Steve Sherwood

Public profile

Steve Sherwood
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UNSW members

Prof Sherwood has co-authored over 60 papers published in peer reviewed journals. His 2005 Science paper on atmospheric warming was covered extensively by the international media and the associated study was named as one of the top 100 scientific discoveries of 2005 by Discover magazine. He was contributing author to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report and lead author of the US Climate Change Science Program report Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences and contributing author to The Copenhagen Diagnosis in 2009. He was an author of the National Academy of Science’s Climate Science Questions and Answers published in 2010. He is also on the editorial board of Physics Research International.


Prof Steven Sherwood received his Bachelor 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 post-doctoral research at Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) from 1996-97 and was a Research Scientist at the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Centre from 1998-2000.

Between 2001 and 2008 he was Associate Professor and Professor at Yale University. He moved to Australia at the beginning of 2009 where he is Professor and Director at the University of New South Wales’ Climate Change Research Centre. Prof Sherwood was a Lead Author of the chapter on Clouds and Aerosols in the 2013/14 IPCC report.
Prof Sherwood is an established leader in Climate System 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 Centre, Prof Sherwood leads the program The Effects of tropical convection on Australia’s climate. This work will ultimately lead towards the goal of a world-class convective parameterization for climate studies through local process modelling, larger-domain models of multiscale interactions, field observations, global satellite observations of convection, and studies involving global climate models.

Since 2001, Prof Sherwood has given over 50 invited colloquia or meeting presentations worldwide. He has given a briefing in the US House of Representatives, gives public lectures and has made many television and radio appearances including extended interviews and debates on Triple J and 2GB in Sydney.

Awards received throughout Prof Sherwood’s career include the 2002 National Science Foundation CAREER award and the 2005 American Meteorological Association’s Clarence Leroy Meisinger award.


Member for
7 years 2 weeks