Alert & Ozone Depletion Events (Dr Leonard Barrie)

Video Shot in: 2024

Dr. Leonard Barrie recounts the significant impact of his discovery at Alert on his scientific career. The breakthrough stemmed from ongoing work involving high volume air samplers and neutron activation analysis, tracking major ions and trace elements, including bromine, chlorine, and iodine. By 1986, Barrie had amassed a six-year time series dataset from Alert, revealing bromine’s seasonal peak in spring. However, the ozone connection didn’t crystallize until Yon Bottenheim’s involvement in the April 1986 AGASP (Arctic Gas and Aerosol Sampling Program) expedition. Collaborating with Bottenheim, Barrie observed a striking anti-correlation between bromine aerosol and ozone depletion events, indicating a meteorological influence. Barrie attributes his comprehensive understanding of this phenomenon to his background in both meteorology and atmospheric chemistry, further enriched by collaborations with boundary layer meteorologists like Bob McKellar and Jerry Deane Hartog. He also fondly mentions lifelong collaborator Jose Fuentes, who completed his PhD at Guelph University. This discovery not only advanced Barrie’s scientific trajectory but also underscored the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in atmospheric research.