HALCLIM / InGOS / 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 HALCLIM. 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


InGOS (Integrated Non-CO2 greenhouse Gas Observing System) is an EU funded IA (Integrating Activity) project targeted at improving and extending the European observation capacity for non-CO2 greenhouse gases. Two specific work packages are related to

  • the Pan-European quality assurance of halocarbon measurements.
  • the implementation of new developments into the analysis of atmospheric halocarbons
    • On the search for new compounds
    • Isotopes of halocarbons
    • Further development of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for the analysis of halocarbons
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 ….

Related Links