Leonard A. Barrie Atmospheric Science

Pioneer and international leader researching acid rain, arctic air pollution, ozone depletion and climate change.

The Story

Barrie’s research has greatly increased international understanding of airborne pollution. As a researcher for Environment Canada, he studied how acid rain is deposited, the effect of particles in the atmosphere, the origins of Arctic pollution including organic and metal contaminants, ozone depletion, and the effect of natural and artificially introduced aerosols on climate change. He is a leader in the discovery and investigation of an "ozone hole at the ground" that is widespread throughout the polar regions after polar sunrise. He and colleagues at Environment Canada have show that this phenomenon is linked to enhanced deposition of mercury in polar regions.

In his last position, Barrie was responsible for promoting and coordinating atmospheric chemistry research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. For instance, he coordinated an aircraft based project in August 2001 on the formation of ozone and particulate matter within the greater Puget Sound basin in Washington state. Author of ten book chapters and more than 121 scientific papers, Barrie is a leader in international air chemistry and climate programs. Currently, he is Chief of the Environmental Division in the World Meteorological Organization, were he coordinates the Global Atmospheric Watch Network.

Sources: PNNL press release 2001, Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, Royal Society of Canada website, personal communication.

The Person

December 4, 1948
Sherbrooke, Quebec
Geneva, Switzerland
Other Interests
Cross country skiing, mushrooms and ballroom dancing
Chief of the Environmental Division in the World Meteorological Organization
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA
  • PhD (Atmospheric Science), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, 1975
  • Fellow, Order of Canada, 2000
Prof. H.W. Georgii, Prof. C. Junge, Prof. H. Rodhe
Last Updated
September 17, 2015

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