Biography of ARC Laureate Fellow Steven Sherwood

ARC Laureate Fellow Steven Sherwood

Chief Investigator

Climate Change Research Centre

Climate Change Research Centre

Mathews Building, University of New South Wales
SYDNEY  Australia

Researcher ID: B-5673-2008



  • BSc (1987) MIT, USA
  • MSc (1991) University of California, USA
  • PhD (1995) Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, USA




Professor Steven Sherwood received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987. He was awarded a Master of Science in Engineering Physics from the University of California in 1991 and a PhD in Oceanography from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, in 1995. He carried out postdoctoral research at Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) from 1996-1997 and was a research scientist at the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Centre from 1998-2000. In 2001 he joined the faculty of Yale University, reaching the rank of professor in 2007. He moved to Australia at the beginning of 2009 where he is currently ARC Laureate Fellow and Director of the Climate Change Research Centre at University of New South Wales.

Prof Sherwood is an established leader in atmospheric science. In particular, he has made significant contributions to the understanding of moisture-related processes in the atmosphere. His areas of study include: atmospheric humidity, convective systems, interactions between clouds, air circulation and climate, remote sensing of storms, and observed warming trends. Within the ARC Centre of Excellence, Prof Sherwood formerly led and still contributes to the research program The Effects of Tropical Convection on Australia’s Climate. This work will ultimately contribute towards the goal of an innovative convective parameterization for climate models through local process modelling, larger-domain models of multiscale interactions, field observations, global satellite observations of convection, and studies involving global climate models.

Prof Sherwood was a Lead Author of the chapter on Clouds and Aerosols in the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report, Working Group I, and a Contributing Author to the IPCC’s previous report in 2007. He also co-authored the first US Climate Change Science Program report, Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere; contributed to The Copenhagen Diagnosis update on the science in 2009 and 2011; and contributed to the National Academy of Science’s Climate Science Questions and Answers, published in 2010. He currently serves on the editorial board of Environmental Research Letters, and on the steering committee of the World Climate Research Programme’s Grand Challenge on Clouds, Circulation and Climate Sensitivity.

In addition to those international activities, Prof Sherwood has co-authored over 90 papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Some of these papers have been covered extensively by the international media; for example, his 2005 paper in Science on atmospheric warming, which was named as one of the top 100 scientific discoveries of the year by Discover magazine, and his 2014 study on climate sensitivity, published in Nature.

Awards received by Prof Sherwood include the 2002 National Science Foundation CAREER award, the 2005 American Meteorological Association’s Clarence Leroy Meisinger award, and was a Eureka Prize finalist in 2014. Since 2001, Prof Sherwood has given at least 60 invited presentations at scientific meetings or colloquia worldwide. He has also given many public presentations, including a briefing in the US House of Representatives, television and radio appearances, and public lectures at many venues.

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