CLIMGAS-CH / AGAGE Measurements of halogenated greenhouse gases at Jungfraujoch

Halogenated greenhouse gases (CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, PFCs, SF6) are measured continuously at the Alpine station of Jungfraujoch (3580 m asl.) in Switzerland. Together with meteorological transport models these data are used to estimate European emissions down to a regional scale.

Since January 2000 more than 50 ozone-depletion and greenhouse gases have been continuously measured at Jungfraujoch under the auspices of the Swiss national project CLIMGAS-CH. This activity is also contributing the AGAGE network and was part of the completed project SOGE. The measurement technique is GCMS (gas chromatograph – mass spectrometer).


  • An assessment of regional and supra-regional emissions as well as a control of the national emission inventary.
  • A definition of source locations with the help of trajectories for different spatial dimensions and establish the identity of dominant source regions.


  • Montinoring the composition of the global atmosphere for Montreal Protocol and Kyoto Protocol trace gases


HFC-134a and HFC-125 at Jungfraujoch
Measurements for the different halocarbons indicate the substances' specific emission strength and sources as well as their atmospheric lifetime. For example, HFC-134a is used in great quantities as cooling agent in mobile air conditioners for cars. HFC-125 on the other hand, is used in stationary cooling blends. Concentrations of both gases are currently rising.
Source allocation
European sources of the anthropogenic HFC-134a, HFC-125 and HFC-152a, as seen from Jungfraujoch.
With the help of a statistical trajectory model measurements are used to estimate the influence of different European source regions for the halocarbons.
Analytical techniques
Medusa with GCMS
During 2000 - 2008, we have used gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry (GCMS) with a preconcentration unit that was custom-built by our colleagues at the University of Bristol (ADS, Adsorption-Desorption System). One GCMS at Jungfraujoch and one laboratory-based GCMS allowed for the measurement of a suite of trace gases. 2 liter air samples were collected on a microtrap and desorbed into the chromatographic column. One entire measurement took 2 hrs and the air sample measurements were alternated by working standard measurements in order to detect and correct for short-term instrument sensitivity fluctuations.
In 2008, the GCMS ADS at Jungfraujoch was replaced by a new pre-concentration unit and a new GCMS. This unit, called the ‘Medusa’, allows for faster (hourly measurements) and more precise measurements of a larger suite of halogenated compounds, e.g. now including the extremely long-lived tetrafluoromethane (CF4).


The Medusa system is currently set up to measure the following compounds:

  • CFCs: CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-13, CFC-113, CFC-114, CFC-115.
  • HCFCs: HCFC-22, HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, HCFC-124
  • Halons H-1301, H-1211, H-2402
  • CH3Cl, CH3Br, CHCl3, CH3CCl3, CCl4, TCE, PCE
  • HFCs: HFC-23, HFC-32, HFC-134a, HFC-152a, HFC-125, HFC-143a, HFC-227ea, HFC-365mfc, HFC-245fa, HFC-236fa.
  • PFC and other fluorinated compounds: PFC-116, PFC-218, PFC-318, SF6, CF4, (SF5CF3)
  • Hydorcarbons: C2 – C6 hydrocarbons
  • Carbonyl sulfide (OCS), SO2F2
  • and more ….

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