Barrie Pittock did a Ph. D. in physics in 1963. He joined CSIRO in 1965 and worked on stratospheric ozone, solar-weather relationships, surface climate change, the climatic effects of nuclear war, and the greenhouse effect.
Barrie organised an international conference on “Climatic Change and Variability” in 1975, and edited the resulting book. In 1986 he was lead author of an international report on the environmental consequences of nuclear war. In the 1990s he led the Climate Impact Group in CSIRO, until his retirement in 1999. He contributed to or was a lead author of the 1990, 1995, 2001 and 2007 reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and has published more than 200 other reports and papers.
He was awarded a Public Service Medal in 1999 and his group won the Sherman Eureka Prize for Environmental Research in 2003.
Since retiring from CSIRO, he has written Climate Change: An Australian Guide to the Science and Potential Impacts, for the Australian Greenhouse Office, and Climate Change: The Science, Impacts and Solutions, for CSIRO Publishing and Earthscan. This document is written by him in a private capacity.
Barrie also has a long history of involvement in the Indigenous rights movement in Australia, since his student days, including several scholarly publications in this area.
He is currently working on a proposal to encourage large-scale renewable energy development in remote regions of Australia in part to provide employment and income for Aboriginal communities suffering from lack of employment and associated social problems.