THE Mystery of the Expanding TropicS: from Past to Future (THEMES)


This project aims to better understand the interaction between climate warming and the Hadley cell (a large-scale atmospheric movement that redistributes heat from the equator to the tropics), which is expanding the subtropical dry zones in the Southern hemisphere. THEMES will use a combination of scientific tools (biological records of past climates, meteorological observations and model simulations) to increase our understanding of the Hadley cell, the largest atmospheric circulation system on Earth that induces the formation of the world's subtropical deserts. In response to human-induced global changes, the Hadley Cell is expanding towards the poles, dramatically shifting regional rainfall patterns, and consequently, affecting millions of people worldwide. THEMES will provide relevant information for developing adaptation and mitigation policies in the subtropical regions. THEMES will convene, under a fruitful environment, current scientific capabilities in Europe and the Americas not only for improving our understanding of the global climate system, but also for strengthening technical capabilities by training new generations of scientists, and sharing experiences on methods and techniques to better understand our changing planet.

Education and outreach

THEMES: Summer School 2019

Exploring the increasing frequency of droughts in the tropics

Summary of Themes fieldwork on February 2019


This project is funded by the BNP-Paribas Foundation in France.