Hai Cheng has over the past three decades been at the leading edge in the technical developments of U-series to address many fundamental questions in paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, and global climate change research. His most widely recognized technical achievement is his role in the improvement of U-series dating techniques in the 231Pa and 230Th dating systematics including the re-determinations of 230Th and 234U half-lives that have been widely accepted and used by the U-series community.
He is also one of world-leading experts on paleoclimate studies of speleothem worldwide. On the basis of state-of-the-art U-series dating techniques, he has played an important role in the reconstruction of the climate history in numerous climate domains using cave records, including the longest East Asian (640 ka) and Indian (280 ka) monsoon records, the longest Westerly climate records from central Asia (500 ka) and North America (335 ka); as well as the longest record from the Amazon Basin (250 ka). The related researches have produced absolute chronological benchmarks that are critical to correlate regional climate variations in the context of global climate change on a wide range of timescales. The broad international significance of his contributions is attested by ~400 publications, including 13 in Science and 11 in Nature, and more than 20 in Nature-Series Journals (H-index=81, Google Scholar).