Excellent research at 3450 meters above sea level

Top of Europe

Feb 6, 2019 | SCNAT

At the beginning of the 1930s, when European countries were sealing themselves off, Switzerland opened the internationally oriented Jungfraujoch research station. In 2019, the station receives two awards as an important historical site for the natural sciences. The European Physical Society honors achievements in physics, and the Swiss Academy of Sciences achievements in chemistry. Empa has been engaged in research at the Jungfraujoch for almost 50 years.

The suction probe on the Jungfraujoch and the starting point for Empa measurements. Source: Empa

Since its inauguration in 1931, the Jungfraujoch High Alpine Research Station has been open to scientists from all over the world. It thus established Switzerland's reputation as an international host country with excellent research facilities. For this pioneering spirit, the European Physical Society (EPS) and the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) honor the research station with one award each as a historical site of physics and chemistry. Empa has also been conducting research on the Jungfraujoch since the 1970s.

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The Sphinx measuring station on top of the Jungfraujoch. Image: Empa
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In the 1970s, Empa employees built the annex measuring building by hand. Image: Empa
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Top of Europe indeed! Image: Empa

Empa set up the associated measuring building next to the Sphinx and started with the first measurements in 1972. While the researchers initially only recorded a few substances such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), today's measurements comprise more than 70 different compounds. These air measurements are of great importance. The measuring station on the Jungfraujoch analyses the spatial distribution and trends in our atmosphere, ecosystems and oceans and provides valuable data for the development of global emissions. Measuring the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the exchange of these gases between atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans is essential for understanding climate change and predicting possible consequences.

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First measurments of Empa on Jungfraujoch

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