Project 1610P: Southern Westerlies' Evolution in Environments of the Past (SWEEP)


The Southern Hemisphere westerly winds (SHWW) are the dominant component of mid-latitude
atmospheric circulation in the Southern Hemisphere. Importantly, they have been implicated as a
major driver of carbon release from the deep ocean reservoir during the last deglaciation. Thus,
the SHWW are closely linked to regional and global climate. While shifts in the SHWW have
been documented over seasonal and glacial cycles, many questions remain regarding SHWW
variability on decadal to millennial timescales.

This project entails the formation of a temporary working group, comprised of researchers
focusing on SHWW variability at intermediate timescales, whose aim is to combine recent
datasets, incorporate modeling results, and create a robust, statistical picture of SHWW
evolution. Additionally, this project will emphasize the involvement and contributions of PhD
students and early career researchers, thereby incorporating INQUA’s charge to “involve where
appropriate early-career or developing-country researchers in significant roles.”

In 2016, we created a community website (, established a network of
researchers studying the SHWW, and will co-host a three-day workshop in Santiago, Chile, in
conjunction with the SHAPE IFG (2-4 Nov). We hope to have several more outcomes in the next
year: (1) A special publication or issue that stems from our workshop; (2) A larger grant proposal
for international, collaborative research; (3) Increased contribution from our community to data
repositories, which will be a focus of our workshop; and (4) A continued web-presence to recruit
new members and highlight the work of our community.

Project Leaders

Jessica Hinojosa

California Institute Of Technology, California, USA

Project Sponsorship

This project is sponsored by the INQUA PALCOM Commission under the International Focus Group: