Dr Paul Fraser decants a sample of air taken from the Cape Grim Baseline Station in Tasmania. The Station is managed by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Dr Paul Fraser, from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, leads CSIRO's research into the Changing Atmosphere.

Dr Paul Fraser: understanding our changing atmosphere

Dr Paul Fraser is working to understand the composition and sources of our changing atmosphere, knowledge that is essential for informing policies addressing climate change.

  • 14 July 2006 | Updated 2 August 2013

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Publishing History


Page 1 of 2

Changing levels of greenhouse and ozone-depleting gases in the atmosphere are key concerns of governments, the community and industry.

Current activities

As leader of CSIRO’s Changing Atmosphere research group, Dr Paul Fraser contributes to integrated solutions and sound management strategies for climate change and ozone-depletion issues.

According to Dr Fraser, CSIRO is the only Australian research organisation conducting the long-term surveillance of greenhouse gases necessary for assessing trends.

'We operate the world's second largest network for global atmospheric monitoring of greenhouse gases,' he says.

'Our 2 000-year records of greenhouse gases are the benchmark for climate change models. From such models, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes that most of the warming of the past 50 years is due to greenhouse gases.'

CSIRO research has produced the most precise record yet of greenhouse gas fluctuations in the Southern Hemisphere over the past 2 000 years.

'The records show carbon dioxide's contribution to global warming is accelerating,' he says.

Dr Fraser’s research team aims to:

  • advance our knowledge of the sources and sinks of greenhouse gases through the development of world-class measurement and modeling technologies
  • deliver world-class atmospheric chemistry for the Southern Hemisphere
  • provide scientific leadership of the Cape Grim program, which monitors and studies global atmospheric composition from the Cape Grim station managed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology
  • assist the nation to respond to climate change and climate variability 
  • quantify and assist in reducing, capturing and storing greenhouse gas emissions from energy generation, transport and industrial processes
  • assess the environmental impact of a move to a hydrogen economy.

Academic qualifications

Dr Fraser was awarded a Bachelor of Science with Honours in chemistry from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 1969.

He was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (Chemistry), also from Monash University, in 1972.


Dr Fraser has the following awards:

Dr Fraser was awarded the prestigious Eureka Prize for Environmental Research (1995), and the US EPA Ozone Protection Award (2002).
  • NASA Group Achievement Awards, 1994, 1995
  • Eureka Prize for Environmental Research, 1995
  • UNEP Citations, 1996, 1999
  • Anti-Cancer Council Citation, 1999
  • ISI Citation Laureate Award, 2001
  • USEPA Ozone Protection Award, 2002
  • CSIRO Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Committee memberships

Dr Fraser is a member of the following committees:

  • Ozone Protection Advisory Committee (OPAC)
  • Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station (CGBAPS)
  • Working Group 1, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Scientific Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer;
  • International Ozone Commission (IOC)
  • WMO Scientific Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases.

Read more about research into Our changing atmosphere.