data Assimilation System Optimized for the Western United States." JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association 1-19 [10.1111/1752-1688.12910] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Groundwater recharge estimated by land surface models: an evaluation in the conterminous U.S." Journal of Hydrometeorology [] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Chapter 11 Groundwater Drought: environmental controls and monitoring [in "Global Groundwater", Editors: Mukherjee et al]." [Book]

2020. "Global Climate." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 101 (8): S9-S128 [10.1175/bams-d-20-0104.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Assimilating GRACE Into a Land Surface Model in the Presence of an Irrigation‐Induced Groundwater Trend." Water Resources Research 2019WR025363 [10.1029/2019wr025363] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "NCA-LDAS Noah-3.3 Land Surface Model L4 Trends 0.125 x 0.125 degree V2.0, Annual Trends Data Product." Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) v 2.0 [10.5067/QFZZBKCO5YJG] [Dataset]

2019. "Global GRACE data assimilation for groundwater and drought monitoring: Advances and challenges." Water Resour. Res. 55 7564-7586 [10.1029/2018wr024618] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "NCA-LDAS: Overview and analysis of hydrologic trends for the National Climate Assessment." J. Hydrometeor. 20 1595-1617 [10.1175/JHM-D-17-0234.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "NCA-LDAS land analysis: Development and performance of a multisensor, multivariate land data assimilation system for the National Climate Assessment." J. Hydrometeor. 20 1571-1593 [10.1175/JHM-D-17-0125.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Long-term, non-anthropogenic groundwater storage changes simulated by three global-scale hydrological models." Scientific Reports 9 (1): 10746 [10.1038/s41598-019-47219-z] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "A coupled surface-subsurface hydrologic model to assess groundwater flood risk spatially and temporally." Environmental Modelling & Software 114 129-139 [10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.01.008] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "The Land surface Data Toolkit (LDT v7.2) – a data fusion environment for land data assimilation systems." Geosci. Model Dev. 11 (9): 3605-3621 [10.5194/gmd-11-3605-2018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "NCA-LDAS Noah-3.3 Land Surface Model L4 Daily 0.125 x 0.125 degree V2.0, Daily Data." Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC), Greenbelt, Maryland, USA Version 2.0 [10.5067/7V3N5DO04MAS] [Dataset]

2017. "Comparison and assessment of three advanced land surface models in simulating terrestrial water storage components over the United States." J. Hydrometeor. 18 (3): 625-649 [10.1175/jhm-d-16-0112.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Spatio-temporal variability of groundwater storage in India." Journal of Hydrology 544 428-437 [10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.11.052] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Assimilation of gridded GRACE terrestrial water storage estimates in the North American Land Data Assimilation System." J. Hydrometeor. 17 (7): 1951-1972 [10.1175/jhm-d-15-0157.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Assimilation of GRACE Terrestrial Water Storage Observations into a Land Surface Model for the Assessment of Regional Flood Potential." Remote Sensing 7 (11): 14663-14679 [10.3390/rs71114663] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Groundwater variability across temporal and spatial scales in the central and northeastern U.S." Journal of Hydrology 525 769-780 [10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.04.033] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Evaluation of a model-based groundwater drought indicator in the conterminous U.S." Journal of Hydrology 526 78-88 [10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.09.027] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "Spatial variability and its scale dependency of observed and modeled soil moisture over different climate regions." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 17 (3): 1177-1188 [10.5194/hess-17-1177-2013] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Improving estimated soil moisture fields through assimilation of AMSR-E soil moisture retrievals with an ensemble Kalman filter and a mass conservation constraint." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16 (1): 105-119 [10.5194/hess-16-105-2012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Assimilation of GRACE terrestrial water storage into a land surface model: Evaluation and potential value for drought monitoring in western and central Europe." Journal of Hydrology 446-447 103-115 [10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.04.035] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Drought indicators based on model-assimilated Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) terrestrial water storage observations." Water Resour. Res. 48 (7): W07525 [Full Text] [10.1029/2011WR011291] [Journal Article/Letter]

1999. "Cokriging estimation of conductivity field under variably saturated flow conditions." Water Resources Research 35 (12): 3663-3674 [Journal Article/Letter]

1998. "Sensitivity and moment analyses of head in variably saturated regimes." Advances in Water Resources 21 477-485 [Journal Article/Letter]


2020. "Groundwater and terrestrial water storage [in "State of the Climate in 2019"]." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 101 (8): S1-S429 [10.1175/2020bamsstateoftheclimate.1] [Report]

2019. "[Global Climate: Hydrological Cycle] Groundwater and terrestrial water storage. In "State of the Climate in 2018"." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society S37-S38 [Report]