#ICOScapes - Jungfraujoch

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Location: Bernese Alps, Switzerland
Type: Atmospheric measurements
Greenhouse gases measured by ICOS: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxide (N2O)

The ICOS Jungfraujoch station, located at 3580 metres above the sea level, is the highest measurement station within the ICOS network. In spite of its high altitude, the station is accessible year-round through the highest railway in Europe.

The station is located in the UNESCO World Heritage site Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch next to the Aletsch Glacier, the longest glacier in Europe. The Alpine region is particularly affected by climate change as a warming climate leads to glacier retreat, thawing of permafrost, and related consequences like changes in the regional water cycle, rock falls and landslides.

Due to its elevation and the distance to major greenhouse gas sources and sinks, ICOS Jungfraujoch station is mainly exposed to air masses representing background conditions over Central Europe. This is of key importance when quantifying emissions from more polluted environments.

Occasionally, air pollution can also be observed at Jungfraujoch when air from lower atmospheric layers reaches the station. By analysing these special events, the unique location of ICOS Jungfraujoch allows us to unravel different greenhouse gas sources and sink areas over a large part of Central Europe.

ICOS Jungfraujoch station is part of the ICOS Atmosphere Network measuring the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations in Europe. At Jungfraujoch, ICOS measurements cover the most important greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon monoxide (CO) , which are all known as so-called radiative forcers leading to perturbations in the Earth’s climate.